Our Favorite East Oahu Neighborhood #1: Hawaii Kai
Hawaii Kai is a residential area with many homes, townhomes and some condominium buildings. Â Although there are some high rises in this area, itâ€™s not like the Waikiki area or your typical urban neighborhood. Hawaii Kai is home to young families, and retirement age groups. Â There are many community centers, parks, golf clubs and shopping centers in the area, all key features of family-hosting areas. Hawaii Kai is also home to popular beaches such as Hanauma Bay, Sandyâ€™s Beach and China Walls. Â All within a few miles of each other, beach goers enjoy a close proximity to beaches and shopping centers (to get poke bowls after the beach!). As a kid growing up on this side of the island, we would always go to the beach and then head to zippyâ€™s or Foodland after for lunch. Â It was tradition.
Our Favorite East Oahu Neighborhood #2: Lanikai
Lanikai is home to the famous photography of the two islands in the background off the shore, looking off a white sand line and clear blue ocean water. Â These are the Mokulua Islands, and you can paddle to them. I have kayaked there before. At the time I was in mediocre physical shape and we did it in 2 hours roundtrip. It was a windy day so the surf was relatively big, making it difficult to kayak there. Â I would recommend peddling out there on a mild day with little to no winds. It makes a difference when youâ€™re out there. Aside from that adventure, the area itself is gorgeous and very popular to visit. Hence, it can be difficult to get a parking spot there on the weekends, especially during the holidays. Â The only available parking is street parking, and with thousands of people visiting the area, it can be impossible to find parking.
Our Favorite East Oahu Neighborhood #3: Kailua
Kailua is the neighboring area to Lanikai. Â Most people even call it Kailua-Lanikai. Kailua is home to Kailua Beach and several hot spot restaurants like Cinnamonâ€™s (brunch place) so it attracts a lot of people during the peak summer months. Â There are popular hikes in this area too, such as Olomana and Maunawili Falls. This area is also home to many military families as there is a nearby military base. Kailua is one of my favorite neighborhoods because you get to drive over the Pali Pass to get there from town. Â The Pali is such a beautiful area to pass through, and one of the most scenic drives on the island of Oahu. However, a recent storm prompted a mudslide onto the Pali Highway and it may take months to renovate it before people are driving on that pass again.
Our Favorite East Oahu Neighborhood #4: Kahala
The Kahala area is neighboring Hawaii Kai, and home to young families. Â The area is considered upper scale as some of the beachfront properties anchors the average home price for the area to be in the millions. The area is a big school district with many public schools, shopping centers and child centers such as the YMCA. Â There are many popular beaches and attractions in this area sauce as Diamond Head and Cromwellâ€™s, and a few others. I love the Kahala area most because of the close proximity to Kahala Mall and the beach. Like I have said before, I love jumping from the beach to the mall in the same day – sometimes multiple times! Â