You can easily get around in Hawaii. The roads are in good shape because of frequent flights.

The most populous island, Oahu, has good public transit, while the adventurous will find rugged roads to test their 4WD skills in remote corners.

Here is the rundown on transportation in Hawaii, from hopping a 20-minute flight between islands to tackling the road beyond Hana in your own SUV.

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Couple reading a map on a glider airplane in Hawaii
Taking to the skies is the most popular way to travel around Hawaii's islands © Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd / Getty Images

Air travel is the most popular way to get around the Hawaiian islands

Most of Hawaii's travel is done in the air. Interisland flights are not long. Lihue is the busiest airport on the Big Island. Lanai City is one of the smaller airports with regular service.

Frequent interisland flights are offered by Hawaiian Airlines. Southwest provides much-needed competition between the main airports. Mokulle Airlines provides service to the smaller airports. The flights can double as sightseeing excursions.

Interisland flights have advance fares that can be as low as $40.00. The walk-up fares are much higher. Airline regulations regarding surfboards, bicycles and other oversized baggage can be restrictive and expensive.

Ferry boat between island of Maui and Lanai
Hawaii's sole interisland ferry route serves Maui and the island of Lanaʻi © Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

Travel between these Hawaii islands by boat

The only interisland ferry route in Hawaii is between Maui and Lana'i. Although the Lahaina dock is not well served by public transit, it is good for day trips. There are a lot of dolphin and whales seen on journeys.

There are seven-day cruises from Honolulu to the four largest islands. You can't book individual segments between the islands.

Join locals on the bus network

It's hard to get around by bus in Hawaii, except on Oahu. The most populous island in the state is easy to get to thanks to TheBus. The main sights as well as to and from Waikiki can be reached by bus from Honolulu. It is cheap to get service.

Outside of Oahu, public bus systems cater to resident commuters. Most of the time service is limited to main towns and not much else.

Maui Bus doesn't run to Hana or Haleakal National park after Oahu. The Big Island's Hele-On Bus will get you to many island towns, but you can't take the bus everywhere. The main visitor center of the park is where it stops.

The Kauai Bus doesn't go to the Na Pali Coast, or any of the other state parks. On the North Shore, the Hanalei and Haena State Park are connected by the North Shore Shuttle. There is a free MEO Bus that runs every couple of hours on weekdays.

Rear view of a couple driving in a convertible, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Renting a car is a great option if you want to explore beyond Hawaii's main towns © darekm101 / Getty Images

Drive yourself around Hawaii in a rental car

A car is unnecessary if you only visit Honolulu and Waikiki. Renting a car is the best way to explore beyond the main towns and resorts. It is possible to explore off paved roads on Lanai and the Big Island.

There are offices for major car rental companies at airports. Rates are high at small airports and on Lanai and Molokai. There are a few independent car rental companies in Hawaii that offer electric cars. Major rental companies have hybrid policies.

On some islands, 4WD vehicles are the only way to get to the parks, beaches and hiking trails. The fines from the rental companies can be steep, and if you get stuck, the cost of a tow can be very high. When you pick up your car, make sure you know which roads are off-limits. There are companies that limit where you can drive a CarRentals.

Rent a moped or motorcycle

In Hawaii, moped and motorcycle rentals are not very common. The rates are not cheap. A valid driver's license is required to rent a moped or motorcycle. State law forbids the use of mopeds on sidewalks and freeways.

Get around the cities by taxi

Taxis with metered fares can be found in the main islands. The rates are set by each county, but they average more than $3 as the meter starts and then $3 or more per additional mile.

Cabs are available at airports and hotels, but you need to order one. On Oahu, there is a ride-sharing service, and on the bigger islands, there is one.

Three young women on bikes on the Chain of Craters road in Hawaii
Cycling is the most eco-friendly option for getting around Hawaii, but it can be challenging © Eachat / Getty Images

Cycle around the islands of Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands are a great place to travel. Cyclists can be a challenge as a mode of transportation. All islands have narrow roads and are prone to flooding. If you're in good shape and adventurous, you can do long-distance cycling on your own. The most popular destination for cycle touring is Hawaii.

Specialty bicycle shops and tourist resort areas often rent high-end road and mountain bikes. The average rental rate is double that for mountain bikes. Ask about discounts on multiple days. Public bike-sharing programs have popped up around the islands, especially in Honolulu. Cyclists under 16 must wear helmets.

There are many island buses. Before you load your bicycle, let the driver know. If the bicycle rack is already full, you may have to wait until the next bus arrives, which can be problematic beyond Oahu because of limited schedules.

There are online cycling maps for Oahu.

Accessible travel in Hawaii

There are ramps and cuts on the sidewalks and curbs in Hawaii to make it easier for people with disabilities to get around. There are public buses. There are accessible cars available from major car rental companies.

You can use accessible parking spots in Hawaii if you have a disabled parking placard from home.

Guide and service dogs are not subject to the same regulations as other animals. Visitors to Hawaii can find useful information from the Department of Health. You can get more travel information from Lonely Planet.

Why I love walking in Hawaii

Hawaii is well known for its hiking trails, but just walking around in popular areas is a lot of fun. At street level, Waikiki and Honolulu are some of the most interesting places in the world. It is easy to walk from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.

There is no better way to see the charms of Lahaina on Maui and the Big Island than on foot.

About 2 hours ago, this article was updated.