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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Honolulu

Thinking about living in Honolulu? Oahu’s largest city offers residents beautiful beaches and great outdoor recreation, as well as friendly communities and great food. If you’re moving to Hawaii’s capital city, here are five safe, affordable neighborhoods to consider settling down in!

  • Diamond Head-Kapahulu
  • Hawaii Kai
  • Kaimuki
  • Kaneohe
  • Manoa

Diamond Head-Kapahulu

White Bungalow Style Home in Diamond Head-Kapahulu, Honolulu. Photo by Instagram user @runlikeamother

Photo via @runlikeamother

  • Home Price: $551,971 median home price; $1,413 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 60% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect for: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you love living in the city but want to be close to the ocean and Hawaii’s lush landscapes, consider living in Diamond Head-Kapahulu! Located only ten minutes from downtown, this Honolulu neighborhood offers a wide range of home styles from quaint cottages to single-family mountainside homes and luxury high-rise condos near the shoreline. Families will appreciate being close to great schools in the area like Waikiki Elementary School, Hokulani Elementary School, and Kaimuki High School. In addition, Diamond Head-Kapahulu is home to Kapiolani Regional Park, Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area, Sans Souci State Recreational Park, so residents can easily go hiking, scuba diving, boating, and fishing. And with Waikiki on the neighborhood’s western edge, you’ll never be far from some of Hawaii’s best beaches!

Things to Do in Diamond Head-Kapahulu

Take your family to see the Black-Handed Spider Monkeys, Asian Elephants, American Flamingos, and more at Honolulu Zoo. Head out to Waikiki Shell for outdoor events and twilight concerts. Go on the Waikiki Sunset Cruise, Whale Watching Tour, or Diamond Head Snorkel Turtle Cruise at Cruise Diamond Head. Visit Waikiki Aquarium to learn about Honolulu’s sea life with exhibits featuring coral reefs, jellyfish, and sharks. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Malasadas, the traditional Portuguese doughnuts served at Leonard’s Bakery. Try the Teriyaki Chicken or Wasabi Shoyu Ahi Steak at Diamond Head Market & Grill. Sample everything from Uncle Bo’s Shrimp Tacos to Kalua Pig Sliders or the Fresh Fish of the Day at Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill. Or stop for island favorites like the Spam Sandwich or Loco Moco Plate with a side of Macaroni Salad at Rainbow Drive-In.

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Hawaii Kai

Ranch Style Black and White Home in Hawaii Kai. Photo by Instagram user @realhawaiico

Photo via @realhawaiico

  • Home Price: $790,900 median home price; $1,854 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 89% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Located on the east coast of Honolulu is the neighborhood of Hawaii Kai. Although the neighborhood offers tons of coastline and beachfront living, you can still find affordable homes here! The southern side of the neighborhood is where you’ll find spacious waterfront homes, where you can soak up the sun along the coast; and the northern side is home to the mountains and a mix of townhomes and high-rise condos with great views of Koko Crater. This Honolulu neighborhood is also a favorite among families, offering well-rated local schools like Hahaione Elementary School, Koko Head Elementary School, and Henry J Kaiser High School. On top of all that, Hawaii Kai offers easy access to Kalanianaole Hwy, so the city center is within 25 minutes of the neighborhood!

Things to Do in Hawaii Kai

Perfect your golf game at the Golf Academy or hit the 18-hole courses at Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Spend the day learning about native dryland plants and exploring the volcanic crater at Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Get outside and go bodyboarding, surfing, and fishing at Sandy Beach. Take in the amazing views of Koko Head, Koko Crater, and the historic Makapu’u Lighthouse while walking along the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. See the depths of the ocean while snorkeling, go on a dolphin excursion, or take a dip in a shark cage at Hanauma Bay State Park. Treat yourself to a Papaya Fruit Bowl or Lobster Benedict while sipping on Guava Mimosas or Liko’s Signature Bloody Mary at Liko’s Tap & Table. Chow down on authentic Mediterranean dishes like Spanakopita, Gyros, or Lamb Souvlaki at Greek Marina. Order unique pizzas like the Seoul Mate or Thai-Dal Wave at Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria. Or find famous brews like Big Wave Golden Ale or Longboard Island Lager at Kona Brewing Co.

Kaimuki

  • Home Price: $817,632 median home price; $1,624 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 86% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Bordering Diamond Head Crater to the south, Kaimuki is a safe and relaxed community with plenty of island amenities and good-sized family homes! In this eclectic Honolulu neighborhood, you can explore the charming shops and restaurants along Waialae Ave or visit the KCC Farmers Market on the weekends for fresh fruits and veggies. It’s also a great place for families to live because there are excellent schools like Liholiho Elementary and Waialae Elementary Public Charter School in the area—and those looking for secondary education can attend Kapiolani Community College. And if you work in Downtown Honolulu, don’t worry about the commute because Kaimuki is only a ten-minute drive on I-H-1!

Things to Do in Kaimuki

Have fun exploring 475 acres, including the slopes of a crater once formed by a volcanic eruption, at Diamond Head State Monument. Catch plays and musicals or sign up for acting classes at Diamond Head Theatre. Prioritize your wellness by taking a hot yoga class at Yoga Room Hawaii. Watch independent, foreign, classic, and contemporary films at the Movie Museum. Find out why many locals think Koko Head Cafe has the best brunch in Honolulu with their Cornflake French Toast, Egg Handwich, or Breakfast Bibimbap. Make your own custom pie or spring for the Meatzilla Pizza at Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza. Share a Hawaii-inspired Charcuterie Board, Oysters on the Half Shell, and a bottle of Prosecco at 12th Ave Grill. Start off with a Kampachi Carpaccio appetizer then enjoy the Pan Seared Ahi or Vegan Burger at The Surfing Pig. Or end your day on a sweet note with a scoop of any of the 21 rotating daily flavors from Via Gelato.

Kaneohe

Duplex in Kaneohe, Honolulu. Photo by Instagram user @beverlyamaral

Photo via @beverlyamaral

  • Home Price: $662,613 median home price; $1,654 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 74% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Living in Kaneohe offers a beachside lifestyle for anyone who isn’t looking to live too close to the action in the busy Honolulu metro. Located about 20 minutes northeast of downtown, this Honolulu neighborhood is on the coast of the Kaneohe Bay and has a variety of family-friendly housing options like island bungalows and spacious new construction. Kaneohe is also home to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, making the neighborhood a great fit for military families. Parents can send their children to highly-rated He’eia Elementary School, Puohala Elementary School, and James B Castle High School—or if you’re looking to send your kids to private schools in Honolulu, Huakailani School For Girls and Windward Nazarene Academy are in the Kaneohe area! And with easy access to Pali Hwy, getting around Honolulu is never difficult!

Things to Do in Kaneohe

Enjoy panoramic views from above the Kaneohe Bay on a scenic hike through ten acres of mature forest at Friendship Garden. Take the family ziplining or play a game of miniature golf at Bay View Mini-Putt & Zipline. Shop at stores like Macy’s, Bath & Body Works, or Ross Dress For Less at Windward Mall. Become a member at Kaneohe Yacht Club, where you can go swimming, play tennis, or enroll in a sailing class. Schedule tee time for 18 holes with ocean and mountain views or hit golf balls at the driving range at Bay View Golf Course. Dig into a meal of Coconut Shrimp, Ceviche, or Grilled Salmon while overlooking the serene garden and koi pond at Haleiwa Joe’s. Visit Dean’s Drive Inn for Hawaiian favorites like Ahi Cakes, Surf & Turf, or a Fresh Fish Sandwich Deluxe. Or savor hearty dishes like Fried Chicken, Kalua Pig & Cabbage, or Housemade Pasta at Adela’s Country Eatery.

Manoa

Traditional Century Old Craftsman Home in Manoa, Honolulu. Photo by Instagram user @manoawalks

Photo via @manoawalks

  • Home Price: $739,773 median home price; $1,467 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Manoa is a popular neighborhood in Honolulu located in the lush Manoa Valley! The area offers great housing options, including traditional Hawaiian Bungalows, Mid-Century Modern homes, and even recently-renovated historic homes. Manoa is known as a hub for education with great schools for kids like Punahou School, Noelani Elementary School, and Maryknoll School—plus, there’s the University of Hawaii at Manoa! If you’re looking for outdoor amenities like hiking trails in Honolulu, you’ll love living by the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve, which makes up almost half of the neighborhood’s area and features 14 trails with breathtaking views of the Honolulu skyline. And with access to I-H-1 on Manoa’s southern edge and a bus stop at Route 5, it’s easy for commuters to travel around the Honolulu metro!

Things to Do in Manoa

Take in stunning views of the 150-foot waterfall and the Hawaii landscape on a hike at Manoa Falls. Get your fresh local fruits, veggies, flowers, and vegan baked goods at the twice-weekly Farmer’s Market at Manoa Marketplace. Learn about Hawaii’s natural and cultural heritage through the community workshops at Manoa Heritage Center. Catch the latest play, concert, or comedy show at Manoa Valley Theatre. Begin your day on a high note with a fresh cup of Hawaiian Coffee and Lilikoi Honey Butter Biscuit at Morning Glass Coffee. Eat your favorite Mexican dishes like Steak Fajitas, Enchiladas Suizas, or Chile Verde at Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant. Warm up with a bowl of Minestrone and other Italian favorites like Fettuccini Alfredo with Broccoli or Eggplant Alla Parmigiana at Paesano Ristorante Italiano. Or enjoy fresh seafood like Fish & Chips, Spicy Ahi Poke, or Ahi Belly at Fresh Catch.

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