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Aerial View of Downtown Honolulu on the Island's Coast

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Honolulu in 2024

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

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  • 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’re seeking a big-city lifestyle but still want to be close to the ocean and Hawaii’s lush terrain, consider living in Diamond Head-Kapahulu! While this is a great neighborhood for singles and young professionals in Honolulu—as it’s just 10 minutes from downtown—Honolulu families also flock to this area for great public schools like Waikiki Elementary School, Hokulani Elementary School, and Kaimuki High School. This affordable Honolulu neighborhood offers a wide range of home styles, ranging from quaint cottages to single-family Craftsman bungalows and luxury high-rise condos near the shoreline. In addition, Diamond Head-Kapahulu is home to Kapiolani Park, Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area, and Sans Souci State Recreation Area, 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. Grab a seat for outdoor events or twilight concerts at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell. Get out on the greens and tee off on the driving range or practice your skills on the chipping and putting areas at Ala Wai Golf Center. Learn about Honolulu’s sea life through stunning exhibits showcasing aquatic culture like Amazing Adaptations, Hunters on the Reef, and Ocean Drifters at Waikiki Aquarium. Start your morning with Custard, Dobash, or Guava-filled Malasada Puffs from Leonard’s Bakery. Sit at a picnic table to enjoy Teriyaki Chicken, a Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, or Wasabi Shoyu Ahi Steak from Diamond Head Market & Grill. Sample Uncle Bo’s Shrimp Tacos and Kalua Pig Sliders or the Fresh Fish of the Day at Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill on Kapahulu Ave—Honolulu’s main street. Or stop by 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

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

Located on the east coast of Honolulu and developed in the 1960s, historic Hawaii Kai stands as the first planned community in Oahu. Although the area offers miles of beautiful coastline and beachfront living near Sandy Beach, you can still get affordable houses for sale in Hawaii Kai! Find spacious waterfront villas offering opportunities to soak up the sun and fun with Hawaii Kai Water Sports Center along the southern coast—or invest in north Hawaii Kai real estate of townhomes and high-rise condos nestled amongst mountain vistas and views of Koko Head Crater. This neighborhood is also a favorite among families, offering well-rated Honolulu schools like Hahaione Elementary School, Koko Head Elementary School, and Henry J. Kaiser High School. To top it all off, Hawaii Kai provides easy access to Kalaniana’ole Hwy, so the amenities in the city center are under a half-hour drive away!

Things to Do in Hawaii Kai

Practice golfing in Honolulu at the Golf Academy or hit the 18-hole courses at Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Learn about the cultivation of endangered dryland plants and explore the volcanic crater at Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Take in picturesque views of Koko Head and the historic Makapu’u Lighthouse while walking along the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. See into the depths of the ocean while snorkeling, go on a dolphin excursion, or swim with sharks 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 authentic Mediterranean dishes like Spanakopita, Gyros, or Moussaka at Greek Marina. Savor Texas-style Honolulu barbecue with Smoked Sausage, St. Louis Ribs, or Pulled Pork from Tex 808 BBQ & Brews. Or down popular brews like the Fire Rock Pale Ale, Longboard Island Lager, and Hanalei Island IPA while admiring the waterfront views at Kona Brewing Co.

Kaimuki

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  • Home Price: $1,007,192 median home price; $1,948 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 laid-back, family-friendly Honolulu neighborhood with plenty of sizable homes surrounded by fun, island-based amenities! 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 to pick up fresh fruits and veggies. It’s also a great place for families in Honolulu with kids thanks to excellent local schools like Liholiho Elementary and Wai’alae Elementary Public Charter School in the area—while those looking to earn a degree or pursue higher education can attend Kapi’olani Community College. And if you work in Downtown Honolulu, don’t worry about the commute because Kaimuki is only a ten-minute drive via I-H-1!

Things to Do in Kaimuki

Go hiking in Honolulu and explore over 475 acres of the saucer-shaped slopes once formed by a volcanic eruption at Diamond Head State Monument. Catch seasonal performances of family-favorite plays and musicals or sign up for acting classes at Diamond Head Theatre. Prioritize your wellness by taking Om Vinyasa, Om Sculpt, or Om Hot yoga classes at Yoga Room Hawaii. Watch independent, foreign, classic, and modern films at the Movie Museum. Bite into some of the best brunch in Honolulu with made-from-scratch dishes including Cornflake French Toast, Egg Handwich, Breakfast Bibimbap, and more at Koko Head Cafe. Grab slices of tasty Honolulu pizza like the Boston Special, Big Red, and Meatzilla—or build a custom pie—at Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza. Start with Truffle Fries, then enjoy slow-roasted pork dishes like the Island Pork Chop or Pork Shank at The Surfing Pig. And end your day on a sweet note with delicious gelato cakes like the Strawberry Shortcake, Tiramisu, or Vegan Sweet Potato Haupia from Via Gelato.

Kaneohe

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  • 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 rainy, beachside lifestyle for anyone who isn’t looking to live too close to the busy Honolulu metro. Located on the coast of Kaneohe Bay near the Windward Oahu area, this relaxed Honolulu neighborhood comes with a variety of waterfront activities, including fishing, boating, snorkeling, and more. Tucked in among lush greenery, you’ll find family-friendly housing options like island bungalows, single-family dwellings, and cost-effective condominiums. Kaneohe is also home to the 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, Pu’ohala Elementary School, and James B. Castle High School—or if you’re seeking great private schools in Honolulu, Huaka’ilani School for Girls and Windward Nazarene Academy are also in the Kaneohe area! And with convenient access to Pali Hwy, getting around Honolulu is a breeze.

Things to Do in Kaneohe

Enjoy panoramic views from above Kaneohe Bay on a scenic hike through ten acres of dense forestry at Friendship Garden. Go ziplining with family and friends or play 18-hole or 36-hole games of miniature golf at Bay View Mini-Putt & Zipline. Take your children to see live dance, music, and theatre performances showcasing Hawaiian culture at Paliku Theatre. Purchase a membership to swim, cruise, and play tennis, or enroll your kids in junior sailing classes at Kaneohe Yacht Club. Dig into a meal of Coconut Shrimp, Ceviche, or Sticky Ribs while overlooking the tropical garden and koi pond at Haleiwa Joe’s. Enjoy delicious Japanese food in Honolulu like Katsu Donburi, Ox Tail Soup, or Maki Sushi in the heart of Kaneohe at Masa & Joyce Okazuya. Order Italian specialties like Chicken Parmesan, Sauteed Gnocchi, and Spicy Arrabiata from Zia’s Caffe. Or taste hearty dishes like Lechon Malunggay Pasta, Kalua Pig & Cabbage, and Macadamia Crusted Fish at Adela’s Country Eatery.

Manoa

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  • Home Price: $911,800 median home price; $1,603 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Honolulu neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Manoa is a popular and safe neighborhood in Honolulu located in the vibrant Manoa Valley. This community offers great housing options, including Mid-Century Modern homes, vintage bungalows, and recently renovated historic housing. Manoa is known as a hub for education with great schools for kids like Noelani Elementary School, Punahou School, and Maryknoll School—plus, there’s the University of Hawaii at Manoa for those seeking higher education! If you’re a nature enthusiast looking to take advantage of the many hiking trails in Honolulu, you’ll love Manoa’s close proximity to the expansive Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve—which features 14 trails with breathtaking views of the Honolulu skyline. Additionally, 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 for both work and fun!

Things to Do in Manoa

Take in the beautiful Hawaii landscape with stunning scenery—including a 150-foot waterfall—on a hike at Manoa Falls. Grab fresh local fruits, veggies, flowers, and arts and crafts sold every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at the Farmers 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 Honolulu comedy show at Manoa Valley Theatre. Start your day on a high note with fresh cups of Hawaiian Coffee, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or Americano 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 Soup and other Italian meals like Fettuccini Alfredo with Broccoli or Eggplant Alla Parmigiana at Paesano Ristorante Italiano. Or enjoy fresh Honolulu seafood like Fish & Chips, Spicy Ahi Poke, or Ahi Belly at Fresh Catch—which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives!

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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.