What’s the difference between living in Kailua-Kona or Hilo?
“Difference between living in Kailua-Kona or Hilo?”
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I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.
We don’t live there at this point in time. However we spent some weeks the past 2 years going all around Hawaii, looking for a place to possibly ‘retire’ to later on. Peter is right on the money about the difference in the weather. No vog now, but there was so much during the eruption, on Kona side you would have thought you were in the LA basin.
Yes, there are more jobs on the Kona side. The main difference would be govt related jobs since they are concentrated in the county seat (Hilo).
Kona side is also relatively much more touristy since most of the resorts are on Kona side to take advantage of the sunshine, beaches and clear water. On Kona side the water is much calmer and clearer than East side–not much rain and no rivers. There are some black sand beaches on Hilo side but you would not want to move to the Hilo side ‘for the beach’. Places we looked at along the coast on Hilo
side were mostly lava cliffs 20 feet high (or way more in some places, especially when you go north of Hilo). The scenery is a lot better
on the Hilo side if you like waterfalls, dramatic coastlines, rain forest etc. I will say a lot of the rain happens while you are sleeping and
that’s not such a bad thing. There will be lot of Coqui frogs on the Hilo side so prepare to be serenaded.
One ‘plus” about the Kona side– the one Costco on the island is not far from the airport. Relatively cheap gas and decent prices on bulk items and believe me, if you plan to live in Hawaii you will need every break you can get to deal with the cost of living.
Than you for adding to this article!
Kona no longer has the volcanic smog. It ended with the last Puna eruption. More jobs in Kona. Cost of living is higher. Less housing. Less public housing. We have to work 2 jobs to pay rent in Kona. Buying a house will only remain a dream unless you have the 20% down for a property. NO CHEAP land. NO CHEAP rentals.
I’ve heard that no smog statement now from several people. Regardless, you are correct about no cheap housing. I mentioned that in another video