Where Should You Not Live In Hawaii?

Imagine a group of islands with breathtaking beaches, hiking trails for nature lovers, a unique cuisine adored by food influencers, and regular events for those seeking entertainment. This sounds like a paradise, but the truth is, living on some of these islands long-term is a different scenario. Where should you not live in Hawaii?

The areas you should not live in Hawaii are Wahiawa, Makaha, Kahului, Pahoa, Ewa Beach, Hilo, Waianae, Waimea, Kapaa, and Waipahu. These neighborhoods have high crime stats, and some have a dangerous environment. Areas like Napili-Honokiwai, Aiea, Wailea, Kula, Pukalani have high living expenses.

Although Hawaii can seem like the perfect destination, living in Hawaii long-term is a whole different story. Some areas can be high in crime or challenging keeping up with the living expenses because of the low median income and high median home value. Below is a list of the areas to avoid should you want to live in Hawaii.

Why Do People Want To Stay Long Term In Hawaii?

Hawaii is the only U.S. state made up of 132 islands, but only seven islands are inhabited. The seven islands are Hawaii (also referred to as the Big Island), Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Kauai, Niihau, and Oahu.

Hawaii is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches and is an excellent place for active people that love hiking, sailing, swimming, and kayaking. If you love sitting on the beach, there are many unusual beach colors to enjoy. These colors include black, pink, red, and green sandy beaches.

The cuisine is a unique experience for those who travel to Hawaii, especially Poi, a traditional filler starch.

Why Should You Not Live In Pahoa? (The Big Island)

Pahoa is considered an affordable place to live, but it is also close to one of the most active volcanos globally, Kilauea. In 2018, Mount Kilauea destroyed 700 buildings and covered roads with flows of lava, and it reshaped the coastal lines. Due to its proximity to Mount Kilauea, the risk of future lava flows in Pahoa is high.

Why Should You Not Live In Some Cities In Oahu?

Although there are good areas you can live in on the island of Oahu, there are a few cities that should be avoided at night. These areas are not ideal for a long-term stay.

Is Honolulu Safe For Tourists?

Honolulu is safe for tourists, but there are certain areas with high pickpocketing, robberies, and car break-ins that you should be aware of. The two areas to avoid at night in Honolulu are Chinatown and Kalihi.

Traffic is horrible in this city, and there are only limited busses going to the town. You will need to make a plan to arrange a rental car to travel to the rest of the island. Gas and parking fees also bring high costs.

The schooling system is also undesirable. The culture does not value education very much. Most families will go to private school, but it is much more expensive. The teachers are also underpaid, making it difficult for quality education because of the high cost of living.

Homelessness in Honolulu is massive, there are many homeless people, and most of them have drug problems due to the high amount of drug dealing, especially crystal meth, in and around the city. Most people can’t afford to live in a simple apartment due to the high cost of living.

How Expensive Is It To Live In Ewa Beach?

Although the crime in Ewa beach is relatively low, the cost of living is above average. The cost of grocery shopping, healthcare, services, and transportation carries a hefty fee. The population of Ewa Beach is also tiny, about 14, 717 and economic conditions can change anytime due to the low population in the city.

Why Is Waipahu Not An Ideal Place To Live?

According to National Drug Intelligence Center reports, this city has a high poverty level of 10.64%, and methamphetamine use is high among the residents.

Why Is Wahiawa Not A Preferred Tourist Destination?

Wahiawa is in the center of Oahu between the two mountains that make up the island. Wahiawa is not a famous tourist destination, but people affiliated with the military live there. The area is known as the armpit of Oahu, and drugs run rampant. Be cautious after the sun sets as total crimes are 20% higher than the entire state.

Cons For Moving To Kauai, Hawaii

Although living in Kauai is simple, there are a few challenges you will face on the island of Kauai.

How Dangerous Is The Weather In Kauai?

There are heavy rain seasons on this island of Hawaii that span between April and September. This heavy rain can cause flooding and landslides, and it will cause the ocean to turn muddy.

Are The Beaches Around Kauai Safe?

Due to the island’s shape, there are unusual rip currents around the beaches of Kauai. This will make it challenging and dangerous to go swim or surf.

How Easy Is Accessibility In And Around The Island Of Kauai?

Kauai is very rural and underdeveloped, and most of the areas and tours can’t be reached by car. This means extra costs involved to travel on a boat or airplane to get to specific areas on Kauai. There are options to hike and explore. The island is not very child-friendly. This is a big reason not to live in Kauai when starting a family.

Why Are Some Beaches In Kauai Not Great For Swimming?

The island of Kauai is home to some of the most dangerous beaches that have, over the years, claimed numerous lives. If you love to go to the beach, you have to be very cautious when going to any of these beaches.

Can You swim At Lumahai Beach?

The Lumahai beach is known as the “Luma-Die” due to the high number of lives it has claimed. The beach of Lumahai is one of the most beautiful and one of the deadliest. The sandy surface facilitates strong undertows and can be dangerous for swimmers.

Why Is Hanakapiai Beach Not Great For Swimming?

This dangerous beach is only a few miles from the Kalalau Trail, and the shoreline is only visible in the summer. During the winter periods, dangerous high tides wash away the shoreline. The beach has no reef barrier to resist the strong ocean currents that hit the shore with full force.

Where Should You Not Live In Hawaii 01

Should I Live In Kapaa, Kauai?

Kapaa is also known as the “Coconut Coast” and provides more affordable housing than other areas in Kauai.

Kauai offers a variety of safe areas, but Kapaa is considered a dangerous area after dark. The crime rate is 3% higher than the average crime rate in Hawaii. The Kapaa beaches are more hidden in the North Shore and have gorgeous views, but the island’s Southside has beaches more suitable for vacation goers.

What Are Some Cons Of Living In Kauai?

Kauai is praised for its beauty and the simple living lifestyle, but the island has a few cons that must be considered when living in Kauai.

Is It Expensive In Kauai?

The cost of living is ridiculously high on certain parts of the island and should be considered when moving to the island. For example, soy milk in LA can cost $2, but on Kauai, the soy milk can cost up to $5. Electricity is another expensive challenge you will face when you move to the island.

What Is  Education Like  In Kauai?

If you have children or toddlers and are planning to move to Kauai, you can decide between public and private schools. Public schools are generally below average, and if your focus is to get your children an excellent education, private schools will be a preferable option. Still, you will be looking at anything from $800 up to $1600 per child per month.

Is Island Fever A Thing?

Living on a small island for a long time can cause Island Fever, and you might be craving a long road trip which is not possible on the island. If you love to travel, island fever is something you will have to deal with.

Why Is Everything Slow In Kauai?

If you are used to expeditious service from a plumber, or you want to set up a meeting for a specific time, be prepared to wait a little longer. People on the island are not fazed by time, which can be frustrating if you have deadlines and need to complete projects or tasks.

If you work remotely and the internet goes off, expect long and frustrating waiting periods to get it fixed. You will need to accept that things take twice as long, if not longer, to get fixed or attended to.

Can You Enjoy Online Shopping When Living In Kauai?

Having Amazon Prime with next-day delivery is convenient, but don’t expect the same service when you live on Kauai. You can wait weeks to receive your order, and if the order is not available in the depot, you can wait weeks before it arrives at your doorstep.

How Fast Is The Internet Speeds In Kauai?

Fast internet is becoming the norm around the world, but in Kauai, the speeds are not the same. The average speeds that the one internet service provider offers on the island can go up to 11mbps. If you need faster internet, it won’t be possible unless the service provider updates the speed.

Should I Live In Maui?

When you want to live in Maui, also known as The Valley Isle. You should be prepared to face a few challenges.

Is It Expensive To Stay In Maui?

Intense research must be done when considering moving to Maui. The cost of living is very steep, and most people will have about 2- 3 jobs to just to pay all the bills. Now, if you want to buy or rent an apartment or condo, it will be a considerable amount, and people that moved out of Maui did so due to the high housing costs.

Is Food Expensive In Maui?

The food in Maui carries a high price tag, and those that want to move to the state must be willing to fork out around $7 – $9 for a gallon of milk and around $6 for a dozen eggs. If you have a Costco card, keep it with you to get discounts when possible.

How Are Business Opportunities When Living In Maui?

Most of the economy of Maui depends on the tourism sector. Most jobs are in the retail, hotel, and restaurant space. If you are planning to become a business owner, you need to do extensive research to see if your business will be profitable on the island.

Teachers are high in demand, but due to their limited career growth, they tend to move back to the mainland due to the salary being too low compared to the cost of living.

Can You Get Use To The Culture In Maui?

Another aspect of Maui that one will need to get used to is the state’s vast number of mixed cultures. Many of the locals are very laid back, and you might just get frustrated due to this laid-back attitude and cultural differences.

The cultures consist of the following mix: English, Canadian, Brazilian, Italian, Chinese, Filipino, Tongan, Korean and Portuguese, to name a few. The majority is that of Asian culture.

Why Is Molokai Not The Best Island To Live On?

The island of Molokai is tiny, around 38 miles long and about 10 miles across, and has a population of roughly 7000 living on the island. The island is not considered the best island to live on due to its limited economic growth and is the least visited of all the major Hawaii-islands.

Why Can’t You Live On Niihau?

The island of Niihau is sometimes referred to as the Forbidden Island. The island of Niihau is not for the public and is privately owned, and you can travel to the island on invitation only. The island was sold through a king and was asked to preserve the heritage and exclude visitors from coming to the island.

This is one of the islands that will be impossible to live on, and it is home to only 170 inhabitants, and most of them work on the Robertsons sheep farm. Cross this island off your list.


Moving to Hawaii takes careful planning and extensive research. The factors that determine if it is the right fit for you are the crime rate, the education, and the limited career growth. Living in Hawaii can be very expensive, and experiencing island fever can hit those who love to travel or enjoys going on long road trips.