When you think of moving to Hawaii, Oahu is the first island that comes to mind. This is because it has what many people are looking for: a diverse culture, warm weather, locations for entertainment, and most importantly- good job opportunities. Oahu has several residential areas that suit different lifestyles. Here are 30 best places to live in Oahu
Some of these towns offer beautiful scenery; some have great schools; others still appeal mainly to retirees. Each town offers a reason why you should consider moving there. I’ve picked out my favorites from among the communities on the island and assigned them ratings based on accessibility, amenities, and social aspects (including crime). The places that I am about to show you are some of the best places to live in Oahu.
For more, also check out: Best Places To Live in Puerto Rico.
Best Places To Live in Oahu
1. Kaneohe, Windward Side
Kaneohe, located on the Windward side of Oahu, is a great place for families. It’s home to many rental properties and condos that are ideal for people looking to rent instead of buy. The area has several gorgeous public parks (Dole Park being one of them), good schools, and while it does have crime issues, it’s safer than the city of Honolulu. The beaches are beautiful, and there are many fun places to go swimming (King’s Beach especially).
2. Makakilo, West Side
Makakilo, just like Kaneohe is a great place for families. What sets apart Makakilo is that it has better schools than its neighboring town. Makakilo has more green spaces and beautiful parks, and while it does have crime issues, its per capita rate of crimes is lower compared to Kaneohe.e
3. Mililani, Central Oahu
Mililani is a suburb located on the island of Oahu nestled between two major cities Honolulu and Waipahu (both have higher crime rates) near Haleiwa. If you’re moving from the West or East Coast to Hawaii, Milli would be your no. 1 choice. The island of Oahu is divided into 3 major areas: north, central, and south. As for my personal opinion, I would say the central part of the island has a slightly higher cost of living but safer neighborhoods in comparison to the north and south
4. Ewa Beach, West Side
Ewa Beach is located on the west side of Oahu. Unlike Waipahu and Kapolei, it’s located away from the city of Honolulu but still offers a little more for your money than the North Shore (another topic I might write about in the future). Ewa Beach used to be known as a military town since there are many active soldiers stationed at Pearl Harbor living on the Island. Ewa Beach has grown many times larger than what it used to be, and now it’s a great choice for families interested in living near the beach.
5. Waimanalo, Windward Side
Waimanalo is located on the windward side of Oahu between Kaneohe and Kailua. The town is known for its great weather, and the only thing that separates it from Kaneohe is a mountain located in between. Waimanalo has separate sections; the west side of Waikane Beach Drive houses more affordable properties than the east side. This town also has a very low crime rate so you won’t have to worry about any random acts of violence.
6. Waianae, West Side
Waianae is located on the west side of Oahu, closer to the island of Molokai and Maui than Honolulu (several miles actually). The town is known for its great weather, but what really drew me into this town was that they’re building a new Aikahi Park that is sure to attract locals and tourists alike.
7. Kalihi, Central Oahu
Kalihi is located in central Honolulu between the city of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. The town has a little bit higher crime rate than areas such as Mililani or Ewa Beach, but it’s still one of the best places to live in Oahu. It’s also the last town in Honolulu where you can still buy a house without breaking your bank account.
8. Pearl City, Central Oahu
Pearl City is located right next to Aiea and just outside of the city of Honolulu. Pearl City has great neighborhoods for people interested in raising families (this is mainly because Pearl City is home to many large churches), and it has one of the most convenient locations on the island of Oahu (it’s very near two major airports, making it a popular choice for people who have to catch flights regularly).
9. Wahiawa, Central Oahu
Wahiawa is located in central Honolulu. It’s an older town that is almost 20 minutes from the city of Honolulu. The main draw to this town is its large number of military families. This town isn’t as family-friendly as other towns such as Ewa Beach and Mililani, but if you’re looking for a quiet place to live or work then this town might be for you.
10. Pearl Harbor, Central Oahu
Pearl Harbor is located in central Honolulu right across from Hickam Air Force Base and the USS Arizona Memorial. This town isn’t too far away from other major cities such as Waipahu, Mililani, and Ewa Beach so it’s very convenient for families looking to move. Pearl Harbor has two great malls and a big shopping center called the Windward Mall. This town is not as family friendly as other towns on this list, but if you’re someone who loves history then Pearl Harbor would be your Mecca.
11. Kaneohe, Windward Oahu
Kaneohe is located in Kailua near the mountains. The town is great for families looking to raise a family on the windward side of Oahu and still live near beaches like Kailua Beach Park (a public beach) and Hanauma Bay (so you don’t have to travel far).
12. Lanikai, Windward Side
Lanikai is located in the Kailua area of Oahu. It’s a very charming town with a low crime rate, so it would appeal to people who are concerned about safety. People will love this town because of its gorgeous beaches like Lanikai Beach, and they’ll also appreciate that there are two malls in the area that have great restaurants and grocery stores.
13. Ewa, Leeward Side
Ewa is located on the leeward side of Oahu between Pearl City and Aiea. This area is great for families because it has a very low crime rate and great schools to raise children in. It also has some of the best seafood in all of Hawaii, so if you’re a seafood lover then you’re in luck.
14. Kapolei, Leeward Side
Kapolei is located on the leeward side of Oahu right across from Pearl City and Ewa Beach. This town is very popular because it has one of the best malls on the island of Oahu called “Salt Lake.” It’s one of the most modern malls in Hawaii, and it attracts people from all over the island. Many restaurants are located at Salt Lake as well, so you don’t have to travel far if you’re looking for a great meal.
15. Ewa Beach, Leeward Side
Ewa Beach is located on the leeward side of Oahu between Aiea and Pearl Harbor. This town is great for families because it has a low crime rate, amazing schools, and is not too far from the city of Honolulu (which makes it very convenient for people who work in Honolulu).
16. McCully-Mokuleia, Leeward Side
McCully-Mokuleia is located in the Leeward side of Oahu. It’s a very quiet community that many people overlook, but it has some very charming locations for families who don’t want to live too far away from Honolulu. Luckily, this community is only 5 minutes from Honolulu and 20 minutes away from Pearl Harbor soyou won’t have a hard time getting around.
17. Pearl City, Leeward Side
Pearl City is located on the leeward side of Oahu and is very convenient because it’s next to Waipio (which means that you don’t have to travel far for entertainment or shopping) and has one of the best malls on the island. The mall is called Pearlridge, and it has a lot of different stores so that you won’t have to travel far if you’re looking for something specific.
18. Waipio, Central Oahu
Waipio is located in the central part of Oahu between Wahiawa and Mililani. It’s a very safe and quiet community, so it would make a great place for families to live. Waipio has a lot of different fun places for you to visit such as the Waipio Community Park (where there are trails that lead to beaches), and many different historical landmarks like where Kamehameha the Great was born. There are also many beautiful beaches like Waimano Beach, which is great for surfing.
19. Fort Shafter, Central Oahu
Fort Shafter is located in the central part of Oahu across the street from Hickam Field Air Force Base. It’s a very safe community and has low crime rates so it would appeal to families who are concerned about the safety of their town. You can also walk to restaurants and shops within Fort Shafter, so it being in a central location is a plus.
20.Kaaawa, Windward Side
Kaaawa is located in the Kaaawa Valley on the windward side of Oahu. It’s a very peaceful community with not much traffic or noise that would annoy people who live there. This town has one of the best beaches on the island called Kaena Point Beach Park, which is great for surfing and swimming. There is also a great hiking trail called Kea’iwa Heiau that takes you to see a 700-year-old heiau.
21.Punaluu, Windward Side
Punaluu is located in the Pualuu Valley on the windward side of Oahu. It’s a very safe and quiet community that has an amazing beach called Punaluu Beach Park. There are also some beautiful hiking trails at Punaluu, so this community would be perfect for people who like to enjoy nature or want to exercise.
22. Aiea, Central Oahu
Aiea is located in the heart of Oahu. It’s a very safe community that has low crime rates and stunning homes, so it would appeal to families who don’t want to live on the city side of Oahu. Aiea also has many different places you can visit such as Pearl Harbor, KolekoleBeach, and the Aiea Heights Community Park.
23. Halawa, Central Oahu
Halawa is located in the heart of Oahu on the leeward side. This community has a low crime rate and beautiful homes, so it would appeal to many people who don’t want to live in Honolulu but still want to stay close by. Halawa is very convenient because you’re only 5 minutes away from Fort Shafter and 20 minutes away from Pearl Harbor. You can also walk to shopping centers and restaurants in Halawa, so if you don’t want your car then you’re set.
24. Hauula, Windward Side
Hauula is located in the Hauula Valley on the windward side of Oahu. This community has a low crime rate and beautiful homes, so it would appeal to many people who don’t want to live in Honolulu but still want to stay close by. Hauula is very convenient because you’re only 5 minutes away from Fort Shafter and 20 minutes away from Pearl Harbor. You can also walk to shopping centers and restaurants in Hauula, so if you don’t want your car then you’re set.
25.Laie, North Shore
Laie is located on Oahu’s North Shore. It’s a very peaceful community that has low crime rates and nice houses, so it would appeal to many families who are concerned about the safety of the homes in their town. Laie has some cool places you can visit such as Pali Lookout where you have an amazing view of Kaneohe Bay, and the Polynesian Cultural Center where you can learn more about different islands like Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, and Hawaii.
26. Pupukea, North Shore
Pupukea is located on Oahu’s North Shore. This community has some amazing houses, so it would appeal to people who are looking for a beautiful home in their town. Pupukea also has some cool places you can visit like the Banzai Pipeline where you can watch surfers ride big waves, and Sandy Beach which is a great place to surf, swim, or play in the sand.
27. Sunset, North Shore
Sunset is located on Oahu’s North Shore. It’s a very safe community with low crime rates so it would appeal to families who are concerned about the safety of their town. Sunset also has some cool places you can visit like the Shark’s Cove where you can snorkel and watch Hawaiian green sea turtles, and Pipeline where you can watch surfers ride big waves.
28. Ko Olina, West Side
Ko Olina is located in the Ko Olina Resort. This community has some nice homes and it would appeal to many people who are looking for a home on Oahu’s West Side. Ko Olina also has an amazing golf course, so if you’re into golf then this is where you want to live.
29. Ocean Pointe, Windward Side
Ocean Pointe is located in the Leeward Oahu area. It’s a very safe and quiet community that has some amazing houses, so it would appeal to many people who are looking for a home in their town. Ocean Pointe also has some cool places you can visit like the Marine Corps Base Hawaii where you can see military aircraft and military tanks, and Lanikai Beach.
30. Waikele, Central Oahu
Waikele is located on Oahu’s Central side. This community has some nice houses and it would appeal to many people who are looking for a home in their town. Waikele also has some cool places you can visit like Pearl Harbor where you can learn about World War II, and Aloha Stadium where you can watch football or other events.
If you’re looking for a town to live in on the island of Oahu, then this article has some great places.
There are many different communities on Oahu so you’re bound to find a town that would be perfect for you. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family. Also, be sure to check out this post on the 25 Best Places To Live in Hawaii.
Thanks for reading.
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