I see from looking at my web analytics that most people find my site because they specifically are looking for the answer, “Where is the best place to live on the Big Island of Hawaii”? Having lived here from 2005-2006, then 2010-2019, I have a few answers that also led me to write two books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii.” But here are some insights to get you started.
If you have money, the best place to live is in Hualalai. That is where the Four Seasons Resort is located, along with million dollar homes and a few billionaire neighbors. Not too sure how many of the super rich are finding my blog, but Aloha! I would love to connect with you and give you access to all the available real estate listings and the low down of what it’s like to live in that lush gated community of wealth! You will also find Kukio, another adjacent uber-rich neighborhood. See aerial shot of this area and you’ll see why.
2. I lived and owned a condo in Keauhou, and it ROCKS! (I wrote a post about it here) It’s a little upscale, so there is NO crime, the area is situated around a golf course, right near the ocean, within a mile of the grocery store, a movie theater, restaurants, a Long’s, Sam Choy’s, the Kona Sheraton and one of the best snorkeling bays in the whole Hawaiian Island chain. Full of Hawaiian historical sites, our beautiful bay and availability of ocean sports and activities, makes it a fun place to live. The area above the condos near Keauhou Bay is Keauhou Estates, which is gated and has beautiful large homes with amazing ocean views.
3. If you are a working stiff, coming to the island not to retire, but to live here full time, there are some neighborhoods that are fantastic, above Lako Street, especially in the Sunset area. SWEEPING views of the ocean and it’s at a great elevation.
4. I’d say if you want some of the best weather and a great view, Holualoa is a quaint farm/artist community at about 1500 feet, so it’s at least 10 degrees cooler than down near the water. They also have a VERY good school and you can shoot right down the road to the ocean.
So, those are, in my humble opinion, the best places to live on the Big Island.
For those that love rain and relatively little vog, Hilo is a “real” town with more job opportunities than Kona. Did I say they get alot of rain?
Waimea is upcountry and has their fair share of misty, rainy weather, on the side coming in from Hilo and a VERY dry side coming towards Kohala. Lots of people who live there have been there for generations. If I moved to a tropical island, I would want to be warm and near the water..just sayin’.
Hawi and North Kohala have very few of what I would call, “creature comforts” of a theater, shopping center, ocean side dining, etc. BUT, many tech titans have found a little piece of farming paradise there and many who live there would live nowhere else on Earth. They simply love it.
Waikoloa and Waikoloa Village have their issues of being out in the middle of a lava flow with a LOT of wind,..as that area sits in a wind tunnel created by the two volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. They do not receive much rain there, but the wind! Oy! Waikoloa Village was built as the “work force housing” for the resorts along the Kohala coast. Waikoloa DOES make living near the most beautiful beaches on the island worth the wind and the drive back into Kona! We lived there for a year and created a helpful video about the differences between living in Kona and Waikoloa Village.
There is a group of 8 condo communities near the Mauna Lani, all with access to the Mauna Lani Beach Club, that have front row seats to the same beautiful views that the hotel guests only get to enjoy for a few days or a week. (This is really for second home market buyers)
If you are really thinking of moving here, I am providing valuable information on my “365 Kona’s I’m moving to Hawaii and Buying A Home” Facebook group, and my husband (a licensed Realtor) and I are doing real estate referrals with Realtors we have worked with for almost ten years who are helpful resources for information about buying a home on the Big Island. This service is free and as a buyer, you pay no commission to the agent. (You can sign up for available listings by shooting me an email at JulieZPR@Gmail.com and check out my YouTube channel, “Big Island Real Estate Minute” . You can also purchase my “Insiders Guide To Buying Real Estate on Hawaii Island” where I discuss all the different places to live on the island with some pros and cons along with all the nuances of moving to this island -think lava zones, inundation zones, pests, elevation, short term vacation rental restrictions, HOA fees and more.
(You can order my book: “How to Move to Kona if you are thinking of a move if you buy real estate or not)
Best thing about living here? You can be on vacation at any time you want! Go find a beach nearby and you’re in 78 degree water, riding some waves, bbqing with friends, living the life your friends will envy…BUWHHHAAAHHA!