Best Neighborhoods for Families in Honolulu

Moving to Honolulu? Located on Oahu’s southeastern edge, Hawaii’s capital city offers families safe, affordable neighborhoods, fun things to do, and highly-rated schools. If you want to live in The Big Pineapple with your family, here are the five top family-friendly neighborhoods in Honolulu.

Ala Moana-Kaka’ako

  • Home Price: $570,458 median purchase price; $1,824 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 57% of Honolulu neighborhoods

Nestled along Honolulu’s south shore near Waikiki, the neighborhood of Ala Moana-Kaka’ko is great for families who want to stay busy! The area is in close proximity to Downtown Honolulu, so it offers great walkability and with several beaches, and major attractions like the Honolulu Museum of Art and Iolani Palace. Kalakaua Avenue—the busiest street in Honolulu—stretches from Ala Moana to Kapi’olani Regional Park, providing easy access to the famous Waikiki Beach. Plus, parents can send their children to great area schools in Ala Moana-Kaka’ko—including Kamehameha Schools, Washington Middle School, and President William McKinley High School. Those working in the medical field are close to many hospitals in Honolulu, like Shriners Children’s Hawaii, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children, The Queen’s Medical Center, and Straub Medical Center.

Things to Do in Ala Moana-Kaka’ako

Head to Ala Moana Regional Park to have a family picnic, walk along the shoreline, or take the kids to Magic Island Lagoon for fishing, swimming, or surfing in calm waters protected by seawalls. Bring the kiddos to learn about Hawaii’s rainforest, Hawaiian culture, and more, or sign them up for Discovery Camps at Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. Go shopping in Honolulu at stores like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, dine at one of the many restaurants, or attend fun events like hula performances and live music at the Ala Moana Center. Join climbing classes or yoga classes at HiClimb. Feast on the Fried Shrimp, Chili Dog Plate, or B.B.Q. Chicken from New Queen Barbeque. Try seasonal dishes like Kalua Pork & Pineapple Pizza, the Fresh Island Fish Sandwich, or Hapa Hummus from Moku Kitchen. Dine on Cajun favorites like the Fried Catfish Po’Boy, Crawfish Combo, and Cajun Fries at Kickin’ Kajun. Order the Lobster “Pot Pie” or Wagyu Umami Burger from the Dinner Menu and the Buttered Bowties & Parmesan from the Keiki (kids) Menu while dining at Merriman’s.

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Hawaii Kai

  • Home Price: $929,314 median purchase price; $2,954 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 89% of Honolulu neighborhoods

Located on the far east side of Oahu, Hawaii Kai a safe, affordable neighborhood in Honolulu and a great place to raise a family! As the first master-planned community on the island, Hawaii Kai offers families a range of single-family homes and high-rise condos with stunning ocean views. Families can stay busy fishing, playing in the water, and boating at one of the many beaches in Hawaii Kai—like Wawamalu Beach Park, Alan Davis Beach, and Maunalua Bay Beach Park. There are also plenty of good spots for hiking like the Koko Crater Railway Trail in Koko Head District Park. And the abundant outdoor rec isn’t the only great thing about living in Hawaii Kai—parents will appreciate the presence of highly-rated Hawaii public schools like Koko Head Elementary School and Henry J. Kaiser High School!

Things to Do in Hawaii Kai

Improve your stroke with lessons at the Golf Academy or play one of the 18-hole courses at the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Hike along the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline for incredible views of the Makapu’u Lighthouse and Oahu’s southeastern coastline—and watch for humpback whales during whale season! Located at the base of Koko Crater, spend the day learning about rare dryland plants and soaking up the Hawaiian sun at Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Swim or snorkel in crystal-clear waters within a volcanic cone and see coral reefs, tropical fish, octopus, green turtles, and more at one of the best beaches in the U.S., Hanauma Bay State Park. Try breakfast dishes like Sweet Bread French Toast, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, or the Sausage Hash from Moena Cafe. Enjoy Greek favorites such as Tiropita, Moussaka, or Lamb Souvlaki with a view of the Koko Marina waterfront at Greek Marina. Order sandwiches like the Tuna Salad, Mala Delight, or Turkey Avo paired with an Iced Tea or Lemonade at the Mala Market. Or try Thai dishes such as Pineapple Curry, Wonton Soup, or Thai Loco Moco from Maile’s Thai Bistro.

Kaimuki

  • Home Price: $1,007,192 median purchase price; $1,948 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 86% of Honolulu neighborhoods

If you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood in Honolulu, consider moving to Kaimuki, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods! The name Kaimuki means “ti oven,” referencing a legend about the mythological Menehune cooking roots from the ti plant. Located in East Honolulu, north of Diamond Head, this tight-knight community offers families a variety of housing options—from American Four-Square and multi-floor Contemporary homes to high-rise condos. You won’t have to look far for good education options either, as Kaimuki is home to public schools like Wai’alae Elementary Public Charter School, Palolo Elementary School, and Waikiki Elementary School—as well as private schools in Honolulu like Kaimuki Christian School. And college students looking to stay close to home can attend Kapi’olani Community College.

Things to Do in Kaimuki

See productions of plays and musicals or sign the kids up for classes like the Young Keiki Stage Dance or Musical Theatre Jazz at the Diamond Head Theatre. Browse the shelves, read to your little ones, or use the computers and other resources at the Kaimuki Public Library. Shop on Saturday mornings year-round for fresh produce, vegetables, and more at the KCC Farmers’ Market. Stop for an Iced Latte, Macchiato, or Chai Latte from The Curb Kaimuki. Devour the 50’s Burger or Ten Gallon Burger paired with Bacon Fries and a Strawberry Milkshake from Chubbies Burgers. Get a babysitter and enjoy the Island Pork Chop paired with a Livin’ On a Pear Cocktail from The Surfing Pig Hawaii. Find the best Hawaiian food at places like O’ahu Grill and order the Laulau, Kalua Pig, or Tripe Stew. Or solve your sweet tooth with a scoop of She’s So Strawberry, a Classic Malasada, or the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Bomb from the Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery.

Manoa

  • Home Price: $911,800 median purchase price; $1,603 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Honolulu neighborhoods

Located in the lush Manoa Valley—at the base of the Ko’olau mountains—is the beautiful neighborhood of Manoa! This Honolulu neighborhood is a safe area with a variety of housing options, ranging from Hawaiian Bungalows to Mid-Century Modern homes. Parents will appreciate being close to top-rated schools like Manoa Elementary School, Punahou School, and the Mid-Pacific Institute, as well as the University of Hawaii at Manoa—making it an ideal spot for families with college-age students. Manoa is also home to Manoa Falls Trail and the 150-foot-tall Manoa Falls, where scenes from several popular movies and TV shows have been filmed, including Jurassic Park and Lost.

Things to Do in Manoa

Go hiking or biking on the Pu’u Pia Trail or the Lua’alaea Falls Trail in the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve. Walk trails spanning across 200 acres in the Manoa Valley to see more than 6,000 tropical and sub-tropical plants at the Lyon Arboretum. Get tickets to local productions of plays and musicals at the Manoa Valley Theatre. Learn about Hawaiian culture and heritage by attending workshops and tours, exploring the botanical gardens, and visiting ancient sites like the temple of Kuka’o’o Heiau at the Manoa Heritage Center. Start your day with a hearty breakfast of Waioli Egg Breakfast Plate or Short Rib Loco Moco—or stop by the bakery for housemade pastries from Waioli Kitchen & Bake Shop. Order Mexican favorites such as Pork Carnitas, Fish Tacos, or Enchiladas from Serg’s Mexican Kitchen. Try the Lobster Roll, Steak & Cheese Sammie, or Falafel Shawarma Plate from FEAST by Jon Matsubara. Order the Cold Ginger Ahi, Shoyu Ahi, or Miso Ginger Tako from Off the Hook Poke Market. Fill up on Vietnamese dishes like Pho Bo Vien, BBQ Chicken Rice Plate, or Crispy Fried Noodles from Pho Viet Thien Hong.

Waialae-Kahala

  • Home Price: $1,282,671 median purchase price; $2,220 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 94% of Honolulu neighborhoods

About 20 minutes from Downtown Honolulu, east of Diamond Head, is the neighborhood of Waialae-Kahala. This safe, quiet area is filled with Contemporary homes and condos with amazing ocean views, making it perfect for families looking for upscale living. You won’t have to go far to find excellent education either, since Waialae-Kahala is home to quality Honolulu schools like Mayor John H. Wilson Elementary School and Kahala Elementary School. And those looking for outdoor fun will find plenty to do—like golfing at Waialae Country Club, swimming and relaxing at Kahala Beach, picnicking and windsurfing at Wai’alae Beach Park, and more.

Things to Do in Waialae-Kahala

Explore the slopes of a crater formed by a volcanic eruption or admire the views of Honolulu while walking the Diamond Head Summit Trail at 475-acre Diamond Head State Monument. Learn about the impact of Islamic culture at the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. Get your heart pumping with an ISOburn + Hot HIIT class at Burn Collective. Shop local and national retailers, grab a bite to eat, or go see a movie at the Kahala Mall. Brunch on a Mochi Waffle, Crispy Soft-Shell Crab Benedict, or Coconut Chia Seed Parfait paired with a fresh glass of Pineapple Juice from et al. Order lunch dishes like the Hawaiian Cubano, KH Burger, or the Fresh Catch of The Day from Kapa Hale. Try sushi rolls like California Maki, Dragon Maki, or Philly Maki from Kozo Sushi. Or enjoy Korean dishes like Bi Bim Bap, Tofu Soup, or Meat Jun from Pearl’s Korean BBQ.

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Moving to Honolulu? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage facilities located throughout The Big Pineapple. Find affordable storage units near you!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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