Neighborhood Spotlight: Waianae

The main town on Oahu’s leeward coast, Waianae has a number of amenities while also giving residents and visitors wonderful opportunities to explore all that the water has to offer. From boating to snorkeling with wild dolphins, Waianae has much to offer to those who choose to call the neighborhood their home.

Finding Waianae

As a town located on the leeward coast of Hawaii, Waianae sits amongst a largely untamed portion of the island of Oahu. The town itself spans across 13 miles of space that stretches from Nanakuli to Makua, offering visitors and residents alike with a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. As may be expected, the location provides residents and visitors with plenty of opportunity to commue with nature while also serving as an area that is rich in cultural history.

Enjoying Waianae

The close-knit community of Waianae encompasses breathtaking valleys and beautiful beaches along with a small boat harbor. From here, tour operators take guests out to snorkel with the dolphins or to simply cruise along the lovely coastline. Fishing boats and small yachts also utilize the boat harbor, while the beaches that are best from swimming include Waianae Beach and Pokai Bay Beach Park. Other popular attractions in the area and along the coast include Kaena State Park and the Kaala hiking trail. Kaena Point at the western tip of Oahu is considered a sacred spot and is home to albatrosses and hiking trails. 

In addition to its scenic beauty, Waianae boasts the Waianae Mall, which features a drugstore, a few fast food restaurants, a bank, a grocery store and retail establishments. The neighborhood also has a public library and a post office, making it the place where many residents of the leeward coast go to stock up on food and other necessities. 

Waianae Education

With fewer than 14,000 residents, Waianae offers an elementary school, an intermediate school and a high school all bearing the Waianae name. The town also has two other elementary schools: Leihoku Elementary and Kamaile Elementary, the latter of which is outside of the CDP (Census Designated Place). A K-7 charter school named Ka Waihona O Ka Naauao is also located within the CDP. 

Waianae Housing

Waianae features a mix of single-family homes, Hawaiian Home Lands properties and condos. Overall, the area has experienced an increase in home values. In 2016, the mean price for housing in the community was $415,471. For detached houses, the mean price was $437,210 while the mean price for townhouses and other attached units was $300,492. Two-unit structures had a media price of $374,107, while 3-to-4-unit structures had a mean price of $243,405 and 5-or-more-unit structures had a median price of $252,711. Meanwhile, the median gross rent during that same year was $1,163.

As might be expected, the cost of living in Waianae is much higher than the national average. While the average cost of living is set at 100 on the cost of living index, the cost of living in Waianae is far above average at 167.7.

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