5 Great Cities to Move To Near Honolulu, Hawaii

Jon Fesmire |

If you’re new to Hawaii, you’ll discover that the world seems suddenly small. That’s what it’s like to live on an island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Stay awhile, and you’ll start seeing the charm of living far from the mainland.

Life in Hawaii is more laid back than elsewhere. Though technically the islands have two seasons, summer and winter, it feels like summer year-round. In Hawaii, you’ll learn to enjoy Spam and shaved ice, to dress casually and pick up surfer lingo. You’ll get used to clear skies and turquoise ocean waters.

Here are five places to consider calling home in the Aloha State:

Honolulu

Honolulu, with its population of 352,000 people, is the capital city of Hawaii. It’s a major shipping hub, making it not only a major commerce center but a big tourist hub, with tourism bringing in about $10 billion per year. It’s easy to get to the beach, but there’s more to do than sunbathe and surf. You may take your honeymoon here, then decide to settle down.

This city is great for artists and anyone interested in Hawaiian culture. You can visit the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. Being a big city, life in Honolulu is faster paced than the rest of the state, too.

The median household income in Honolulu is $60,500, while the median home price is $662,000 in the city and $566 in the surrounding urban metro area. The median rent in both areas is about $2,300.

Kailua

Like Honolulu, Kailua is right by the beach and is a popular tourist destination. In fact, wealthy people who have purchased second homes here have sent housing prices skyrocketing. If you have a profession needed in the area, your family, too, may make the median household income of about $114,000.

This unincorporated city has seen a large growth in population, from about 12,000 in 2010 to about 38,600 now. The average cost of a home is nearly $1 million, and the median rent is $3,000. Still, the area is beautiful and filled with palm trees. Kailua also has its own airport, perfect for hopping to any nearby island.

Maunawili

Maunawili is a highly-desirable town just north of Honolulu with a population of 2,100. If you want to work in Honolulu, but not live there, you may consider living here. The commute is easy in this suburban area. Crime is also low, as is unemployment.

Maunawili is full of tropical trees and natural areas to go hiking, so you’ll find beauty everywhere. Of course, you’ll have to pay for that. The median home price is $1.08 million. If you want to rent a house, that will set you back $3,000 to $4,500 per month, though apartments rent for about $2,000. The homes are amazing though, most of them with pools and large gardens. The median household income here is $82,000.

Mililani

Now we move to another city, this one in the middle of Oahu. Mililani has a population of 48,000. You’ll have to drive a bit to get to the beach, but you’ll still be living in a gorgeous area. Plus, the income to home-price balance is better than some of the other places on this list. The median household income is $104,000, the median home price is $728,000, and the average rent per month is $2,300.

How beautiful is this area? Well, it’s right next to Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and it has plenty of parks where you can bring your kids, play sports, or just relax. If you’re looking for a nice island city where you can raise a family, you’ll be happy to learn that Mililani has dozens of public schools with small class sizes.

Waikele

Looking for a small town where you can make a good living, get a sense of history, and have plenty to do outdoors? Waikele is just such a place. If you like to play golf, you’ll be happy to know it’s home to Waikele Country Club. Want to visit a park with baseball fields, tennis courts, and even an archery range? Head over to Pasty T Mink Park. Want to do some bargain shopping? Visit Waikele Premium Outlets. If you love history, visit Pearl Harbor National Monument, Hawaii Plantation Village, and Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Most residents of Waikele make a good living. The median household in this town of 7,500 people is $97,000, while the median home price is $512,000, and the rent $2,100.