Which Hawaiian Island Should You Consider Moving To?

Which Hawaiian Island Should You Consider Moving To?

  • Mick St John
  • 06/30/23


Deciding to move to Hawaii is an exciting prospect, but with multiple islands to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one suits your lifestyle and preferences. Each island has its unique characteristics, landscapes, and communities. In this article, we will explore different aspects of Hawaii's islands to help you make an informed decision about your future home. Whether you prioritize affordability, safety, friendliness, natural beauty, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, we'll provide comprehensive insights to guide your choice.


Affordability: Finding Your Budget-Friendly Island

Moving to Hawaii comes with a cost, but some islands offer more affordable living options compared to others. While all the islands have varying price ranges, Maui, Oahu, and Big Island are considered the most affordable options. These islands provide a range of housing choices and amenities suitable for different budgets.

Maui, known as "The Valley Isle," offers a mix of stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and a laid-back lifestyle. The towns of Lahaina and Kihei on the west coast are popular among residents and tourists alike. Kihei, in particular, offers affordable housing options and a vibrant local community. Maui also offers a variety of recreational activities, from surfing and snorkeling to hiking and exploring the famous Road to Hana.

Oahu, the most populous island and home to the capital city of Honolulu, provides diverse living options. While some areas on Oahu can be more expensive, there are affordable neighborhoods and towns, such as Kapolei and Mililani, where you can find reasonably priced housing. Oahu offers a vibrant city life, world-class shopping, dining, and cultural events, making it an exciting choice for those seeking an urban experience with a mix of natural beauty.

Big Island, or Hawaii Island, is the largest of the Hawaiian islands and offers a more affordable cost of living compared to Oahu and Maui. Hilo, located on the east side of the island, is known for its affordable housing options and a rich local culture. The Kona coast on the west side of the island is another popular area with a wide range of housing choices, including more affordable options.

To explore further, you can visit Trip Advisor Maui, Trip Advisor Oahu, and Trip Advisor Big Island for more information.

Best Places to Live: Island Highlights

Every Hawaiian island has its own charms and attractions, making it challenging to pinpoint a single "best" place to live. However, certain regions stand out for their unique qualities. Let's explore some of the highlights of each island:

  • Maui: Maui offers a mix of stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and a thriving arts scene. The town of Lahaina on the west coast is known for its historical significance and vibrant atmosphere. Kihei, located on the sunny south coast, offers a laid-back lifestyle and easy access to beautiful beaches. The Upcountry region, including areas like Makawao and Kula, provides a cooler climate, breathtaking views, and a rural atmosphere.

  • Oahu: Oahu offers a diverse range of opportunities, from the bustling city life of Honolulu to the picturesque North Shore. Honolulu, the capital city, provides a bustling cosmopolitan experience with world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The island also offers picturesque coastal areas, historical sites, and renowned surf spots.

  • Kauai: Known as the "Garden Isle," Kauai boasts unparalleled natural beauty. The Na Pali Coast, with its rugged cliffs and pristine beaches, is a must-visit destination. The towns of Hanalei and Princeville offer a laid-back lifestyle surrounded by stunning landscapes. The south side of the island, including Poipu, is known for its sunny weather, beautiful resorts, and golf courses.

To explore these destinations further, you can refer to Trip Advisor Maui, Trip Advisor Oahu, and Trip Advisor Kauai.

Safety: Choosing a Secure Island

When considering a move, safety is a crucial factor. Hawaii, in general, has a relatively low crime rate, but some islands have even lower crime rates than others. Kauai and Maui are known for their safe communities, making them popular choices for families and individuals seeking peace of mind. These islands offer a tight-knit community where residents look out for one another and crime rates remain low.


Maui or Oahu: Deciding Between Two Popular Islands

The decision between Maui and Oahu often perplexes potential residents. Both islands have distinct qualities that cater to different lifestyles.

Maui offers a more relaxed and serene atmosphere, with stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and a thriving tourist industry. It is ideal for those seeking a slower pace of life, surrounded by natural beauty. The island's small towns and friendly communities create a close-knit environment.

Oahu, on the other hand, boasts the vibrant city life of Honolulu, world-class shopping, and an array of cultural events. It offers a mix of urban convenience and natural beauty. Oahu is known for its diverse population and bustling activities, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a blend of city living and outdoor adventures.

Determining the right fit for you depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. Consider factors such as the desired pace of life, access to amenities, job opportunities, and the overall ambiance that aligns with your vision of island living.

Realistic Expectations: Can You Realistically Move to Hawaii?

Moving to Hawaii requires careful planning and consideration. It's important to assess your financial situation, secure employment or a reliable source of income, and research the logistics of relocating to the islands. While it may seem like a dream come true, it's crucial to have a realistic understanding of the challenges and adjustments that come with island life.

Cost of living in Hawaii is generally higher compared to the mainland United States. Housing prices, groceries, utilities, and transportation costs can be higher than what you're accustomed to. It's essential to have a financial plan in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Additionally, job opportunities can be competitive, and it's advisable to secure employment before making the move. Some industries, such as tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and education, offer more job prospects, but it's important to research the job market and network with local professionals to increase your chances of finding suitable employment.

Researching the logistics of moving, including shipping your belongings, finding housing, and understanding local laws and regulations, is crucial for a successful transition. It's also recommended to visit the islands before making a final decision to get a firsthand experience of the lifestyle, climate, and culture.


Easiest Island to Live On: Simplifying the Transition

If you're seeking a smooth transition to island life, Oahu is often considered the easiest island to adapt to due to its infrastructure, amenities, and diverse population. It offers a balanced mix of urban convenience and natural beauty, making it an attractive option for newcomers.

Oahu's well-developed infrastructure provides easy access to hospitals, schools, shopping centers, and entertainment venues. The island also has a wide range of housing options, from apartments and condos in urban areas to suburban neighborhoods and beachfront properties. The diverse population on Oahu creates a multicultural environment, making it easier to connect with different communities and find support networks.


Friendliest Island: Welcoming Communities

Hawaii is known for its aloha spirit, which is exemplified by the warm and welcoming communities throughout the islands. While friendliness can be subjective, the small-town atmosphere and tight-knit communities on Maui and Kauai often leave a lasting impression on residents and visitors alike.

Maui's residents embrace the aloha spirit and often extend their hospitality to newcomers. The island's sense of community creates opportunities for engagement and connection. Kauai, with its slower pace of life and strong emphasis on environmental conservation, fosters a sense of unity and camaraderie among its residents.

Both islands offer a welcoming environment, where locals are known for their friendliness and willingness to share their island's beauty and culture with others.

Most Liked Island: A Matter of Personal Preference

Determining the most liked island in Hawaii is subjective and varies from person to person. Each island has its own appeal, whether it's the breathtaking landscapes of Kauai, the vibrant culture of Oahu, the serenity of Maui, or the diverse experiences found on Big Island. Exploring different islands and experiencing their unique charm firsthand will ultimately help you decide which island resonates with you the most.



Choosing the right Hawaiian island to move to is an exciting endeavor. By considering factors such as affordability, safety, lifestyle, personal preferences, and community atmosphere, you can narrow down your options. Remember to conduct further research, visit the islands if possible, and immerse yourself in the local culture to make an informed decision. Hawaii's beauty, warm communities, and unique experiences await you, regardless of which island you choose as your new home.


Get In Touch

We're a top-rated team, with a wealth of knowledge in the area. Fill out your information below and one of our team members will get back to you.

Work with Mick and Maggie

We offer the highest level of expertise, service, and integrity. Specializing in Luxury Homes & Investment Sales, Mick & Maggie has amassed a Rolodex of clientele that reaches far internationally. They pride themselves on ensuring their clients the highest level of success in all of their real estate ventures. Whether it’s your next investment condo, your first property, or your retirement villa, Mick & Maggie are here to serve.

Follow Us on Instagram