Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and located on the island of Oahu. It is the tourism, military defense, and international business hub in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The residential population of the city and surrounding county is nearly 1 million people, but more than 8 million people visit each year. Finding apartments in Honolulu is a dream that many people have due to the beautiful surroundings, relaxed island lifestyle, and big city atmosphere. Ranking as one of the most livable cities in the world for quality of life and standard of living conditions, it is also one of the safest cities in America due to strict gun control laws, low car fatality rates, and few violent crimes.
Honolulu means calm port or sheltered harbor, and the original Polynesian inhabitants migrated to the island as early as the 11th century. The first European ships sailed into Honolulu Harbor in 1794, making it an important merchant port for ships traveling between Asia and North America. In 1845, King Kamehameha III moved the capital from Lahaina, Maui to Honolulu, Oahu, and today it is the center of commerce for all the islands of Hawaii.
Honolulu has a hot semi-arid climate with extremely hot summers and warm winters. The summers are mostly dry due to the rain shadow effect created by the mountainous terrain, so most of the rainfall occurs between October and April. While the city sits in the tropics, hurricanes are rare for the island chain. There are few temperature fluctuations, with average highs reaching 80-90 degrees F and average lows reaching 65-75 degrees F throughout the year.
Getting Around Honolulu
Honolulu is currently building a rapid transit rail system that will connect residential, business, airport, and tourist locations along a 20-mile route. It is scheduled to begin operations by 2018/2019. In the meantime, The Bus system currently services more than 100 routes inside Honolulu and to most of the major towns and cities on Oahu. Monthly passes are available for residents, and it is a convenient way to travel throughout Honolulu. Air travel is common between the islands, and most tourists traveling to Hawaii will fly into Honolulu International Airport, making it one of the busiest U.S. airports.
Commuting in Honolulu
Honolulu routinely ranks as the top three worst traffic cities in the U.S. due to rail construction, tourism traffic, and the high number of suburban commuters. Interstate H-1 is the main highway that travels through the city from Hickam Air Force Base to the southern beaches of Waialae-Kahala. Heavy rush hour traffic congestion affects the area, and Honolulu residents spend an extra 60 hours a year in traffic compared to other cities.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is the city’s daily newspaper, and Honolulu Magazine is the weekly lifestyle and entertainment publication. Hawaii News Now (HNN) is the local TV news station and shared by three broadcast affiliates, CBS, NBC, and MyNetworkTV. They also broadcast a local Korean-language newscast for KBFD.
Island living with the conveniences of modern city life is a huge draw for most people who move to Honolulu. Beautiful beaches, world-class surfing, friendly locals, and comfortable year-round temperatures are what make Hawaiian living a dream. Apartments in Honolulu are surprisingly affordable and run the gamut of beach bungalow living to modern high-rise style. Whether you work in the tourism industry, for the military, or are a student, life in Honolulu is exciting and can feel like being on vacation every day with all the sun and fun activities that are available.
Due to its historic military significance, the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor sites are the most significant landmarks on the island. Reaching the top of Diamond Head State Monument is a must-do activity for its stunning panoramic views of Honolulu, as well as for its geological and military history. You can also visit many of the important Hawaiian Kingdom landmarks, such as Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha statue.
Things to do in Honolulu
Locals and tourists alike have endless beaches and watersport activities to choose from on Waikiki and around Oahu. It is a water lover’s paradise with surfing, snorkeling, scuba, parasailing, fishing, and boating opportunities every day of the year. Because tourism season never ends, there is always something happening at the many restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. The Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium are all popular cultural destinations.
The Hawaii International Film Festival takes place every November, features filmmakers from across the Pacific Rim, and is the largest East Meets West film festival in the country. The Honolulu Festival in March promotes ethnic harmony and understanding between the many diverse cultures that call Honolulu home, including Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, and Australian. Oahu’s North Shore hosts international surfing competitions throughout the year, with the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing the highlight event each November-December.
Honolulu Vacation spots
While living on a tropical island is a great way of life, it does present limitations to travel outside of the island chain. Taking short airplane trips to explore the other islands, including the Big Island of Hawaii and the Volcanoes National Park, is common.
Where to move in Honolulu
Great apartments in Honolulu are easy to find throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. You are never far from the beach, even when you live inland, so nearly every neighborhood is ideal for the island life. The Ala Moana neighborhood is located next to Waikiki and features the best shopping and dining options in Honolulu. The Kalihi-Palama is just north of downtown with many top rated schools and a family-friendly community. The Makiki-Lower Punchbowl-Tantalus neighborhood is just 3 miles east and consists of charming older homes and smaller apartments. Upscale shopping, beautiful parks, nightlife activities, and its proximity to the University of Hawaii make the area popular with students, professionals, and retirees. No matter which Honolulu apartments you choose, the Aloha way of life awaits!