Kapolei, Hawaii | Suburban Living in Oahu's Second City

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.

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