Hawaii is among the most beautiful and vibrant states in the nation, one that is popular with residents and tourists alike. It’s also considered to be one of the safer states, with an overall violent crime rate of 2.9 incidents per 1,000 people. This is lower than the national average of 3.7 incidents per 1,000 people. Honolulu in particular is considered a very safe place to live, but there are some neighborhoods that are considerably safer than others. Let’s take a look at the five safest neighborhoods and what makes them good places to live for you and your family.

1. Kahala

One of Oahu’s most prestigious neighborhoods is Kahala. Kahala real estate, located just east of Diamond Head, is some of the most exclusive on Oahu, with vast, tree-lined streets and a plethora of multimillion-dollar luxury houses. Kahala is home to the Waialae Country Club, which plays host to the Sony Open each year. The Kahala Hotel & Resort is located close to Waialae’s championship golf course and features a stunning destination spa as well as a variety of exquisite dining options. The seaside homes of Kahala have convenient access to public but isolated beaches. The neighboring Kahala Mall houses one of the island’s Whole Foods stores, as well as a variety of lovely shops and conveniences, as well as physicians’ offices and restaurants. Kahala also has a number of community parks. Some of the highlights of this lovely Oahu neighborhood in the 96816 zip code include Diamond Head State Monument and Summit Trail. It has a remarkably low crime rate overall. Luxurious mansions and oceanfront homes are common sites in Kahala, where ever teardown homes can go for a high price. It also has one of the highest-rated school districts on the island. There is perhaps no safer place to live in Honolulu.

2. Mililani

Mililani is in the 98th percentile for safety, which means that only 2% of cities are safer, while 98% are more hazardous. Mililani is a wonderful place with a diverse culture. It’s all centered around the town center, which has some fantastic places to dine and drink. The area’s public school curriculum is among the best in the state, and for families with smaller children, there are numerous parks across the city where they may play. Mililani Town, the crown jewel of central Oahu, was once a huge collection of pineapple fields until Castle & Cooke began development in the 1960s to construct a new suburban region to suit the island’s extensive housing demands. As a consequence, a master-planned community with close-knit neighbors and a welcoming atmosphere was born. To keep the neighborhood secure and well-kept, and to sustain high property values in the community, the Mililani Town Association has developed a set of regulations and principles. The organization also runs seven recreation centers (several with tennis courts), organizes a variety of family events and activities, and has implemented a neighborhood watch program. Swimming, martial arts, hula, tennis, dance, exercise, and health classes are among the activities offered, as are specific activities for elders and small children. Other amenities include a 72-par, 18-hole golf course and a shopping complex to cater to residents’ recreational interests. WalMart, Star Market, and Longs Drugs are just a few of the mega-stores in Mililani Town Center. There are also over a dozen restaurants, beauty and health establishments, retail boutiques, and a movie theater with leather reclining seats. Mililani Middle School and Mililani High School are all served by the Mililani complex, which includes multiple elementary schools.

3. Hawaii Kai

Hawaii Kai is a residential neighborhood located far east of Downtown Honolulu with a population of 28,417. It’s considered one of the safest neighborhoods on the island, and unlike Aina Haina, it is a fairly popular tourist destination thanks to its close proximity to some of Oahu’s best beaches. The median value of single-family homes in this neighborhood is around $700,000, though the area is still very affluent and maintains extremely low crime rates. The only downsides to living in Hawaii Kai are the traffic and the long commutes that many of its residents have to make every day. Since Hawaii Kai is considered to be a bedroom community, and many of its residents commute to Downtown Honolulu to work. This drive can take up to 45 minutes when traffic is at its heaviest. However, Hawaii Kai has been steadily expanding over the years, and there are many jobs available in town as a result.

4. Kailua

The tranquil, relaxing beach hamlet of Kailua is located on Oahu’s eastern side, beneath the beautiful Ko’olau mountain range. Despite being only a 30-minute drive from Honolulu’s downtown, this Windward Oahu village feels like a world apart. The beaches and outdoor lifestyle of Kailua are well-known. Picnics, swimming, kayaking, body boarding, kite surfing, and windsurfing are all popular activities at dog-friendly Kailua Beach. A mile of pure white sand and clear blue sea can be seen on Lanikai Beach. Kayaks and paddleboards can access the Mokulua Islands, which are about a mile off the shore of Lanikai. Kailua has over 40,000 residents, dozens of local shops and restaurants, nine grocery stores, and 16 schools, and is known for its stunning beaches and small-town ambiance. Farmers’ markets, holiday parades, and the annual “I Love Kailua” block party are all held in Kailua, which is a self-sufficient village with a strong feeling of community. The village, which is adjacent to the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, is also a popular choice for military families looking to relocate. The crime rate in Kailua is 46% lower than the national average. In Kailua, violent crimes are 69 percent lower than the national average. Kailua has a lower crime rate than 67% of American cities. Kailua has seen a 15% decline in crime year over year.

5. Manoa

The Manoa neighborhood is located within the beautiful Manoa Valley and has an overall population of around 46,690. It has been said to have two sides. One side of the neighborhood is to the south near the University of Hawaii campus. As you could probably guess, this area is home to university students and has relatively low owner occupancy. The University of Hawaii has been ranked 74th as one of the country’s safest college campuses, but it does have a higher crime rate. North Manoa, which is located in Manoa Valley proper, is a mostly residential neighborhood filled with attractive single-family homes with median values approaching $1 million. It also has a relatively low crime rate compared to the southern neighborhood and is among the older residential neighborhoods in Hawaii. Because of this, Manoa is home to older families who have lived in the area for generations as well as retirees. Overall, Manoa is a tightly-knit community with a lot of character, making it ideal for those who want to live in a region that has a rich history. Of course, college students are more than welcome to make themselves at home in South Manoa while they attend classes at the University of Hawaii.  

Are There Areas to Avoid in Honolulu?

While Hawaii is considered one of the safer states in the country to live in, there are still some places in Honolulu that should be avoided if you want to keep your family safe. Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown can both be dangerous at night. Large crowds tend to gather in these areas, and they can get rowdy. Violent crime is still rarer in these areas than in other parts of the country, but you are more at risk of being robbed if you aren’t careful. There are a lot of homeless people in that area, and they can be aggressive towards tourists. Airport, Honolulu, Hawaii should also be avoided if you’re looking for a place to settle down on the island. It is ranked as the worst city in Hawaii to live in. Kalihi-Palama also has problems with an increasing crime rate. It is currently 84 percent higher than the national average. Despite these areas, Hawaii is still a very safe place to live with a family. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions of your own if you plan to travel there, though. The rate of violent crime is very low, but property crimes and theft are still on the rise in some areas, particularly in high-population areas and the more dangerous neighborhoods that we discussed above. If you plan to travel through Honolulu, stick to well-lit, populated areas, and try to travel with a group of people, especially at night. If you do plan to settle in Hawaii with your family and you can afford to do so, we do highly recommend the five neighborhoods we discussed above. Single-family homes can be expensive in these areas, especially if you plan to live in Kahala or Aina Haina, but it can be well worth it to experience all of the beauty and amenities that these neighborhoods have to offer. Take this guide into consideration, but never be afraid to do your own research to find a home that is best for you and your family.

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