Honolulu is the most populous city on the isle of Oahu, the most populous city in the state of Hawaii, and the state capital as well. Meaning roughly "place of shelter" in native Hawaiian, the awe-inspiring view of the city from the water does indeed make it seem like that: the city skyline looks almost humble nestled beneath the volcanic tuff cone Diamond Head, with the majesty and unpredictability of the natural world never far from the modern gleam of the city's downtown (notably, hurricanes are rare in Honolulu despite its tropical location.)
Like other modern cities with similar geographic features - e.g. much of urban Japan - Honolulu experiences a moderate to high population density because of its mountainous surroundings (4,372 people per square mile over a total of 85 square miles.) Prior to Hawaii's annexation by the U.S., the city's economic life began during a whaling boom in the mid-19th century. It then moved on to become a trading center for other Pacific nations, a role that it has not completely relinquished. Much of its current economic growth comes from its harbors, which aid in transporting cargo for international steamship operations. The presence of nearby U.S. military bases (e.g. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, and Schofield Barracks) has meant a regular stream of revenue for the city, along with a robust tourism industry.
If for no other reason, Honolulu remains in the news regularly thanks to one of its most famous exports: current sitting president Barack Obama was also born in the Makiki district of Honolulu, where he lived for much of his childhood.
Fun fact: Hawaii's constitution granted control of all land not incorporated into a count to the City of Honolulu, which includes the entire island of Oahu as well as all of Hawaii's uninhabitable islands. Because of this idiosyncrasy, Honolulu can in one way claim to be the largest city in the world.
Reflecting Hawaii's distinct ethnic makeup relative to the contiguous U.S. - Honolulu is at least 50% Asian, and 6.5% Native Hawaiian - Honolulu's local culture cannot be easily compared to that of any other U.S. location. The possibility of going to such a "foreign" locale without needing to obtain extra travel visas has made Honolulu one of the primary American destinations for recreational travel for decades. As a result it is well stocked with modern conveniences, and over 60,000 locals work within the hospitality or leisure industries (three times the employment of the local financial sector.)
The variety of tourist attractions in Honolulu is enough to satisfy all but the most easily bored, with copious opportunities for surfing and hiking complementing the more typically urban activities. Merely finding a place to stay can be an adventure in itself. The city is awash in spa hotels, and dozens of hotels from all other categories. These range from the familiar chains like Hyatt Regency and Sheraton (represented by both the Sheraton Waikiki and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani) to the eye-popping pink faA?A?ade of the Royal Hawaiian on Kalakaua Avenue, to the Moana Surfrider just down the street (which is, incidentally, the first hotel in Honolulu, built in 1901.) Honolulu visitors are encouraged to find a guidebook on this subject alone, since it is unfortunately outside the scope of this article to describe the many lodging choices in detail - though the Waikiki district is perhaps the best choice for picturesque and luxurious accommodation.
Once settled in the city, one can take a tour of the surrounding coastal areas on the 'Honolulu Screamer,' a twin-jet boat painted like a crazed sea monster and supplied with a massive sound system (adding to the novelty, parasailing lessons also come as part of the price of a 'Screamer' ride.) If high-decibel seafaring is not your thing, though, there is the four-story Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center along Kalakaua Avenue that offers both brand name shopping and local specialties (residents may take advantage of an O'hana 'loyalty' card or points program at the center.) The center even features a shooting club, should you need some target practice for whatever reason. The Ward Centre on 2nd Street is another shopping and dining complex that combines chain stores and eateries with local favorites like Ryan's Grill and the E & O Trading Company.
Honolulu has a good deal of college enrollment, especially within the campuses of Hawaii Pacific University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The latter has over 14,000 students enrolled, making it the most popular choice for higher education in the city. The school runs its own university press - generally a mark of high-quality scholarship - and comprises 19 different colleges. These include schools of engineering, business, earth science, technology, and liberal arts / humanities. The Shidler College of Business, notably, is the only graduate school in the entire state to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and was ranked among the top 25 schools of its type by U.S. News & World Report in 2008. The Hamilton Library at U of H, meanwhile, is one of the top-ranked research libraries in the country, and unsurprisingly contains the deepest collection of materials dealing with Hawaiian heritage and culture. Elsewhere, the university has the only Hawaiian athletics department to compete in the first division of NCAA competition, with its Warriors (sometimes 'Rainbow Warriors') being represented in highly regarded programs for baseball, football, basketball and volleyball.
Hawaii Pacific University, meanwhile, offers a business administration program that - while maybe not as acclaimed as Shidler College's - still attracts a good deal of students. It is a popular choice with military personnel either stationed in Hawaii (several of the campuses outside of Honolulu are on military bases in the state.) Psychology, nursing, and international affairs are also popular subjects here.
Given the exoticism attached to the location, real estate in Honolulu is comparable to that in the coastal or heavily urbanized areas of California, with a cost of living index hovering around 166 (compare to America's average of 100.) In the neighborhoods with the highest median home values, such values can exceed $1,000,000 (as is the case for residences along Manoa road or the Pali Highway as they branch off from the city, and for much of the property along the east Kalahuana Ole Highway.) Perhaps the cheapest few blocks of housing in Honolulu, which also remain close to a point of cultural interest, are those in the Art District along Bishop and Richards Streets - here median home values are within the $250,000 range. These values dip by a $20,000 or so in a northwestern region along north King Street bounded by Walkamilo Road and Kalihi Street. Within walking distance of here, though, we can already find homes in the $900,000+ range once more (many along the beach, of course.) Rental costs are - ironically, given the earlier claim about the cheapness of home ownership in the Arts District - highest in that same district, with over $2,000 being the asking price for rental units. There are several other pockets of Honolulu featuring similar rental prices, though there is also a surprising amount of spaces from $300-$550 monthly, with the lower end of this residing on the side of Hawaii Highway One opposite the most urbanized part of Honolulu.
Crime and harassment in Honolulu is, as can probably be guessed, greatest in the more densely populated areas close to the waterfront, though some other higher-crime areas include Makiki Heights and Saint Louis Heights. Curiously, the property crime rate here is lower by far than the Hawaii average (not a feat usually pulled off by a leading city within a U.S. state), although the total number of crimes per square mile in Honolulu easily outpaces the Hawaii average. Over a thousand violent criminal incidents were reported in the city limits over the previous year.
Honolulu is very well served for schooling, also, with 52 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, and eight high schools. The highest enrollment in any Honolulu school is at the Wallace Rider Farrington High School, with around 2,600 students.)
Brian Shreckengast is a writer at Self Storage Deals.
|Self Storage Facility||Phone||Address|
|A-American Self Storage||808-847-3079||1632 Hart St, Honolulu, HI 96817|
|A Quik-Stor of Hawaii||808-531-0295||1227 Lunalilo St, Honolulu, HI 96822|
|A American Self Storage||808-533-3900||720 South St, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|A American Self Storage||808-847-3900||1632 Hart St, Honolulu, HI 96817|
|Alii Stor-Mor||808-836-0135||2670 Kilihau St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Ez-Access Storage Systems||808-592-0220||840 Kawaiahao St, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Hawaii Self Storage||808-836-1500||808 Ahua St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Hawaii Self Storage||808-737-6404||2909 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96826|
|Honolulu Container Storage||808-845-7246||1064 Sand Island Pkwy, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Hy Pac||808-847-5302||2150 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Island Movers Inc||808-832-4000||Pier 42, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Kaimuki Self Storage||808-732-0337||2919 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96826|
|Lock Up Self Storage||808-942-5533||2054 Young St, Honolulu, HI 96826|
|Makiki Self Storage||808-943-8860||1449 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814|
|Ohana Self Storage||808-841-6799||348 Puuhale Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Waikiki Self Storage||808-944-1474||1687 Kalauokalani Way, Honolulu, HI 96814|
|Self Storage 1||808-591-1888||438 Kamakee St, Honolulu, HI 96814|
|Stor Secure Self-Storage At Kapolei||808-692-9899||91-543 Farrington Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Storquest Self Storage||808-832-0450||750 Umi St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Storsecure Self-Storage @ Hawaii Kai Kapolei||808-396-8118||6600 Kalanianaole Hwy Ste 119, Honolulu, HI 96825|
|Jiffy Movers||808-848-4843||PO Box 633, Honolulu, HI 96809|
|Storage Room The||808-593-2339||868 Queen St, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|U-Haul Co||808-587-7974||868 Queen St, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Oahu Movers||808-440-2077||825 Keeaumoku St # I-129, Honolulu, HI 96814|
|Penske Truck Rental||808-848-0844||819 Ahua St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Hawaii Self Storage||808-836-1500||808 Ahua St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|HDEX Moving Solutions||808-955-0800||765 S Amana St #408, Honolulu, HI 96814|
|A-AA American Self Storage||808-533-3900||720 South St, Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Diamond Head Self Storage||808-833-6870||633 Ahua St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Ryder Transportation Services||808-833-0700||545 Lagoon Dr, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Island Movers Inc||808-832-4000||4397 Lawehana St, Honolulu, HI 96817|
|QUICK MOVES INC HAWAII DELIVERY SYSTEMS||808-845-3556||4355 Lawehana St, Honolulu, HI 96818|
|Mini PAC Self Storage/Robertson Property Group||808-422-9889||4285 Lawehana St, Honolulu, HI 96818|
|A Hawaii Piano & Household Moving Inc||808-922-8825||411 Lewers St #501, Honolulu, HI 96815|
|A Shipping Shack||808-732-6603||3133 Waialae Ave Ste 2, Honolulu, HI 96816|
|Royal Hawaiian Movers||808-873-0777||3017 Ualena St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Royal Hawaiian Trucking & Warehousing||808-833-6946||3017 Ualena St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|S & S Delivery Inc||808-833-1857||2856 Ualena St Ste D, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|PODS Moving & Storage||808-838-7640||2644 Waiwai Loop, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Con-Way Freight||808-836-5577||2635 Waiwai Loop, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Prime Mover Forklifts||808-841-7456||2110 Auiki St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Hawaiian Rent-All||808-949-3961||1946 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96826|
|Hawaii Online Movers Inc||808-949-5040||1750 Kalakaua Ave Suite 103, Honolulu, HI 96826|
|A -American Self Storage||808-847-3900||1632 Hart St, Honolulu, HI 96817|
|Horizon Lines||808-842-5333||1601 Sand Island Parkway, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Quik -Stor Of Hawaii||808-531-0295||1227 Lunalilo St, Honolulu, HI 96822|
|Westpac International Movers||808-845-9711||1220 Mikole St, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|A Roberts Forwarding||808-842-1444||1150 Sand Island Pkwy, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Ace International Forwarders||808-832-0202||1150 Sand Island Pkwy, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|Bomar International Forwarding Inc||808-845-5220||1150 Sand Island Pkwy, Honolulu, HI 96819|
|A Better Moving Company||808-536-1320||Honolulu, HI 96813|
|EMERGENCY MOVES HAWAII||808-237-4457||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|Hawaii Moving Labor Service||808-943-8004||Honolulu, HI 96826|
|HD EX MOVING SOLUTION||808-440-2096||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|Horizon Lines||808-842-1515||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|ISLAND MOVERS INC||808-832-4853||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|ISLAND MOVERS INC FREIGHT DISPATCH||808-832-4827||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|North American Van Lines Inc||808-832-4850||Honolulu, HI 96817|
|PODS Moving & Storage||877-449-7637||Honolulu, HI 96813|
|Royal Hawaiian Movers||808-432-9502||Honolulu, HI 96801|
|Royal Hawaiian Movers Inc||808-834-6867||Honolulu, HI 96819|
|We Haul-Supermove||808-735-4697||Honolulu, HI 96816|