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Old 02-15-2009, 03:02 PM
Location: galaxy far far away
3,110 posts, read 5,383,171 times
Reputation: 7281


Hi All - there is a wonderful Thread in the AZ forum called "Arizona - city by city." Each poster answers a specific list of questions. No ranting, one line comments, or promos allowed. Just good, straightforward info on each city. For Hawaii, it could either be an island, or a district on the more populated islands. Anyone game?

Area you are describing
Air quality:
Housing prices:
Good neighborhoods:
Stuff to Do:

Saving Everyone Time: Answers to your questions:

If you are looking for information on a particular topic, all the forums have a place on the right hand side under the page listings that says "SEARCH THIS FORUM." Click there and type in the question you have. It will find possibly hundreds of threads for you that may answer all the questions you have. As an example, I pulled several of the most common questions, so you can just click on these and there's yer answer. Happy Reading!

How much does it cost to move my family to Hawaii?

Can I fly pets to Hawaii? How?

Is it expensive to live in Hawaii?

Work attire:


Why do people say bad things about Hawaii? Why not move?

I am [pick a race] Will people be prejudice about me?
If a member would like a thread added here, please DM me.

Last edited by 7th generation; 03-18-2010 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:15 PM
Location: galaxy far far away
3,110 posts, read 5,383,171 times
Reputation: 7281
OK - I'll go first.

Area you are describing: Makakilo (bedroom community for Kapolei. Even though Kapolei incorporated Makakilo, the residents still identify their area as "Makakilo")

Weather: Mostly dry and warm. A little more rain than Kapolei, further down the hill. Light winds, a few degrees cooler in the summer. Averages in the 80's year round. Lows average between 60's and 70's at night year round.

Schools: Mauka lani elementary and Makakilo Elementary. My kids enjoyed Mauka Lani. Relatively new. Good principal. Good curriculum.
More on elementary schools here -http://www.greatschools.net/modperl/browse_school/hi/118

Kapolei intermediate and Kapolei High School are down the hill. There are four elementary feeder schools to these two. When I was there, it was a pretty decent school (with all the same issues all Hawaii schools face.) Not sure about the principals now, this was several years ago. They were open to suggestion and helpful for my 3 girls who attended. Someone else may want to update my post on this.

Commute: If you have to commute into Honolulu, it's hellish. A morning commute to downtown Honolulu could easily take 1 1/2 hours. Pay attention to traffic reports, learn the names of the intersections, and buy a lot of books on tape! Car pooling is a good idea. If you work at Campbell Industrial park, Ewa Beach, Ko'olina, or Kapolei - great place to live. Traffic is still heavy getting out of Makakilo down to the freeway due to the single road access in and out of the area: Makakilo Drive is IT, unless they've finished the construction for a second road.

Food: Safeway is down the hill in Kapolei; new Foodland just went in. Restaurants in the growing shopping centers nearby.

Shopping: nice shopping centers nearby in Kapolei, and further south. Outlet stores about 5 miles south. Here's their link with local businesses Kapolei

Air quality: good. light winds help.

Economy: Same as the rest of the state. A tad scary right now

Crime: Relatively low. We had a very active neighborhood watch

Housing prices: Single family: $500,000; Condos $265,000

Good neighborhoods: I didn't find any 'bad' neighborhoods in Makakilo when I lived there. But as always, a good idea to drive around the neighborhoods you're considering at different times of night and day.

Culture:Many community activities; 14 churches; Lions, Rotary, seasonal wine tastings, pumpkin patch

Stuff to Do: Hawaiian Waters park, Barbers Point beaches and parks, Ko'olina golf course, Kapolei golf course, other beaches north and south, biking, fishing at Ko'olina marina, more here: Kapolei

Other: Makakilo is served by the city of Kapolei, just down the hill from it. So check if someone has done a listing for Kapolei. That will give you more information. Since it has been a couple of years since I moved from there, I invite a current resident to update my info. I wanted to get this party started and show how it could be a helpful thread. As a Sticky Post, this could serve to answer a lot of the detailed questions people have about different areas in Hawaii. Thanks in advance to all who post on this thread!
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:55 PM
Location: Kauai, HI
1,055 posts, read 4,457,849 times
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My turn!

I'll do all of Kauai since its so small!

Area you are describing: Kauai
Weather: Generally Kauai is the rainiest island. The West side (anywhere west of Ele'ele) is pretty dry but there is lots of red dirt and can get very dusty. I live in Kalaheo, which is somewhat rainy, similar to the weather on the, but east side (specifically Wailua). Poipu is a bit of a mix of the rainy north and the dry west. The north shore can get pretty rainy in the winter. Weather and water temps are a bit cooler here than on any of the other islands. However, all of this rain makes Kauai beautiful and green....so, I can't complain! Also, we have experienced more hurricanes here than the other islands have. The last major hurricane was Iniki in 1992....hopefully there will not be another one soon!

Schools: The schools are so-so here. Nothing too bad (except for the teacher at Kula who was accused of dealing to the students...) but nothing too great, it seems. I don't know anyone who has had their kids transfer from mainland schools to local schools, so no comment.

Commute: The commute can get kind of backed up for those that work in Lihue and Kapa'a. Depending on where you are coming from, the traffic during 'rush hour' and pau hana can add an extra 10-20 mins? Also, there are lots of accidents on Kauai and with only one road, it is common for traffic to be backed up for hours after a bad accident.

Food: Kauai is not known for its food. The most popular/well-known restaurants are Beach House, Hamura's Saimin, Plantation Gardens, Hukilau Lanai, Keoki's Paradise and the restaurants at the Hyatt and the soon-to-be-reopened St. Regis Princeville. Prices are a bit higher here than in Oahu. We have Big Save, Foodland, Costco, Safeway, and a few other smaller stores. We also have almost daily Sunshine markets.

Shopping: We have no shopping here! Only Walmart, Macy's, KMart, Costco and a few random stores in Kukui Grove Shopping Center. I really miss shopping...

Air quality: Very good. The air can get moldy/musty due to the rain, though.

Economy: Same as the rest of the state- SCARY! We obviously depend on tourism, but we also get a boost in the economy from the PMRF base on the west side.

Crime: Pretty low. Kauai is a safe area, but obviously we have our own share of ice, break ins, and crazy people.

Housing prices: Houses are most affordable in the west side (Kekaha, Waimea) and priciest in Princeville and Poipu. Other affordable areas are Kalaheo, Ele'ele, Lihue and Kapa'a. Still, prices are not cheap compared to the mainland.

Good neighborhoods: Kalaheo is a great residential area, as is Wailua. I love the west side, and many people from Ni'ihau move there, so the area is often referred to as a place where Hawaii lives on. Koloa is a great place, but can be pricey. Lihue is very convenient. It really depends on what you are looking for in a place to live, but the whole island has lots to offer. Hanalei is a great and beautiful area. There are LOTS of hippies there!

Culture: Like I said, the west side has a lot of Hawaiian culture to it. The people of Kauai are very family oriented, so there are many things for family to do. Kauai has lots of churches, community centers, and there are often local concerts. Hanapepe offers a Friday art night, which is supposed to be good fun. There isn't too much for teenagers to do, unfortunately. Still, Kauai is a great place for families.

Stuff to Do: Hiking- especially the Kalalau trail, which is the most famous hike on the island. Obviously lots of beaches, great golf, off roading...

: Kauai is not a place for someone who likes to party, shop and basically needs a busy life. Things are VERY slow here, and people are very family oriented. We have lots of cookouts on the beach and I spend a lot of time fishing and diving (spearfishing, not scuba for me!). Because there isn't too much to do socially or much shopping, you could get island fever quicker here than in Oahu, if you are moving here. Luckily, Oahu is only a 20 min flight. Also, when I moved here, a woman I met from Oahu said to me that it was somewhat fortunate that if a hurricane had to hit HI, that it hit Kauai (referencing Iniki), because the people can really band together and support one another. It really resonates- the people are great!

I'm sure I will think of 1000s of things that could be added later, but thats my overview of Kauai!
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:09 PM
Location: Hawaii
96 posts, read 619,819 times
Reputation: 109
love this idea =)
Area you are describing:Hamakua on Big Island (mostly Honoka'a town; Hamakua region is from Waipio Valley to just outside Hilo)

: wet, lots of rain, that's why its so green, some sunshine but it is the wet side of the island

: Honoka'a k-12

: depends where you stay going. not too bad when its not rush hour. if going to Waimea you can hit some traffic as there is only one main road and you have to deal with those who often commute to either Waikoloa or Kona. If you stay go to Hilo it is again not that bad until you hit traffic during rush hour (morning, late afternoon) of those who might commute into Hilo. None of it is really that bad, especially when compared to Kona traffic

: Most of the food is Japanese as the area has a high number of Japanese who are decendants from those who immigrated to Hawaii to work the sugar plantations. Hamakua is where all the sugar plantations were and the towns that are there like Honokaa are what remains from that era. Of course you can find all kinds other food, very Hawaiian typical food. Like food found at Tex drive thru in Honokaa. can get one loco moco or spam n eggs etc. CJs in Honokaa is also very good, some yummy shave ice. kids from Honokaa school often walk down the hill to CJs

: not best place unless you are ok with mom and pop type shops that have quirky type things. though good area to get Hawaiian quilts and other items relating to Hawaiian culture and history. but don't expect to get real fancy kind things as many of the towns are very small. biggest town is Honoka'a and it has one main street that has a few shops to find antiques and gifts etc. good for an afternoon trip to browse the shops and sit and talk with locals

Air quality
: very good, trade winds come in and you have lots of rain so much better than west Hawaii where you have issues with vog. obviously you can sometimes have but not bad, actually probably best area when it comes to air quality on da island

: not so good, again many small towns and most either work in Hilo or down at the resorts in Waikoloa or Kona. Especially with the turn the economy has taken you shouldn't expect to find a job unless you're a local, even then you'll be lucky to even have a job. as there are mostly mom and pop shops, or the grocery store, or feed store or the school there aren't many jobs in the first place

: almost nonexistant, naturally crime exists but as population is sparse it isn't that bad, for now. though with job market being so slim there is an increasing change that those who can't find jobs may turn to crime. but again many times locals leave things unlocked there because it is many smaller towns where you know everyone already

Housing prices
: on the lower end when compared to areas like Kona, Waimea, Hilo or Waikoloa. I think you can find a decent home in the $200,000 range, however it is going to be an older home built at least in 80s and will most likely need some work. like real estate throughout Hawaii it is becoming a buyers market, though most of the time if a family is going to sell a home they will first look to family and then close friends to buy

Good neighborhoods
: Honoka'a I guess, though it's hard as there aren't subdivisions and such like those found in Kona or in bigger communities. Honoka'a is the biggest town in Hamakua and it is steeped in history from sugar plantation to mac nut factory times. it as a unique atmosphere and is enjoyable because it has a small community feel while at the same time it is bigger than all the other smaller towns found on the road to Hilo or Waipio

: Hawaiian mixed with Japanese. Much of the Hawaiian culture has been influenced by those who immigrated to Hawaii to work the sugar plantations. As I've mentioned it is a small town feel so expect to find a more Hawaiian feel. Not at all like west side of Hawaii which is geared towards tourist industry and has been influence in recent years my transplants from mainland who want to live on the Gold Coast or chose to retire in paradise

Stuff to Do
: visit Waipio Valley, don't drive down into the valley unless you are a local or in the car with a local driving. very very narrow 'road' that is very steep, you can still see cars that have gone off the cliff. not only is it dangerous but unless you know how to drive it please dont do it. you can see the valley from the lookout or walk down the steep hill if you like then walk through dense brush to the beach. locals still live in the valley and it is also a very sacred area so be respectful should you go into the valley. you can always go horseback riding on the rim. there is also kayaking through old planation water ways near Hilo I think. You can visit Rainbow falls or Akaka falls on the road to Hilo. you can drive 4x4 atv vehicles as well or visit Honokaa and get a feel for a true Hawaiian town from plantation era. take a drive along the coast to get some great views of the ocean as well as the densley covered forests that line the highway. Honokaa has a small golf course, though it is very hilly and no golf carts so you must walk. though Waimea golf course isn't too far, just might have a hard time finding a good time to play when there is not rain. you can even head out to visit Waimea or Parker Ranch. I know there are wild sheep and turkeys in the area which you may be able to hunt but I think you might need some permit or something, not sure about that though

: Hamakua is a very slow paced area and is not at all like the more touristy areas of Waikoloa and Kona. Don't expect to find that 'i'll wait on you hand and foot' attitude as you wont find any resorts there. be respectful of the locals and do not venture onto private property as it is rude and may be dangerous as sometimes there is something besides sugar cane growing. more importantly though im sure you wouldn't like it if some stranger was wandering on your property, don't take any kine fruit or what not from someones property without first asking if you may have one as again its just rude. Take a nice drive from Kona or Waikoloa or wherever you stay at and visit old Hawaii, explore the shops in Honokaa and drive to Hilo or Waipio Valley from some amazing natural beauty views. The people are friendly and respectful as long as you are the same. The old saying of treat those the way you want to be treated is true throughout Hawaii. I recomend visiting parts of Hawaii that are outside and away from the resorts to truly get a feel for the way Hawaii used to be. Sugar cane had a huge part in the history of the Big Island. Hope this helps and I know you'll love the beauty this area has to offer, plus the people are so warm and welcoming. Just be aware that it is wet so take an umbrella or be ready for some rain. I'm sure you can get a better idea of all the activities by searching the internet as I cannot remember everything there is in the area.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:03 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
11,049 posts, read 24,014,485 times
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Area you are describing:Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii. It is a district as well as a town.

Since the directions of North, South, East and West are place names in Hawaii and not directions, "Hilo side" is also a direction when used to describe how to get somewhere. I.e. "it is on the Hilo side of the street" but that is usually used to describe places outside of Hilo.

Weather: wet, very! It rains a lot in Hilo but that keeps it very green and lush.

Schools: K-12 schools in the Department of Education system, some smaller private schools, a few church type schools and over near Keaau is a new Kamehameha school but you have to be part Hawaiian to go there.

Commute: No commute, Hilo is where most folks on this half of the island go to find jobs. Most of the jobs are in the service sector since there is no manufacturing on this island nor much financial, etc.

Food: Good grocery stores, KTA, Foodland, Safeway and the Farmer's Market on Mamo Street along with other little specialty shops. Nice fish from Suisan by the bay.

Shopping: Not much high end retail but some really nice hardware stores. There is a Macy's which is the most high end retail we have available. There is a bit of boutique shopping along Hilo bayfront, and in Prince Kuhio mall which is the only true shopping mall on the island although that one is not doing well at the moment. Most of the shopping is of the day-to-day necessity sort of shopping. There is a Wal-mart, Borders, Ross & Office Max next to the Prince Kuhio mall and a variety of small shops in the Puainako strip mall across the road.

Air quality: Good and bad. When the volcano fumes (Vog) are blowing towards Hilo it is really bad otherwise it is good. And you don't know what it's going to be since nobody tells Pele what to do. Being a volcano goddess does have it's perks.

Economy: Not so good right now and not likely to improve this year (2009). Mostly service based, with a bit of tourism (very down right now) and agriculture. Very few jobs out there at the moment.

Crime:Some here and there mostly thefts and drug use, it is likely to increase because of the economy going sour.

Housing prices: Dropping, but still expensive compared to mainland prices. In Hilo town itself, you will be looking at somewhere around $200K, or $300K for nicer places. Outside of Hilo over in the Puna district things are less expensive but you will likely have to commute to Hilo to find employment.

Good neighborhoods:You have to check each area since each neighborhood has good and not so good areas.

Culture: Hawaiian, local, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese. Old sugar plantation, local sorts. You can wear your rubber boots to the grocery store and nobody will look at you funny. Pick up trucks are more desirable and respected than Ferrari's and other flat imported cars. Things are pretty slow in Hilo.

Stuff to Do:Most folks go to Hilo town to buy groceries and go to the feed store. Hilo also has the county offices so folks also go to Hilo town to pay their taxes, register their cars, etc. There are some doctor and dentist offices, there, too. Tourists like to look at the waterfalls, the statue of King Kamehameha, go to the Farmer's Market, shop along the Bayfront, go to the Rainforest Zoo, the Mac Nut Factory, drive up to Volcano National Park about thirty miles outside of Hilo. Around Easter time there is a huge hula festival known as the Merrie Monarch and that has hula halaus all over Hilo town.

Hilo is a town, it isn't really a city. It does "quaint" real well but it doesn't do so good in the exciting night life department.

The University has been expanding in Hilo so there is now more of a younger presence in town although it isn't quite a college type of town yet.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:16 PM
Location: Kona Hawaii
13 posts, read 92,642 times
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Area you are describing: North Kona
Weather: Semi Arid, sunny mornings with mauka to makai showers in the afternoon. Cool nights
Schools: Variety pack of public, charter and private. Many choices
Commute: Depends where you live...coming and going from southhas been bad for 30 years during "rush hour".
Food: Thai is the great thing that's happened here in the last decade! Otherwise think pacific fusion! Rice, fresh fish, mangoes, farmer markets...sushi that is great! It's all a mixed plate of cultural delights at local pot lucks and dinners.
Shopping: Pretty good for rural island and much different than it was in the 80's. Wal mart, Macy's Cost Co Lowes and then farmer's markets and lots of interesting furniture from Thailand and other Pacific ports.
Air quality: Well there is the Vog since we have a volcano and it goes up and down. . But it's much better than it was last May when two active fissures were letting loose at once and on those days I looked at mainland cities such as Baltimore and felt much better! I'm seeing blue skies and Hualalai from my office as I write this.
Economy: Oh it's paradise and paradise isn't cheap and you don't have the job options that a larger urban area offers. But the weather and lifestyle is rather addicting
Crime: Has spurts and then they catch the people and it all goes back to normal. Don't keep your valuables in rental cars at the beach
Housing prices: Great if you are a buyer at the moment and bad if you bought since mid 2004. I'm pretty much an expert in this department.
Good neighborhoods: Mostly good more like having the occasional bad neighbor. Hawaii has the odd habit from the urban mainland perscpective of having a coffee shack next to a million dollar mansion. But if you grew up rural it seems normal.
Culture: Really really great...it is so much fun having so many different cultural events, and happenings and people who are good humored about the differences...but don't think opera.
Stuff to Do: The beach, the ocean, gardening, social interaction with friends and school events, Sports (you don't have to be good just show up!). Sight seeing is always fun. I'm always invited to more things than I can do. Its a very friendly island.
Other: I'm going for sushi.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:24 AM
Location: Hawaii
1,589 posts, read 2,681,324 times
Reputation: 2157
My husband and I are new residents of Kihei, having arrived here just 12 days ago, but I will share what we have learned (and are still learning) about our new home in Kihei.

Area you are describing: Kihei, Maui, situated on the coast, southwest of Haleakalā. Kihei's population is roughly 19,000. The median age is 36.

Weather: Arid, sunny and warm. Summer highs are in the upper 80s. Winter lows are in the 60s.
Kihei gets between 10-13 inches on rainfall per year.

Schools: 2 public elementary schools, 1 public intermediate school, 1 public high school. 1 Title school, 1 private (Montessori) school.

Healthcare: There are 193 physicians per capita in Kihei, HI. The US average is 170. There is no hospital in Kihei but there is an Immediate Care Facility and also Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

Commute: The town is bordered by beaches and S. Kihei Road on one side and the Piʻilani Highway on the other. Traffic on S. Kihei Rd. can be congested but you can almost always get from one end of town to the other in 25 minutes or less. Kahului airport is 30 minutes away.

Food: Safeway, Foodland, and Star Market are the large grocery stores but I've discovered that there are also a couple of farmers markets, a seafood market, and at least one health food store. There's a wide selection of restaurants from fast food, chains to a number of upscale dining establishments. There are dance clubs, karaoke spots and several sports bars. We're still exploring venues to find live music, they seem fewer than we expected.

Shopping: There are no less than 10 shopping malls and commercial strips crammed in between Kihei's condos and hotels. Kihei was over-developed in the 1970s without much regard for planning. Therefore, in my opinion, it lacks the charm of some of its neighboring districts.

Air and Water Quality: Air quality is 53 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). This is based on ozone alert days and number of pollutants in the air, as reported by the EPA.

Water quality in Kihei is 52 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). The EPA has a complex method of measuring watershed quality using 15 indicators.

Superfund index is 99 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). This is upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts.

Economy: Same as the rest of the state. Kihei is primarily a tourist town although there is a developing interest in technology and research.

Crime: On a scale of 1 (low) to 10, I'd rate crime in Kihei a "5" where the US average is "3". Theft and drug related crime is predominate.

Housing prices: Last time I checked, the median home value in Kihei, HI, was $889,000. The income per capita is $23,834, which includes all adults and children. Scary.

Culture: Abundant community activities; at least 10 churches are in Kihei. The public parks are a hub of activity. They offer craft fairs, music concerts and other fun events. Skateboarders will appreciate skate parks. There are also baseball fields, basketball courts, an in-line hockey rink, a picnic pavilion, and a nice children's play ground. There's an excellent public golf course. I see a lot of fishing being done from the shore too.

Stuff to Do: Kihei has one perfect beach after another. They are some of the best life-guarded beaches in the state. One beach might be favored for swimming, another for surfing, and another for snorkeling. There is a nude beach here as well although I haven't visited that one yet! At the north end of Kihei is the National Wildlife Conservation District, Kelia Pond, where endangered Hawaiian stilts and coots thrive. The harbor at nearby Māʻalaea is the launching site for chartered fishing excursions, whale watching expeditions and snorkel trips to Molokini. There is a excellent public golf course in Kihei and, of course, anyone can enjoy the sunshine, surf and sand that are the hallmark of the area.

Other: People here are warm, friendly and welcoming. We have made friends everywhere we go. I also have been recently awed by the 1 minute wait time at the local DMV office. Wow, I've never experienced that before!
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:08 PM
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,941,580 times
Reputation: 802
Default Kailua, Oahu

Area you are describing: Kailua - the one on Oahu, not the one on the Big Island. If you have looked up "Kailua" on the City-Data pages, the information there is a little of both, which is confusing.
Weather: A little more cloudy, and with a little more rain than Honolulu, but generally great! Here is a day-by-day history of weather for the last year at the Marine Base (listed as Kaneohe, but really on the edge of Kailua): History : Weather Underground (http://tinyurl.com/dkcerh - broken link)
Schools: Two High Schools - Kailua and Kalaheo, a full slate of other public schools, and several private schools, including one highly rated - Le Jardin.
Commute: About 30 minutes to downtown Honolulu. Same to Hickam, the airport and Pearl Harbor. MUCH better than when I did it every day in the sixties, since H-3 has made the commute to Hickam and Pearl Harbor a piece of cake, (used to be 45 minutes to an hour) and has taken the pressure off the routes through the other two tunnels, Pali and Likelike.
Food: There are many more restaurants than you would expect for a town of about 30,000. This is because of so many Vacation Rentals in Kailua, where the tourists eat out every night.
Shopping: Three Safeways, a Foodland, and a Times for groceries; A Macy's; A Don Quijote for discount everything; No Big-box stores; A Mall in the next town (Kaneohe), about twenty minutes away.
Air quality: Most of the time, when the trade winds are blowing, excellent. When we have Kona weather, we very occasionally get some mild VOG.
Economy: A bedroom community of Honolulu. As Honolulu goes, so goes Kailua.
Crime: Probably better than the average of Oahu.
Housing prices: $600,000 to Multi-Millions. Here are some typical neighborhoods: Lower Priced: 96734 Real Estate & 96734 Homes for Sale - Zillow Mid Priced: 96734 Real Estate & 96734 Homes for Sale - Zillow High Priced: 96734 Real Estate & 96734 Homes for Sale - Zillow
Good neighborhoods: "Beachside" Kalaheo, Lanikai, Kuulei Tract for over a million. Enchanted Lake and Aikahi Park for just under a million.
Culture: Mixed. More Haole than "average" Oahu (there's really no such thing).
Stuff to Do:Enjoy the town, which is a great "Walking Around" place. Go to the beach - often listed in "World's Best Beach" lists. Go to the theater, Symphony, etc. in Honolulu, about 30-40 minutes away. Hike. Snorkel. And all the other outdoor things for which Hawaii is famous.
Other: Just a great place to live. Of all the places I have lived and later re-visited, Kailua is the least changed.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:58 AM
Location: Kilauea, Hawaii
227 posts, read 917,846 times
Reputation: 215
Area you are describing: Kauai, Kilauea (North Shore)
Weather: Only been here since last August so have not had all the effect so far. I think it is a little cooler here then other parts of the island. And rains practically everyday, some long timers told me this is the coldest winter they ever experienced. Overall it is very comfortable except some days when the trade winds are not blowing then it tends to get more humid and sticky.
Schools: My kids go to a private school Kauai Pacific and it is wonderful and very small class sizes. They concentrate on community, green and Hawaiian Culture. A lot of neighborhood kids go to Kilauea Elementary which is suppose to be one of the best public schools in the state. There is no High School up this side so all the kids have to go to Kapa'a which is something I would not want mine girls to do.
Commute: There is almost never any traffic on this side of the island, I go to Lihue every week or so but do so in non traffic hours so takes about 35 minutes to get there.
Food: We have only a couple of decent restaurants Kilauea Fish Market is great and a Bubba Burgers is somewhat edible. Overall the restaurants are mediocre at best and way overpriced. Of course we have at least 3 sunshine markets in the area a week as well as a lot of stands in the area to get fresh produce.
Shopping: Princeville and Hanalei have a few stores to get some needed things.
Air quality: Perfect have not experienced a bad day yet.
Economy:Things are slow but have not seen any businesses close in the area.
Crime:Very low but there has been a few events.
Housing prices: Compared to where I lived in LA they are pretty much the same. There seems to be quite a few homes on the market but nothing is moving.
Good neighborhoods:Kilauea, Princeville and Hanalei, Haena, etc...
Culture: There is a Hawaiin presence but I would not consider it overwhelming, going to the beaches you will see a lot of local families fishing and collecting shells.
Stuff to Do: Endless to much to write the beaches up here are some of the best.
Other:Coming from LA where I grew up it is nice being in a small town where you bump into people you know everyday and everywhere. My kids have freedom here to walk down the street to the store and I am not worried because I know it is safe (I would never let that happen in LA).
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:12 AM
Location: Wahiawa, HI
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Area you are describing: Wahiawa/Whitmore/Helemano/Poamaho area
Weather: cool breezes from the trade winds with evening showers most of the year. green - GREEN - running joke for the longest time, you could set your watch by the time it rains every day! On clear night, it gets cool enough to use blankets and quilts. Some homes in the heights have fire places.
Schools: Kaala Elem. (lower Wahiawa), Wahiawa Elem. (central Wahiawa), Iliahi elem. (Wahiawa Heights), Ho'ala Schools (private), Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School (pre-12, private), Helemano Elem. (in Whitmore), and I think there are two or three more elementary schools on Wheeler Army Air Field and Schofield for the military kids. Next, Wahiawa Middle School - now serving grades 6,7, & 8 and Wheeler Intermediate (for the military kids) and Leilehua High School.
Commute: Depends on where one worksand at what times.
Largest industrial employer: Pearl harbor - If early start (pre 8am) then the commute is roughly 15 minutes, there is minimal to no major traffic and everyone moves at highway speeds. If later start, may hit some of the early rush and could take half hour.
To Town areas (from Kalihi to Downtown) - If you don't mind early commute, about 45 minutes. If you get stuck at the Waiawa Intercange (H1 & H2 merge area) you could be in traffic for about an hour to 1.25 hour.
To Kapolei areas - so long as nothing major happens on Kunia Road, 10 to 15 minutes. If there is an accident on Kunia Road, you're screwed.
IF during the school year, add another 10 to 15 minutes to your commute. Sux, I know, but is reality.
Going Home: a lot of people stay in town a little bit longer just to avoid the major rush (from 4 to 5:30pm). If you get stuck in rush, expect about 45 minutes to an hour from town side. Once you hit H2 though, is smooth sailing! Commuting from Kapolei in the afternoons is really easy, so long as there is no construction going on.
Food: Fast food rules Kam Hwy through Wahiawa. You have Taco Bell, McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Zippy's, L&L Drivein, Quuiznos and Golden Coin all having frontage or access from Kam. there used to have Wendy';s too, but they left). Kentucky Fried Chicken is a little up on California Ave. Subway, Pizza Hut, Baskin Robins a little further past KFC. Domino's Pizza is also available and Poppa John's.
Then there are several mom & pop places that are great! Maui Mikes (bbq chicken), Dong Yang, Spaghetti House, some bento outfits, a couple of korean BBQ's, a cute little Mexican eatery and even an Italian restaurant!
Grocery shopping can be had at either Foodland or Tamura's. there are also any number of smaller convenience shops (even one in Whitmore!) including 2 7-11s. There are a couple of ethnic shops, one specifically for Thai food (located on Wilikina).
There is also a farmer's market held periodicaly at the Wahiawa Community Park where local small-farmers sell their veggies. OH! And the Peterson Egg Farm in Wahiawa Heights where you can get fresher than fresh eggs.
Shopping: Wahiawa Town Center sports some little boutiques, a jewelry store, some beauty shops and Longs Drugs. We have an Ace hardware for the handy man and even a gamer's shop (Collectibles, on Kam Hwy. across from McDonaldow) for purchasing pre-owned video games and such. There are other small businesses that cater to the local crowd or those going to the North Shore, but no malls to speak of. If you want mall shopping, you got about a 10 minute drive to the Outlets of Waikele, 25 minutes to Pearlridge, or 15 minutes to Sam's club in Pearl Highlands. Most of the Wahiawa people go to Mililani town Center for Walmart, City Mill and other trendy shopping as well as restaurants like Chili's or Ruby Tuesday.
Air quality: Superb! You can smell the eucalyptus as you drive by them on the freeway! About the only time the air is dirty is when vog travels up from the Big Island, and that means the kona winds are in place and it is muggy as well - and everyone is suffering.
Economy: Wahiawa's economy is closely tied to the rotation at Schofield. When the soldiers rotate out for Iraq (or something similar) for long periods, many of the spouses go back to their homes... and that takes away a lot of the patronage for the smaller businesses here.
Crime: Just as anywhere else, we have our bad elements. Certain parts of Wahiawa have to deal with street walkers, the sporadic drug pusher, and homeless. Recently, there was a clean-up campaign and many people were arrested and/or taken to shelters and half-wya houses so crime has steadily dropped. There is a police station in town with a very prominent force that patrols our streets regularly, even in the outer laying villages of Whitmore, Poamoho and Helemano.
Housing prices: Deals are still to be had! Two 2-br homes grandfathered on one large lot for $483,000; 5-br home w/2-car garage and moderate yard, newly built in 2000 for $500,000; 3-br home, used to be plantation house for $325,000. Depending on the location and the amenities, prices top out around $800,000.
Good neighborhoods: Wahiawa Heights is well sought after. KahiKani (new Whitmore) is also really nice w/neigborhood watch and nice neigbors. Lower Wahiawa around Kaala Elementary is well maintained with tight neighbors.
Culture: Wahiawa is a working-class town. We work hard, and play hard. We also cater to the military, and love our football! Mules Rule!
Stuff to Do: Periodically there are small carnivals held around certain holidays. We also have Veteran's Day Parade and a Christmas Parade. Our Lady of Sorrows periodically holds a carnival as well. Most other activities are centered around the high school, or any one of the multitude of churches in the town. The local joke is that Wahiawa has the most churches per capita than any other city in the US.
Other: We have a botanical garden in the middle of the town with rain forest plants you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. We also are home of the "Alii Birthing Stones", an ancient Hawaiian place where chiefs were born. Locals go up past the Heights to go pig hunting and hiking. And we are basically a half hour to some of the best beaches on the island.
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