Kaimukī is a charming neighborhood filled with coffee shops, retro eateries, and eccentric indie businesses.
Kaimukī is a charming neighborhood in Diamond Head’s mauka (mountainside) district filled with coffee shops, retro eateries, and eccentric indie businesses. Shops selling vintage Aloha shirts, bento boxes, and artisan gelato, as well as chic jewelry boutiques and stylish brunch spots, line Waialae Avenue. Bright tropical flowers, locally harvested sea salt, sea asparagus, and kimchi fried rice can be found at the KCC Saturday Farmers’ Market.
Kaimukī is a Hawaiian name from the past. Its name is derived from the Hawaiian phrase Ka imu kī , which means “the ti root oven.” The area was known for the several ovens that were used to bake the Cordyline fruticosa, or ti roots, into a sweet delicacy that tasted like candy.
In 1848, King Kamehameha III gave the Kaimukī area to future King William Lunalilo. In 1884, the land was sold for $2,325 and again in 1898 for $20,000. The location later became home to King Kalakaua’s farm, where ostriches ran freely across the mountainside. It was later turned into a carnation farm for funeral flowers.
In the early 1900’s, Kaimuki developed into a residential neighborhood for the wealthy. Families arrived first, followed by businesses. In its more than 100-year existence, the Kaimuki neighborhood has undergone many transformations. The area is now a relaxed walking district bordered by stunning historic residences perched high on Maunalani Heights.
It’s now a mix of residential areas and a small business sector (primarily restaurants and service industries), and it’s near Kahala and Diamond Head in Honolulu’s urbanized region.
Waialae Avenue is Kaimukī’s principal thoroughfare. This street is home to a number of restaurants and retailers, as well as Kaimukī District Park.
Along Waialae Avenue, Kaimukī’s main avenue, niche shops, specialty boutiques, and distinctive eateries abound. So grab a place at one of the area’s two main self-pay lots (Kaimukī Plaza or Kaimukī Municipal), or see if you can get that elusive street parking spot, and join us in exploring this vibrant Oahu neighborhood.
Kaimukī, like the rest of Oahu, gets warm weather all year. The hottest month is usually August, with an average monthly temperature of 81 degrees, and the coolest month is usually January, with an average monthly temperature of 73 degrees. With an average monthly precipitation of 2.9 inches, March is the wettest month. Kaimuki is a fantastic area for walking and shopping, as well as taking your dog to the park, because the skies are usually clear with few cloudy days and a high air quality index.
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