Diamond Head Neighborhood Spotlight: Aina Haina

Developed around Kalanianaole Highway to the east of Waikiki and Diamond Head, the unincorporated town of Aina Haina is considered by many to be one of the best neighborhoods to live in Oahu. With a name that translates literally to mean “Hind’s Land,” Aina Haina was named after local dairyman Robert Hind. Owner of the Hind-Clarke Dairy farm, which was established in 1924, Hind has left his mark in numerous ways in this lovely neighborhood.

The History of Aina Haina

Sparsely populated for hundreds of years, the area that is now Aina Haina was once frequented mostly by just fishermen and passersby. Things changed after a tsunami hit the area in 1946, causing the Hing family to sell their dairy farm and focus on the development of the land instead. With the increased demand for housing that occurred following World War II, the Hind family was able to provide housing in the area for returning soldiers. 

Across from Aina Haina is the neighborhood of Wailupe, which was once a fishing pond until that same 1946 tsunami. When the sea wall surrounding the pond was damaged, entrepreneur Walter Dillingham transformed the damaged pond to the Wailupe Peninsula that it is today.

Today, Aina Haina is a diverse and quiet neighborhood boasting homes that have been largely occupied by second and third generation family members. Many of the older homes in the neighborhood have been remodeled, while the newly constructed homes within the neighborhood are typically the result of heaving torn down older property and building new.

Living in Aina Haina

Tucked between Waialae Iki Ridge and Hawaii Loa Ridge, Aina Haina is just six miles east of Waikiki. With minimal traffic, this makes it just a 15-20 minute drive to downtown Waikiki. During commute hours, it takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown Honolulu, while Kahala is just ten minutes away.

Home to a shopping center and both the Aina Haina Elementary School and the Holy Nativity School, Aina Haina offers lovely beaches for residents to enjoy. These include:

  • Kawaikui Beach Park: A small park featuring narrow, dandy beaches with a name that translates to mean “the united water,” Kawaikui Beach Park is located at the base of Hawaii Loa Ridge. This park features a covered seating area, restroom facilities, picnic tables, and outdoor showers and usually is not very crowded.
  • Wailupe Beach Park: Smaller than Kawaikui, Wailupe Beach Park offers bathroom facilities, picnic tables and a small section of beach with a rocky shoreline. The water around this park is shallow for quite some distance away from the shore due to a reef, making it a popular spot for fishing and surfing. Nonetheless, this park generally is not very crowded.

Meanwhile, the shopping center at Aina Haina is home to approximately 30 tenants. Some of these include a grocery store, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a Public Library, a Post Office and several restaurants. 

Homes are rarely listed for sale in the Aina Haina neighborhood. Therefore, the average selling price for a home in the neighborhood was $1.2 million in 2018.

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