Some 1,500 years ago, Polynesians used only the stars as a guide to find Hawaii. Modern methods might not be so dreamy, but the intent is the same – many people choose to relocate to Honolulu for the luxe quality of life the city affords. Hawaii’s climate can’t be beat, with sea level temps averaging 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius) in the summer and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celsius) in what passes for a "winter." A thriving metropolitan area, Honolulu offers all of the professional opportunities a person could want, as well as a relaxed, culturally rich lifestyle. Honolulu homes for sale are currently listed at a median price of $649,000. Homes for sale in Honolulu can be found in popular neighborhoods like laid-back Kailua, residential Kapahulu or elite Kahala.
First things first — the beaches. Hawaii is legendary for its beaches, particular Waikiki Beach, which is located on Honolulu’s south shore. Once a playground for the royalty of Hawaii, Waikiki now serves as a hot spot for locals and tourists who seek sun, sand and plenty of surfing. Another non-negotiable activity is a hike up and around Leahi (Diamond Head State Monument), a 760-foot, 300,000-year-old volcanic tuff crater that offers panoramic views of the area. Be sure to strap on hiking boots and muster some extra resolve: The hike isn’t that long, but can be steep at times. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is another must-see, particularly for snorkeling enthusiasts who will enjoy the area’s stunning variety of tropical fish and marine life.
Many newcomers to Honolulu enjoy getting acquainted with the culture of the island’s indigenous people. A day of sightseeing might include a tour of Iolani Palace to see how Hawaiian royalty lived before the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Visitors there can also learn about and enjoy the ancient storytelling art of hula, which kept Hawaiians tightly bound to both the gods and land. Traditional and modern music is offered at many venues around town, and the Ukulele Festival, held every July at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki, is a must-see. Honolulu boasts a variety of contemporary art galleries and the most-visited destination in Hawaii, the USS Arizona Memorial, built to honor the 1,177 crewmen killed aboard the now-sunken ship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.