Oahu is in the southeastern part of the Hawaii Islands and is relatively populous. People refer to it as the “Gathering Place.” People have been inhabiting the place for over 1000 years, leaving it with a rich history.
It is a place that never fails to offer its visitors a wide array of natural beauty, activities, and entertainment opportunities, but where exactly should you be living in Oahu?
Great places on this island provide value for your money and offer a better quality of life. When looking for where to live in Oahu, there are several factors you should consider.
Oahu offers numerous neighborhoods to live in, but which ticks your checklist? This guide discusses the best neighborhoods in Honolulu and Oahu in general.
Towns in Oahu
Welcome to Honolulu
Honolulu is the heart of island life and Oahu’s capital city. There are three best neighborhoods in Honolulu: Waikiki, Manoa Valley, and Kahala. The most preferred neighborhoods are close to the beach and costly. If you consider living on a limited budget, consider a place in Honolulu’s suburbs.
It is the most popular tourist area in Oahu. The beautiful beaches, entertainment, and nightlife are significant attractions. To people who love food, Waikiki has some of the best dinings in the state. To those who love nature, the quiet and green residential streets will attract you.
Kakaako is a former warehouse district and has high-end condos converted to loft spaces. These attract young professionals who desire to live near downtown Honolulu. Residents enjoy restaurants and shopping at Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers. For outdoor activities, people frequent Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island.
3. Manoa Valley
Manoa Valley is between downtown Honolulu and Manoa Falls. The area provides various outdoor activities like hiking at Lyon Arboretum or the nearby mountains. Residents enjoy the small-town feel of this area while staying connected with the excitement of Honolulu through easy access.
Welcome to the Windward Coast
The Windward coast is the eastern end of Oahu. People prefer it for being luxuriant, greenish, and quite breezy.
Most parts of Windward Coast are undeveloped. This makes it an ideal destination for hikers and an excellent place to avoid the hurly-burly of Honolulu.
The Windward Coast is 25 miles long and takes about an hour to drive from end to end.
It stretches from Makapu’u Beach Park to Ka’ena Point State Park in the north. The two main cities are Kailua and Kaneohe and are both famous for their proximity to great beaches like Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach Park. Kailua and Kaneohe are convenient places to live if you work in downtown Honolulu.
The North Shore
Oahu’s North Shore waves become famous every winter. Starting November through February, popular spots welcome professional surfing contests. The waves reach 25 feet or higher.
There are numerous vacation rentals and bed-and-breakfasts that visitors who want to experience this peaceful, laid-back region can live in.
The North Shore of Oahu surrounds several nearby towns and is the northern coastline of Oahu. It stretches from the Kuilima Point Peninsula to Kaena Point, the far northwestern area of Oahu. Here, the famous cities are Waialua (where Dole Plantation is), Haleiwa, Pupukea, and Kahuku. The region is renowned for its unique surfing beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and rustic charm.
In general, you can discover numerous areas where to live in Oahu. Although the beachfront areas or the oceanfront areas are pretty pricey, there are less costly inland areas. Interestingly, in the town areas, no one lives, but everyone goes to do shopping.
Waialua has two main areas: Waialua Beach Road, which stretches along the coast and is where most people want to live, and Waialua Town, which is inland and a little closer to historic Haleiwa town with its shopping district. Most people want to live on Waialua Beach Road because it’s quiet and has a more laid-back atmosphere than other parts of the North Shore.
There are several good areas in central Oahu for a working person in the Mililani area. The most popular place by far is Mililani, but there are other lovely places to choose from.
Mililani is a planned community with several different subdivisions. The two main parts are Mililani Town and Mililani Mauka. The Castle & Cooke built numerous homes during the 70s-80s. Mauka area has developed as a more upscale community with homes built by Gentry Homes, Standard Pacific, and Centex Homes from the 90s to the present.
Mililani Mauka has every amenity you need nearby: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, Movie theaters, recreation centers, etc. You don’t need to go far if you live there.
Wahiawa is a small town with farms and military bases, making it not a very exciting place to live. But there are several good neighborhoods up on the ridge. They include Whitmore Village and Waialua. They are affordable and have a country feel. If you don’t like to live downtown, then Central Oahu can be your best option for convenience.
The Leeward Coast
The Leeward Coast is a less populated region in Oahu. The majority of the land is for agricultural use. Also, the communities living here are smaller than those in other island areas. Most people think about Waianae, Kapolei, Makaha Valley, and Makaha when they think of the Leeward Coast. However, it also accommodates different smaller communities such as Nanakuli and Maili.
It’s a great place to live in if you don’t want to deal with a lot of traffic or noise. Although the beaches are attractive, there aren’t many food or entertainment options. This is a very traditional Hawaiian community that keeps its own culture alive. The scenery here is spectacular, and if you like surfing, it’s a great place to catch some serious waves.
Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, especially if you’re moving to one with a new culture and language.
People tend to think Hawaii is one big circle, but it consists of several islands. Most people focus on where to live in Oahu mainly. The best part about living in Oahu is that there are so many options for where to live! Whether you’re looking for something close to the beach or want to be near your favorite restaurant in Oahu, you’ll be spoilt for choice.