Oahu Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 20, 2020

2020 Guide to the Best Kahala Restaurants

The Best Restaurants in Kahala, Hawaii

best restaurants in kahala, hawaii

The prestigious neighborhood of Kahala on Honolulu, Hawaii's south shore has long been home to some of Oahu's elite. Living in Kahala wasn't always a status symbol but in the last 100 years, the neighborhood has become synonymous with affluence and exclusivity. With that type of reputation, you better have dining experiences to match!

Below you'll find some of the best places to eat in Kahala; from quick bites and local favorites to the fine dining restaurants within The Kahala Hotel. We'll go out on a limb by saying you're not the type to play Russian Roulette and with that, we've aggregated our top picks for the Best Restaurants in Kahala in 2020; breaking them down into categories to organize your cravings. Loosen your belt and enjoy!

Quick Bite Places to Eat in Kahala

1. BRUG BAKERY​ | 4618 Kilauea Ave #8 | This Kahala bakery offers a lineup of both sweet and savory treats, made with flour harvested in Hokkaido, Japan exclusively for Brug. Always baked fresh and without any artificial preservatives or additives, Brug serves over 70 types of bread and pastry items daily. Start your day with some mochi donuts and get some of their specialty Japan-style ‘loaf bread’ to take home.

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2. PANIOLOS​ | 4​211 Waialae Ave Offering build-your-own burritos, tacos and bowls, Paniolos is conveniently located in Kahala Mall next to its sister store, Aloha Salads, and is one of the only options for Mexican restaurants in Kahala. Menu items are made with grass-fed, antibiotic free beef from Kualoa Ranch, Molokai Ranch and Hawaiian Big Island Beef.

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3. LANIKAI JUICE​ | ​4346 Waialae Ave | For the healthiest smoothies, fruit bowls, and juices in Kahala. Grab a refreshing Lanikai Splash or protein-packed Pineapple Power to cool off on hot summer days. Perfect before or after the beach!

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4. PUKA’S AT WHOLE FOODS KAHALA​ | 4211 Waialae Ave | Puka’s is a casual restaurant in Kahala where you can grab a quick meal or a pau hana drink after work. Choose from their selection of organic wines or draft microbrews- but make sure to pair it with our favorite Kalua Pork or Cauliflower Nachos.

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5. KURU KURU SUSHI​ | 4​211 Waialae Ave |  One of the only sushi spots in Kahala, at Kuru Kuru you get a fun, interactive dining experience. Booths and counter seats cozy up to a conveyor belt that transports freshly made sushi in a loop throughout the restaurant. Hot dishes like tempura, curry and udon are also on the menu, along with vegetarian options.

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6. ZIPPY’S KAHALA​ | 4134 Waialae Ave | Located directly across Kahala Mall, Zippy’s Kahala serves signature local dishes like their Chili & Rice, Portuguese Bean Soup, and Korean Fried Chicken. You can always go with the iconic Zip-Pac too. Kahala diners are lucky because this particular location has a bakery and sushi bar too!

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1. ARANCINO AT THE KAHALA​ | 5000 Kahala Ave | Arancino is the top picks for Italian Restaurants in Kahala and located within The Kahala Hotel. Combining classic Italian dishes made with ingredients imported from Italy with local products from land and sea. Arancino Restaurants are award winning, especially known for their Lobster Bisque Zuppa, Uni Pasta, Ribeye and their signature pizza, the Owner’s Favorite. Be sure to save room for their decadent Tiramisu or Gelato Affogato after dinner.

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2. THE COUNTER​ | 4211 Waialae Ave | Construct your own burger or choose from their large array of sandwiches, chilis, and salads. Whether you’re Gluten-Free, Vegan, Carb-Free, Adventurous or Traditional, The Counter has got you covered. Make sure you don’t miss out on their fries - you can choose from shoestring, parmesan chili cheese or sweet potato. You can also indulge in a classic milkshake, their Birthday Cake, Banana Split or Smores concoctions, or create your own!!!

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3. GOMA TEI​ | 4211 Waialae Ave A modern restaurant chain, Goma Tei is one of the best places on Oahu to indulge in authentic Japanese cuisine. Goma Tei’s house-made Ramen broth puts their Tan Tan and Shoyu ramen at the top of our list.

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4. ASSAGGIO BISTRO​ | ​ ​4346 Waialae Ave The classic “date night” restaurant in Kahala. Take in the romantic ambiance while enjoying Assaggio’s famous Caesar salad (served tableside) and Chicken Anchovy Olio.

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5. OLIVE TREE CAFE​ | 4614 Kilauea Ave | Head to this cozy cafe for some of the best traditional Greek food on the island, and the only one in Kahala. You’ll love the baklava so much you better pack some to go!

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6. CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN​ | 4211 Waialae Ave | California Pizza Kitchen is widely known for its fresh take on pizzas, pastas, and salads like the Original BBQ Chicken pizza and Thai Crunch salad. You can start with some cocktails and the spinach artichoke dip, enjoy your fave entree and top it off with their famous Butter Cake and vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream!

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Posted in Community News
Aug. 2, 2020

Moving to Kahala? The Ultimate Guide to Lifestyle, Restaurants, and Real Estate in Kahala, Hawaii in 2020

Living in Kahala 2020

kahala luxury homes on oahu, hawaii

​Kahala means "amberjack fish," which is found abundantly in Hawaiian waters. In the 1920s, 35 cottages were built on Kahala Avenue for families moving from Manoa, Makiki and Nuua​nu. In the 1940s, Har​lan​d Bartholomew created a plan for Kahala that included 1,000 lots, schools, parks, shopping and a hotel.

>>See Homes For Sale in Kahala
>>See Homes For Rent in Kahala

kahala fish

Over 100 years ago, the area was not known as Kahala. Back then, the land in this area was divided into 2 distinct ​divisions: Waialae Nui (small) and Waialae Iki (large). Nui ​ran east of the Palolo Ahupua'a up to Waialae Iki. Waialae Iki ran west up to ​the Wailupe ahupua'a. ​Then about 100 years ago, because of the abundance of Kahala (fish) that were being caught along the Waialae shoreline and beaches, the area began to be known as Kahala. And from that point forward, the​ name stuck.  ​

Some of Hawaii's elite have called home to Kahala; notable residents like the Brewers, Walkers, Cassidays, Pfluegers, Dillinghams, Doris Duke​, as well as famous architect Charles Dickey ("Dickey roof"), Ossipof​f​​.

Where is Kahala, Hawaii?

Kahala is suburb of Honolulu and can be identified as the region adjacent to the eastern side of Diamond Head Crater; south of H-1 Freeway, situated between Kaimuki and Aina neighborhoods. The Kahala zip code varies from 96816, 96821, 96746, 96815, and 96813.


The Neighborhood

Prestigious ​Oahu neighborhood containing 16 distinct micro-neighborhoods ​​

One of the most recognizable neighborhoods in the state

Formerly all Bishop Estate-owned lands

Contains about 1,200 homes (59 are beachfront Kahala homes)

A mixture of the quiet elegance of old Hawaii (traditional Hawaiian beach bungalows) and large, modern, contemporary homes

Generally larger lots than other Oahu communities

Access to secluded, white sandy beaches via multiple beach access sites along Kahala Ave.





Easy & multiple egress/ingress into the neighborhood (many ways to get in and out of the area and bypass traffic). H-1 (west) and Kalanianaole Hwy (east) easily accessible

Proximity to Downtown, East Oahu and Waikiki. Centrally convenient location.

Traffic and thoroughfares

Busy streets: Kahala Avenue, Kealaolu Avenue, Kilauea Avenue, Hunakai Street, Elepaio Street

Lot sizes – area #1 has larger lot sizes.  You see merging of lots in Kahala to create "compounds" that provide more privacy and larger homes. This is particularly seen in areas #4 and #2. 

Home cond​​itions vary

Both above & underground utility lines

Dry, sunny weather conditions (ideal location for Photovoltaic/Solar Systems)

Ample sidewalks

Abundant storm drains

Availability of street parking

Various flood zones

​Lifestyle and Attractions

whole foods at kahala mall

​Kahala Mall (opened November 1954 as the "Waialae Shopping Center").​ It was renamed in 1969​ to Kahala Mall.​ It is one of the major shopping centers on the island, serving East Oahu. ​It boasts over 100 local stores, restaurants, large national​ chain stores, ​​​​an 8-plex movie theatre, ​and weekly live performances from local groups and community organizations. It is also a very popular exercise venue for seniors early in the morning who come to walk the mall prior to the stores opening. 

Hotels in Kahala

Kahala Hotel & Resort (opened in January 1964)​. Two man-made peninsulas were ​built at both ends of the resort as a means of preventing beach erosion and providing protection from ocean surge. These peninsulas also are popular with fisherman who use them as fishing jetties. Public access to this calm, private, sand beach.

kahala hotel and resort

Kahala Golfing

​Waialae Country Club has long been known as the pinnacle golf experience on Oahu and home to the Sony Open; the 1st full field event on the PGA Tour held in early January. The Country Club firsts opened in February 1927 and back then, local golfers who paid a nominal annual fee were allowed to play the course under a ​"privilege card." Then in 1930, a few of these golfers formed a private group within Waialae Golf Club, naming it "Waialae Country Club," along with the adoption of by-laws and a formalized organizational structure. In February 2014, there was a major ​recreational facility built on the site of the old pool area which now boasts ​full exercise rooms with weights and exercise machines, ​meeting rooms, locker/shower facilities, as well as ce​rtified trainers

waialae golf course in kahala

waialae golf course in kahala oahu, hawaii

Beaches in Kahala

kahala beach

  • Kahala Beach has roughly 8 beach access points and right of ways off of Kahala Ave (mostly public, a few are not)​ between Kahala Beach Park and Royal Place; with most beach goers parking on Kahala Avenue. At higher tides above 1.2 ft, there is hardly sandy beach available due to the tide levels. The best times​​ to enjoy Kahala Beach will be when when tides are .8 ft or less. There are a few swimming holes and the the rest of the beach is lined with coral reef or rocky bottom. Rip current can be very strong during changing tides so it's important for novice swimmers to use extreme caution as there are no lifeguards on duty here.

waialae beach oahu, hawaii

  • Waialae Beach Park (at the eastern most part of the neighborhood adjacent to Waialae Country Club) is a popular beach park in Kahala. It is the only public beach park in the vicinity that has a public restroom and showers. It has a covenient parking lot with the capacity to accommodate approximately 30 cars, and is just a few steps away from the beach​. ​A thick, tree covered gazebo also shades those who want to have a nice lunch or picnic on one of the tables located under the gazebo. Although there is a sandy beach front, the beach itself has many rocks and coral shelves exposed on the beach. No sandy bottom; rocky coral contour in the water. 

Parks in Kahala

  • Hunakai Park (known as "Sticker Park" by locals due to the abundance of thorny "sticker" seeds on the weeds that proliferated on the field prior to it being maintained by the Kahala Community Association and Residents) is heavily used by local soccer clubs year round. It also serves as an unofficial off-leash dog meeting place for local residents in the morning and when clubs are not using the park. It is owned by the Kahala Community. It therefore receives no government subsidies or funds and runs strictly on private/community donations. It is also the primary site for parking during the Sony Open, which uses the park for the entire week. Although it is a private park, it is open to all the public. The Kahala Community Association also​ maintains a sand volleyball court on the east end of the park.​

  • Kahala Community Park is a heavily used park. Adjacent to Kahala Elementary School, this park ​contains 2 full basketball courts, 2 tennis courts, ​2 baseball fields, ​a community recreational meeting room, a jungle gym/playground area, and ample parking (parking lot). Many of the local, little league baseball teams use the baseball field for weekend games and weekday practices. Because of this, parking during these times are limited (on Kahala Ave. and surrounding neighborhood streets). Parking in general is ample.​ ​

Notable Events in Kahala

The Sony Open

Every January, 144 of the world's most elite golfers bear down on the island of Oahu to compete in the the Sony Open; hosted by Waialae Golf Course in Honolulu, Hawaii since 1965.  This professional golf tournament is on the PGA Tour, and is part of the tour's FedEx Cup Series.

sony open in kahala oahu, hawaii

The Honolulu Marathon

At 26.2 miles, The Honolulu Marathon is the fourth largest marathon in the U.S. and it runs right through the Kahala neighborhood enroute to the finish line!

the honolulu marathon

Restaurants in Kahala

Since the Kahala is home to one of only 4 shopping malls on Oahu, not to mention The Kahala Hotel, the neighborhood offers a variety local fare and fine dining opportunities. Check out our guide to the best Kahala restaurants in 2020 below!

best places to eat in kahala, hawaii

Posted in Community News
June 29, 2020

Koa Ridge to start home sales July 2020

koa ridge hawaii

The effects of COVID-19 on the Hawaii Real Estate market back in March pointed to a grim future as the virus started to sink its teeth in earlier this year. Oahu home sales dipped significantly, would-be sellers sat on the sidelines in fear of the exposing their homes to strangers, and purchase cancellations spiked across the board.

After 20 years of planning and rumored sales launches dating back to 2018, one could only imagine that Castle & Cooke Hawai'i would have have picked any other time but now to launch sales for their highly anticipated Koa Ridge project. However, current sales data from Locations LLC sees certain neighborhoods turning Coronavirus lemons into lemonade and Koa Ridge is poised to pour themselves a tall glass to weather the hot summer buying season. 

Oahu Real Estate amidst the pandemic

As of June, new listings are down 21% over the same time last year while interest rates teeter around record lows;  sparking an influx of buyer demand in certain neighborhoods. This dynamic puts an exclamation point on the intense Oahu housing shortage that acts as a beacon residential real estate developers across the globe. NorthPark by Gentry, a project offering new homes in Ewa Beach held their first lottery release this past weekend with reports of 60 applicants vying for 10 homes. Ho'opili by D.R. Horton Hawaii is also still seeing a significant amount of demand for their Affordable & Market Priced new homes for sale in Ewa & Kapolei.

The data provides optimism and a proving ground for Koa Ridge as it plans to launch its first 37 single family condominium homes within the "Nanea at Koa Ridge" phase amidst the greatest public health concern of our lifetime. The project's starting price of high $800,000's is going to be new territory in the Central Oahu real estate market and it will be interesting to see how well it's received. The Cost of Living in Hawaii has been plagued by rising home prices leaving the state perplexed on how to relieve it. 

Koa Ridge will have more reasonably priced options coming later in the year by way of the Luana duplex options from low $700,000's as well as the Malina townhomes offered under Honolulu Affordable Housing restrictions; starting prices pinned in the low $400,000's.

Model homes won't be finished until next year which will see the first batch of residents having purchases off of floor plans alone; a testament to the demand that Koa Ridge expects they will receive. The community will ultimately take shape over the course of a 10 year development plan that includes 3,500 homes, restaurants, retail stores, a medical center, hotel, and the 7.5 Mile "Ho'ala Trail" that will allow residents to traverse the neighborhood on foot or by bike. 

Castle & Cooke Hawaii expects to offer 200 homes for sale at Koa Ridge in 2021, including 100 Affordable Housing units with income and eligibility restrictions as determined by the state's leading   As it stands, there are (4) Lead Lenders who have been approved to lend on the project and we should expect Castle & Cooke Mortgage to be the 5th lender. Like most previous new Oahu home projects, we should see the developer require buyer's to obtain a Prequalification Letter from one of the approved lenders in order to participate in the lottery. It's unclear at this time whether financing incentives will be offered by the lead lenders but we will deliver updates via our newsletter as more information is made available.

If you're interested in receiving updates on Koa Ridge or other Oahu new construction projects, feel free to join our New Project List to subscribe to our newsletter. If you have questions about your current home or need assistance in mapping your next real estate move please contact us at info@dwellhawaii.com and one of our Oahu Real Estate specialists will be in touch with you.

June 13, 2020

2020 Guide to the Best Restaurants in Kailua

kailua restaurants

The last decade has seen Kailua, Oahu soar from a quaint, island beach town to one Hawaii's most coveted tourist destinations. The idyllic floury white sand of Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach coupled with a feature in Coastal Living magazine has put Kailua on the map. Tour buses and Kailua vacation rentals see tourists flocking here in droves for an opportunity to frolic in the Kailua Shoreline and like any top tourist destination, people demand to eat!

kailua beach oahu hawaii

Below you'll find some of the best places to eat in Kailua, many of which are uniquely Kailua. Aside from a few fast food joints, California Pizza Kitchen, Pieology, you're not going to recognize most menus here so live a little. We'll go out on a limb by saying you're not the type to play Russian Roulette and with that, we've aggregated our top picks for the Best Restaurants in Kailua in 2020 and have broken them down into categories to service organize your cravings. Loosen your belt and enjoy!


1. Nalu Health Bar | 131 Hekili St #109, Kailua, HI 96734

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Juice blends, acai bowls, sandwiches and wraps incorporating local ingredients in a cheery, counter-serve space. The Turkey Kale Pesto Croissant, Rainbow Salad, Nalu Bowl and Mango Colada are faves! Nalu has quickly become a cult classic in terms of restaurants in Kailua, due largely in part to having the best acai bowl in Hawaii.  Don't leave without one!

2. Lanikai Juice | 600 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI 96734

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This Kailua fave is a breezy spot with outdoor tables featuring smoothies and juices with locally sourced ingredients. The Kailua Monkey is our smoothie of choice every time.

3. The Beet Box Cafe | 46 Hoolai Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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The selections at this Kailua cafe are vegetarian and delicious, mostly organic and locally sourced with many gluten free options. The best Avocado Toast and Banana Oat Pancakes...and we can never decide between the Green Blend Bowl or the Cacao Bowl. Be on the lookout for freshly baked goodies every day.

4. Over Easy Cafe | 418 Ku`ulei Road, Unit 103, Kailua, HI 96734

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Many will drive over the Pali to dine at this popular Kailua breakfast spot. Pair the Kalua Pig Hash or the Over Easy Plate with a Lilikoi Mimosa for a Hawaiian brunch with cocktails. (You can also check out their sister restaurant down the street called Easy `Que for some aloha-infused BBQ in the evenings!)

5. Farmer’s Market Sunday | Pali Lanes, 120 Hekili Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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Enjoy a lazy Kailua Sunday morning wandering the aisles for the freshest island fruits and vegetables, delicious prepared foods and artist treats. Sundays from 8 am to noon.


1. Nico’s | 970 N. Kalaheo Avenue, Kailua, HI 96734

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Nico’s Kailua showcases the freshest fish hand-selected every morning at the Honolulu Fish Auction. Any one of their local favorites and daily specials will be delicious. Save room for dessert too!

2. Tokoname Sushi Bar & Restaurant | 442 Uluniu Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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Classic Japanese fare with quality sushi on the Windward side. You have to try the Lanikai roll! It is a minimalist and intimate setting so make sure to make a reservation!

3. Assagio Ristorante Italiano | 354 Uluniu Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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This is the go-to Italian restaurant in Kailua. Start off with the Caesar salad served tableside then pick any of their signature Southern Italian dishes. We love the Chicken Anchovy Olio and the Chef Special Chicken Parmigiana with Ravioli.

4. Willow Tree Korean Restaurant | 25 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Suite 104, Kailua, HI 96734

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Fans will drive all the way from town to Aikahi Park Shopping Center in Kailua to get some of their traditional Korean cooking. Every meal starts with turnip soup and a variety of Korean vegetable side dishes called “banchan.” We always order their famous Meat Juhn and Sizzling Kalbi, EVERY TIME.

5. 22 Kailua | 22 Oneawa Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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A private sushi bar hidden in the back of a coffee shop? Yup! Make your reservations early for this one-of-a-kind culinary Japanese omakase (Chef’s choice) experience! The only thing you do is select how many courses you would like and Chef Taka takes care of the rest. This Kailua treasure only has 6 seats with two sittings a night. Take your own party of six or meet some new friends! The experience will transport you to Tokyo!


1. The Food Company | 201 Hamakua Drive, Kailua, HI 96734

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A Hawaiian cafe offering casual breakfast, lunch and dinner, a takeaway food market and catering. Korean Chicken Bento, Fresh Grilled Garlic Ahi Sandwich and Kalua Pig Quesadillas with papaya salsa!!! Definitely one of the most popular Kailua take-out spots!

2. Fat Boy’s | 301 Hahani Street, Kailua, HI 96734

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Fat Boy’s is famous for its garlic chicken and gourmet plate lunches. With the open lanai for dining at this Kailua location, Fat Boy’s is the perfect stop to get your Plate Lunch fix - before or after the beach!

3. Bob’s Pizzeria | 130 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI 96734

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Every neighborhood needs a great pizza joint. Skip the pizza chains and head toward Kailua Beach and you’ll find Bob’s Pizzeria - it’s Boston-style and the pies are BIG! A simple cheese is amazing but so is the spinach & garlic! They also have subs, calzones, wings and salads…

4. Island Snow Kailua - 600 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI 96734

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Right next door to Bob’s is Island Snow - where everyone goes for Kailua’s favorite shave ice! The flavor combinations are endless but the tropical flavors are always a must. Lilikoi, Melona, Li Hing Mui and Pickled Mango are just some of the flavors to enjoy when you cool off from a day at the beach.

5. Whole Foods Market Kailua | 629 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI 96734

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Take Out can be as healthy as you want it to be at Whole Foods Kailua. Buy groceries or take out from the Coffee or Juice Bar, Hot or Cold Buffet, Pizza Bar, Sandwich Bar, Smokehouse or Taqueria. Whole Foods Kailua also has a Raw Fish Bar and Sushi Stand. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. The Windward Bar inside Whole Foods Kailua serves organic wines, draft microbrews and casual American plates. Live music and Monday Night Football make the Windward Bar so much fun!

Living in Kailua

The Kailua lifestyle offers an unparalleled island style living and it's no wonder why it was named America's Ultimate Beach Town back in 2015. Thinking about moving to Kailua? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Living in Kailua!

Posted in Community News
May 28, 2020

Moving to Kaneohe? The Ultimate Guide to Kaneohe Real Estate, Lifestyle, Restaurants, & Rentals

Kaneohe, Hawaii

kaneohe, hawaii

In the past, Hawaiian chiefs and kings made Kaneohe their home and used the land for traditional farming and fishponds. Later, much of the area was historically owned by the Castle family and used for a cattle ranch and sugar plantation. As the agricultural land uses waned and new highways were built, Kaneohe experienced a housing boom in the mid-20th century. 
It’s also not far from some of the most “country” parts of Oahu to the east and north. Living in Kaneohe, you get the experience of both “old” and “new” Hawaii. 


Cheat code: How to pronounce Kaneohe (kah-nay-oh-hay)


Compared to neighboring Kailua, Kaneohe is a more affordable town with a diversity of real estate options. Most single family homes will have three or more bedrooms and two or more baths, and a carport instead of an enclosed garage. There are a few new construction homes in the area too, if that is your preference.


> > View all Kaneohe Homes For Sale.

> > View all homes for rent in Kaneohe.


marine corp base hawaii mcbh kaneohe bay


Kaneohe is home to Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), one of the 9 military bases in Hawaii. If you are PCS’ing to Oahu, and especially to MCBH (or K-Bay), living in Kaneohe would place you just a few minutes outside the gates to the base. You would have a short commute and close proximity to MCBH services, shopping and conveniences. If you have children, they might still be going to school with both local and on-base peers.


> > See Ultimate PCS Guide to MCBH in Kaneohe, HI


Where is Kaneohe Hawaii?

Situated on the picturesque windward side of Oahu, Kaneohe (Kāneʻohe) is one of two major towns right by the H-3 and Pali highways and near the marine corps base. Kaneohe sits along beautiful Kaneohe Bay in the shadow of the Ko’olau Mountains, offering some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Kaneohe Zip Code: 96744


hoomaluhia botanical garden in kaneohe, hi




The commute to Honolulu from Kaneohe is traversed over the H-3 and Likelike highways that offer stunning landscapes of mountain, ocean, and Kaneohe Bay views. The scenic drive is only 11 miles and about 22 minutes during off-peak hours.


How Far is Kaneohe from...


  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport | 14 Miles | 20 Minutes
  • Waikiki Beach | 13 Miles | 24 Minutes
  • North Shore (Haleiwa) | 34 Miles | 45 Minutes
  • Bellows Air Force Station and beach | 10 Miles | 22 Minutes




Kaneohe weather sees cool breezes from trade winds that come in off the coast will blow through your home. The region can also expect up to four inches per month of rainfall in the winter months. When it does rain, there are long waterfalls streaming off of the bright green Ko’olau mountain range, and plants thrive too. Temperatures go up to the 80s during summer, with plenty of sun, and dip down to the high 60s at night in winter. 



kaneohe sandbar


There is plenty to do with family or friends in and around Kaneohe! Whether you like parks, water activities, dining or shopping, you don’t have to go far to find activities and relaxation!


  • Windward Mall | The mall in Kaneohe has many typical chain as well as local stores, a food court, restaurants and community events. It also hosts Regal Movie Theaters in Kaneohe and a farmer’s market twice a week and has a rain garden.

  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden | On 400 green acres in Kaneohe, Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden is the largest of several public botanical gardens across the island. Ho’omaluhia provides epic views of the Koolau Mountains, trails, fishing and campsites. People like to pose on the palm-tree-lined road heading into the park for social media-worthy photos!
  • The Sandbar | The town of Kaneohe as well as MCBH are right on the turquoise blue Kaneohe Bay, which has the largest saltwater sandbar in the world. People kayak or take larger boats out to enjoy snorkeling, picnics and games. It’s like being on the beach in the middle of the bay. The sandbar’s Hawaiian name is Ahu O Laka, and from it you can also see small islets including Mokoli’i, Chinaman’s Hat, off the coast.
  • Golfing | Kaneohe has three highly-rated golf courses plus one more within the gates of MCBH: Koolau Golf Club, Bay View Golf Course, Pali Golf Course and Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course. You might even spot former President Obama on the course! 



In addition to the mall, all the essential errands are within reach if you live in Kaneohe, whether you have base access or not. It is not a long trip for groceries, home and pet supplies, etc. And if Kaneohe itself doesn’t have what you are looking for, there’s a lot more shopping in nearby Kailua, including a Whole Foods and a Target.


Grocery and Drug Stores


Foodland | 45-480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | This local grocery store is known for lots of aloha from the staff, some local produce and great poke.


Times | 45-934 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | Another local chain, Times has great produce (including Asian vegetables) and a tasty lunch counter.


MCBH Commissary | Bldg 6088, Mokapu Road, MCBH, Kaneohe, HI 96863 | If you are a military or veteran family and have access to the commissary, there you will find the best prices by far for staples and basically any groceries that have to be flown in from the mainland, as well as some local items.


Safeway | 46-065 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | This Safeway is a nationwide grocery store that has organic items but reportedly long lines.


Walgreens | 46-021 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | Walgreens is a drugstore with mini mart basics.


Longs Drugs | 45-480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | Longs are part of the CVS Pharmacy company, and this one also has a Minute Clinic. 


valley of the temples kaneohe, hi


Pet Stores


To get a pet or their services or supplies from fish to dogs, the locations below can help you in Kaneohe.


Koolau Pets | 46-056 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744


Petco Kaneohe | 46-023 Kamehameha Hwy Unit G, Kaneohe, HI 96744


Kaneohe Farm Supplies | 45-1048 Kamehameha Hwy H, Kaneohe, HI 96744


Hardware Stores


For home projects, hobbies or garden needs, here are two hardware stores in Kaneohe.


City Mill Kaneohe | 46-209 Kahuhipa Street, Kaneohe, HI, 96744


Yamashiro’s Building Supply/Ace Hardware | 45-552 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744




Dean’s Drive Inn | 45-270 William Henry Road, Kāneʻohe, HI 96744 | Visit this famous casual spot for local plate lunches and sandwiches that typify Hawaii’s fusion comfort foods. 


Haleiwa Joe’s at Haiku Gardens | 46-336 Haiku Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | The windward location of this popular Oahu restaurant and bar has excellent pupus and seafood entrees. Just arrive early to find parking and get a table.


Kikuya Restaurant | 46-148 Kahuhipa St C, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | A small, homey restaurant in Kaneohe, Kikuya offers delicious Japanese food.


Kogi Aina | 46-138 Kahuhipa Street, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | For Korean plate lunches and hot pot, visit Kogi Aina near the Windward Mall.


Waiahole Poi Factory | 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 | Waiahole Poi Factory is the place to go to truly experience authentic Hawaiian dishes.


Zia’s Caffe | 45-620 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744 | For Italian entrees, pasta, pizza and breakfast on the weekends, Zia’s is a family friendly restaurant.




There are over 30 public and private schools from preschool to higher education in Kaneohe. Click on the education level link to see how they are rated and where in Kaneohe they are located.





Visit the pages below to find primary care doctors and urgent care clinics in Kaneohe. If you are a military family, you may choose to use the clinic on MCBH.



Kaneohe Hotels


Unfortunately there aren't any hotels in Kaneohe but if you're in the service and live on or near MCBH Base, you do have options for lodging in Kaneohe.  The region has historically been one of the hot spots for Oahu Vacation Rentals but with With recent legislation surrounding Oahu vacation rentals, make sure they are licensed and legal before booking.


Other options:

Popular churches in Kaneohe


kaneohe real estate


If you are thinking about renting or buying on the windward side of Oahu near to conveniences and maybe MCBH, Kaneohe provides options from condominiums to single family homes. Prices may decrease as you move north up the windward coast away from the town and increase if the property is on the waterfront or closer to Kailua.


Compared to some parts of the mainland, Kaneohe home prices might seem high, but they are still more moderate than in neighboring Kailua. Also, homes on Oahu tend to appreciate, or grow in value, as space is limited on a busy island with a continually hot market. 


Older condos or even some townhomes truly in Kaneohe are available starting around $200,000, but if you have the budget and want something larger or renovated, you can find that too. Single family homes can range from in the $600,000s to the millions. Rental homes and apartments in Kaneohe range from about $1400 for a modest 1-bedroom all the way up to $6000/mo for an immaculate oceanfront property on Kaneohe Bay.


If Kaneohe’s price range is overwhelming and you don’t need a lot of room, don’t despair. If you don’t mind country living, small condominiums and other properties in Hauula up the coast are available at lower prices.



  • Haiku Plantation: There are several Haiku neighborhoods of Kaneohe, full of vibrant green and with different types and sizes of homes. This area is convenient but quiet, with a suburban feel and community amenities. Haiku Plantation  $500K to over $1M.

  • Kaneohe Bay: If you want oceanfront or ocean views, you'll want to focus your search on the Kaneohe Bay Homes for sale within the Mikiola and Mahinui neighborhoods Though you will not be on a sandy beach, it's still waterfront nonetheless and perfect for boating, kayaking, standup paddling and convenient to highways and MCBH. These exceptional properties are on the market for about $700K to over $5M.

  • Ahuimanu/Temple Valley: If you like a more rural feel and homes at the foot of the epic Koolau mountains, you might love thes houses for sale in Ahuimanu Hills and Temple Valley. Serene and a bit removed from town, though it does have a shopping center, you can find townhomes and condos built in the 1970s here. Temple Valley and Ahuimanu Homes for sale typically range from t $650K to $1.2M.

> > View all homes for sale in Kaneohe

> > View all homes for rent in Kaneohe


If you have further questions about the Kaneohe neighborhood or want to discuss your best options for the upcoming move, please don't hesitate to contact us!

May 23, 2020

Cost of living in Hawaii in 2020 | The Ultimate Guide to the Price of Paradise

hawaii cost of living

There are few places in the world that share quite the same brand recognition as Hawaii does except for maybe New York City, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and other iconic destinations made popular by historic culture or Hollywood. I think it's safe to argue that if "Name The Top Vacation Destinations" or "Name A Place You Would Live if Money Were No Object" were Family Feud questions, "Hawaii" would roll off the tongue most frequently. That being said, it's no secret why Honolulu is often ranked in the Top 3 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S. According to a study by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center in 2019, Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the nation with an index of 191.8. The national average index was set at 100 and Hawaii absolutely crushed it with the closest 2nd being the District of Columbia at an index of 159.

Hawaii is a trophy destination, a never-in-a-lifetime or once-in-a-lifetime experience for too many. Some calculations suggest that the average Hawaii trip cost per person is roughly $1,899 a week for fun in the sun. Idyllic white sand beaches, mountainous backdrops, and the crystal blue Pacific Ocean are things of post cards and hard for some to imagine as every day lifestyles. Trust me when I say I wouldn't trade it for the world, but that doesn't mean there aren't concessions to be made.

So if you have ever wondered, "what is the cost of living in Hawaii?" allow me to break it down for you but from the perspective of a Missouri-born Hawaii transplant. I've run the spectrum of being born and raised in the 3rd cheapest state in the nation to starting a life, family, career, and real estate estate investment portfolio in one of the most expensive. I'll cover the dollars and cents on the topic but to close it out, I think it's responsible to shine light on the intangibles; the true costs of living in Hawaii and how it sees some local families brought together, or if you're family is like mine, how it pulls some apart.

How much does it cost to live in Hawaii

Studies have the cost of living in Honolulu requires residents to have an income of $120,000+ are required to live comfortably in the state's capital. This is subjective of course, but according the U.S. Census, Honolulu's median household income was around $80,000 in 2019. Subjective or not, that's a pretty wide delta and it shows that many Honolulu residents aren't living very comfortably. According to a study by Payscale.com, the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is 88% higher than the national average with housing clocking in at 202% higher than the national average. 

What is considered Low Income in Hawaii?

In 2020 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) concluded that "low income" for an individual living on Oahu is considered $93,000. That's a staggering considering it's nearly double the national average income of a full time salary earner is around $48,672. 

What is state income tax for Hawaii?

Compared to the national average, Hawaii's top income tax rate of 11% is high but the state also has the lowest effective property tax rate of just .27% annually. There is no literal state sales tax but businesses must may a 4% general excise tax on all business activities, plus an 0.5% override for Honolulu County. Below are the Hawaii income tax brackets for Single Filers and Married Filing Jointly. Click here For Married, Filing Separately and Head of Household.

Income Tax Brackets

hawaii income tax      hawaii income taxes

Everyday Expenses

Using the above scenario of a "low income" earner of $93,000 -- we'll compute their net wages using federal tax rate of 22% and the Hawaii income tax rate of 8.25% per the chart. The individual's net wages, after taxes, pencil out to $64,635 annually which equates to $5,386/mo for housing and everyday expense. Let's take a look at some of the every day expenses one can expect and see how the individual budgets out.

what is the cost of living in hawaii

Hawaii Apartments

Rent prices for Apartments in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation but how much exactly depends on which island you're on, and which side of each island you're on. Honolulu Apartments taking the prize of the highest in the state and this is due largely in part to their proximity to the business district and majority of the Honolulu jobs.

Here's the average rent to expect for apartments in Honolulu and/or single family home rents:

  • Studios | $1,000 - $1,300
  • One-bedrooms | $1,400 - $1,700
  • Two-bedrooms | $1700 - $2,100
  • Three-bedrooms | $2,100 - $2,600

These are mere average ranges and these numbers can fluctuate significantly depending on the presence of ocean views or proximity to the ocean. Here's the top 10 most expensive apartments for rent in Honolulu to give you some context.

The Big Island of Hawaii sees substantially lower rent prices than Honolulu rentals and this is again attributed to the amount of commerce, jobs, and proximity to jobs. Hawaii Island is much slower and much less dense in population and job opportunities which in turn sees less demand for rentals and homes for sale, hence the lower prices. 

Buying a Home

Referencing the graphic above you'll see that Hawaii's staggering median home prices that saw heights of around $835,000 in 2019 for single family homes and $400,000 for Honolulu condos for sale. Despite the lack of affordability, the Oahu housing shortage is intense and as a result, residential developers have been flocking to the island to capitalize on the demand. Neighborhoods like Kakaako and Ala Moana have seen developer erecting New Honolulu Condos for the lasts 6-7 years. 

Developers are also entrenched in the West Oahu neighborhoods of Hoopili and Koa ridge that will see nearly 15,000 new homes in Oahu over the next 15 years. Rumors of a development named Makaiwa Hills in Makakilo may add another few hundred as well. 

Hawaii Electricity 

The average cost of electricity in Hawaii runs about $50/mo higher than the national average. The average electricity bill in Hawaii of $168.13/mo pins the Hawaii electricity cost at the highest in the nation according to the U.S. Energy Administration.

How Much is Gas in Hawaii? 

Gas prices in Hawaii largely depend on what island you're living on. The island of Hawaii gas prices hover around $3.25/gallon in 2020 with the average gas prices in Honolulu, Hawaii near $3.00/gallon.

Groceries in Hawaii 

You'll be hard pressed to find a wider variety of groceries anywhere in the world compared to Hawaii. Considering our geography of being halfway between the U.S. and Asia, as well as the tropical fruits native to the islands, Hawaii's food choices are abundant. Our geographical location also puts a steep price on groceries due to the costs of shipping them here. The aforementioned study done by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center concluded that Hawaii groceries ranked 164.6 compared to the national index of 100. The closest 2nd was California at 119.3.

Often times we hear visitors gasp at the Hawaii price of milk that can reach heights of $8.99. If you live here, obtaining a Costco membership is imperative so you can buy in bulk to scale your costs down.

The Local Perspective | How to make it

With the right perspective, days off from work as a Hawaii can feel like the vacation of dreams but we're still human and and it's easy to lose that perspective while being subjected to some of highest home prices in the nation, and some of the worst traffic in the nation(if you're on Oahu). I tell all of my clients, both locally and from abroad that maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in Hawaii requires intention, and lot of it. Applying intention to every dollar spent, every financial decision made, and every job you apply for is going to go a long way in determining if you can continue to comfortably live here, or if you will inevitably be "priced out of paradise."

I even goes as far as to suggest that people be extra intentional about their relationships; the words they say and the way they resolve conflict with their other halves. Sure I want people to have healthy relationships but if that's not incentive enough, then you should know that it's just good business in Hawaii. Your boss will never give you bigger promotion or demotion than what you can give yourself by securing or destroying a healthy relationship with another income earner. Aside from the benefits of companionship, raising a family, and stability, the term "it's cheaper to keep her"(and vice versa) has never rang more true while living anywhere else in the United States. Two income earners working towards a common goal is a surefire way to "level up" your financial situation while living in Hawaii. If you're hoping to make it on your own here, make room in your pantry for ramen noodles and rice!


May 18, 2020

Moving to Kailua? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Kailua, Restaurants, Real Estate & Rentals in 2020

guide to kailua lifestyle, restaurants, real estate in 2020

Kailua, Oahu

Kailua is one of the state's premier "Lifestyle" communities in the sense that where the home is matters far more residents than what the home is. Spanning roughly 2.5 miles of powdery white sand beaches on one side and the lush green slopes of the Ko'olau Mountain range on the other, Kailua was all but coined the "Ultimate Beach Town" and "a paradise within in a paradise" by Coastal Living magazine in 2015.

> > See all Kailua houses for sale
> > See all Kailua houses for rent

These honors effectively put this hip little beach town on the world's stage. Between the magazine feature and serving as President Obama's Hawaii hideout, the Kailua secret is out and the town is desperately trying to hold on its sanctity as buyers, renters, and tourists flock to the region from all over the world.

The neighborhood's two idyllic beaches, Kailua beach and Lanikai Beach, make it easy to forget that the neighborhood is also threaded by lazy river canals and a central body of water aptly named "Enchanted Lake." Altogether, Kailua is a waterman's dream, a playground for outdoor fitness enthusiast looking to run, swim, surf, paddleboard, kayak and hike. Nearly everything in Kailua can be commuted by foot or bike, as majority of the residents live within 1 mile of the beach and the eclectic retail, coffee shops, and restaurants in iconic Kailua Town.

Cheat Codes

If you're planning on moving to Kailua, we definitely recommend learning how to pronounce Kailua. Ready? [kai-loo-ah] You're in luck; that's about as easy as it gets in terms of pronouncing Hawaiian words. And what does Kailua mean in Hawaiian? It means "two seas" or "two-currents" which symbolize the the currents that run into beautiful Kailua Bay.

Where is Kailua, Hawaii?

You may or may not know, but Hawaii State's counties are actually designated by each one of the islands and some islands have the same names of towns or regions. So what is island is Kailua on? It's on Oahu; although the Big Island of Hawaii does have a town named Kailua-Kona, another popular vacation hotspot. But as for Oahu's Kailua, it's located on the Windward Side(east) to be exact. Kailua Zip Code: 96734

How Far is Kailua From...

  • Honolulu | 12 Miles | 25 Minutes
  • Waikiki | 15 Miles | 32 Minutes
  • Marine Corp Base Hawaii | 4 Miles | 7 Minutes
  • Honolulu Airport | 19 Miles | 24 Minutes

Kaneohe Marine Corp Base ironically find itself more at home in Kailua than it does Kaneohe, but ultimately it straddles the border between the two regions. Are you getting stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii? Well you've just hit the PCS jackpots when it comes to location and scenery. You will not find a more idyllic setting as the base and it's housing sits on a peninsula overlooking Kailua Bay and the Ko'olau Mountain range. Not to mention you've just been given premier to access to one of the ultimate beach towns in the world! If you're going to PCS to Hawaii and will be stationed at MCBH, check out our Ultimate PCS Guide to Marine Corp Base Hawaii.

What is Kailua weather like?

Since Kailua is on the Windward Side of the island, it receives some of the most constant natural Hawaiian air conditioning; the trade wind breezes. The region will be cooler than the dryer, Leeward Side of the island but will also see more rainfall as a result. Plan for an average temperature of 81 degrees and about 66 inches of rain per year. Kailua weather is my favorite in the summer as rainy days dwindle to a minimum.

Kailua Crime

kailua crime rate
Photo Courtesy to Neighborhoodscout.com

What are the best places to eat in Kailua?

Given the boom in tourism that the region has seen over the last few years, the neighborhood has really picked up steam in terms of the dining options. Kailua restaurants feature far more creative, local eats than they do big box franchise restaurants.

restaurants in kailua

Here's our picks for the Top 5 restaurants in Kailua:

1.) Cinnamon's | 315 Uluniu St Kailua, HI 96734 | A cult-favorite amongst breakfast lovers! Enjoy some of the most unique pancake offerings like Guava Chiffon and Mac-Nut. The menu is robust so you won't have trouble finding something for everyone.

2.) Boots & Kimo's | 151 Hekili St Kailua, HI 96734 | Home of the world famous Banana Mac-Nut pancakes! These guys are only open from 6am-2pm so prepare yourself to get their early to fight the crowd. https://www.bootsnkimos.com/

3.) Nalu Health Bar & Cafe | 131 Hekili St #109, Kailua, HI 96734 | Undoubtedly the best Acai Bowl on Oahu in my opinion and one of my favorite places for a post-beach fresh bite to eat. Featuring juice blends, sandwiches, wraps, acai bowls, and coffee.

4.) Maui Brewing Company | 573 Kailua Rd. Suite 105 Kailua, HI 96734 | Hawaii's largest craft brewery offering a killer indoor/outdoor dining experience, live music, Happy Hour specials, and one of the best menus in Kailua.

5.) Kalapawai Market | 750 Kailua Rd Kailua, HI 96734 | An iconic family run restaurant featuring some of the most thoughtful dishes in the neighborhood and relaxed, intimate dining experience.

Learn more about restaurants in Kailua by checking out our 2020 Kailua Restaurants Guide!

What to do in Kailua

kailua beach

Beach life goes without saying. We mentioned it above but it's worth driving the point home again; Kailua and Lanikai Beaches are some of the most epic in the world. Powdery white sand, aqua blue and teal waters, and gentle to moderate shorebreak depending on which beach you choose make these two beaches a perfect fit for those seeking family aquatic fun.

moon rise from kailua beach
Moonrise from Kailua Bay

Stop in at Kailua Beach Park or Kalama Beach Park to find the most parking, otherwise the beaches can also be accessed by a number of other beach accesses with adjacent neighborhood parking. If someway, somehow you get sick of the ocean, dry off and check out some the following Kailua activities on land:

  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike

lanikai pillbox hike in kailua, hi

This Pillbox Hike will see you traverse the ridge behind the exclusive Lanikai neighborhood, offering some of the breathtaking views of the iconic Mokulua Twin Islands, the Ko'olau Mountain Range, and the Pacific Blue Ocean from Waimanalo, all the way to the Kaneohe. Feeling ambitious? 

  • Hike Maunawili Falls

maunawili trail to maunawili falls

The Maunawili Falls toffers you an entirely different experience; a shaded, jungle like terrain that takes you deep into a valley to a secluded waterfall and watering hole. Bring mosquito spray for this one!

  • Golfing in Kailua

kailua golf

Golfing in Kailua offers you one of the most surreal backdrops of lush Ko'olau mountains and tropical foliage. Tee up at either Mid Pacific Country Club or Royal Hawaiian Golf Club.

  • Kailua Farmers's Market 

kailua farmers market

This is can't miss. Dozens of food and restaurants vendors set up tents at the Kailua Town Center every Thursday evening and the Kailua community comes alive here. Enjoy some of the best street food, desserts, and local music make this a family friendly event. Try the French Dip Sandwich from Pig and the Lady!

  • Kailua Beach Adventures

kailua kayak rental

This is the only beach rental shop within walking distance of Kailua Beach. Park for free at Kailua Beach Adventures and pickup everything you need for day at one of Oahu's best water playgrounds. From Kayaks, Standup Paddleboards, snorkels, and coolers -- it's a one stop shop!

What are the best schools in Kailua?

The community has a variety of public and private schools, offering a wide range of education types and tuitions. The below schools are listed in order from Top Rated to Unrated per Greatschool.org.

Kailua Elementary Schools

Kaelepulu Elementary School (public) | 530 Keolu Dr, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6| 200 students

Lanikai Elementary - Public Charter School | 140 Alala Rd, Kailua, HI, 96734 | K-6 | 328 students

Maunawili Elementary School (Public) | 1465 Ulupii St, Kailua, HI, 96734 |PK-6 | 344 students

Aikahi Elementary School (Public) | 281 Ilihau St, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 474 students

Enchanted Lake Elementary School (Public) | 770 Keolu Dr, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 428 students

Kainalu Elementary School (Public) | 165 Kaiholu St, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 440 students

Kailua Elementary School (Public) | 315 Kuulei Rd, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 352 students

Mokapu Elementary School (Public) | 1193 Mokapu Rd, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 881 students

Keolu Elementary Schoo (Public) | 1416 Keolu Dr, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-6 | 124 students

St John Vianney Parish School (Private)  | 940 Keolu Drive, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-8| 242 students

St. Anthony Parish School (Private) 148 Makawao Street, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-8 | 300 students

Le Jardin Academy (Private) | 917 Kalanianaole Hwy, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-12| 809 students

Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus (Private) | 160 Mookua Street, Kailua, HI, 96734 | K-8 | 70 students

Trinity Christian School (Private) | 875 Auloa Road & 1110 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-12 | 380 students

Huakailani School for Girls (Private) |45-035 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kailua, HI, 96734 | K-8 | 30 students

Kailua Christian Academy (Private) | 1276 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | 5-12 | 28 students

Kailua Middle Schools

Kailua Intermediate School (Public) |145 South Kainalu Dr, Kailua, HI, 96734| Grades 7-8| 737 students

St John Vianney Parish School (Private) | 940 Keolu Drive, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-8| 242 students

St. Anthony Parish School  (Private) | 148 Makawao Street, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-8|300 students

Le Jardin Academy (Private) | 917 Kalanianaole Hwy, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-12 | 809 students

Hawaiian Mission Academy Windward Campus (Private) | 160 Mookua Street, Kailua, HI, 96734 | K-8 | 70 students

Trinity Christian School (Private) | 875 Auloa Road & 1110 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | PK-12 | 380 students

Huakailani School for Girls (Private) | 45-035 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kailua, HI, 96734 | K-8 | 30 students

Kailua Christian Academy (Private)  | 1276 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | 5-12 | 28 students

Kailua High Schools

Kalaheo High School (Public) | 730 Iliaina St, Kailua, HI, 96734 | Grades 9-12 | 808 students

Kailua High School (Public) | 451 Ulumanu Dr, Kailua, HI, 96734 | Grades 9-12 | 756 students

Le Jardin Academy (Private) | 917 Kalanianaole Hwy, Kailua, HI, 96734 | Grades PK-12 | 809 students

Trinity Christian School (Private) | 875 Auloa Road & 1110 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | Grades PK-12| 380 students

Kailua Christian Academy (Private) | 1276 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734 | Grades 5-12| 28 students

Popular Neighborhoods in Kailua

1.) Lanikai 

homes for sale in lanikai kailua oahu

This is Kailua's most exclusive community and it boasts some of the highest real estate prices in the region. The prices are hard to argue with since the neighborhood is anchored by one of the best beaches in the world; Lanikai Beach. Buyers exploring Lanikai Homes for sale will be hard pressed to find a more idyllic setting for their new Oahu home. 

2.) Maunawili

maunawili homes for sale
If you're willing to sacrifice a few sunny days for lush tropical landscapes, Maunawili might be right up your alley. This Kailua neighborhood is tucked between the Koolau and Olomana mountains and provides a slightly cooler climate than the rest of Kailua due to its elevation and occasional cloud cover. Buyers exploring Maunawili homes for sale should plan for a peaceful setting, out of the hustle and bustle of Kailua Town. 

3.) Coconut Grove  

Homes for sale in Coconut Grove will primarily feature quintessential Beach Cottages; plantation style homes on post and pier foundations with a ton of vintage Hawaii charm. Active beach enthusiast will love this neighborhood as you're between 0.5 to 1 miles away from Kailua Beach, and the same distance to Kailua Town and Wholefoods Kailua. 

4.) Aikahi Park 

This is one of the most suburban neighborhoods in Kailua and being that it literally sits right outside the gate of Marine Corp Base Hawaii, it's naturally a top pick for military personnel stationed at MCBH. Aikahi Park homes for sale will feature for wide streets, level lots, and probably the most festive place for trick or treating in all of Kailua!

> > See all Kailua homes for sale
> > See all Kailua rentals


May 17, 2020

Moving to Kakaako? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Kakaako, Restaurants, Condos, & Apartments in 2020

kakaako hawaii guide

Kakaako Neighborhood Guide

Welcome to Kakaako; Hawaii's most exciting urban metropolis that's birthed a city in the sky through rapid revitalization efforts by numerous real estate developers over the last decade. From the expansive Native Hawaiian agricultural community of old, to the port site of foreign ships embarking in trade and supply, Kakaako is now the thriving urban-epicenter of Metro-Honolulu.  Today, we see Kakaako as an artist's and architect's delight, raising living sculptures atop a canvas of mural lined streets, restaurants, and retail to reimagine the Honolulu skyline!

>> See all Kakaako Condos For Sale
>> See all Kakaako Condos For Rent

Kakaako is perfectly oriented between Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu, fronted by the famed Ala Moana Beach and Kewalo Harbor. Walk the Pow! Wow! mural lined streets to the neighborhood's extravagant array of local eats, parks, fitness centers, and festivals.

The Lifestyle

Like Kailua on the Windward Side and the North Shore of Oahu, Kakaako is what we call a "Lifestyle Community," a place where home transcends the four walls of house. From the vast array of shopping, dining, culture, street art, and boutique stores, this is urban living and style at is finest! 

Things to Do in Kakaako

Whether you live in Kakaako, visiting on Vacation, or just strolling into Honolulu for a night on the town, there's a few Kakaako must-do's if you aim to experience the neighborhood right. For one, check out the Honolulu Night Market on the corner of Keawe and Auahi streets in Kakaako on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Enjoy live music, art showcases, and dozens of food trucks and tents offering some of Honolulu's best fare. Second, Eat The Street! Immerse yourself into Honolulu street food with over 40 local food and retail vendors. 

Compounding the amenity of convenience will arguably be Kakaako's most spectacular natural amenities; Ala Moana Beach Park, Kakaako Waterfront Park, and Kewalo Basin Park, and Kakaako Gateway Park. Besides providing unparalleled ocean view condos in Kakaako for prospective buyers, residents can enjoy the acres of green space, paths, and workout areas designed to delight the fitness enthusiast, fishermen, surfers, or even just the casual family picnic.

Enjoy the white sand beach and calm, crystal blue waters of Ala Moana Beach Park for an ocean experience that's a stroll away. Ward Village will also feature The Central Plaza, a park at the heart of the village that will promote outdoor activities and entertainment such as Kakaako Farmer's markets, yoga, movies, musical performances, and hula.

Working in Kakaako

The neighborhood is a hotspot for working professionals and entrepreneurs as it offers the vast majority of Oahu's "co-working" spaces. Those that work from home are afforded numerous opportunities at venues like Impact Hub, BoxJelly, and Workplay to network and rent community office space that's a mere elevator or bike ride from home. Breaking for lunch? Well then prepare for analysis paralysis as the options are endless for Kakaako eateries.

Fitness, Gyms, & Yoga in Kakaako

Honolulu is consistently ranked as one of the Healthiest city's in the nation and that's due in part to the plethora of outdoor activities available to us. For the fitness conscious residents of Kakaako, you've got a variety of ways to stay fit in the neighborhood:

  • UFC Gym Honolulu | 805 Pohukaina St, Honolulu, HI 96813. Sign up for a monthly membership for full use of the biggest gym in Kakaako, as well as classes offering kickboxing, jiu jitsu, and yoga.
  • Orange Theory Fitness | 660 Ala Moana Blvd #217, Honolulu, HI 96813 | High intensity, class oriented group fitness led by a personal trainer.
  • Core Power Yoga | 1170 Auahi St Suite 180, Honolulu, HI 96814 | One of Kakaako's most popular fitness establishments at South Shore Market Place in Ward Village. 

Kakaako by Bike

Kakaako is on the south shore of Oahu which provides for some of the best weather on the island, and arguably some of the best weather in the world. Rent a bike from a Kakaako Biki station or use your own to peddle through the neighborhood. Check out the Ala Moana Beach Path that traverses Kewalo Basin, Ala Moana Beach, and Ala Wai Harbor for some killer waterfront biking! You could also easily continue on to Waikiki if you're feeling ambitious. Map out your Oahu Bike Path Routes Here.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Kakaako doesn't disappoint when it comes to variety as it may be the most restaurant dense neighborhood on Oahu, second to Waikiki. Enjoy a number of bars, speakeasies, local eats, and find dining opportunities all within walking or biking distance from each other. Here's a map of the neighborhood's white-hot food scene:

What are the best places to eat in Kakaako?

1. Moku Kitchen | 660 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813 - A vibrant hotspot at SALT at Kakaako with Asian fusion inspire dishes, outdoor seating, and occasional live-music. Pumpkin Ravioli is our fave!

2. Highway Inn | 680 Ala Moana Blvd #105, Honolulu, HI 96813 - Hawaiian Fusion with deep roots in Hawaii! Enjoy old-time Hawaiian-Styled dishes amongst the urban setting of SALT at Kakaako. Smoke Meat Skillet in my choice everytime.

3. Piggy Smalls | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814 - The younger sister to the Pig and the Lady restaurant in Downtown Honolulu. Creative Vietnamese dishes to include sandwiches and pho. The French Dip is the winner and you HAVE to try the Burmese Papaya Salad and Fried Chicken Wings as well.

4.) Nobu Honolulu | 1118 Ala Moana Blvd # 100, Honolulu, HI 96814 - Upscale Japanese-Peruvian fusion that anchors the Waiea condo building in Ward Village. 

5.) Redfish | 685 Auahi St. Honolulu, HI 96813 - A local gem offering authentic Poke Bowls, craft beers, family style local dishes, and signature cocktails.

You may also enjoy a number of Kakaako's best bars like 9bar, Pitch, Bevy, Honolulu Beer Works and more.

Best Shopping in Kakaako

Kakaako retail has gotten real spicy as of late. Here's the top stop for retail therapy:

1.) Ala Moana Center - Although not in literal Kakaako, it's across Piikoi St and too good not to list. Ala Moana is the largest open air shopping center in the nation with over 300+ retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 

2.) Salt at Kakaako - Head over to West Kakaako to peruse the 2018 Shopping Center of the Year. This trendy joint is seething with culture, boutique stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. This is an instagram favorite as SALT is threaded with some of the most impressive street murals you've ever seen. It's like shopping through a walking art show. Check out some of the Kakaako Murals over at Pow Wow Hawaii.

3.) South Shore Market - Here lies 18 super creative boutique stores and one of my favorite cafes, Nalu Health Bar. By far the best Acai Bowl in Honolulu.

What grocery stores are available in Kakaako?

One of the best features of new Kakaako condo buildings is the use of their ground floor commercial spaces for restaurants, groceries, and retail. This makes for an extremely efficient footprint and lends itself to the dense availability of its residents' everyday needs. Here's some of the top grocery stores in Kakaako, many of which anchor some of the most popular buildings in the neighborhood:

  • Whole Foods | 388 Kamakee St Ste 100, Honolulu, HI 96814 | The Kakaako Whole Foods is the largest in the state, spanning three floors while anchoring the Ae'o condos building in Ward Village. Unsure where to park for Whole Foods Kakaako? Look for the entrances on Queen & Kamakee Streets.
  • Foodlands Farms | Ala Moana Shopping Center | While you'll have to cross Piikoi St out of Kakaako, this grocery store is too close and too epic not to mention. Find all of your grocery needs here as well as dozen or so takeout restaurants for a quick bite.
  • H-Mart | 458 Keawe St | This Korean supermarket store specializes in Asian foods and will offer groceries on the ground level, and a second level named the "Market Eatery" that will feature a number of take-out food vendors. Located in West Kakaako. Many are asking, "when does H-Mart Kakaako open" and although we're not exactly sure, we know it's soon!
  • Down to Earth | 500 Keawe St, Honolulu, HI 96813 | You'll find this health-hub at the foot of Keauhou Place in West Kakaako
  • Long's Drugs | 1240 Ala Moana Boulevard | Owned and operated by CVS Pharmacy offering a drug store, beauty supplies, and limited groceries. Located at the foot of Ke Kilohana condos in Ward Village.

What Public Transportation is available in Kakaako?

As highlighted above, Kakaako prides itself on being one Oahu's most pedestrian friendly communities. Wide sidewalks with walkable streets, numerous Biki bike rental stations, over a dozen Honolulu bus stops, and 2 Kakaako rail stops: Civic Center and Kakaako Station. The community is also one of the most avid users of RideShare programs like Hui, Uber, & Lyft. 

Are there Healthcare Facilities and Hospitals in Kakaako?

Kakaako features two of the largest hospitals in Honolulu:

  • Straub Medical Center | 888 King St Honolulu, HI
  • Queen's Medical Center | 1301 Punchbowl St Honolulu, HI 

As well as smaller healthcare facilities:

  • Kaiser Permanente Honolulu Medical Office | 1010 Pensacola Street Honolulu, HI
  • Island Urgent Care Kakaako | 400 Keawe Street #100 Honolulu, HI

What Schools are in Kakaako?

  • Royal Elementary School | 1519 Queen Emma St
  • Queen Ka‘ahumanu Elementary School | 1141 Kinau St 
  • Pohukaina Elementary School | 690 Pohukaina Street
  • George Washington Middle School | 1633 S. King St
  • Central Middle School | 1302 Queen Emma St 
  • William McKinley High School | 1039 S. King St

Kakaako Real Estate

anaha pool at new honolulu condo in kakaako

The neighborhood has seen one of the most intense revitalizations over the last decade, with nearly 20 New Honolulu Condos either being built or planned for the region. Real estate tycoons like The Howard Hughes Corp from Texas, as well as smaller, local development companies have sprouted new Kakaako condos like weeds; effectively transforming the Honolulu Skyline. Kakaako doesn't have the most expensive house in the Hawaii, but will typically have one the top 10 most expensive homes in Hawaii at any given time.

Condo prices in Kakaako range from $500,000 micro-studios up to $25,000,000 Grand Penthouses. Whether there's something that fits your budget depends largely on the age of building you're looking for, proximity to Ala Moana Beach, floor height and ocean views, and level of amenities. Due to the fluidity of development in the region, the options change by the year!

Kakaako Condos vs. Kakaako Apartments?

So what's the difference? It boils down to semantics really but the term condo is typically reserved for housing "for sale" whereas apartments are typically synonymous with "for rent" housing. Whether you're looking to purchase a condo or just merely searching Honolulu Apartments for rent, we've got you covered!

>> See all Kakaako Condos For Sale
>> See all Kakaako Condos For Rent

If you have further questions about the neighborhood or need guidance in finding the right home, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted in Community News
May 17, 2020

Moving to Kapolei? The Ultimate Guide to Living in Kapolei, Restaurants, & Real Estate in 2020

Living in Kapolei, Oahu in 2020

In the eighties and nineties, when it became apparent that O’ahu was growing much more rapidly than anyone ever imagined, Kapolei was envisioned as O’ahu’s second city; a neighborhood where locals could live and work without having to commute into Downtown Honolulu. Thirty years later, that vision has mostly become a reality. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State of Hawai’i both have buildings in Kapolei. Kapolei Hale provides west side residents with another location to get their driver’s license or pay for vehicle registration. In addition, Kapolei consists of homes, schools, a university, an open-air mall, movie theaters, numerous dining options, and so much more. 

Unlike the crowded, closed-in feel that urban Honolulu can sometimes have, Kapolei feels spread out and open. You can breathe here. Between buildings there are open lots of unused land, unheard of on most of the island. You can’t drive for more than a few minutes without seeing some type of construction, reminding you that Kapolei is constantly growing and changing. This fantastic neighborhood already has so much to offer, but the best part is knowing that there’s still more to come.

If you’re a member of the military, Kapolei might be the perfect neighborhood for you to buy or rent a home. The reasonably-priced single-family homes, townhouses, and lofts, as well as the proximity to some of the island’s military bases make this an ideal location for you and your family to live. Check out our VA Resource to learn about Hawai’i BAH and COLA, as well as the different O’ahu Military Housing opportunities and PCS Guides.

Where is Kapolei Located?

Kapolei is nestled at the base of the Waianae mountain range in the southwest corner of the island of O’ahu. The beautiful Waianae Coast lies to the north, and the suburb of Ewa Beach is a short drive to the east. The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is a quick 20 minute drive to the east along the H-1 Freeway.

For a better idea of where Kapolei is located in relation to some of the island’s military bases, you’re only a 25 minute drive to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and you can reach Schofield Barracks by taking the H-2 north in just under 30 minutes.

How Far is Kapolei from Honolulu?

Kapolei is 21 miles west of Honolulu. If traveling at off-peak hours, you can quickly get from Kapolei to Downtown Honolulu in only 30 minutes. If you plan to travel during the morning or afternoon rush, expect the freeway to be clogged with thousands of other commuters trying to make their way to and from work. You could spend anywhere from one hour to an hour and half in traffic. So leave early and bring your patience. 

What is the Weather Like in Kapolei?

Kapolei consistently has perfect beach weather with warm days and lots of sunshine. Being on the leeward side of O’ahu means that you’ll have temperatures that average in the eighties all year long. Low temperatures are moderate, reaching the low to mid-sixties during winter months. Kapolei is also on the dry side, receiving only about 17 inches of rain per year, much less than the national average of 38 inches.

Things to do in Kapolei

When the weekend comes around, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied without leaving the confines of your neighborhood. Whether you’re looking to have lunch with your friends, search the stores for bargains, or hit the water, Kapolei has got you covered. Here are some of the best things to do in Kapolei.

Ka Makana Ali’i Mall | Opened in 2016, Ka Makana Ali’i is O’ahu’s newest mall, and the only mall to service the west side. There are a multitude of shops to choose from including Macy’s, Old Navy, and H&M just to name a few. If you’re looking for restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, and Five Guys are only some of the options you have here. In addition to shopping and food, this mall has a 24 Hour Fitness and a luxury movie theater attached to it. It truly has everything you’re looking for!

Kahe Point Beach Park | What makes Kahe Point Beach Park, also known as Electric Beach, unique is the fact that it’s located right next to a power plant. The power plant pumps clean, warm water into the ocean, attracting all sorts of marine life. If you’re a good swimmer, spend some time snorkeling in the area, then try to spot dolphins as you relax on the beach.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai’i | As the only water park in the state, Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai’i makes it possible for you and your whole family to have an exciting day of fun in the sun. The park has more than 25 rides, including a lazy river and the thrilling U-shaped Shaka. Season passes are available so you can get wet all year long without breaking the bank.

Golfing | Tee up at Kapolei Golf Club. This golf course covers 190 acres and has 80 bunkers and five lakes providing an ideal place to practice your golf game. 

Shopping in Kapolei

There is no shortage of options when it comes to shopping in Kapolei. With five different shopping centers available for you to patronize, shopping couldn’t be more convenient. You’ll find most of these stores along Kapolei Parkway or Farrington Highway. Stores in Kapolei tend to have large parking lots with ample parking, making for a stress-free experience.

Grocery and Drug Stores

Costco | 4589 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Costco is arguably the most popular spot to get your grocery shopping done in Kapolei. This members-only warehouse store sells groceries in bulk, along with a large variety of other items including electronics.

Down to Earth | 4460 Kapolei Pkwy #320, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | At Down to Earth in Kapolei Commons, you can find organic and natural grocery options, as well as vitamins and body care products. They also have a deli area where you can purchase hot food.

Safeway | 590 Farrington Hwy N 400, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Located at Kapolei Marketplace, Safeway is a well-known national supermarket chain that sells both brand-name and house-label groceries. This location also has a deli and a bakery.

Foodland | 4850 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | This local supermarket chain located in the Kapolei Village Center is great for grocery runs. A Foodland Farms, which is more focused on organic and vegetarian products and offers prepared food, is set to open at the Grove in Ka Makana Ali’i sometime in 2020.

Walmart | 91-600 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | At Walmart, you can find everything you need in one location at a reasonable price. This Walmart does have a section for basic groceries, but doesn’t have a full grocery store like a Walmart Supercenter would. It’s great for the essentials.

Target | 4450 Kapolei Pkwy #100, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Target at Kapolei Commons is a popular weekend-stop in Kapolei. In addition to groceries, clothing, home goods, and electronics, this location offers a section of Hawaiian specialties right when you walk into the store. 

Longs Drugs | 590 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707 | Longs in Kapolei Marketplace is a convenient place to pick up your prescriptions. While you’re there, you can also take advantage of their great sales on food, housewares, and paper goods.

Pet Stores

Petco | 4450 Kapolei Pkwy Suite 140, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Conveniently located in Kapolei Commons, Petco has a large variety of food and supplies, including beds and toys. They also offer grooming services and dog training classes.

PetSmart | 91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy Suite 1701, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PetSmart opened just last year in Ka Makana Ali’i. This large chain store provides everything your pet needs, from food and supplies to grooming and training classes. 

Hardware Stores

Home Depot | 4600 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | The Home Depot is a well-known home improvement chain that sells tools, appliances, and other goods. They also offer tool and truck rentals.

Hardware Hawai’i | 110 Ulu Pl, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Located near Costco, this hardware store sells building materials like lumber, plumbing, and paint. They place a heavy focus on customer service with aloha.

Restaurants in Kapolei

The amount of restaurants in Kapolei has really exploded over the last decade. It was hard to narrow my long list of fantastic restaurants down to five. Here are some new places for you to check out, and some tried and true places that I’ve enjoyed for a while. One thing is for sure, if you’re hungry, Kapolei is the place to go.

Mad Bene | 4450 Kapolei Pkwy #540, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Located next to Regal Theaters in Kapolei Commons, Made Bene makes their pasta in-house and serves New York style pizza. Mad Bene just opened at the end of 2019 and has already created quite a buzz in the Kapolei community.

Moani Island Bistro & Bar | 91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Besides serving gourmet local food, Moani Island Bistro & Bar has live music in the evenings, making it a great spot to get together with friends for drinks after shopping at Ka Makana Ali’i.

DB Grill | 4450 Kapolei Pkwy #560, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | This unique spot at Kapolei Commons offers a ton of different food options like kim chee fried rice, bi bim bap, and the plant-based Impossible Burger. They also have a large variety of interesting alcoholic beverages to choose from, like soju, a popular Korean alcohol.

Sushi Bay | 590 Farrington Hwy #130, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | You know a restaurant is good when there’s a crowd of people waiting outside for a table. Sushi Bay at Kapolei Marketplace is so popular that everytime I go I have to settle for ordering take-out because the wait to dine in is so long. You can get sushi via the conveyor-belt if you dine in, or you can order one of their awesome donburis to go.

My Cafe | 563 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot, look no further than My Cafe. You can order the flight of pancakes (mini cookie butta luva, lilikoi, and chocolate taro-haupia pancakes) here, or get a crab and asparagus benedict. There are so many options, you’ll want to go back time and again to try everything. This place gets busy, so make sure you go early or be prepared to wait for a table.

Schools in Kapolei

Kapolei already has many great options when deciding where to send your child to school, but starting with School Year 2020-2021, you will have another option if you have middle schoolers. The Hawai’i Department of Education plans to open East Kapolei Middle School across from the Salvation Army Kroc Center. This will take some of the strain off of Kapolei Middle School, which is currently the sole middle school in the neighborhood.

The below schools are listed in order from Top Rated to Unrated according to Greatschools.org.

Kapolei Elementary Schools

Kapolei Elementary School (Public) | 91-1119 Kamaaha Lp, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-5 | 864 students

Mauka Lani Elementary School (Public) | 92-1300 Panana St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | PK-5 | 626 students

Makakilo Elementary School (Public) | 92-675 Anipeahi St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | PK-5 | 490 students

Ho'okele Elementary School (Public) | 91-511 Kunehi St, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-5 | 738 students

Barbers Point Elementary School (Public) | 3001 Boxer Rd, Kapolei, HI 96707 | PK-5 | 532 students

Island Pacific Academy (Private) | 909 Haumea St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | K-12 | 680 students

Seagull School-Kapolei (Private) | 531 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-1 | Number of students unknown

American Renaissance Academy (Private) | P.O. Box 75357, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-12 | 108 students

Kapolei Middle Schools

Kapolei Middle School (Public) | 91-5335 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | 6-8 | 1,521 students

Island Pacific Academy (Private) | 909 Haumea St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | K-12 | 680 students

American Renaissance Academy (Private) | P.O. Box 75357, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-12 | 108 students

Kapolei High Schools

Kapolei High School (Public) | 91-5007 Kapolei Pkwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | 9-12 | 2,035 students

Island Pacific Academy (Private) | 909 Haumea St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | K-12 | 680 students

American Renaissance Academy (Private) | P.O. Box 75357, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | PK-12 | 108 students

Kapolei Charter School by Goodwill Hawaii (Public Charter) | 2140 Lauwiliwili St, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | 9 | 49 students

Kapolei Public Transportation

The Honolulu City Bus system is the best way to currently get around Kapolei, as well as to get to other parts of the island. From the Kapolei Transit Center, you can easily get to Wahiawa or Ala Moana. Starting in late 2020, the first phase of the Honolulu Rail is scheduled to open, allowing passengers to take the rail from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, perfect for getting to University of Hawai’i football games! Then in 2025, when the entire system is complete, you’ll be able to get from Kapolei to Ala Moana in about 42 minutes, much faster than you could get there in your car during peak hours. The opening of the rail system will provide those living in Kapolei with another much-needed and long-awaited alternative mode of transportation.

Healthcare Facilities in Kapolei

Kapolei provides numerous healthcare facilities to keep you and your family healthy. The closest hospital is The Queen’s Medical Center - West O’ahu located in Ewa Beach, only 10-15 minutes away. There are also plenty of clinics in the neighborhood.

Kaiser Permanente Kapolei Clinic | 599 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Kaiser Permanente’s Kapolei Clinic offers family medicine, laboratory services, and diabetic eye screening. There is also a pharmacy at this location so you can see your doctor and pick up your prescription all in one trip.

Kaiser Permanente West O’ahu Medical Office | The Kaiser Permanente West O’ahu Medical Office is currently under construction and is expected to open sometime in 2021. This 40,000 square foot clinic will include both primary and specialty care for residents who live and work on the west side.

Straub Medical Center - Kapolei Clinic & Urgent Care | 91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy, Suite 1706, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Just last year in 2019, Hawai’i Pacific Health opened a new Straub Medical Center at The Grove in Ka Makana Ali’i. Services here currently include primary care, urgent care, and pediatric sports medicine with more to come in the near future.

The Queen’s Health Care Centers - Kapolei | 599 Farrington Hwy, Suite 201, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | This location of the Queen’s Health Care Centers provides west side family members with primary care and specialty services including family medicine, immunizations, and physical therapy.

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center - West O’ahu Community Health | 599 Farrington Hwy, Suites 100, 208A, and 208, Kapolei, HI 96707 | The Kapolei location of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center is its largest satellite clinic and provides healthcare for women and families as well as a walk-in clinic.

Hotels in Kapolei

It was only in 2016 that the first hotel opened in the heart of Kapolei. Prior to that, if you wanted to stay in the Kapolei area, your only option was to stay at one of the luxury hotels at Ko Olina. Since then, two more hotels have opened up in the area, providing both locals and tourists with new options when they’re looking for somewhere to stay. There is also a fourth hotel on the way; the name and open date are still to be determined, although it is expected to open sometime in 2021.

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton O’ahu/Kapolei | 91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy Suite 900, Kapolei, HI, 96707 | Hampton Inn & Suites is attached to Ka Makana Ali’i, so there are countless shops and restaurants just steps away.

Embassy Suites by Hilton O’ahu Kapolei | 725 Manawai St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | Embassy Suites has some great amenities, including shuttle services to area beaches and free cooked-to-order breakfasts. 

Residence Inn by Marriott O’ahu Kapolei | 731 Kunehi St, Kapolei, HI 96707 | Perfect for longer stays, Residence Inn suites include a full kitchen so you can prepare your own meals.

Kapolei Real Estate

If you’re in the market for a home and looking at Kapolei as an option, you will find an abundance of single-family homes and townhouses in the neighborhood. Homes in Kapolei typically have relatively large floor plans and are quite affordable for Hawai’i. You can expect purchase prices in the range of $300,000 - $700,000 for townhomes and $600,000 - $1,800,000 for single-family homes. Kapolei rentals will have an average range of $1,500 - $4,000 per month.

Best Neighborhoods in Kapolei

Ko Olina | Ko Olina is an upscale oceanfront community shared with luxury hotels including Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. The housing market consists of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominium villas with anywhere between two to three bedrooms and baths. Prices range from $500,000 - $1,800,000.

Mehana | This community is located right in the heart of Kapolei. It’s close to Costco and Foodland, not to mention a large variety of restaurants. Mehana is for you if you’re looking for an affordable townhouse with two to three bedrooms and baths in the $500,000 - $700,000 price range.

Ho’opili | The newest community in Kapolei, built with transit-oriented development in mind, is Ho’opili. This desirable neighborhood is close to the rail line, the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu, and Ka Makana Ali’i. If you’re looking for newly constructed single-family homes and townhouses in the $600,000 - $900,000 price range, this neighborhood is for you.

If you have any more questions about the neighborhood or are planning a move and need our assistance finding a home, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted in Community News
May 14, 2020

Moving to North Shore, Oahu? The Ultimate Guide to Living in North Shore Oahu, Surf, Restaurants, & Real Estate in 2020

Living in North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

As Hawaii's premier surf destination, the North Shore, Hawaii is home to many famous beaches, including Sunset and Pipeline. If want to take the Hollywood approach to learning about the North Shore, it actually has its own movie aptly titled "North Shore" from 1987. You may have also noticed the region featured in box office hits like Blue Crush and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Host to international surf competitions, you'll find surf celebrities abound in the winter. Located 45 minutes north from Honolulu, this surfers’ paradise is adjacent to the pineapple fields of Dole Plantation. The North Shore is known as the birthplace of big wave surfing, with waves reaching up to 50 feet and home to world class surf competitions like The Vans Triple Crown and Billabong Pipe Masters. In contrast to the giant winter, summer allows for exceptional swimming and snorkeling in Waimea Bay.  Known for it’s laid back attitude and surf-inspired culture, this stretch of coast is perfect for those looking to rent or buy a home in a pristine small-town community. 

> See all homes for sale in North Shore, Oahu

> See all houses for rent in North Shore, Oahu

The North Shore includes the towns of Haleiwa, Pupukea, Kahuku, Laie, and Hauula, with Haleiwa as the mainstay. Although the north shore is one of the more expensive areas of Oahu, it provides a respite to the hustle and traffic of Honolulu. Available homes for sale are plantation-style single-family, gated townhomes, condos, and luxury estates with oceanfront views.  If you’re looking to live within a resort, you’ll also find an array of condos for sale within the Kuilima Estates at Turtle Bay Resort. 

With easy access to famous locales of Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley, you won’t run out of things to do in the North Shore. The Smaller communities of Waialua, Mokuleia, Pupukea, and Kawela Bay are also in demand areas to purchase a beachside property within the 96712 North Shore zip code.  Many of Hawaii’s military families decide to invest in a North Shore home due to its proximity to Schofield Barracks Oahu Military Base.

Traveling through these locales you're surrounded by quaint small town nostalgia.  A world away from the bustle and skyscrapers of Honolulu, find peace in this coastal stretch. 


Asking what island is North Shore on is a little ambiguous as each island has their own North Shore, but none quite as notorious as Oahu! Reference the North Shore Map below and you will se the boundary lines of the region spanning Ka'ena Point, past Kawela Bay, and on to Kualoa Ranch. The Kahuku, Laie, and Punaluu regions also fall within the North Shore territory but not in the sense of how we identify it when speaking about the "wave-havens" of the region. Within the North Shore area, you will find the Dole Plantation, Waimea Bay, and the Ko’olau Mountains bridging the center.

How Far is North Shore from...

  • Waikiki | 33 Miles | 48 Minutes 
  • Honolulu Airport (Daniel K Inouye Airport | 26 Miles | 35 Minutes
  • Metro Honolulu | 30 Miles | 45 Minutes
  • Schofield Barracks Army Base Hawaii | 9 Miles | 19 Minutes

*All of the above is assuming ideal traffic conditions. 


Life in the North Shore is laid back, as you may observe by the lack of patrons wearing shoes in the shops and sidewalks of Haleiwa. Life here is slow.  Although it is home to surf bums and retired millionaires alike, it lacks the social hierarchy. There are a high number of Mormon residents on the North Shore due to its proximity to Brigham Young University in Laie. 

Like most Hawaii locals, residents are easy going and warm.  The spirit of aloha is alive here. The people who call the North Shore home plan their days around peak surf times and talking story with friends.  Food trucks are prized for their fresh local eats over the upscale restaurants of Honolulu. You will almost never hear honking cars and traffic stops to let pedestrians get by (surfboards in tow).  Throwing shaka is the de facto greeting, and you will be welcomed as long as you respect the land. Due to its remote proximity, you will find that prices in stores are higher than what you will find in Honolulu. Throughout Hawaii, tourism is the main economic driver. Many local people find employment in relation to the tourism industry.  


North Shore residents pride themselves on maintaining the area’s rural charm and remain ardently anti-development, as depicted by the “Keep the Country Country” bumper stickers on many cars. Although many development projects have been proposed, they are always met with objections from locals. 

As ancient Hawaiians began to migrate from the Big Island and Oahu, the North Shore became the new home of agricultural communities. Drawn to the area for the rich soil, taro and sweet potato became staple crops. Near the beginning of the 20th century, Benjamin J. Dillingham assembled a railroad, sugar mill, and “Hawaii’s finest hotel” the Hale’iwa Hotel. Haleiwa, in Hawaiian means house of the iwa bird.  This resort became a favorite of Honolulu’s elite looking for a weekend getaway. Although neither the hotel nor railroad exists today, several other buildings from the early businesses of Haleiwa still stand. 

The North Shore is usually synonymous with surfing, however, this is a relatively recent development. Before the 1980’s surfing was considered too dangerous. However, Surf legends like Eddie Aikau changed attitudes, ushering in the era of big wave surfing. 


Haleiwa, Hawaii is located 30 miles north of Honolulu.  The fastest way to get to the North Shore from Honolulu is to take I-H-2 S and I-H-2 E, through the center of Oahu, arriving in about 45 minutes. The other option is to take the more scenic Windward coastline through Kailua which could take anywhere from 1-2 hours. It’s best to arrive early to beat the traffic.  


With temperatures around eighty degrees year-round, you can enjoy 365 days of sun and surf.  North Shore weather will see cool breezes from the tradewinds coming off of the see so you should rarely feel overheated.  This also offers the opportunity to save on A/C costs by opening windows to allow the breeze through on hotter days. Winter months bring more rain, and it rains almost every day. Although rains rarely last more than a few minutes, floods in the winter are not unheard of. 

What to do in North Shore Oahu

If you are an ocean lover you will never run out of things to do in North Shore, Oahu.  In contrast to the monster waves of winter, in the summertime, the waves smooth out and provide excellent conditions for swimming or snorkeling. Fill your days with sun and surf or spend an afternoon browsing through Haleiwa’s trendy shops and galleries. The “7 Mile Miracle” is the most famous stretch of the North Shore coast. Running from Sunset Beach to Haleiwa Beach Park, this area includes Waimea, Pipeline, and other famous surfing beaches. 

Waimea Bay | Located past Haleiwa beach and across from Waimea Falls, this legendary beach is known amongst surfers as the top surf spot in the North Shore. Extending through the middle you will find “Da Rock” a popular spot for cliff jumping. Home to The Eddie Big Wave Invitational.

Polynesian Cultural Center | Arguably the top tourist attraction on Oahu. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian and Polynesian Culture for a theatrical luau that dives deep into the history of Ancient Polynesians and the origins of their island homes and people.

Waimea Valley | If you are interested in discovering native foliage, Waimea Valley offers over 5,000 tropical plants. Across the street from Waimea Bay, this tropical reserve is situated on 1,500 acres of land.  Enjoy family-friendly cultural activities including talk story hour, hula, and ancient Hawaiian crafts. 

Waimea Falls | Within Waimea Valley catch a glimpse of Waimea Falls, a picture-perfect waterfall surrounded by the verdant foliage of the rainforest. Only a short walk from the entrance swimming is allowed in the pools of the falls. 

Alii Beach Park | One of the best spots for swimming in the North Shore. Due to the shallow beach, Alii Beach Park is a kid-friendly post. Great for first-time surfers and a favorite amongst local families. You will often find a keiki (kids) surf competition here with families cheering them on from the beach. 

Dole Plantation | One of Oahu's most renowned tourist destinations with fun for the whole family. Check out the pineapples maze!


When shopping for souvenirs or food, the variety of shops and grocery stores make it easy to find what you need.  With most of the stores located within the main Haleiwa strip and ample parking, shopping is a seamless experience. However, you will find that prices here are more expensive than Honolulu. Many noted galleries are situated on the Haleiwa strip featuring local artists' wares.  More budget-conscious North Shore residents find themselves making weekly trips to Honolulu to stock up on essentials at more affordable prices. 


Haleiwa Farmers Market | 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | A North Shore staple. Outdoor market happening Thursdays from 2:00-6:00 rain or shine. Vendors ranging from organic farmers to artists with accompanying live music. 

Celestial Natural Foods | 66-443 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Family-owned organic grocery. Offering a variety of bulk and vegetarian offerings. All items are non-GMO. Other highlights include reef-safe sunscreens, essential oils, and natural beauty products. 

Foodland | 59-720 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Hawaii based supermarket chain. Excellent place to pick up fresh produce and locally caught sushi. 

Malama Market | 66-190 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Independent chain with stores throughout Hawaii. Providing produce and other grocery items. Highly rated for their ready to eat offerings including poke and spam musubi. 


Feed Trough Inc | 67-292 Goodale Ave, Waialua, HI 96791 | Independent store stocking livestock feed & supplies, plus dog and cat food necessities.


Pioneer Ace Hardware | 66-134 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Hardware store with tools, homeware, and outdoor essentials. Otherwise, you’ll need to make the drive to Honolulu for larger retailers. 


Surf N Sea | 62-595 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Shop offering surf lessons, rentals, ocean kayaking tours, and scuba diving supplies. If you want to embrace the local music scene, you can purchase a ukulele made of 100% recycled wood. 

North Shore Surf Shop | 66-150 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Find deals on surf rentals and gear here.  Board rentals start at $15 for 24 hours with car straps included.  Great selection of locally designed tees as well. 

Where to eat North Shore, Oahu

There's plenty of restaurants on the North Shore but the region is famous for its food truck scene where you will find a plethora of fresh local options.  It wouldn’t be a trip to the North Shore without a plate of garlic shrimp or shave ice.  With so many food trucks to choose from, you won’t run out of tasty options. 

Matsumoto Shave Ice | 66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #605, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Families from all over Oahu will make the drive to the North Shore for this legendary spot. Expect long lines.  Delicious combinations and affordable pricing. 

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck | 66-472 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Well known joint with a variety of plate lunches. Locals' favorite is garlic shrimp with a side of rice.

Killer Tacos Inc | 66-560 Kamehameha Hwy # 1, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Over the counter tacos with a well air-conditioned atmosphere. Hands down the best Mexican offering in the North Shore. 

Haleiwa Joe’s | 66-011 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Casual spot with a beach theme and great views. Located on the Haleiwa strip, this spot offers fresh seafood dishes and steak alongside cocktails. 

Sprout Sandwich Shop | 66-526 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI | Best tasting sandwiches on the North Shore. Healthy ingredients in hearty and light combinations. 

The Beet Box Cafe | 66-437 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI | Lunch post with organic and vegan options. A menu featuring burritos, salads, smoothies, and plenty of avocado options. This place will give you the energy to spend hours surfing. 

Haleiwa Beach House | 62-540 Kamehameha Hwy. Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Local favorites, seafood, and two bars oriented over an upstairs and downstairs dining area. Great spot if you want to sit in open air on the restaurant's deck to enjoy a bite!

North Shore Schools

The North Shore has both public and private school options. The schools listed below are Top Rated according to Greatschools.org 


Laie Elementary School | 55-109 Kulanui St, Laie, HI, 96762 | Public district, PK-6 | 669 students

Waialua Elementary School | 67-020 Waialua Beach Rd, Waialua, HI, 96791 | Public district | PK-6 | 548 students

Haleiwa Elementary School | 66-505 Haleiwa Rd, Haleiwa, HI, 96712 | Public district, PK-6 | 224 students

Kahuku Elementary School | 56-170 Pualalea St, Kahuku, HI, 96731 | Public district |  PK-6 | 425 students

Sunset Beach Elementary School | 59-360 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 | Public district | PK-6 | 443 students

Hauula Elementary School | 54-046 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI |96717 Public district | PK-6 | 343 students


Kahuku High & Intermediate School | 56-490 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI |  96731 Public district | 7-12 | 1,390 students

Waialua High & Intermediate School | 67-160 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI, 96791 | Public district | 7-12 | 673 students

Kamalani Academy | 1403 California Ave, Wahiawa, HI, 96786 | Public charter, PK-8 | 286 students


Kahuku High & Intermediate School | 56-490 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI, 96731 | Public district, 7-12 |1,390 students

Waialua High & Intermediate School | 67-160 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI |  96791| Public district, 7-12 | 673 students


Accessing the North Shore via Honolulu is limited. The only public transportation is the Honolulu Bus system. With many stops, the bus trip takes anywhere from 2-3 hours. Bus numbers 52 and 55 run from Ala Moana to the North Shore daily. It is recommended that visitors rent a car. Turo offers affordable options with listings from local car owners. Bus 88A runs throughout the North Shore, starting in Pearl City running through Turtle Resort and back to Ala Moana. 


There is a Family Health Center in Haleiwa as well as a Medical Center in Kahuku. The closest hospital, Wahiawa General Hospital, is located about 30 minutes south. In addition to this, there are two dental clinics located within Haleiwa in case you need teeth cleaning. 

Where to Stay North Shore, Oahu

North Shore Hotels are limited and that's just the way the locals want to keep it. This is why the North Shore quickly rose to becoming Oahu's hotspot for vacation rental activity on AirBnb and VRBO. However, the North Shore, Oahu vacation rental market is currently under attack by Bill 89 that was introduced in 2019, introducing strict penalties on illegal vacation rentals on Oahu.  There are many vacation rentals on the North Shore still available, but it's a very fluid environment and you may see this change.  Here's the options we're confident in:

Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731 | Mainstay resort located in Kahuku. Set on 850 acres overlooking Kuilima Cove. High-end atmosphere in the several hundred dollars per night price range. Luxury amenities and sweeping ocean views. 

Kuilima Estates | Within Turtle Bay Resort, these condos are privately owned and may have recently received approval to operate legal North Shore vacation rentals due falling in resort jurisdiction.

Kalani Hawaii Private Lodging | Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa, Oahu, HI 96712 | Located across from Sunset Beach, this boutique lodging is privately owned by “Uncle Bernie and Aunty Maria”. With rave hospitality reviews of, you will feel right at home. It offers a large lanai and comfortable common area to socialize with other guests. 

North Shore Real Estate

Due to the anti-development sentiment of the local community, the homes for sale on the North Shore are more limited than other areas of Oahu. Developers focus mainly on building luxury estates on available lots. Many homes are hidden from the main road, a testament to residents’ preference for privacy. Here's our top picks:


Kuilima Estates - Situated within the Turtle Bay Resort these updated homes and condos are easy walking distance to white sand beaches and golfing. Homes from $450,000 - $920,000.

Sunset Beach - A popular spot with families, this area offers easy access to Sunset Beach Elementary School (which is located directly across from Sunset Beach). You’ll be sure to raise a couple of young surfers if you decide to settle here. Homes ranging from $900,000 - $14,000,000. 

Waialua - The slower, country-side of the North Shore. Expect far less congestion here and honestly, the place I want to retire! Homes for sale in Waialua see prices starting at $700,000. 

See all houses for sale in North Shore

See all houses for rent in North Shore

If you have further questions about the neighborhoods or want to discuss your best options for the upcoming move, please don't hesitate to contact us.


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