Is Honolulu, HI a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Honolulu

The beautiful city of Honolulu, HI is a captivating metropolis that has captured the hearts of many with its stunning beaches, diverse neighborhoods, rich cultural heritage, and world-class cuisine. But is Honolulu a good place to live? While the city offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities, a laid-back island lifestyle, and a strong sense of community, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Honolulu to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Quick Facts about Honolulu

Median home sale price $625,000
Average monthly rent $2,000
Walk Score 66/100
Transit Score 56/100
Bike Score 51/100

1. Pro: Beautiful beaches

Honolulu is known for its stunning beaches with crystal clear waters and soft, white sand. Residents have easy access to world-renowned beautiful places like Waikiki Beach and Lanikai Beach, providing endless opportunities for relaxation and water activities such as swimming, surfing, and snorkeling.

2. Con: High cost of living

Living in Honolulu comes with a high cost of living, including expensive housing, groceries, and utilities. The limited availability of land and the high demand for housing contribute to the steep prices, making it challenging for many residents to afford a comfortable lifestyle.

3. Pro: Diverse cultural heritage

Honolulu is known for being a melting pot of diverse cultures, from around the world. This cultural diversity is reflected in the city’s cuisine, festivals, and traditions, offering residents the opportunity to experience and appreciate a wide range of cultural experiences.

4. Con: Heavy traffic congestion

Honolulu is notorious for its heavy traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. The limited road infrastructure and the high number of vehicles on the road contribute to frequent traffic jams, leading to frustration and longer commute times for residents.

5. Pro: Abundant outdoor activities

Fun fact: With its year-round warm climate and diverse natural landscapes, Honolulu offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and whale watching. Residents can explore the lush rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and volcanic craters, providing endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

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6. Con: Limited job opportunities

Despite being a major city, Honolulu has limited job opportunities in certain industries, leading to a competitive job market and lower average salaries compared to mainland cities. This can make it challenging for residents to find suitable employment that matches their qualifications and career aspirations.

7. Pro: Laid-back island lifestyle

Honolulu offers a laid-back island lifestyle with a relaxed pace and a strong emphasis on community and ohana. Residents can enjoy a slower, more peaceful way of life, surrounded by the natural beauty of the islands and a strong sense of local hospitality.

8. Con: vulnerability to natural disasters

As an island city, Honolulu is vulnerable to natural disasters and various climates such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Residents must be prepared for potential evacuation orders and the impact of these natural events on their homes and livelihoods, adding a level of uncertainty and stress to daily life.

9. Pro: Rich history and heritage

Honolulu boasts a rich history and heritage, with significant landmarks such as Iolani Palace, the Bishop Museum, and Pearl Harbor. Residents have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the city’s historical sites and museums, gaining a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s unique past and cultural significance.

10. Con: Limited public transportation

Despite efforts to improve public transportation, Honolulu still has limited options for efficient and widespread public transit. This can make it challenging for residents without a personal vehicle to commute to work or navigate the city, leading to reliance on cars and contributing to traffic congestion.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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