Moving To & Living In Kaneohe, HI - The Definitive Guide | 2020 Edition

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 >>>

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 (Kane?ohe) 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

How far is Kanohe from Honolulu?

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

What is the weather like in Kaneohe?

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. 

What is there to do in Kaneohe?

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! 

What is the shopping like in Kaneohe?

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

What are the best resturants in Kaneohe?

Dean’s Drive Inn | 45-270 William Henry Road, Kane?ohe, 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.

What the top schools in Kaneohe?

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.

Healthcare Facilitie in Kaneohe

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

What is the Real Estate like 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.

What are the best neighborhoods in Kaneohe?

  • 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 >>>

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!

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