Safe and Dangerous Places in Honolulu
Honolulu, Oahu's urban center in the midst of paradise, is well known for its pristine beaches and year-round sunny weather. Areas to avoid in Honolulu are few, as it does not have major gang or gun problems like many large cities, but outdoor recreation can provide plenty of dangerous places for those not aware of the risks.
According to the Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu's violent crime rate is much lower than other large cities. The police are visible and have a strong presence throughout the city. Nearly all of their violent crimes cases have been solved, but Honolulu dangers still include car break-ins and people driving while intoxicated. Honolulu is a very safe city to visit and you should feel comfortable knowing you do not have to fear for your safety.
Remembering to lock your car doors, removing valuables from your car, and never leaving valuables unattended on the beach will set you on your way to a safe and trouble-free vacation. A little bit of common sense and prevention will go a long way when visiting Honolulu.
Safe Places in Honolulu
Most Honolulu hotels are actually located in Waikiki, known as a tourist hotspot and the most visited destination in Hawaii. The area seldom has any violent crime and most of the crimes committed are petty theft.
Kapiolani Park, located on the southeast side of Waikiki, is a beautiful park that contains the Honolulu Zoo, festivals, and music and is even the home of the famous Kodak Hula Show. The crime rate in the park is very low. They do have occasional petty theft, but violent crimes are nonexistent. The park is bustling with people all day and is a safe place in Honolulu to be among the crowd.
Diamond Head is known by many for its strange saucer shaped overlooks. It is the perfect place to hike and a great photo opportunity. The parking lot has controlled access, and park personnel monitor the number of cars entering and exiting very closely. Violent crimes are rare here, so it's a safe area for hiking and exploring.
Diamond Head State Monument, off Diamond Head Road between Makapu'u Ave & 18th Ave, Honalulu, HI; 808-587-0300; Daily 6AM-6PM; $5 per car
Ala Moana Center, Hawaii's largest shopping mall, is a place with little violent crime and few robberies. Like everywhere else in Honolulu, your biggest concern here is having your valuables stolen from your car in the parking garage.
Ala Moana Center 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814; 808-955-9517; Mon-Sat 9:30AM-9PM, Sun 10AM-7PM
Using The Bus, Honolulu's bus transportation system, is not only budget friendly, but also it is very safe. Many tourists and residents alike use The Bus to travel the entire island. Using The Bus means you will not have to worry about car break-ins or leaving your valuables in your car.
Areas to Avoid in Honolulu
Avoiding the less savory areas of Honolulu is fairly easy since the tourist areas are quite safe. To avoid being a victim in Honolulu, it is best to be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Any beach in Hawaii is a place for fun and excitement, but the ocean also holds the potential for tragedy. According to the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division, lifeguards perform approximately 1,100 rescues per year on the beaches of Oahu.
Drowning can occur anywhere and usually happens when people do not pay attention to their environment. Failing to notice changes in the tide, warning signs at the beach, and swimming in areas without lifeguards can all increase your chances of drowning. Often people are lured into a false sense of security while vacationing in paradise. But the beach is often the place where cars are broken into and belongings are stolen from your beach chair. Both problems have easy solutions: always be aware of your surroundings, swim only at beaches with lifeguards, and use a waterproof container to hold your car keys, valuables, and money while swimming in the ocean.
During the day, Chinatown is an exciting and fun place to visit. But at night, the area is not one of the safe places in Honolulu. In recent years, the police and local merchants have worked to stop crime from running rampant in Chinatown and have had some success. It does not have the gang and drug problems it once had, but crime is still a problem. In 2009, a man was gunned down with assault rifles in the middle of Chinatown. While these occurrences are not frequent, they do not happen in other parts of Honolulu or Hawaii. If you decide to visit Chinatown, go only during the day and remember that it is one of the very few Honolulu areas to avoid at night to ensure your safety.
Walking in Waikiki can be a great way to people watch, shop, and visit the beach, but it can also be extremely dangerous. The area is not dangerous because of violent crime, but many cars strike pedestrians each year. Avoid crossing the street outside of crosswalks; always watch for cars, and never cross the street when you don't have a crossing signal.
The roads in Honolulu are in good condition, but you must be vigilant to watch out for drunk drivers. According to the Honolulu Police Department, DUI arrests are at their highest level in years, and nearly fifty percent of all road fatalities in Hawaii are alcohol related.
Be extremely careful when driving at night, and report any drunk drivers to the police. Drunk driving is another reason that, as a pedestrian, you must be aware of the road conditions and watch drivers to make sure they see you in the crosswalk and stop their vehicles to let you cross.
Waianae has some of the nicest beaches on the island. The water tends to be calm and warm, and the snorkeling here can be great. But, Waianae is an area to avoid in Honolulu, especially if you are a tourist.
In the 1970s, violent crime against tourists was rampant here. While violent crimes are unheard of these days, car break-ins and robberies are common. The beaches in Waianae are dangerous places, routinely watched by thieves just waiting to break into cars for anything they can steal. The beaches here are not worth the hassle of having your car broken into.
Overall, Honolulu is an extremely safe city to visit. While the city does have some problems with petty theft and DUIs, the police department has successfully worked to reduce the violent crime rate.
Can't Get Enough? Discover More of Honolulu
- Overview:Honolulu Travel Guide