Hawaii Gay City Guide: Finding Your Own Slice of Paradise

When most people think of Hawaii, they think of an island paradise – palm trees and ocean and beauty as far as the eye can see – and rightfully so. Beyond its natural beauty however, Hawaii has a rich history, and a vibrant culture, with plenty of opportunity, and much to see and do. Truly, it would be a wonderful place to call home.

A Glimpse into Hawaii’s History

Hawaii was initially settled by the Polynesians, who settled there thousands of years ago. In the 1700s, European explorers led by James Cook arrived in the islands, and within five years, Chief Kamehamea, with European military support conquered and unified the islands for the first time as the Kingdom of Hawaii. American immigration soon began, led by Protestant missionaries, and eventually, those who wanted to set up sugar plantations. Hawaii eventually joined the United States as a territory in the late 1800s, and officially as a state in 1959. Today, Hawaii continues to be a significant producer of sugar and other crops, but also has a thriving and vibrant tourism industry as a worldwide travel destination for many.

A Few Fun Facts About Hawaii

  • Though many people associate Hawaii with its beaches, in fact, Hawaii has 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones. From tropical, wet zones to periglacial ice climates, Hawaii has a wide variance in weather.
  • The Hawaiian islands are the most geographically isolated island chain on Earth. Located more than 2,000 miles away from any other place, Hawaii’s ecosystem developed in almost total isolation, making it extremely unique and different from any other on the planet.
  • The original Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters, most of which makes their language beautiful and unique, but also challenging for non-natives to learn.
  • There are no snakes in Hawaii. Those found smuggling snakes into the state can actually face three years in jail, and fines of more than $200,000.

Find more fun facts about Hawaii here.


The LGBTQ Community in Hawaii

Same-sex relationships have been a significant part of Hawaiian culture for centuries. The term aik?ne refers to homosexual or bisexual relationships, and the term m?h? refers to a third gender alongside male and female. Today, the LGBTQ community in Hawaii continues to be well-supported by a number of community resources and centers. A few of those include:

The Hawaii LGBTQ Legacy Center Foundation - Wakiki

The Hawaii LGBT Center-Waikiki is a gathering place for Hawaii’s LGBTQ+ community. The center hosts meetings and educational programs, in addition to providing trainings, film screenings, social events, and more.

PFLAG Kona Big Island

PFLAG Kona Big Island is one Hawaii chapter of PFLAG National. PFLAG is a national support, education, and advocacy organization for LGBTQ people, including families, friends, and allies. It is the largest grassroots-based family organization of its kind in the country.


What’s the Weather Like in Hawaii?

When many people think of Hawaii, they think of sunshine and pleasant island breezes, and that sort of weather is indeed quite common. As we noted earlier though, Hawaii does have ten distinct climate zones, which means that depending on where they are and the time of year, residents can experience a variety of weather patterns. Typically, however, Hawaii’s climate is considered tropical with moderate temperatures and humidity as a result of the north and eastern trade winds. Hawaii has the lowest record high temperature of any state in the country, and is the only American state never to record a temperature below freezing.  


Can’t-Miss Hawaii Events

Aloha Maui Pride

Typically held in October, Aloha Maui Pride is Maui’s annual pride celebration. It is the largest pride celebration on Maui island. It is a friendly, fun festival with the purposes of encouraging, celebrating, and education all people about the positive diversity of the LGBTQ community.  With parades, music, drag shows, art, parties, and educational events, you won’t want to miss it!

Hilo Pride

Hilo Pride is the second-largest pride celebration in the islands, and is held each year in the summer. A variety of events and celebrations are offered throughout the week, and it’s an event that celebrates all of the diversity the LGBTQ community contributes to the islands.


Hawaii’s Best Neighborhoods

Hawaii in general is a welcoming and wonderful place, full of beauty and friendly people at almost every turn. With that said, there are some neighborhoods that are particularly popular with the LGBTQ community, including:


Waikiki has one of the largest concentrations of LGBTQ people in Hawaii. It’s famed beaches, including the gay Queen’s Beach are wonderful places to enjoy coastal beauty and socialize as well. It has a number of popular gay hangouts, including Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand, Element Lounge, and In Between, among others. Diamond Head Beach, also located nearby is another popular gay beach in the area with a more quiet and laid back feel. Median home sale prices in Waikiki are currently about $386,000.

Hawaii Kai

Located on Oahu’s eastern coast. Hawaii Kai is a more exclusive and expensive area of single-family homes.  This part of Hawaii is known for beautiful, beaches and great surfing – typically without the large crowds associated with some other beaches. Located twelve miles northeast of Honolulu, it is close enough commute for work, but far enough to allow for a more suburban lifestyle. The median sale price of homes in this area is currently approximately $798,000.


Honolulu’s northeast Makiki neighborhood stretches from Downtown to Manoa and Waikiki. This area consists of older homes, including bungalows and small 1960’s era apartment buildings. It is an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and also close to the beautiful beaches of Waikiki. The median sale price of homes in Makiki is currently around $433,000.

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Arts and Entertainment

The Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It occupies 42 acres of land and includes eight simulated tropical villages. For those interested in learning more about Hawaii’s Polynesian heritage, it is a wonderful place to visit.

The Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art, founded in 1922, is the largest art museum in Hawaii. The museum has one of the largest single collections of Asian and Pan-Pacific art in the United States, and since its opening in 1927, its collection has grown to more than 50,000 works of art.  


Parks and Recreation

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the most uniquely Hawaiian areas you can visit. This park protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes in the entire world. The park extends from sea level to 13,677 feet, and includes the summits of two of the world's most active volcanoes - K?lauea and Mauna Loa.


Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater that forms a small, uninhabited islet located in the ?Alal?keiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kaho?olawe. It is an excellent destination for snorkeling and scuba diving, drawing visitors from all over the world.

Hawaii LGBTQ Hiking Group

It’s no secret that Hawaii abounds in natural beauty. What better way to enjoy it than by hiking with other members of the LGBTQ community. Get some exercise and make some friends while you’re at it!


Hawaii Nightlife

Scarlet Honolulu

Scarlet Honolulu is one of Oahu’s largest gay bars, and offers dancing, music, excellent drinks, and plenty of opportunity for socializing and having fun, including guest DJs, theme nights, and more.

Hula's Bar and Lei Stand

Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand is a legend both within the LGBTQ community and around the world. With beautiful views, great music, dancing, dining, and plenty of fun, you won’t want to miss trying it for yourself!


Contact a Hawaii Realtor Today

If you’re ready to find your very own slice of paradise, there’s no time like now to begin your search for your next perfect home in a neighborhood that’s right for you. Contact a Hawaii gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!