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If you’ve heard of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, or IZ, as he was known in the music world, then you are familiar with Kaimuki. It is a Honolulu neighborhood located on the mountain side of Diamond Head just east of Manoa and Makiki, and west of Kahala on the island of Oahu. As one of Honolulu’s oldest neighborhoods, it features a combination of established businesses and trendy little boutiques and restaurants that exudes a local island charm all while allowing new growth into the community. Truthfully, it has the same feel the music IZ is so famous for – local Hawai’ian flavor.

History of Kaimuki

In 1848, King Kamehameha III gave the land on which Kaimuki sits to King William Lunalilo. From there, he sold the land in 1884 for a little over $2,300 which back then was a fortune! In 1898, the land was sold yet again for $20,000 – mega fortune!  At that point, Kaimuki became a high-end residential community. Families loved the neighborhood and moved there followed by businesses who saw the opportunities.

Since then, Kaimuki has retained its old-style Hawai’ian charm while changing and expanding. The residents of Kaimuki love this community because of the attraction of small, locally owned businesses and friendly neighbors.

Kaimuki Business District

The Kaimuki business district draws people from all over the area mainly because of the charm and local culture that exists in the area. This is why it seems to draw so many businesses. Well-known restaurants as well as quaint cafes and eateries, small locally owned boutiques and stores (Lily Lotus, Bead It, and Drift Boutique, and other businesses call Kaimuki home. Most of the businesses are located along Waialae and Kapahulu Avenues. One of the most enticing attributes of Kamuki is the “walkability” of the community. Simply put, residents can easily walk everywhere just as visitors can park their cars for the day and stroll about the neighborhood.

On top of the two main business filled streets, there are two shopping centers: Kaimuki Shopping Center and Market City Shopping Center. Each one is home to businesses across the board from banking to food, drugs and clothing and restaurants. 

Things to Do in Kaimuki

Kaimuki is known as an eclectic area of Oahu because of the shops and the atmosphere of the neighborhood. It is a fantastic place for families – not because there are tons of family activities but because it is a close knit community with family-oriented activities throughout the year. From farmers’ markets to festivals, it is very easy to see why people live here.

Pu’Uo Kaimuki Park is a tiny park within the residential areas of Kaimuki. It is situated on a hill just above the Kaimuki Fire House and is a phenomenal place to take unbelievable pictures of beautiful panoramic vistas. As part of the rim of an extinct volcano crater, people come here to simply sit and take it all in, have lunch or include it in their run.

Kaimuki also has the distinction of being adjacent to the base of the Diamond Head Crater.  People love spending time at Diamond Head so being next to it is a bonus for residents.

On top of this, Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki and Kahala are just a short drive from Kaimuki so there is no lacking in things to do. Just a bit of a further drive, but not too much further is Hawai’i Kai with tons of shopping and other fun activities.

Kaimuki Real Estate

Kaimuki is filled predominantly with older homes with lots of character that are big and accommodate large families. Most were built before 1940 and remodeled or even demolished in favor of newer, updated homes. It is also common for homes to be in the same family and passed from generation to generation.  The list prices range from the upper-$600s to well over $1 million.  While it is still somewhat reasonably priced when compared to other Honolulu neighborhoods, it is showing higher demand because of its charm and ideal location.

Relocating to Kaimuki

Kaimuki is a neighborhood in Honolulu where families have lived for generations and people working in neighboring communities want to live. It has a mom and pop charm that draws those who want to be able to escape the action of Downtown Honolulu when not working. It also attracts families whether small or large, multigenerational.

There are excellent public schools serving Kaimuki. King Liholiho Elementary, Kaimuki Middle, and Kalani High are all top rated schools at which neighborhood children go to school. As for private, there are several within a short drive that offer excellent education as well.Kaimuki is in high demand because of everything it has to offer – location, growth, excellent schools, and its community atmosphere.    

Neighborhoods Near Kaimuki