With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture and relaxed island lifestyle, Oahu is one of the most desirable places to live in Hawaii. If you’re considering a move to Oahu, you’ll want to choose an area that matches your lifestyle and budget.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The best places to live in Oahu are Honolulu, Kailua, Kaneohe, Mililani Town, Hawaii Kai, Pearl City, Waipahu, Ewa Beach, Aiea and Waianae. These areas offer a mix of beautiful scenery, good schools, convenient amenities and reasonable home prices.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Oahu’s top places to live. We’ll look at factors like affordability, outdoor recreation, dining and cultural attractions, nightlife, education and commute times to help you find your ideal Oahu neighborhood.
Overview and lifestyle: Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and is located on the island of Oahu. It is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse population. With a population of over 350,000, Honolulu offers a unique blend of urban living and natural beauty. The city has a bustling downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The warm and tropical climate makes it an ideal place for outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and snorkeling. The laid-back and friendly atmosphere of Honolulu is perfect for those looking for a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle.
Housing: Honolulu offers a wide range of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxurious beachfront properties to affordable apartments, there is something for everyone. The city has seen a steady increase in housing prices in recent years, but there are still affordable options available. The neighborhoods in Honolulu are diverse and offer their own unique charm. Whether you prefer a quiet suburban area or a lively downtown vibe, you can find it in Honolulu.
Things to do: Honolulu is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and water activities, there is never a shortage of things to do. You can spend your days soaking up the sun at Waikiki Beach, exploring the stunning Diamond Head crater, or snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. The city also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. Additionally, Honolulu is known for its delicious food, from fresh seafood to traditional Hawaiian dishes.
Schools: Honolulu is home to a variety of excellent schools, making it a great place for families. The city has both public and private schools that offer a high-quality education. Some of the top-rated schools in Honolulu include Punahou School, Iolani School, and Mid-Pacific Institute. The University of Hawaii at Manoa is also located in Honolulu, providing higher education opportunities for students.
Overview and lifestyle
Kailua, located on the eastern side of Oahu, is a charming seaside town known for its beautiful beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and vibrant community. With a population of around 39,000 people, Kailua offers a small-town feel while still being close to the amenities of Honolulu.
The weather in Kailua is typically warm and sunny, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as surfing, kayaking, and hiking. The town also boasts a strong sense of community, with regular events and festivals that bring residents together.
Kailua offers a range of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences. From cozy beachfront cottages to spacious modern homes, there is something for everyone in this idyllic town. The real estate market in Kailua is competitive, with homes often selling quickly. However, with a little patience and the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent, you can find your dream home in this desirable location.
Things to do
Kailua is packed with activities and attractions for residents to enjoy. The town’s main draw is its stunning beaches, such as Kailua Beach Park and Lanikai Beach, which are consistently ranked among the best in Hawaii. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, and breathtaking views of the surrounding islands.
In addition to its beaches, Kailua also has a vibrant downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. You can spend your days exploring the local boutiques, trying out different cuisines, or simply relaxing with a cup of coffee and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of this charming town.
Kailua is home to several top-rated schools, making it an ideal place for families. Kailua High School and Kalaheo High School are both known for their strong academic programs and extracurricular offerings. There are also a number of highly regarded elementary and middle schools in the area.
For those seeking higher education, Kailua is within close proximity to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which offers a wide range of degree programs and research opportunities.
Overview and lifestyle
Kaneohe, located on the eastern coast of Oahu, is a picturesque town known for its lush greenery, stunning mountain views, and tranquil bay. With a population of around 35,000, it offers a close-knit community feel while still providing easy access to the bustling city of Honolulu. The moderate climate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s year-round, makes it a desirable place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
Kaneohe offers a variety of housing options to suit different lifestyles and budgets. From single-family homes with spacious yards to modern condominium complexes, there is something for everyone. The median home price in Kaneohe is around $900,000, but there are also more affordable options available. Renting is also a popular choice, with an average monthly rent of $2,500 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Things to do
Kaneohe is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by natural wonders, including the breathtaking Ko’olau Mountains and the pristine Kaneohe Bay. You can hike to beautiful waterfalls, enjoy stunning panoramic views from the Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Trail, or spend a day kayaking or paddleboarding in the bay. For those who enjoy shopping and dining, the nearby Windward Mall offers a wide range of options.
Kaneohe is home to several excellent schools, making it an ideal place for families with children. Kaneohe Elementary School and Benjamin Parker Elementary School are both highly regarded for their academic programs and dedicated teachers. For older students, King Intermediate School and Castle High School provide a strong education foundation. Additionally, Hawaii Pacific University has a campus in nearby Kaneohe, offering higher education opportunities.
Overview and Lifestyle
Mililani Town is a picturesque suburban community located in central Oahu, Hawaii. With its lush green landscapes, friendly neighborhoods, and a strong sense of community, Mililani Town offers a peaceful and laid-back lifestyle. The town is known for its safe environment, making it an ideal place for families and individuals looking for a tranquil living experience. With a population of over 27,000 residents, Mililani Town has a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes people from all walks of life.
One of the major attractions of Mililani Town is its wide range of housing options. From spacious single-family homes to modern apartments, Mililani Town offers a variety of choices to suit different preferences and budgets. The real estate market in Mililani Town is thriving, with a mix of new developments and established neighborhoods. The town’s well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, and walking paths add to the overall appeal of the area. Whether you are looking to rent or buy a home, Mililani Town provides excellent options for all.
Things to Do
Mililani Town offers a plethora of activities and attractions for residents and visitors alike. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the Mililani Golf Club, while nature lovers can explore the beautiful nature trails at Mililani Mauka Park. The town also boasts a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues, providing ample opportunities for dining and leisure activities. For those seeking adventure, the nearby Koolau Mountains offer hiking and breathtaking views of the island.
Families with children will be pleased with the excellent education options available in Mililani Town. The town is served by top-rated public and private schools, including Mililani High School, which consistently ranks among the best high schools in Hawaii. The community places a strong emphasis on education, and the schools in Mililani Town are known for their dedicated teachers and comprehensive programs. This ensures that children receive a quality education and have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities.
Overview and lifestyle: Nestled on the eastern shore of Oahu, Hawaii Kai offers a picturesque and serene living environment. With its stunning views of the ocean and mountain ranges, this neighborhood is truly a tropical paradise. The community is known for its safe and family-friendly atmosphere, making it an ideal place to raise children. Residents of Hawaii Kai enjoy a laid-back lifestyle with access to numerous outdoor activities and recreational opportunities.
Housing: Hawaii Kai offers a diverse range of housing options, from luxurious waterfront properties to more affordable homes and apartments. Many of the houses in this neighborhood boast spacious yards and stunning views. The area also features well-maintained parks and green spaces, perfect for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. With its close proximity to the beach, residents of Hawaii Kai can easily enjoy water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and boating.
Things to do: Hawaii Kai is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The neighborhood is home to several hiking trails, including the famous Koko Crater Trail, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island. For those who love water sports, the Hawaii Kai Marina offers opportunities for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. Golfers will also appreciate the Hawaii Kai Golf Course, which provides a challenging and scenic experience. Additionally, the area is dotted with shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues, ensuring residents have plenty of options for leisure and entertainment.
Schools: Families with children will be pleased to know that Hawaii Kai is home to several top-rated schools. These include the highly regarded Kaiser High School, which consistently ranks among the best high schools in Hawaii. There are also excellent elementary and middle schools in the area, providing a strong educational foundation for students. The community is committed to providing a nurturing and supportive environment for learning, ensuring that children receive a quality education.
Overview and Lifestyle
Pearl City is a vibrant and diverse community located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. With its convenient location and close proximity to Honolulu, Pearl City offers residents the best of both worlds – a peaceful suburban setting with easy access to urban amenities. The community is known for its friendly atmosphere, strong sense of community, and beautiful natural surroundings.
Pearl City provides a variety of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, a townhouse, or an apartment, you’ll find a range of options in this area. The real estate market in Pearl City is competitive, but with careful planning and the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent, you can find a home that meets your needs.
Things to Do
Pearl City offers a wide range of recreational activities for residents to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a diverse array of plant and animal species. The community is also home to several parks and golf courses, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. For those who prefer indoor activities, Pearl City has a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues to explore.
Pearl City is served by several highly regarded public and private schools. The public school system in the area is known for its strong academics and extracurricular programs. Some notable schools include Pearl City High School, which offers a wide range of advanced placement courses, and Pearl City Elementary School, which has a strong focus on character education. Families in Pearl City also have access to a number of private schools, providing even more educational options.
Overview and lifestyle
Located on the western side of Oahu, Waipahu is a vibrant community known for its rich cultural diversity and strong sense of community. With its close proximity to Honolulu, Waipahu offers residents the perfect balance between suburban living and urban convenience. The area is home to a diverse range of residents, including families, young professionals, and retirees.
Waipahu offers a variety of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. From spacious single-family homes to modern townhouses and apartments, there is something for everyone in this neighborhood. The median home price in Waipahu is around $600,000, making it an affordable option compared to other areas in Oahu. Additionally, the cost of living in Waipahu is slightly lower than in Honolulu, making it an attractive choice for those looking to save on expenses.
Things to do
Waipahu is known for its abundance of recreational activities and attractions. The neighborhood is home to several parks and green spaces, where residents can enjoy picnicking, hiking, and playing sports. One popular destination is the Hawaii Plantation Village, a living museum that showcases the history and culture of Hawaii’s sugar plantations. For those who enjoy shopping and dining, the Waikele Premium Outlets is a must-visit destination, offering a wide range of retail stores and eateries.
Waipahu is served by a number of public and private schools, providing residents with quality education options. Some notable schools in the area include Waipahu Elementary School, Waipahu Intermediate School, and Waipahu High School. These schools are known for their strong academic programs and dedicated faculty. Additionally, there are several preschools and daycare centers available for families with young children.
Overview and lifestyle
Ewa Beach, located on the western shores of Oahu, is a vibrant and diverse community that offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. With its stunning beaches, beautiful parks, and close-knit neighborhoods, Ewa Beach is a popular choice for residents looking for a peaceful and family-friendly place to call home. The community prides itself on its strong sense of community and the warm aloha spirit that permeates every aspect of life in Ewa Beach. Whether you’re a young professional, a retiree, or a family with children, Ewa Beach offers something for everyone.
When it comes to housing, Ewa Beach offers a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. From modern condominiums and townhouses to spacious single-family homes, there is something for everyone in Ewa Beach. The real estate market in Ewa Beach has seen steady growth in recent years, making it an attractive option for both homebuyers and investors. The average home price in Ewa Beach is around $700,000, which is slightly lower compared to other popular areas on the island. However, it’s important to note that housing prices can vary depending on the specific location and amenities.
Things to do
Ewa Beach is known for its abundance of outdoor recreational activities. The area boasts beautiful beaches where residents can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. One of the must-visit spots in Ewa Beach is the stunning Hoakalei Country Club, which offers a world-class golfing experience. For those who love nature, there are several parks and hiking trails in the area, such as the Pu’u o Kapolei Nature Park and the Ewa Mahiko District Park. Additionally, Ewa Beach is home to a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues, ensuring residents have plenty of options for leisure and entertainment.
Education is a top priority for many families, and Ewa Beach offers a range of excellent schools to choose from. Some of the notable schools in the area include Ewa Beach Elementary School, Ewa Makai Middle School, and James Campbell High School. These schools are known for their dedicated teachers, strong academic programs, and a variety of extracurricular activities. Ewa Beach also has several private schools and preschools for parents seeking alternative education options for their children. Overall, the quality of education in Ewa Beach is highly regarded, making it an ideal place for families with school-aged children.
– Ewa Beach community website: https://www.ewabeachcommunity.com/
– City-data.com: http://www.city-data.com/city/Ewa-Beach-Hawaii.html
Aiea is a beautiful neighborhood located in the central part of Oahu, Hawaii. It offers a unique blend of suburban charm and convenient access to urban amenities. With its lush green landscapes, stunning views of the mountains, and close proximity to the coastline, Aiea is a highly sought-after place to live.
Overview and lifestyle
Aiea is known for its laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere. The community is tight-knit, and residents take great pride in maintaining a safe and clean environment. The neighborhood is also home to a diverse population, which adds to its vibrant and welcoming ambiance.
Living in Aiea means enjoying a variety of recreational activities. The neighborhood is surrounded by several parks and hiking trails, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The Pearlridge Center, one of the largest shopping malls in Hawaii, is also located in Aiea, offering residents access to a wide range of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Aiea offers a mix of housing options, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. The real estate market in Aiea is highly competitive, with a limited supply of available homes. However, the investment is worth it, as the properties in Aiea tend to hold their value well. The neighborhood’s close proximity to major military bases, such as Pearl Harbor, also makes it an attractive choice for military families.
For those looking to rent, Aiea offers a range of rental properties at various price points. Whether you’re seeking a cozy apartment or a spacious house, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and budget.
Things to do
Aiea provides residents with plenty of opportunities for entertainment. The neighborhood is home to the Aiea Bowl, a popular bowling alley that has been a local favorite for decades. You can also find a wide range of dining options in Aiea, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants serving delicious Hawaiian cuisine.
If you’re a history buff, a visit to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites is a must. Located just minutes away from Aiea, these sites offer a glimpse into the events of World War II and provide a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served.
Aiea is served by several highly-rated schools, making it an excellent choice for families with children. Aiea Elementary School, Aiea Intermediate School, and Aiea High School are all located within the neighborhood. These schools offer a strong academic curriculum and a variety of extracurricular activities to support the holistic development of students.
For higher education, the University of Hawaii’s West Oahu campus is just a short drive away, providing residents with access to a wide range of degree programs and educational opportunities.
Located on the western coast of Oahu, Waianae offers a unique and laid-back lifestyle that attracts both locals and visitors alike. With its stunning beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and a close-knit community, it is no wonder that Waianae is considered one of the best places to live in Oahu.
Overview and Lifestyle
Waianae is a small town with a population of around 13,000 residents. Despite its size, it has a strong sense of community and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The town is known for its diverse cultural heritage, and you can find a mix of Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Filipino influences throughout the area. The locals are friendly and always ready to share their love for the island with visitors.
One of the advantages of living in Waianae is the availability of affordable housing options. Whether you are looking to rent or buy, there are plenty of choices to suit different budgets and preferences. From cozy beachfront cottages to modern condos with stunning ocean views, Waianae offers a range of housing options for residents.
Things to Do
For outdoor enthusiasts, Waianae is a paradise. The town is surrounded by beautiful beaches, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Makaha Beach, in particular, is a popular spot for surfers due to its powerful waves. If you prefer to stay on land, you can explore the nearby hiking trails, go fishing, or simply enjoy a picnic by the shore.
Waianae is home to several schools that provide quality education for its residents. From elementary to high school, parents can choose from a range of public and private institutions. The schools in Waianae are known for their dedicated teachers and strong community involvement, providing students with a supportive learning environment.
Oahu offers so many excellent options when it comes to the best places to live. Each area has its own unique character, lifestyle and amenities. Consider your priorities when it comes to factors like budget, commute, outdoor access and school quality. We hope this outline has given you a helpful starting point for choosing your ideal Oahu neighborhood.
Wherever you decide to settle down, you’ll be able to enjoy Oahu’s natural beauty and island way of life. With world-class beaches, hiking trails and vibrant culture around every corner, you really can’t go wrong when choosing where to live on this stunning Hawaiian island.