3 Best Places to live

Big Island of Hawaii



So you are thinking about moving to the Big Island of Hawaii and can not make up your mind on where you want to live.


 What kind of lifestyle am I looking for?  Do I want to spend loads of time at the beach, or am I a hiker and like exploring and getting away from the crowds?  Do I want to single family home, or will a condo be enough for me.?

 Do I want a tropical area with a fair amount of rainfall?  Do I want a country club community?  Do I want a resort community with loads of amenities?  Do I want a dryer area or Do I want a cooler climate but still have the close proximity to the ocean?


 I am going to cover my 3 Best Places to Live on the Big Island of Hawaii that will address just about everyone’s lifestyle choices.


I am going to start with the South Kona district and tell you why this is one of my top 3 places to live.


The south kona district stretches along the western side of the big island and offers a variety of housing opportunities and interesting things to do and see.   The first place we begin with is Kealakekua.   This is a very small community of about 2200 people and is considered a sacred area by the ancient Hawaiians because it was believed to be the home of the fertility God Lono -i-ka-Makahiki in the Kealakekua Bay.


Also, the Kealakekua Bay was the landing spot of Captain James Cook the british explorer back in the late 1700’s.   There is a monument for Captain Cook in the Kealakekua bay and is probably the best snorkeling spots here on the island.  It is only accessible by hiking down into the bay or by boat.  Each is well worth it.  I would not suggest the hike unless you are a skilled hiker.  The hike down is not hard, but back up can be a challenge for many


Home prices in this area can range from the 800 thousand to over 10 million dollars.

 Kealakekua is home to a world class golfing community called Hokulia.  It features an 18 hole Arnold Palmer golf course that has some of the best ocean view home sites I have seen.  The community is gated and offers its members a clubhouse, restaurant, tennis, pickleball and bocce ball courts along with a community pool, workout facility and spa.

They are located about 30 minutes to the airport and about 15 minutes to downtown Kona so are don’t feel isolated.


Traveling a little further south in the South Kona District we come to Captain Cook.  If you are looking something a little remote, some elevation and loads of lush tropical vegetation, then may I suggest you consider Captain Cook at a potential home location.  You are between 800 to 2000 feet above sea level and with the cooler temperatures the location is ideal for Kona Coffee growers.    There are about 4300 people living in Captain Cook and it stretches down the western side of the island for about 13 miles long

There is a small number of condominiums in Captain Cook however it is comprised of mostly single-family homes.   Being a bit remote the majority of properties are on catchment water systems because of the amount of rainfall this area gets on an annual basis.

Prices for condo start around the 250 to 400K range while single family homes prices go from about 700K to over 3 million dollars.  One of my most popular communities in Captain Cook is Kona Paradise.   This terraced community enjoys panoramic ocean views, cooler temperatures and home prices starting in the 700K range.  It also offers its owners a black sand beach along with tennis and pickleball courts.   About 40 minutes to downtown Kona, you can’t go wrong with a home in this community.


So if you are looking for a less crowded area to live, lower home prices, a little bit more rain, then consider Captain Cook with your home search.   One of my favorite places to take people when they come visiting is the City of Refuge.  Located between Captain Cook and Kealakekua The Puu ho nua O Honaunua  National Park is sacred ground to the Hawaiians and has some of the best preserved ancient artifacts to view here on the Big Island. 



City of Refuse


So lets head north to the North Kona District where I currently live.  The north kona district is comprised of Kailua Kona, Keauhou and Holualoa communities.   Regardless of what your housing requirement are or even price range, the North Kona District has it all.


Lets begin at the south end of the district in the Keauhou area.   What I like about this area, it is away from downtown Kona and the vibe here is so laid back and relaxed.   You can find water front condos here and a variety of single family homes some of which are located in private gated communities.  Prices for condos here start in the upper 500K range and can go upwards to over 2 million dollars.


With regards to single family homes, prices start around 1.6 million and can go to over 20 million dollars for water front properties. One of my favorite condo complexes is Kanaloa at Kona which is a gated community offering multiple pools, tennis, ocean and golf course views.    With loads of lush tropical vegetation.  My favorite single family home development is the Keauhou Estates community.  A very private area that is guard gated and home sites generally all have nice ocean views.


Keauhou has a quaint shopping plaza located within the community that offers a grocery store, restaurants, shops and even a movie theater. 


So now lets jump into Kailua Kona also known as Kona.   We are probably the best known place on the Big Island because of the vibrant downtown area that is frequented by cruise ships along with the Ironman competition that occurs here each October.


The majority of condo complexes run along Alii drive and you can find homes at sea level and go up the hillside to almost 3000 feet above sea level. 


Kailua Kona even though is 39 miles square only has a population of a little over 20,000 people.

Again our housing prices are so diverse with condos starting around 375K and going upwards to over 2 million dollars.   And single family homes range from the low 500k range to over 10 million dollars.


Popular condo complexes in Kona are Kona by the Sea and Alii Villas.  Both are on the Makai side of Alii Drive and offer some outstanding ocean view units.  On the Mauka side of Alii is Alii Lani and the Kona Sea Ridge complexes.   These condo communities have a variety of amenities to offer its residents.  


Some popular single family home communities that I like is Kona Vistas and Pualani Estates.  Both are located about 500 feet above sea level and most properties in these communities have very nice ocean views to enjoy.  The Pualani Estates community has a wonderful park located there that offer a variety of ball fields for everyone to enjoy.  The Kona Vistas community offers tennis, pickleball, a ramada and bbq area for its residents


Heading outside of the general downtown area of Kona you get into the foothills near the airport which is also a highly desirable area to live because it provide some cooler temperatures and has both single family and a condo complex


The Seascape condo complex is often overlooked because it is not located in town.  Most units provide very nice ocean views at a reasonable price since they start at about 500K for a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit.  Which you cannot find in the downtown area.


The most popular single family home community is Kona Palisades.  Starting at about 600 feet above sea level and going upwards to 1200 feet this community is reasonably priced with homes starting around 800K and going upwards to about 1.9 million dollars


So if your lifestyle is wanting to be close to downtown Kailua Kona there are ample opportunities for you in both the condo and single family homes.  You just need to decide do I want to be nearer the ocean or is hillside living my preference…..Yes you have choices

After we pass the airport and head north we stop and our next highly sought after and best communities to live in and that is Kukio and Hualalai at the Four Seasons.


These communities are not for the average home buyer, no these are ultra luxurious properties where price seems to have no limit.   Villas and townhomes prices start at the 4 million dollar range and single family homes can go upwards to over 40 million dollars.  


These are communities for the mega rich who can afford all the bells and whistles not just for their primary residence, but most homes owners here this is there, second, third or even fourth home.


These communities have it all.  Located right along the shoreline, resort amenities, private beaches, ocean views, golf courses, yes lifestyles of the rich and famous is their calling card.  From corporate executives, tech giants, Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes, you name it they probably live in the community.


So that wraps up my second best place to live on the Big Island and now we are heading north to #3 the South Kohala District.


Whether you desire resort living or a small enclave of both single family or a condominium complex you can find that and more in South Kohala


Lets start in the Waikoloa Village area.  This community is about 45 minutes north of downtown Kailua Kona and was originally built for people who were working in the resort areas and didn’t want to commute each day back and forth to Kona.  There are roughly about 7500 people living here, so it really is a village.


Yes, if you are not familiar with the area, some of our luxury resort are located in South Kohala.  The Mauna Kea, Fairmont Orchid, Mauna Lani, Marriot at Hapuna just to name a few.


The Waikoloa Village community offers its residents 2 small shopping plazas, a 18 hole golf course, community pool and tennis not to mention a dry arid climate that gets very little rainfall annually.


Condos starting price is around 400K and go upwards to about 800K so that is a lot more affordable than in Kailua Kona.


Similarly home prices in Waikoloa Village start around 500K and go upwards to about 2 million dollars.


My favorite condo complex is the Fairway terraces and Sunset Ridge at Waikoloa is my pick for single family homes because they are newer construction and offer some nice ocean view home sites.


So you want more of a resort lifestyle feel where you are within walking distance to the beach and can walk to shops, dining and even golf if you like.  Well that is the Waikoloa Beach Resort area and this is my final community that hits my best places to live on the Big Island. 


The Waikoloa Beach Resort is about 30 minutes north of downtown Kona and it is exactly what its name represents.  This oasis in the middle of lava fields with make your forget about the rest of world and enjoy all that the Big Island is famous for. 



The community has mostly condominiums plus townhomes and just a sprinkling of villas and single family homes.   With 2 hotels, the Hilton and Marriott, 2 shopping plazas, 2 grocery stores, loads of restaurants, boutiques, movie theater, hiking trails, and a golf course, you never have to leave this complex.  Everyone I ever take to this community just falls in love with it and they all say the same think.  This is Hawaii.


Prices here are higher here because of the demand and amenities.   Condos start around the upper 900K range and can go up to over 5 million dollars and water front villa or home can sell for upwards of 20 million dollars.

So if the resort lifestyle is what you are after here on the Big Island, then you must check out the Waikoloa Beach Resort.


So that wraps up my top 3 places to live on the Big Island.  Yes, there are many more locations that I could talk about, but if living on the westside of the Big Island is your goal, then one of these 3 places maybe perfect for you


Yes this is a good deal of information to take in about where are the best places to live on the Big Island.  If you need help with your home search, reach out to me at Let's Talk Story - Schedule a Call

    Aloha !!!















Posted by Stephen Proski on
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