Best Places to Live in Hawaii


Sun, sea and island life. At face value alone, canninghill piers eBrochure download is a dream place to live. While most people have the idea of a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, there’s a lot to be said for moving on and ‘living on vacation’ like never before.

If you like the idea of watching the sun set over the evening ocean, being able to walk for hours through the hills and eat the most freshly caught fish around, then Hawaii is for you.

We joke when we call living in Hawaii a permanent vacation, away from the tourist attractions, there’s a thriving and functioning community, which rarely comes in contact with the 8.9 million visitors who drop by each year.

Hawaii consists of eight main islands; Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai, and Niihau. Each of these islands has a different atmosphere but is open and welcoming to both tourists and new neighbours.

There are certain prerequisites for moving to a new area. Things to consider such as public schools, crime rates, access to health care and cost of living. When building the 15 best places to live in Hawaii, we took all of these factors into account as well as comments from local people; offering you the most authentic and rounded view of where to live in Hawaii.

Without further ado, here are the 15 best places to stay in Hawaii:

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1. Maunawili

Maunawili, without a doubt, is the best place to stay in Hawaii. On the island of Oahu, Maunawili is home to a community of just 2,149 people. Located just north of Honolulu, travel options to the state capital are numerous.

Bordered by Kawainui Marsh and Kailua Beach Park, access to the great outdoors is nothing short of here in Maunawili. Although there is a strong beach vibe going on in Maunawili, it is a suburb.

Property prices are steep, as you would expect from the best places to stay in Hawaii. The median home value is $914,400, which means you’ll get very little change from your $1 million investment. Most of the houses in Maunawili are modern, bright and spacious. Many come with private pools, tennis courts, and large garden areas.

2. Mililani Mauka

Like Manuawaili, the second best place to live in Hawaii, Mililani Mauka, is also on the Island of Oahu. This large suburban neighborhood borders the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge and is connected to Honolulu by Highway 2/201.

Local people love to live in Mililani Mauka. They say that the environment is peaceful with a strong sense of community. That local supermarkets and grocery stores provide what residents need and the view is ‘amazing’.

There are 42 public schools in Mililani Mauka, spread over 21,000 people, there are small classes offered in almost every educational institution here. Not to mention the above-average average test performance from elementary, to high school.

3. Waikele

Waikele may only be the third best place to live in Hawaii but it is quickly becoming a popular area with millennials. With that in mind, Waikele’s small neighborhood is considered one of the best places to raise a family in the state.

Waikele is much more affordable than Maunawili, the house price here is around $414,400. Great value for money can be found at properties in the Waikele area, this applies to rental properties as well. While well above the national median, the median monthly rent in Waikele is $1907.

There is good access to green spaces in Waikele. Waikele Golf Club is a popular hangout for many residents, as is Pasty T Mink Park. There’s a huge designer outlet mall here too, it’s time to get some bargains!

4. Kailua

Residents love living in Kailua. Traveling to the city is far from commuting and the schools in the area provide parents with many options. Residents noted that public transport in and out of Kailua makes life a lot easier.

The city is just as popular with tourists and sadly second home buyers are inadvertently shipping high home prices, compared to prices a decade ago.

This is now the more economically developed area of Hawaii, with a median household income of $105,316; double the national average. Just like at Maunawili, you shouldn’t expect a change of $1 million. A property set right in front of the beach, of course, takes a lot more.

Kailua is one of the safest neighborhoods in Hawaii.

5. Honolulu

On the south coast of Oahu we find the state capital of Honolulu. This bustling and vibrant city is a bucket list destination for travelers from all over the world.

Despite the abundance of cities, the sandy beach just below the towering buildings serves as a reminder of the nature of the island of Honolulu.

Honolulu is the most densely populated area in Hawaii, home to 400,000 people and counting. So for those seeking the serenity and isolation that island life can bring, you’d better stay away from the city.

There are many rental properties available in Honolulu and the average rent is a much more pleasant $1,300 per month. With the job opportunities that come from locating yourself in the city, there’s no harm in hiring ‘buy your time’ in Honolulu, before investing in Kailua or Waikele, for example.

6. Mililani

Mililani is a small town on Oahu, northeast of Honolulu. Local people say that Mililani is the ‘true Hawaii’ who beautifully embraces the military history of the area with beautiful natural scenery.

There are many small shops that provide residents with almost everything they need. Occasional trips to the big city, Honolulu, are guaranteed for certain groceries.

Mililani plays host to a number of small, family-run restaurants, which are at the heart of this close-knit community.

28,021 people call Mililani home; an area popular with families, there are 45 schools in the area. Mililani is ranked as the best schooling neighborhood in all of Hawaii. Parents, write this down!

7. Ocean Point

Just south of Mililani, still on the Island of Oahu, we found Ocean Pointe. Right on Māmala Bay, there are 11,000 people who call this coastal city, home. Ocean Pointe is the midpoint between Waikele and Kailua in terms of house value.

The average property price in the area is around $539,000. While a pretty steep number for many American families, if it’s Hawaii that’s what you want, you’ll make it work financially.

Ocean Pointe is an upcoming area with millennials in Hawaii. It’s not hard to understand their reasoning either; investment quality homes, good schools and ideal proximity to the sea.

8. Wailea

Wailea is the first of our best places to stay in Hawaii being on the Island of Maui. The island of Maui is the second largest of the eight Hawaiian islands.

The small community of 5,600 people say the number of local businesses in Wailea is great and gives residents plenty of choice. The only downside to Wailea is that it is a popular tourist destination and during peak season the area can get very busy.

The beaches around Wailea are absolutely stunning, in that sense, the people of Wailea are almost spoiled.

For such a small population, there were plenty of schools in Wailea, and high performing schools at that.

9. Kapolei

Kapolei is often referred to as Hawaii’s second city because it does live in the shadow of Honolulu.

While jobs in this area are few and far between, with access to the Honolulu CBD within half an hour, there’s nothing about Kapolei that screams unemployment.

Naturally, the cost of living in Kapolei is higher than the national average across the United States, but compared to other residential areas in Hawaii, the cost of living in Kapolei is more than reasonable.

With a population of 18,737 people, there is a city feel to the area. Of course, as a Hawaiian community you don’t feel lost in the hustle and bustle of city life.

10. Waimalu

Close to Pearl City and Aiea, we found Waimalu, right on Pearl Harbor. This historic wharf has many stories to tell but what is it like to live in an area so integral to modern history?

This is an area that has a somewhat transient population, with almost 50% of the population renting properties in Waimalu, there is a cycle of tenants that keeps the area fresh and vibrant. In terms of crime rates in Waimalu, there are no records to report.

Houses in Waimalu are quite expensive, although if you look hard enough you’ll find them! For $749,000 you can invest in a 4 bedroom, 2 bedroom family home. Not too much to ask given the proximity to the beach and to Honolulu itself.

11. Princeville

Excellent public schools, diverse population and perfectly placed on the coast, there is very little to fault in Princeville, which barely makes the top ten. Princeville is a 9,000-acre community of condominium-style vacation homes and apartments, on the island of Kauai.

So close to scenic spots like Queen’s Bath and Hanalei Pier, you can easily see why people fall in love with Princeville and never leave! Princeville is full of lush green spaces for locals to enjoy and they do!

The properties here actually hit the $3 million mark. As exclusive as it sounds, there are plenty of more affordable options in the area. The $869,900 investment will get you a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom family home with your own coconut tree in the yard!

12. Kula

Kula is a small, close-knit community, mainly made up of retirees. On the beautiful island of Maui, Kula is a simple and quaint place to live. Living in Kula will see you somewhat removed from the hub-bubs of the rest of Hawaii.

For anyone looking for the slow and easy life in a welcoming and friendly city, then Kula might be the place for you.

While there are good schools in the city, the lack of development may see many children struggle to find entertainment and extracurricular activities outside of swimming in the ocean.

13. Pearl City

Back on Oahu now, just north of Honolulu International Airport is Pearl City. This bayside city is home to 47,021 people, there’s always something going on in Pearl City to keep you busy.

Pearl City, as a whole, is one of the more affordable areas in Hawaii to purchase property. The median home value is $592,000. Shopping around will be worth it in Pearl City, take some time to see what’s on the market before parting with your hard-earned money.

Just as $725,000 would get you a 3-bedroom family home, $570.00 would have you invest in the same number of bedrooms but with a bigger garden and a more modern-looking home.

14. Wailuku

Compared to many of the more flashy areas of Hawaii, Wailuku is pretty average. That said, residents here are happy and satisfied with where they have put their hats.

As a small town of 16,000 people, Wailuku provides residents with access to many outdoor activities as well as good access to commuter routes as well. Locals say that Wailuku is calm and family friendly, that they enjoy being close to nature and the sea.

Statistics show that job opportunities in Wailuku are few and far between but locals confirm that the employment rate in the area is increasing and there is an improving job market.

15. Lahaina

Lahaina is the largest community on the island of Maui, with 11,700 people calling this coastal city home. The properties in Lahaina are simply spectacular, of course the property right by the beach; the other has an infinity pool overlooking the green hills.

Lahaina is a typical Hawaiian vacation town, although many cafes and restaurants have a tourist in mind, the food they serve is enjoyed by the locals as well.

There are 34 public schools in the Lahaina area which provide parents with many options for their children.