Kaneohe living is unique to Oahu in that it encompasses the best of both rural and suburban lifestyles in a coastal and verdant landscape. Indeed, the diversity of Kaneohe is unmatched, and residents benefit from their proximity to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, hiking trails and mountains, with world-class shopping centers, local businesses and communities.
Nestled in the heart of Honolulu and just on the edge of the Pali Highway is a verdant oasis called Nuuanu. This suburban neighborhood is rich with history, and was once a prized locale covered by taro fields and an intricate series of irrigation channels to water the island’s beloved crop. In the summer seasons, Kamehameha III and his wife Queen Emma could also be found lounging in their Summer Palace, which still stands today. But what the suburb is most widely recognized for is its role in the pivotal 1795 Battle of Nuuanu, which took place just days after Kamehameha’s troops arrived on Oahu to unify the Hawaiian Islands. The momentous battle occurred on the very edge of the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, and it was here where Kamehameha I decisively conquered his foes and successfully unified the islands. This memorable account is still relayed today, making living in this historic neighborhood all the more special and unique.
Known as the business and financial mecca of Oahu, Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown are popular locations for working professionals looking to settle down and find their new home. Shifting from the island’s early agricultural landscape to the urban hub it is today, Metro Oahu’s business district took shape in the mid 1800s, when Hawaii’s capitol was established and large parcels of land were designated for commercial business use. Following the end of World War II and on the heels of a big residential housing boom, Downtown and Chinatown quickly evolved into the metropolitan destination we recognize today, complete with a wealth of historic and modern commercial and residential properties.
Situated between the larger communities of Kakaako and Waikiki and located on the edge of the breathtaking Pacific Ocean, Ala Moana is a tiny yet urban community where both city amenities and natural wonders are always easily accessible. In the days of old Hawaii, however, Ala Moana was known by a very different name—Kalia. It was also valued not for its proximity to luxury storefronts, but for its extensive swamp land with numerous fishponds and taro patches, making it an ideal home for Hawaii’s fishermen and even some of the island’s monarchs. In the early 1900s, Kalia’s swamp land was transformed into a recreational park, and the region took on both the new name of Ala Moana, as well as the new function of better serving the local and visitor communities. Today, Ala Moana is where natural beauty meets cosmopolitan city life.
Waikiki is Metro Oahu’s mecca for tourism, a vastly developed mini city catering to the wants and needs of both visitors and Hawaii residents alike. With sparkling lights, towering skyrises and urban amenities, what may surprise those who are familiar with Waikiki is that the region was actually one of Oahu’s vast swamplands beloved for its suitability to fishing and taro farming. It wasn’t until the construction of the Ala Wai Canal in 1928 and the growing need for housing following World War II that Waikiki emerged as a growing metropolis, where high rises, hotels and storefronts lent to the neighborhood’s new reputation as Oahu’s concrete jungle.
Kakaako is a city in flux, and is praised as one of the fastest evolving communities in all of Metro Oahu. With more than 20 new condominiums breaking ground in just a few years’ time, this modernized little city is unrecognizable to past residents. In the times of old Hawaii, Kakaako was an expansive agricultural community where many alii, including Kamehameha I, made their homes. In the mid-19th century, the region evolved into a highly trafficked port site for international ships traveling to Hawaii. Resurgence took place once again a century later, when new zoning laws allowed for the introduction of new buildings, businesses, homes and, eventually, condominiums. Today, this urban mecca is a highly sought-after neighborhood ideal for families with young children, working professionals, and retirees alike.