Honolulu Rated 'Best Place' to Raise a Family

Published: May. 20, 2008 at 8:36 PM HST|Updated: May. 20, 2008 at 11:26 PM HST
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By Leland Kim

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- To live here is to live in paradise. Many people who live here can vouch for that, and a national magazine ranks Honolulu the best place to raise a family.

A beautiful day at Kewalo Basin pretty much sums it up. Honolulu is clean, safe, and you get gorgeous views like this. Those are some of the reasons why editors of Best Life magazine gives our city top honors.

Debbie Yoshino grew up in Pearl City. Now, she and her husband are raising their son Preston in nearby Aiea, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

"I mean, where else can you get a day like this every day of the year?" asked Yoshino. "You can bring them outside to play and just enjoy active lifestyle."

Out of more than 250 cities, Best Life magazine names San Diego, California; Columbus, Georgia; Billings, Montana; Virginia Beach, Virginia in the top five. And the best place to raise a family? Honolulu, Hawaii.

"And for me, it was important for my son to be raised in that environment," said Yoshino, who moved back home after going to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. "I was raised in that environment. I call all my neighbors aunty and uncle and I want Preston to have that same experience."

And even folks who moved from the mainland feel the same way. The Caldwells lived in Florida and North Carolina before moving here.

"I would totally agree," said Juliana Caldwell, a mom who lives in Waianae. "There's no other state that focuses everything towards the kids and so many great parks out here."

Although Hawaii has a high cost of living, parents say there are more important things in life.

"We could make more money living mainland, but it's not about money," said Bryan Caldwell, Juliana's husband. "It's about our family and raising your child properly."

That means spending quality time with their five-year-old daughter Samantha.

"We get to go out and have more fun as a family, in the parks and the beaches, and not spending money at the mall, and just spending money," said Bryan Caldwell.

So, is Honolulu the best place to raise a family? You'll hear no arguments from these parents.

"Thanks to the state of Hawaii for all the great parks and all the things you do for our kids," said Juliana Caldwell. "Look at the smiles; it says it all."

In its review, the magazine's editors looked at things like crime, commute time, divorce rates, and unemployment rates to choose the best cities.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Clarksville, Tennessee, was voted the worst city to raise a family.