Honolulu Real Estate
Living in Honolulu
Honolulu is the capital and largest city in the State of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaii and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific
culture, cuisine, and traditions.
Honolulu is the most remote city of its size in the world and is both the westernmost and
the southernmost major U.S. city. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Census Bureau recognizes
the approximate area commonly referred to as “City of Honolulu” (not to be confused with
the City and County”) as a census county division (CCD). Honolulu is a major financial center
of the islands and of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the city of Honolulu was 337,256
as of the 2010 census, while the Honolulu CCD was 390,738 and the population of the
consolidated city and county was 953,207.
Honolulu means “sheltered harbor” or “calm port”. The old name is said to be Kou, a district
roughly encompassing the area from Nuuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street
to Queen Street which is the heart of the present downtown district. The city has been the
capital of the Hawaiian Islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the
attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941.
As of 2015, Honolulu was ranked high on world livability rankings, and was also ranked as the
2nd safest city in the U.S.
Neighborhoods, boroughs, and district
Downtown Honolulu is the financial, commercial, and governmental center of Hawaii. On
the waterfront is Aloha Tower, which for many years was the tallest building in Hawaii.
Currently the tallest building is the 438-foot (134 m) tall First Hawaiian Center, located on
King and Bishop Streets. The downtown campus of Hawaii Pacific University is also
The Arts District Honolulu in downtown/Chinatown is on the eastern edge of Chinatown.
It is a 12-block area bounded by Bethel & Smith Streets and Nimitz Highway and
Beretania Street – home to numerous arts and cultural institutions. It is located within the
Chinatown Historic District, which includes the former Hotel Street Vice District.
The Capitol District is the eastern part of Downtown Honolulu. It is the current and
historic center of Hawaii’s state government, incorporating the Hawaii State Capitol,
ʻIolani Palace, Honolulu Hale (City Hall), State Library, and the statue of King
Kamehameha I, along with numerous government buildings.
Kakaʻako is a light-industrial district between Downtown and Waikīkī that has seen a
large-scale redevelopment effort in the past decade. It is home to two major shopping
areas, Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre. The Howard Hughes Corporation plans to
transform Ward Centers into Ward Village over the next decade. The John A. Burns
School of Medicine, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, is also located there. A
Memorial to the Ehime Maru Incident victims is built at the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park.
Ala Moana is a district between Kakaʻako and Waikīkī and the home of Ala Moana
Center, the “World’s largest open air shopping center” and the largest shopping mall in
Hawaii. Ala Moana Center boasts over 300 tenants and is a very popular location
among tourists. Also in Ala Moana is the Honolulu Design Center and Ala Moana Beach
Park, the second largest park in Honolulu.
Waikīkī is the tourist district of Honolulu, located between the Ala Wai Canal and the
Pacific Ocean next to Diamond Head. Numerous hotels, shops, and nightlife
opportunities are located along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues. It is a popular location for
visitors and locals alike and attracts millions of visitors every year. A majority of the hotel
rooms on Oahu are located in Waikīkī.
Manoa and Makiki are residential neighborhoods located in adjacent valleys just inland
of downtown and Waikīkī. Manoa Valley is home to the main campus of the University of
Nuʻuanu and Pauoa are upper-middle-class residential districts located inland of
downtown Honolulu. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located in
Punchbowl Crater fronting Pauoa Valley.
Palolo and Kaimuki are neighborhoods east of Manoa and Makiki, inland from Diamond
Head. Palolo Valley parallels Manoa and is a residential neighborhood. Kaimuki is
primarily a residential neighborhood with a commercial strip centered on Waialae
Avenue running behind Diamond Head. Chaminade University is located in Kaimuki.
Waialae and Kahala are upper-class districts of Honolulu located directly east of
Diamond Head, where there are many high-priced homes. Also found in these
neighborhoods are the Waialae Country Club and the five-star Kahala Hotel & Resort.
East Honolulu includes the residential communities of ʻĀina Haina, Niu Valley, and
Hawaiʻi Kai. These are considered upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The upscale
gated communities of Waiʻalae ʻiki and Hawaiʻi Loa Ridge are also located here.
Kalihi and Palama are working-class neighborhoods with a number of government
housing developments. Lower Kalihi, toward the ocean, is a light-industrial district.
Salt Lake and Aliamanu are (mostly) residential areas built in extinct tuff cones along the
western end of the Honolulu District, not far from the Honolulu International Airport.
Moanalua is two neighborhoods and a valley at the western end of Honolulu, and home
to Tripler Army Medical Center.
Colleges and Universities in Honolulu
Honolulu Community College, Honolulu
Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu
University of Hawaii at Manoa, doctoral university in Honolulu
Private, non-profit institutions
Chaminade University of Honolulu, master’s university affiliated with the
Roman Catholic Church in Honolulu
Hawaii Pacific University, nonsectarian undergraduate, graduate, and
research university in Honolulu
Hawaii Tokai International College, nonsectarian associate’s college in
IUE International University of Entreprenology in Hawaii, USA, affiliated with
Universities in Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, BBA, MBA, PhD.
Argosy University, Honolulu
University of Phoenix, Honolulu
Institute for Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Honolulu
World Medicine Institute, Honolulu
Colleges and universities in Honolulu include Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chaminade University, and Hawaii Pacific University. UH Manoa houses the main offices of the University of Hawaii System.
Public primary and secondary schools
Queen Liliuokalani Building, Hawaii Department of Education headquarters
in Honolulu CDP
Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools in Honolulu.
Public high schools within the CDP area include Wallace Rider Farrington, Kaiser, Kaimuki, Kalani, Moanalua, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Private primary and secondary schools
Private schools include Academy of the Pacific, Damien Memorial School, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Iolani School, Lutheran High School of Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, Maryknoll School, Mid-Pacific Institute, La Pietra, Punahou School, Sacred Hearts Academy, St. Andrew’s Priory School, Saint Francis School, Saint Louis School, the Education Laboratory School, Saint Patrick School, Trinity Christian School, and Varsity International School.