Hilo and Kailua-Kona, both located on the Big Island, have been voted among the most charming towns in Hawaii in a survey conducted by TravelMag.com.
The online travel magazine invited more than 50 travel writers, photographers and selected professionals to name the three Hawaiian towns and villages that they consider the most appealing. All of the votes were then counted to produce the final ten.
Brimming with lush, green vegetation, Hilo is home to over 40,000 residents but those numbers are swelled by the steady stream of visitors who descend on the town each year. Much of Hilo’s vibrant atmosphere also owes to its university demographic, which brings a youthful energy to a town otherwise characterised by gentle tranquillity and natural beauty.
As for Kailua-Kona, its population of nearly 12,000 people are blessed by the presence of some of Hawaii’s finest beaches, along with a buzzing but relaxed ambience. Inevitably, much of the town’s leisure life revolves around the seafront, with sunbathers, snorkelers and swimmers making the most of the pristine white sandy shores. Indeed, snorkeling at sunrise is among the most popular activities here, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
In addition to Hilo and Kailua-Kona, two other destinations located on the Big Island also made it into the Top 10: Na’alehu and Hawi. Na’alehu is characterised by pretty monkeypod trees flanking quaint old plantation homes, while Hawi is home to a smattering of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants and features a bustling, friendly ambience.
Elsewhere on our list, other Hawaiian towns voted into the top ten are Kapaa, located on the southeast shore of Kauai island; Lahaina & Paia, both nestled on the idyllic island of Maui, Lanai City, a central town on the island of Lanai; Haleiwa, a North Shore community on the island of O’ahu; and Hanelei, a peaceful and historic town on the island of Kauai.