Honolulu is a great place to live. In fact, Honolulu was ranked as the No. 26 most livable city in the world on 2012 Global Livability Survey. With more than 374,000 residents, Honolulu is the largest city in the Hawaiian Islands and one of the most scenic cities in the United States. The city is a unique combination of Hawaii's timeless natural beauty and modern luxuries, which can be seen in the pristine beaches with clear blue oceans, breathtaking mountain views, exciting nightlife venues and vibrant restaurants featuring local Hawaiian cuisine. Look for Honolulu apartments for rent, and find paradise in the Pacific Ocean.
Although the exact dates are unknown, Honolulu oral histories tell that the first inhabitants settled in Honolulu in 1100 A.D. King Kamehameha I relocated to Honolulu in 1804 and the city quickly became Hawaii's most important shipping port for sandalwood, whalers, sugar, pineapples, light manufacturing and defense installations. Missionaries from the United States and Europe westernized the islands in the early 19th century and left a lasting impression on religion, education, economics and politics that can still be noted in present-day Honolulu.
The invention of modern air travel brought droves of tourists to Hawaii, and today, tourism is still the main contributor to the local economy. There are many distinctive neighborhoods in Honolulu, including the Arts District, with many arts and cultural institutions; Downtown Honolulu, where financial and commercial centers are located; the Capital District, which is home to the state's government buildings; Kaka'ako, which is the light-industrial district undergoing a large redevelopment effort; and Waikiki, which is the largest tourist district in Hawaii. Whether in the Pacific Heights, Punchbowl or other residential neighborhoods, apartments in Honolulu are sure to please.
Honolulu is home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University of Honolulu and Heald College. Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, the Hawaii Tokai International College, Remington College, World Medical Institute and Agrosy University are joined by a number of other schools offering Hawaiian students a range of educational opportunities.
Honolulu functions as the main business and trading center for the state of Hawaii. Tourism, military, the defense contracting industry, manufacturing, and research and development are major contributors to the local economy. Honolulu also has a large medical sector, with top employers in the area including Queen's Medical Center, Tripler Army Medical Center, Kapiolani Medical Center and Kuakini Health System, among others. Schofield Barracks, the Bank of Hawaii, Honolulu Police Department and Aloha Airlines also employ many Honolulu residents in various jobs ranging from upper-level management to support positions.
New residents relocate to Hawaii to experience the acclaimed lifestyle of the islands, which unfortunately drives up rent prices in Honolulu. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the average apartment here costs $1,215 a month, which is $360 more than the average on the United States mainland. Because of the state's remote location, everyday living expenses are also very pricey here. Honolulu received a cost of living index of 166.3, which is significantly more than the national average of 100.
Pristine beaches and surfing aside, Honolulu is home to a number of unique attractions. The city is steeped in American history, and history buffs can tour the USS Arizona Memorial, U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, Pearl Harbor and the National Cemetery of the Pacific. Those interested in exploring Hawaii's natural beauty can take scenic hikes on the Koko Head Crater Trail, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Diamond Head State Monument, Lyon Arboretum or Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. Honolulu is also the site of Hawaii's most famed architecture, and visitors can tour the Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, Shangri La and the Queen Emma Summer Palace.
Honolulu is also home to many events that celebrate the islands' history. The Honolulu Festival is Hawaii's most highly acclaimed cultural celebration with features that promote understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between Hawaiian locals and visitors. The festival includes a parade, dance performances, a film festival, Hawaii music group performances, regional cuisine and much more. Other favorite events include the Hawaii Book & Music Festival, Made in Hawaii Festival, Garlic & Ginger Festival of Hawaii and Pan-Pacific Festival, among others.
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