Moving To & Living In Honolulu, HI - The Definitive Guide | 2020 Edition
The vibrant and exciting city of Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. From a strong and thriving business district, explosive art scene, rich history, some of the best beaches in the world, Honolulu is a dream location for residents and visitors alike. The busy city doesn’t have the laidback Hawaiian lifestyle like other places, but it still offers the beauty of Hawaii. The strong economy, natural beauty, and strong community make Honolulu a dream.
Interesting Facts About Honolulu
Spam is a popular food item in Honolulu and can be found at almost any store. Waikiki also hosts an annual Spam Jam festival.
Barack Obama and Bette Midler were both born in Honolulu.
Billboards are not allowed in Honolulu to avoid blocking any incredible views.
Honolulu is a relatively walkable city, and for those who live and work in the city, getting to and from can easily be done by foot or bike. Depending on location, a car is not necessarily required. It’s a thirty-minute drive to Kapolei. Honolulu has the award-winning transit system TheBus offers a substantial number of routes, and it runs seven days a week, and residents can get almost anywhere they need to go.
What is the History of Honolulu?
The name Honolulu translates to ‘sheltered harbor,’ and legend states that once Kamehameha I conquered Oahu, Waikiki became the home of his royal court, and then downtown Honolulu. In 1845, Honolulu became the capital, and historic buildings were put up in that honor. Over the 19th century, missionaries and merchant ships from all over the world set up businesses, and they ended up contributing to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and being annexed by the United States.
What is Real Estate like in Honolulu?
The median home price in Honolulu is just over $700,000. The city is home to almost 1 million residents. The median age is 40 for men and 43 for women.
Some of the most popular Honolulu communities include Downtown Honolulu, Chinatown, Kaka‘ako, Ala Moana, and Waikiki. Greater Honolulu includes Nu‘uanu, Makiki, Manoa, Punchbowl, Kaimuki, Moili‘ili, Diamond Head, Kalihi, Moanalua, Sand Island, and Salt Lake.
Ono Seafood | 747 Kapahulu Avenue.
Ono Seafood is known to have Hawaii’s famous poke. It’s an affordable and fresh place for a great meal.
The Pig & The Lady | 83 North King Street
Located in Chinatown, The Pig & The Lady has Vietnamese fusion cuisines.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food | 1240 North School Street
An award-winning local restaurant with great food and service.
Nico’s Pier 38 | 1129 North Nimitz Highway
A pizza place that uses fresh ingredients and creates each one made-to-order.
Marukame Udon | 2310 Kuhio Avenue
A famous restaurant that typically has a line out the door.
Salt and Pepper Cafe | 1341 Kapiolani Boulevard
This cafe is the ultimate destination for vegetarians and a great place to grab a cozy meal for breakfast or lunch.
What is there to do in Honolulu?
With Honolulu being the hub and busy city that it is, there’s always something to do or experience.
Ala Moana Center | 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
The Ala Moana Center is the biggest outdoor shopping mall in the country. It’s the ultimate destination for all shopping-lovers. There are large retailers, local makers, a spa, restaurants, a beer garden, and a bowling alley to enjoy.
International Market Place | 2330 Kalakaua Avenue.
One of the newest shopping centers in the area, this large market includes over 80 stores, restaurants, including desirable retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Swarovski, and Fabletics. There are many events held there like yoga, hula, and lei-making.
Ward Village Shops | 1240 Ala Moana Boulevard
An excellent destination for luxury or thrifty shoppers, the Ward Village Shops have great shops, restaurants, and routinely host festivals.
Royal Hawaiian Center | 2201 Kalakaua Avenue
A famous spot where many celebrities shop, there are both luxury and local shops at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
South Shore Market | 1170 Auahi Street
South Shore is home to large retailers like Pier 1, T.J.Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack. It’s a great place to go shopping and grab lunch.
SALT At Our Kakaako | 691 Auahi Street
Visit the beauty salon, grab a latte or a drink at the numerous happy hours, visit a local gallery, or grab an ice cream cone. SALT has everything you could want in one place, including yoga and the Mom Made Market.
Ward Entertainment Center | 1030 Auahi Street
A great place to take the family for a movie or visit Dave & Buster’s. There are plenty of restaurants in the area for an excellent night out while creating memories.
Neal S. Blaisdell Center | 777 Ward Avenue
The Neal S. Blaisdell Center hosts many events like concerts, operas, ballets, comedy shows, and symphonies.
Honolulu Zoo | 511 Kapahulu Avenue
Take the family to see the animals at the well-maintained Honolulu Zoo.
Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center | 111 Ohe Street
Children love interactive exhibits while learning and having a fun time.
There are three main golf courses in Honolulu.
Ala Wai Golf Course | 404 Kapahulu Avenue
A public course with reasonable fees that is among the most popular. Visitors from all over the world come to golf at this course.
Waialae Country Club | 4997 Kahala Avenue
The host of the Sony Open, this course has great views and delicious food.
Oahu Country Club | 150 Country Club Road
A private club that is meticulously maintained with an on-site restaurant.
Fort DeRussy Beach Park | 2161 Kalia Road.
A great place for families to enjoy shallow waters, this park is for both military members and residents. There are many rentable amenities along the park.
Kapiolani Park | 2840 Paki Avenue
Residents can enjoy an entire day in Kapiolani Park. A popular place for festivals and fairs, residents can also take advantage of green spaces, tennis courts, and clean bathrooms. Waikiki is across the street.
Kuhio Beach Park | 2453 Kalakaua Avenue
Located in the heart of Waikiki, this is a popular beach for residents who love swimming, surfing, and incredible sunsets.
Kaimana Beach | 2863 Kalakaua Avenue
A peaceful beach that doesn’t see a lot of tourism traffic, it’s a great local spot for residents to enjoy.
Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park | 102 Ohe Street
The waterfront park has incredible views and is a great spot for fishing. There is an amphitheater for events and spots to have a nice picnic.
Ala Moana Regional Park | 1201 Ala Moana Boulevard
This regional park has over one hundred acres to enjoy. There is a calm beach, tennis courts, and green space to explore. It’s a popular place for residents to go for a skate, swim, bike ride, or have a BBQ. It’s even a great place to have a wedding.
Kewalo Basin Park | 1125 Ala Moana Boulevard
The perfect place to have a BBQ by the beach, take a boat tour, or just soak up the sun while fishing.
The island of Oahu has some incredible hiking spots. Honolulu is home to Diamond Head Crater, Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a State Park, and Manoa Falls Trail. These have various difficulty levels, incredible views, and so much to explore. Manoa Falls Trail leads hikers from the end of Manoa Road to a beautiful waterfall. It’s also the filming place of Jurrasic Park. They’re all very popular places that are often busy with residents and tourists alike.
Beaches & Surfing
Ala Moana Bowls | Ala Moana Boat Harbor
Located on the South Shore, many surf competitions are held at Bowls, and it has world-class waves.
Kaisers | Ala Moana Boat Harbor
A great destination for surfers, it’s often busy with both residents and tourists. There is a rocky bottom that can be shallow during low tide, but it has a consistent reef break.
Threes | Fort DeRussy
There is a strong undertow at Threes, so it is not as busy as any of the other popular surfing spots. There are fast, big waves, so this spot is best for experienced surfers.
Walls | Near the zoo
Experienced surfers love to ride the wedging waves.
Tonggs | Kapiolani Park
You’ll typically find locals at Tonggs, as you have to walk through the neighborhood to find beach access between homes. Located in front of Gold Coast housing, experienced surfers often take advantage of this spot.
Queens | Located past the Duke statue.
In front of the main rental board spot, Queens is a great spot for those learning and longboarders.
Kewalos | Kewalo Basin Park and Ala Moana Boulevard
This spot is a popular spot for professional surfers like Seth and Josh Moniz, Alessa Quizon, Carissa Moore, and Zeke Lau. It’s referred to as ‘man-made,’ as it has changed over many years with the dredging of the harbor.
What are the schools in Honolulu?
Honolulu is home to numerous private and public schools among all the most popular neighborhoods in the city. The full list of public schools include:
Aina Haina Elementary
Ala Wai Elementary
Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School
Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind
Kalihi Kai Elementary
Kalihi Uka Elementary
Koko Head Elementary
Myron Thompson Academy Public Charter School
Niu Valley Middle
SEEQS (School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability)
University Laboratory School
Voyager Public Charter School
Waialae Elementary Public Charter School
Hospitals and Health Centers
The Queen’s Medical Center
1301 Punchbowl Street
Open 24 hours
Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children
1319 Punahou Street
Open 24 hours
Straub Medical Center
888 South King Street
Open 24 hours
Kaiser Permanente Honolulu Medical Office
1010 Pensacola Street
8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday
Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center
3288 Moanalua Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819
Open 24 hours
In case of a hurricane or natural disaster, these buildings have been appointed by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management. To protect residents from winds, storms, and debris, the department will alert the public through local and social media with additional details. These locations have been mandated as shelter-in-place areas that are safe. Residents should bring three days worth of food and water, a place to sleep, clothes, medications, and personal items.
Aina Haina Elementary | 801 West Hind Dr
Aliiolani Elementary | 1240 7th Ave
Central Middle | 1302 Queen Emma St
Dole Middle | 1803 Kamehameha IV Rd
Farrington High | 1564 North King St
Fern Elementary | 1121 Middle St
Hahaione Elementary | 595 Pepeekeo St
Jarrett Middle | 1903 Palolo Ave
Kaahumanu Elementary | 1141 Kinau St
Kaewai Elementary | 1929 Kamehameha IV Rd
Kaimuki Middle | 631 18th Ave
Kaiser High | 511 Lunalilo Home Rd
Kaiulani Elementary | 783 North King St
Kalakaua Middle | 821 Kalihi St
Kalani High | 4680 Kalanianaole Hwy
Kalihi Elementary | 2471 Kula Kolea Dr
Kalihi-Kai Elementary | 626 McNeill St
Kalihi-Uka Elementary | 2411 Kalihi St
Kalihi-Waena Elementary | 1240 Gulick Ave
Kamiloiki Elementary | 7788 Hawaii Kai Dr
Kapalama Elementary | 1601 North School St
Kauluwela Elementary | 1486 Aala St
Kawananakoa Middle | 49 Funchal St
Koko Head Elementary | 189 Lunalilo Home Rd
Kuhio Elementary | 2759 South King St
Lanakila Elementary | 717 North Kuakini St
Liholiho Elementary | 3430 Maunaloa Ave
Likelike Elementary | 1618 Palama St
Linapuni Elementary | 1434 Linapuni St
Maemae Elementary | 319 Wyllie St
Manoa Elementary | 3155 Manoa Rd
McKinley High | 1039 South King St
Niu Valley Middle | 310 Halemaumau St
Noelani Elementary | 2655 Woodlawn Dr
Nuuanu Elementary | 3055 Puiwa Ln
Palolo Elementary | 2106 10th Ave
Pauoa Elementary | 2301 Pauoa Rd
Puuhale Elementary | 345 Puuhale Rd
Roosevelt High | 1120 Nehoa St
Royal Elementary | 1519 Queen Emma St
Stevenson Middle | 1202 Prospect St
Waialae Elementary PCS | 1045 19th St
Waikiki Elementary | 3710 Leahi Ave
Wilson Elementary | 4945 Kilauea Ave