The Best Places to Raise a Family

July 16, 2008 by Kailani  
Filed under hawaii

The editors of Best Life recently came out with the top 100 places to raise a family. Their findings were based on schools, museums, parks, & pediatricians available as well as crime rates, long commutes, divorce rates, and expensive housing.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. Billings, Montana
  4. Columbus, Georgia
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Des Moines, Iowa
  7. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  8. Madison, Wisconsin
  9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  10. Santa Rosa, California

As most of you know, I love Hawaii. I was born and raised here and can’t imagine raising my daughters anywhere else. Yes, the cost of living is higher than a lot of other states but the quality of life is amazing. There are so many outdoor activities available to families year-round and there’s always something fun going on during the weekends that don’t cost much. You just have to know where to look. And if all else fails, you can always visit one of the 125 beaches available on just Oahu alone.

So, do I think Hawaii is the best place to raise a family? You bet.

What’s one thing great about raising a family in your area?

About the author:
Owner and founder of An Island Life. Sharing my life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


33 Responses to “The Best Places to Raise a Family”
  1. Sandier Pastures says:

    I know – that’s why I’m dying to move there! hee hee

    Sandier Pastures’s last blog post..One year of Thursday Thirteen

  2. Busymama Kellie says:

    Really? We made #1? That’s cool!

  3. Jacki says:

    One great thing about living in the metro DC area is that we are close to all the Smithsonian museums….gotta love those….but yet only about 45 minutes from the Shenandoah Mountains.

    Jacki’s last blog post..So long, farewell…

  4. maria says:

    I live in the boonies, and while we are lacking in museums of the traditional kind, my kids are familiar with a nature in a way I never could have been. Also the small town atmosphere is great, I never saw anything like it until I lived it.

  5. Suzanne Bastien says:

    I live in Colorado because it’s healthy. It has seasons (I grew up in Texas, we didn’t really have seasons).

    I love to camp, and I camp all year round.
    The museums are amazing.
    We have summer rain showers in the afternoon.

    Did I mention I love camping? I couldn’t camp in sweltering heat. I camp up here even in the snow. I love that my kids and I can do things all the time together. In town or in the mountains.

    Suzanne Bastien’s last blog post..100 Things about Me

  6. Naomi says:

    Wichita is #11 on the list! So funny with all the big towns listed…

    So everyone, move here!

    Naomi’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday- goofballs, the pair of ‘em

  7. Wendy says:

    I would give anything in order to live in Hawaii or California! I love the people of Texas but I am not a fan of living here.

    Wendy’s last blog post..Four Months Together

  8. Kim @ What's That Smell? says:

    I’m in a rural/small town in Indiana. While we can’t compare to Hawaii, especially because of my love of warm weather, but we have some nice things.

    Farm stands with great fruits and veggies
    We’re less than 2 hours from Chicago
    We have beautiful fall and spring scenery and while I love warm weather, the changing seasons are kind of cool too.
    We have snowy Christmastime

    I’m sure there are more but my daughter is literally screeching at me to come get her!

  9. Dawn says:

    will you adopt me and my kids and raise us there too??

    Dawn’s last blog post..Another contest…Wish me luck

  10. Amy @ The Q Family says:

    I would love to live in Hawaii.. Do they have a lot of jobs there? :)

    However, I do love living here in the suburb of Atlanta. We have the small town atmosphere but yet only half an hour from the city and half an hour from the mountain.

    I also love the seasons here. The summer is hot but we only have it for a few months so it isn’t that bad. There are various activities to do around town and it doesn’t take long to drive to neighboring states for a visit.

    Also the growing population of people moving here makes it a very melting pot like city. I can go to Asian market and feel like home. :)

    Amy @ The Q Family’s last blog post..Movie, Moonlight and Starry Night

  11. Cathi says:

    Hey, hey, hey…California is numbers 5 and 10!!!

    Cathi’s last blog post..Handbag Giveaway -

  12. Desert Songbird says:

    What’s great about where we live is the wide open spaces. We don’t live on top of each other. Sure, we’re a huge sprawling metropolis, but we never feel penned in.

    Plus, our physical surroundings are outSTANDing. Amazing mountains, wondrous caverns, incredibly diverse plant life, you drive a few hours in any direction and be in the mountains, the high desert, or deeper into the desert. We’ve got alpine and we’ve got dry lands.

    Desert Songbird’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  13. tnchick says:

    There are so many “top 10″ lists that there is no real top 10… I just read the top 10 yesterday (or maybe day before) and when I read your post I was like “hey, that’s a different top 10″ I know Honolulu wasn’t on there, neither was San Diego. If you want to see another top ten it’s here via CNN money: and I wold say it’s seems like a better list.

    I LOVE San Diego (lived there) but it certainly shouldn’t be on the top 10 places to raise a family!

  14. Karen says:

    We love living in the mountains of North Carolina – surrounded by state and national parks – it’s like our second backyard. The small town atmosphere is nice, too. I like going to the grocery store and seeing people I know. :)

    Karen’s last blog post..A lady in Spain…

  15. Pamela Kramer says:

    I’m in a very small town. I really enjoy the community and city events that are held. It’s nice when you run into the same people. When people get to know who your kids are they keep an extra eye out for them as well. That also helps keeps the teenagers in line. ;)

  16. Angela says:

    While I am not a huge fan of Nebraska–where my husband is currently stationed so we had to move here–I must say that we are enjoying a change of scenery. It is very green here. I love that. We still want to move back to Georgia, but I can handle this for a while.

    Angela’s last blog post..A Lay’s Giveaway

  17. Ohana Mama says:

    We moved from CA to HI…looks like we moved up in the world ;)

    Ohana Mama’s last blog post..It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Kid!

  18. Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland says:

    Your so lucky to live in a place most people would die to just go on vacation there! I live in Austin, TX and though it gets hot, there are lots of things do do with family, lots of places to go swimming, good food, and an eco friendly city.

    Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland’s last blog post..PeaceLoveMom Tee Giveaway

  19. Sarah says:

    I would just love to see Hawaii someday! :) ~LOL

    I am happy to MN in the top! :)

  20. Dee says:

    As a transplanted Hawaiian here in Silverdale Wa. I have to agree with you I am so thankful that I was able to grow up in Hawaii. However we left 10 years ago to gain more opportunity financially. I think we succeeded, but we always come back for a visit!

    if I ever won the lotto I would move back :)

    Dee’s last blog post..A Day OUT

  21. Amy says:

    What’s nice about Crawfordsville is that it is a friendly town! People aren’t afraid to help one another out if they see them broke down on the side of the rode or things of that nature. When someone has a fire or their house is taken away because of a tornado, the whole town rallies together and does everything they can to take care of that family!

    And we’re not exactly a small town. We have about 29,000 people or so. Nice community. Very blessed to live here!

  22. Arizona says:

    I can’t think of a reason why raising kids in Chicago is great. Probably because there’s nothing great about it. lol! We do have lots of activities for kids, but its expensive. I’d love to live somewhere else, but we’re entrenched here thanks to my husband’s work.

    Arizona’s last blog post..You Know Its Bad When….

  23. tracey says:

    One thing about where I live? I have tons of personal reasons (family, history, etc.) and also public reasons: job availability, good schools, open space, 4 seasons, cultural diversity etc.

    tracey’s last blog post..Nothin exciting here.

  24. Rick Bucich says:

    Well I can tell you that while growing in on the Monterey Peninsula, we all thought it was the most boring place ever. In hindsight, most of my friends have either moved back since college or would like to…we were pretty spoiled by the natural beauty.

    Rick Bucich’s last blog post..Adorable Baby Pics

  25. SaGem says:

    Born & raised in Hawaii myself, I agree with you and the Best Life editors 100%. You only need to drive a few minutes to find a park, beach, or other venue to take your kids to, and you almost always see someone you know wherever you go.

    SaGem’s last blog post..Sunny Days SPF 30+ Natural Mineral Sunscreen by TruKid

  26. AreWeThereYetMom says:

    Kailani, does anyone ever get island fever? I know I could spend all day at the beach, and not get tired of it, and not want to go anywhere else!

    Growing up in So. CA, I read, Irvine, CA was supposed to be one of the top places to live too.
    Why I like living in AZ? The weather in the winter time is the most mild of anywhere I’ve ever lived. The natural scenery is breathtaking, like the Grand Canyon.

    AreWeThereYetMom’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday~Summer Fun in Style

  27. lilfootsmommy says:

    Fall Foliage in the northeast is Unbeatable!!!

  28. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I love living in Michigan – there’s so much to do year-round (if you like winter sports anyway, lol). We have great freshwater beaches, sand dunes to climb, gorgeous fall colors, skiing and sledding, and beautiful spring blossoms. :)

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t be adverse to living in a paradise like Hawaii either… :)

  29. UptakeInOH says:

    The absolute BEST thing about raising my son in my town is Cedar Point:

  30. Kristin says:

    What about Oregon who can resist 40 days of rain and two months of summer. Come on you know you wanna.

    No all jokes aside I would swap any day!

  31. Kristin says:

    What about Oregon who can resist 40 days of rain and two months of summer. Come on you know you wanna.

    No all jokes aside I would swap any day!

  32. Kristin says:

    What about Oregon who can resist 40 days of rain and two months of summer. Come on you know you wanna.

    No all jokes aside I would swap any day!

  33. Islandgurl says:

    I had a wonderful chance to live on the island of Oahu. With my husband and children and it was the best chance of a lifetime coming from philadelphia this was a big change however I fell in love with the island and have been dying to get back to Hawaii ever since we left which was 3 yrs ago. It’s a wonderful place for over all well being for the entire family!

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