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Most Affordable Places to Live in Hawaii in 2024

Thinking about moving to Hawaii? The Aloha State is the most expensive state in the U.S., so finding an affordable place to live can be difficult. But if you’re willing to look outside of more expensive areas like Honolulu, it’s not impossible to find budget-friendly homes. Check out the eight most affordable places to live in Hawaii!

Hana, Maui

Pink sunrise over Hana and crashing blue water. Photo by Instagram user @eyes.on.art

Photo via @eyes.on.art

  • Population: 1,121
  • Home Price: $459,100 median purchase price; $941 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0%

Nestled along the eastern shore of Maui is Hana, one of the most budget-friendly places to live in Hawaii. Known for its 52-mile scenic Road to Hana, this city is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a more relaxed way of life. Breathtaking waterfalls, trails that wind through rainforests, and hidden beaches all wait outside the front doors of the area’s quaint condos and single-family homes. Hana is also home to fantastic restaurants and a combined elementary and high school—making it ideal for families.

Things to Do in Hana

Walk along the famous black sand beach, hike the trails, and peruse sea caves when visiting Wai’anapanapa State Park. Go canoeing or snorkeling with friends at Hana Bay Beach Park. Admire art showcasing Native and Polynesian cultures from local artists, like sculptures, paintings, stonework, and more at Hana Coast Gallery. Explore the underground lavascape or have a picnic with friends on the grounds of the Hana Lava Tube. Fill up on delicious BBQ Pork Ribs, Fish Tacos, and Shrimp Pasta at Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill. Order Pad Thai, Crispy Opaka, or Mahi Mahi Curry for lunch at Thai Food by Pranee. Listen to live music while dining on a White Lotus Pizza, Farm Caesar Salad, or Taco Pie Pizza at Hana Farms. Or feast on a Green Salad, Kalua Pork, or Grilled Chicken at Huli Huli Chicken.

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Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Giant waterfall with rainbow mist in Hilo. Photo by Instagram user @saltwatersven

Photo via @saltwatersven

  • Population: 45,579
  • Home Price: $298,500 median purchase price; $961 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%

Looking for big-city amenities without the hefty price tag? Consider Hilo! Not only is this city one of the most affordable places to live in Hawaii, but it’s also a great city in Hawaii to live for job opportunities, raising a family, or retiring! Parents can send their kids to top-notch schools on the Big Island like Waiakea High School or Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School. And students or those looking for jobs in higher education will be happy to hear that Hilo is home to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, which has been recognized as one of the most diverse national universities.

Things to Do in Hilo

Visit the Boiling Pots or see the 80-foot Rainbow Falls waterfall by taking a trip to Wailuku River State Park. Admire the koi ponds, rock gardens, and Japanese teahouse while walking around the Liliuokalani Gardens. Get up close with over 80 species of animals like peacocks, lemurs, and white Bengal tigers at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens. Learn more about astronomy or watch a planetarium show at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Catch a musical, have a movie night, or attend a concert at Hilo Palace Theater. Order Hawaiian Sweet Bread French Toast, Kalua Hash & Eggs, or a Veggie Omelet for breakfast from Hawaiian Style Cafe. Savor dishes like Kalua Pork Spring Rolls, an Ahi Poke Tower, or Guava BBQ Glazed Baby Back Ribs at Jackie Rey’s. Or enjoy a Pineapple Pow cocktail while you feast on Coconut-Crusted Fresh Catch or Seafood Pasta at Pineapples Island Fresh Cuisine.

Kahuku, Oahu

Bright blue water and sandy beach on Kahuku Beach. Photo by Instagram user @drifter_dude

Photo via @drifter_dude

  • Population: 2,486
  • Home Price: $504,800 median purchase price; $853 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

Located on the northern tip of Oahu is Kahuku, one of the most affordable places to live in Hawaii. The city might not be known for its nightlife or upscale restaurants, but it’s the ideal place for families to live a quiet, comfortable life without breaking the bank—and you’ll be just an hour away from the job opportunities and fun in Honolulu. Kahuku has some of the best rental prices in Hawaii, with cozy condos, cottage-style homes, and detached single-family homes dotting the area. Not to mention, kids can attend fantastic schools like Kahuku High & Intermediate School, considered “The Pride of the North Shore.”

Things to Do in Kahuku

Play a round of golf with some friends at the nine-hole Kahuku Golf Course. Spend a weekend camping, kayaking, and surfing at Malaekahana Beach. Walk your dog, go whale watching, or spend the afternoon fishing at Kahuku Beach. Zipline with the family above Keana Farms and along Oahu’s North Shore with CLIMB Works. Grab a plate of Lemon Butter Shrimp, Shrimp Scampi, or a Jumbo Garlic Hot Dog from local favorite Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Get delicious, fresh-caught dishes like Butter & Sauteed Shrimp or Sun Fish with a side of Kahuku Sweet Corn at Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp Hut. Order Grilled Banana Bread with Caramel, an Acai Bowl, or a Grilled Veggie Panini from farm-fresh restaurant Kahuku Farms. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie, Blueberry Danish, or slice of Carrot Cake from Ted’s Bakery.

Kahului, Maui

  • Population: 30,164
  • Home Price: $490,900 median purchase price; $1,179 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

Located on Kahului Bay, Kahului is one of the most affordable places to live in Maui! Residents can find a variety of outdoor recreation spots here, like parks and the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, that are ideal for hiking, swimming, and camping. Kahului is filled with trendy shops, beaches, and diverse cultural experiences and entertainment, which make it a great place to call home in Hawaii. Plus, it’s home to top-rated schools in Hawaii like Kahului Baptist Preschool, Kahului Elementary School, and Maui High School. In addition, the Kahului Airport is just ten minutes away, so commutes to other Hawaiian islands for work or a fun weekend away are just a quick trip.

Things to Do in Kahului

Have a picnic with the family or challenge your friends to a game of tennis at Kahului Community Center Park. Spend the afternoon swimming or sunbathing at Kokua Pool. Play in a golf tournament at the 18-hole The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course. Get tickets to shows from artists like Old Dominion or The Spinners at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Shop for clothing or accessories at popular retailers like Macy’s, American Eagle, or Vans at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. Try Japanese dishes like Black Garlic Ramen, Pork Fried Rice, or Beef Curry Rice at Ramen Ya. Savor seafood favorites like Clams, Crawfish, or Mussels at Da Shrimp Hale. Feast on Italian cuisine like Fettuccine Alfredo, Rigatoni Carbonara, or Linguine Alle Vongole at Bistro Casanova. Or grab a Teriyaki Beef Plate, Sweet Chili Shrimp Plate, or Bacon Cheeseburger at the family-owned Cupies Cafe.

Kapa’a, Kauai

  • Population: 10,753
  • Home Price: $479,200 median purchase price; $1,293 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Employment Rate: 4.3%

If you want modest homes with sprawling yards, then Kapa’a might just be the place for you to settle down! This affordable place to live in Hawaii is a favorite among families, thanks to its safe neighborhoods and great schools like St. Catherine School, Kapa’a Middle School, and Kapa’a High School. Plus, all the outdoor activities, fun shopping spots within Old Kapa’a Town, and cozy restaurants make this Hawaiian island community a haven for those looking to spend their golden years relaxing on the beach.

Things to Do in Kapa’a

Go surfing, snorkeling, or lounge on the beach at Kapa’a Beach Park. Make a trip to Old Kapa’a Town to shop for books and jewelry at Kiko—or swimsuits and home decor at Shipwrecked Kauai. Enjoy an afternoon hike or check out the views of the wildlife on the 5.2-mile Makaleha Trailhead. Volunteer at the Kauai Animal Education Farm, which cares for over 350 animals from 19 different species. Brunch with some friends and get a Polynesian Omelette or Salty Monkey Waffle with a Lavender Latte at Kountry Kitchen. Grab lunch and try the Teriyaki Burger, Chicken Sandwich, or Chili Rice from Bubba Burger. Fill up on Ahi Poke Nachos, Fish & Chips, or Wagyu Steak Chimichurri while taking in the sights at Sam’s Oceanview. Or try a classic Hawaiian Style Shave Ice in a variety of flavors like Triple Coconut, Lava Flow, or Strawberry Guava at Wailua Shave Ice Kauai.

Waianae, Oahu

  • Population: 13,478
  • Home Price: $382,900 median purchase price; $1,528 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

Looking to live in a Hawaiian city with a small-town feel? Consider living in Waianae! This city is known for its miles of pristine beaches, rugged mountains, lush valleys, and clear waters. Located on the west end of Oahu, Waianae is a majestic oasis ideal for outdoor lovers who will find waterfront activities near its many parks, beaches, and the Waianae Harbor. You can find a variety of housing in Waianae, from luxury condos to single-family homes. In addition, parents can send their children to good schools within the area like Waianae Elementary School and Waianae Intermediate School.

Things to Do in Waianae

Spend the day catching waves, sunbathing, or swimming with the family at Pokai Bay Beach. Hike scenic trails and take in the beautiful views of Oahu at the Waianae Mountain Range. Jog along the beach or watch the sunset at the 21-acre Makaha Beach Park. Grab local produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, or check out the variety of vendors every Saturday at the Waianae Farmers Market. Begin your morning with a Breakfast Burrito, Meat Lovers Scrambler, or Crab Cake Benedict at Countryside Cafe. Order Spicy BBQ Pork, Chicken Katsu, or Seaweed Soup for lunch at Waianae Korean BBQ. Dine on dishes like Poke Nachos, Coconut Shrimp, or Buffalo Wings while overlooking the waterfront at The Beach House by 604. Or chow down meals like Spicy Kimchee Steak, Grilled Kalbi Short Ribs, or Garlic Shrimp Linguini at A&G.

Wailuku, Maui

  • Population: 16,179
  • Home Price: $463,500 median purchase price; $1,069 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.1%

Explore charming cafes and stylish boutiques, attend community events, and enjoy the great outdoors in the beautiful city of Wailuku! Once a giant resort town filled with tourists and hotels, this affordable Hawaii area has transformed into a quiet oasis perfect for nature lovers and those wanting a slower-paced life. You can find large single-family homes with views of ‘Iao Valley from your backyard, or you can wake up every morning to ocean views from the window of a swanky condo.

Things to Do in Wailuku

Catch the views of the crashing waves, go for a jog, or sunbathe at Paukukalo Beach. Check out Maui’s flora and fauna when hiking through the 4,000-acre ‘Iao Valley State Park. Enjoy an afternoon stroll in a scenic atmosphere or take in the views of central Maui at Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau Park. Explore Maui’s history by perusing exhibits like the Kahekili Room or Keoni Room at the Maui Historical Society. Start your morning with a Lox Bagel or Breakfast Wrap paired with a Very Berry Smoothie at Wailuku Coffee. Try the Won Ton Mein, BLT, or Tuna Melt at local Japanese favorite Sam Sato’s. Indulge in Hamachi Sashimi, a Loco Moco Burger, or Miso Butterfish at Tiffany’s. Or grab a quick lunch and order the Mediterranean Nachos, Toasted Wasabi Sandwich, or a Western Burger at 808 On Main.

Waimalu, Oahu

  • Population: 13,478
  • Home Price: $382,900 median purchase price; $1,528 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 100% of Hawaii cities
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

Looking for an affordable city in Hawaii that has both budget-friendly homes and tons of exciting things to do? Waimalu should be at the top of your list! Just 20 minutes from Honolulu, this Oahu city is the ultimate place to be if you want to live close to the city without having to pay city prices. Not to mention, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is nearby, which means Waimalu is a perfect place for military families to settle down—especially with fantastic schools like Waimalu Elementary and Pearl City High School also in the area.

Things to Do in Waimalu

Book a tee time and get a round of golf in at Pearl Country Club, which is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Oahu. Shop at over 170 shops like Pandora, Macy’s, and Foot Locker at Pearlridge Center, the largest indoor mall in Hawaii. Learn about one of the biggest moments in U.S. history at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Go camping or hiking to see panoramic views of Oahu at the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area. Order Apple Caramel Pancakes, a Blueberry Crepe, or Chocolate Chip Waffle for breakfast at Pancakes & Waffles B.L.D. Enjoy Asian-inspired dishes like Loco Moco, Fried Calamari, or Teriyaki Salmon at The Alley Restaurant. Dine out with the family and feast on a Hot Pastrami Sandwich, Avocado Bacon Burger, or Shrimp Louie Salad at Anna Miller’s. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with Rainbow Sherbet, Kulolo, or Green Tea Ice Cream at Dave’s Hawaiian Ice Cream.


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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.