If you’re moving to Austin, Texas, you won’t be alone. In fact, Austin was the fastest-growing U.S. metro area from 2010-2019, and recent averages put the city’s growth at about 128 people per day. (!) Given that Austin has been ranked at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Places to Live in the U.S., it’s no wonder that people are flocking to Texas’s capital city in droves.
However, maybe you ended up here because you’re considering a different kind of move—leaving Austin for Hawaii. You wouldn’t be the first! In fact, when you take a look at where people come from when moving to the 50th state, Texas is the third-most common origin state. In other words, a lot of people move from the Lone Star State to the Aloha State.
Whether you’re considering a move to Austin from Hawaii or you’re doing the reverse, we’ll give you the low-down on moving between these two destinations. You’ll discover some surprising similarities between both places, a few ideas to kick off your research on where exactly to make your new home, and some thoughts on how to spend your time once you get there.
Let’s start with the similarities between Austin and Hawaii, which can help you make a smooth transition between the two locations.
The Surprising Similarities Between Austin and Hawaii
#1: Some Like It Hot…
The Austin heat and the warm, balmy weather of Hawaii aren’t quite the same, but let’s put it this way: If you hate the heat and crave cooler climates, neither Austin nor Hawaii will be ideal for you.
Austin’s heat comes into its own during the summer months when average highs hover between 92 and 97 degrees. (Keep in mind that you’ll get a break during winter months when average lows can dip into the 40s and 50s!)
Average temperatures in Hawaii depend heavily on where you decide to live. In Honolulu, you’ll see average highs between 80 and 90 year-round. However, if you live in Waimea on the Big Island, which sits at 2670′, you’ll see cooler highs that range from 78 to 85 degrees throughout the year.
Either way, though, if you’re one of those lucky people who thrive in the heat, you’ll find plenty of it in both places.
#2: Outdoorsy, Active Culture
One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii is to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Whether you like dry-land activities like hiking and mountain biking or water-based sports like surfing, canoeing, fishing, and freediving, you’ll find plenty of people in Hawaii who thrive outdoors in the islands’ gorgeous settings.
You’ll find a similarly active culture in Austin, which features a plethora of outdoor adventure opportunities. Swimming holes are popular in the area, as is hiking, climbing, bouldering, and biking. Austin is also surrounded by parks, ranches, and recreation areas so you can scoot outside the city and lose yourself in the extensive Texas landscape.
#3: Burgeoning Food Truck Scene
If you love a good food truck, you’ll find yourself with plenty of opportunities to indulge your taste buds in both Austin and Hawaii.
In Austin, many of the food trucks are clustered in parks, giving you and any of your companions a bunch of options to choose from. As you eat your way through the city, you’ll find pretty much every type of cuisine represented, including Thai, Greek, Indian, halal, African, Jamaican, Lebanese, and many, many more. Oh, and don’t forget to grab some of Austin’s famous barbecue and wade your way into the city’s oldest debate over which joint turns out the best brisket and ribs.
In Hawaii, you’ll find food trucks scattered all over the four major islands. Some are clustered, as they are in Austin, and others stand alone, drawing loyal patrons week after week. You’ll quickly find your favorites once you arrive, but here are a few of ours to get you started: Dokkaebi (Oahu), Maui Fresh Streatery (Maui), Hanalei Juice & Taro (Kauai), and Whatta Waffle (Big Island).
#4: Good Vibes All-Around
In Hawaii, you’ll quickly discover the Aloha Spirit—and likely see it in action. The spirit of aloha reminds those who live in Hawaii that they’re part of a larger community and asks each member to take care of the others and do what they can to maintain harmony. That might mean helping an elderly neighbor drag in her trash cans. It might mean lending a new neighbor a ladder to do some unexpected house repairs. It might be as even simple as a friendly smile in the grocery store, but, when you feel the Aloha Spirit, you’ll feel welcome in Hawaii.
In Austin, you’ll find a similar level of friendliness and neighborliness. They do call Texas the Friendly State, after all. As you get settled in Austin, you might notice that some people smile while passing each other on the sidewalk. Others might strike up a conversation in line at the supermarket. However it reveals itself to you, you’ll likely get the impression quickly that Austin is a hospitable place to live.
Ultimately, if you love a little conviviality in your day, you’ll find a home that suits you in Hawaii or Austin.
Now that you have a bit of a sense of what to expect in these two places, let’s talk about where, exactly, you might want to make your home.
What Are the Best Places to Live in Hawaii and Austin?
When you move to Hawaii, your first task is going to be to choose which island you want to live on. You’ve got four major islands to choose from—Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island—and two smaller islands, Lanai and Molokai. Each has its own particular personality, so you’ll want to understand first which one most closely matches what you’re looking for.
Then, within each island, you’ll find towns and neighborhoods whose unique traits will further influence your island experience. Ultimately, our recommendation is to do your research before choosing a permanent place. Ideally, if you can, make a few in-person visits to ensure a good match.
To kick off your Hawaii research, we’ve got an idea for you. If you love all the cultural aspects of Austin—music, museums, films, and food—then Oahu is probably the island for you. If you want to retain some of that city vibe, you can certainly get a place right in the heart of Waikiki. However, if you want something a little removed from the tourism center of the island, take a look at Kaimuki. It’s got a lot of amenities, including up-and-coming restaurants, plus Whole Foods and Down to Earth, a local organic shopping market, but it’s got a slightly quieter feel
When it comes to selecting a spot in Austin, you’ll encounter a similar question: How close do you want to live to the hustle-bustle of downtown? If you’re excited to embrace the quirkiness the city is known for, you might want to check out South Austin. Although South Austin used to put the “weird” in “Keep Austin weird,” it’s been tempered with the arrival of a number of new businesses (and an influx of new residents). You’ll still find some of Austin’s characteristic flavor, but the area has become a lot more family-friendly in recent years.
One more note about Austin: If you’ve done your research, you’ve likely discovered that the traffic in Austin is, plainly put, a challenge. As you look for a place to live, consider picking a spot that’s close to your place of work to save yourself the hassle of a long commute.
As you start to figure out what your life will be like in your new home, you’re probably wondering how you might spend your days off. We’ve got a few suggestions to pique your interest.
4 Ways to Enjoy Your Leisure Time in Austin and Hawaii
#1: Bring Home a Bounty from the Farmer’s Market
In both Austin and Hawaii, you’ll find a thriving farmer’s market scene. In Hawaii, the markets flow with fresh produce that runs the gamut from ordinary vegetables like green beans and kale, all the way to Hawaii’s more exotic yields, like lychee, dragonfruit, and persimmons, just to name a few. If you want to continue the farmer’s market tradition in Austin, check out their Sustainable Food Center’s Farmer’s Market Downtown every Saturday. Highlights include plenty of fresh produce, plus small-batch goodies like jerky, local honey, kombucha, kimchi, tamales, and more.
#2: Head Out for a Spin
Austin offers plenty of opportunities for bicycling, including the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail that takes you around Lady Bird Lake, which you’ll find right in the heart of Austin. You’ll also find a number of mountain biking opportunities outside of Austin in Texas Hill Country. You’ll also see plenty of bikers in Hawaii, both on the roads and along the islands’ trails. (Our tip: If you’re a road biker, get out there early and beat the crowds!) If biking is your thing, stop into one of the local bike shops when you arrive, and they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction of your first Hawaiian biking adventure.
#3: Take in Some Tunes
Austin’s music scene is legendary, so if live music is your thing, you’ll find ample opportunities to see national acts as well as up-and-comers all over the city. In addition to big festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, there are also plenty of smaller festivals like the Urban Music Festival and Old Settler’s Music Fest. In summary, you’ll never have to search far to hear great music in Austin.
While you will find national acts touring Hawaii on a less consistent basis, the real gems in the Hawaiian music scene require a little more research. Oahu will offer you the most options, with venues like the Republik and Blue Note, which attract bigger names. If you’re a classical music lover, you’ll also want to check out the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the second-oldest orchestra in the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains. We also encourage you to keep your eyes out for slack-key shows. This uniquely Hawaiian style of music originated with Mexican cowboys, also known as paniolo, who came to Hawaii and shared their knowledge of fingerstyle Spanish guitar music. There are several slack-key masters who make their homes here in the islands. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy a small-scale show with plenty of opportunities for talking story. So while the scene in Hawaii may not be quite like Austin’s, you’ll still have the chance to enjoy some memorable music.
#4: Paddle Out
Obviously, Hawaii offers a plethora of locations to paddle out for either a calm day on the ocean or a fun surfing session. After all, you’re smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with coastline in all directions, giving you maximum opportunity to find your wave (or your calm)! Lady Bird Lake, right in the middle of Austin, is also a great place to get your paddle on, while enjoying a gorgeous view of the Austin skyline. And, if you’ve moved from Hawaii to Austin and feel yourself missing the water, get yourself into Austin’s swimming hole scene. The area boasts tons of natural swimming holes, and while it may not be the same as catching a Pacific Ocean wave, it can at least offer you some water-based adventure time (and some relief from the Austin summer heat)!
Making the Big Move from Austin to Hawaii (or Vice Versa!)
Even with all the similarities, we’ve highlighted in this article, transitioning between Austin and Hawaii is a big one, not only in geographic terms but also in cultural ones. That said, if you’re looking for a big change—with a few familiar things that can help ease the transition—moving between Austin and Hawaii might just be the right move for you.
Need some help making your transition between Hawaii and Austin? We’ve helped tens of thousands of families and individuals make the move—in both directions! We’d be happy to help you make a safe, easy, and affordable transition. It all starts with a free quote from one of our experts.
Tell us about your move!