Living in Waikiki on Oahu – the Good and Bad

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I lived in Waikiki on three separate occasions, so I know a little bit about what it’s like to live there – the good and bad, and there are both. The first time I lived on Amana Street, it is behind the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Waikiki. In 1986 I paid $675 for a studio. It was furnished and decent enough. The building had a pool. Quite OK for then. I was 20 years old and stayed there a year or so.

The second time I moved to Kapiolani Blvd by Kaheka Street intersection – near the Ilikai Hotel. Great spot, easy to walk everywhere – we had a pool and a much bigger 1 bedroom for $750 in 2002. I liked that a lot.

Third time I lived on Hobron Lane. 400 Hobron I think it was. Great building, small studio for $800 but with an amazing rooftop pool and barbeque area. Fantastic views, etc. Here, I’ll put a photo of me swimming in the rooftop pool – Google maps must have caught me just after I came up for air: (click on the photo to zoom in and see me!)

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OK, that is not me – but, anyway, there is the good and bad about living in Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii…

Living in Waikiki – the Good

  • Walking distance to: beach, restaurants, parks, night life, shopping, colleges, Diamond Head, Walls, Ala Moana Park
  • Good places to run or walk – Ala Moana Park, Kapiolani Park, Diamond Head, along Ala Wai Canal, etc.
  • Save Gas
  • Good public transportation if you have no car
  • Ideal for motorcycle, scooter, or even bicycle
  • Easy to reach northeast – Makapu’u, Sandys, Waimanolo, Bellows AFS, etc.
  • View of Diamond Head and/or the ocean – I always had ocean view, it’s hard to beat that
  • Weather is pretty ideal – not too much rain or dryness, not hot for too many months
  • Jobs are more common in and around Waikiki and town, it’s the metropolis center of Oahu

Living in Waikiki – the Bad

  • Food is more expensive – restaurants, grocery stores, anywhere in Waikiki
  • Rent is more expensive and places are smaller
  • Parking fees, parking hard to find, parking tickets
  • Police standing in side streets to catch you without seatbelt
  • Police speed checks
  • Traffic is insane during rush hours
  • Tensions run a bit higher in Waikiki – people are stressed from the “Bad” things about living in or visiting
  • Waikiki
  • Rats and cockroaches are found more in Waikiki – (not a fact, just my opinion)
  • Air quality can be bad
  • Noise can be extreme sometimes – cars, trucks, concerts, idiots screaming at 3am.
  • Dealing with crowds of tourists and residents doing the same things you want to do

About the Author:

Moving to Hawaii was one of the most amazing moves ever. I strongly encourage you to consider it if you're in the financial position to make it work. Living in Hawaii has a fair bit of both positive and negative experiences awaiting each of us who give it a try. Read some of the articles here and try to get a feel for whether you might thrive in the islands. I wrote an entire book on the subject and it's usually less than $5. It's up there on the right side column. Best of luck and life to you! Aloha! - Vern L.

One Comment

  1. Robert 09/23/2012 at 12:14 am - Reply

    I lived in Makiki which is a great location but the condos are small and there is very little parking in that area. We packed up and moved our home and Wedding Business BRIDAL DREAM HAWAII out to West Oahu (Kapolei) where the houses are bigger and there is plenty to do with a Water Park, Bowling, Go Carts, Hockey Rink and a quiet beach at Barber’s Point.

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