Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, the ‘sheltered bay’ rears up from the shores of the Pacific Ocean in a bristling skyline of towers and skyscrapers. Its combination of a year-round dry and sunny climate, its laid back pace of living, and its melting pot of cultures that make for a culinary nirvana, make Hawaii’s capital city a sought after address and a top tourist destination.

While host to a significant Asian American population (roughly 44%, of which is predominantly Japanese, Filipino and Chinese Americans) Honolulu continues to harbor strong Polynesian values and traditions. Its very ‘local’ feel and its sunny-natured residents’ relaxed approach to life are among the city’s biggest draws.

A holiday mecca for Japanese tourists among others, Honolulu is highly dependent on year-round tourism to support its local economy. The city also lies at a crossroads for trans-Pacific cargo carriers, making it an important port.

As the state’s economic hub, downtown Honolulu boasts a thriving business and financial district. Follow the coast further south and you’ll arrive in the sought after residential areas of Waikiki, and a little further on, the luxurious Diamond Head.  Hawaii Kai, out on the point, is an up-and-coming area. Less known among tourists, property prices here can range from US$500,000 to a staggering US$80 million.

For a shot of culture head for China town where, on its eastern edge, you’ll find Honolulu’s Arts District sprawled over 12 blocks.  Here lies a cornucopia of cultural institutions, performing arts venues and galleries.

Eating out in Hawaii is nothing short of sublime, and the seafood here is the freshest you’ll find anywhere. Local cuisine ranges from the raw Shoyu/Limu Poke to grilled Ahi or pan-seared Mahimahi, to the more traditional - and sumptuous - Luau feasts.

The easy pace, fantastic climate and exotic blend of Asian and Pacific Island cultures make Honolulu a virtual paradise in which to live.