Do you think of Hawaii only as a place for beach vacations? Well, think again! Honolulu is a fantastic place to put down roots.
Honolulu is a large metropolitan city of about 350,000 people located on the island of Oahu. It is the largest city in the Hawaiian Islands and has been the capital since 1845.
Like all of Hawaii, Honolulu feels a little more laid back than its mainland counterparts. It is consistently ranked highly among the best places to live in the U.S. as well as among the safest cities.
How about a few fun facts? Honolulu has a royal palace! It’s the only one in the United States. It also has more Buddhist temples than any other Western city and is located near over 100 beaches. It’s already an interesting place and we’re just getting started!
It’s Hawaii, the weather is fabulous. To be more precise, it’s fabulous all year long. Temperatures in Honolulu average in the 80s (Fahrenheit) during the day and don’t often drop below 65 when the sun goes down. The summer months of May through September are the dry season. October through April is considered the wet season. The climate is described as “tropical semi-arid” with high humidity but not as much rainfall as truly tropical areas.
Hawaii is not a frequent target of tropical storms or tornadoes. Being part of a string of volcanoes does lend itself to the occasional earthquake or eruption, but none of the volcanoes on Oahu have erupted in tens of thousands of years.
Living in Honolulu comes with a host of benefits, from the diversity of its population to the liveliness of its nightspots. There are endless things to do, indoors and especially outdoors.
The multicultural nature of the city lends itself to a lot of exciting dining choices. Japanese, Mexican, Italian, seafood, and traditional island fare can be found at every price point.
Our friends at TripAdvisor include French, American, Asian, and Japanese restaurants among their favorites for fine dining, and Japanese, Hawaiian, and American pub food as their favorites for a quick, inexpensive bite.
There are terrific restaurants throughout the city, though you’ll find more in the downtown and Chinatown areas. Living in downtown Honolulu puts a world of cuisine at your doorstep.
The Great Outdoors
Honolulu has some of the most breathtaking outdoor recreation areas in the world. From the party atmosphere of Waikiki Beach to the splendor of Diamond Head State Monument, there is genuinely something for everyone.
The Ala Moana State Park is a free public park set in between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. The beach is half a mile long and with plenty of grassy areas attracts open water swimmers, picnickers, and runners.
The Fort Derussy Army Base is an unexpected place to find beautiful open spaces. Home to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, the decommissioned base also boasts a gorgeous beach, picnic facilities, and a host of natural spaces with abundant wildlife.
There are honestly too many natural wonders in and around Honolulu to even scratch the surface. Residents enjoy everything from the attractions teeming with visitors to the isolated coves and beaches known only to the locals.
In addition to the park, the Ala Moana area boasts a huge open-air shopping mall—the largest in the world, as a matter of fact. This mall has been around since 1959 and is one of the most successful in the world.
If that weren’t enough, the Ala Moana Center is also home to Ala Moana Centerstage, a public amphitheater right in the thick of the shopping area. Usually hosting local artists, this unique feature of the Ala Moana Center makes it quite a bit more than just another mall.
Honolulu is also home to the Royal Hawaiian Center, another open-air mall featuring high ends retailers, and the Ward Village Shops, a cluster of four buildings tucked into Ala Moana Park.
For locals who are in the mood for a bargain, the Aloha Center Swap Meet runs three days a week. There is no shortage of places to shop in Honolulu!
Living in downtown Honolulu puts you in the middle of some of the finest cultural venues in the state. At your artistic fingertips are the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House, and the Hawaii State Art Museum.
For a little change of pace, residents can check out the Doris Duke Theater or the yearly Hawaii International Film Festival.
Looking for something a little more natural? The Bishop Museum caters to natural history lovers, and there are zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens that are a feast for the senses.
Locals also enjoy the Honolulu Symphony and the Hawaii Opera Theater. There is plenty of live music, particularly Hawaiian music, as well as live theater throughout the downtown area.
While home to a lot of tourist attractions and hotels, Honolulu also boasts a large selection of luxury condominiums for residents. No one is going to tell you that living in Honolulu is a bargain, but there are some beautiful options.
The Kakaako Condominium neighborhood is right near Ala Moana Park and all of its amenities. With plenty of green spaces and incredible ocean views, this downtown living option has a lot to offer.
Waikiki also offers a large number of condo options. From the luxury Ritz-Carlton to smaller properties dating back to the 1950s, Waikiki residences have a pleasingly eclectic vibe that fits the area like a glove.
Downtown Honolulu is filled with live music, restaurants, clubs, and specialty bars. Whether you prefer a low key evening listening to a local band, or a night of laughter filled karaoke, you’ll find it in downtown Honolulu.
What makes living in downtown Honolulu special is the joyful abundance of diversity, from dining options to entertainment and culture. The city is sophisticated and luxurious while maintaining an atmosphere of welcome and fun.