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Oahu Neighborhoods

Oahu Neighborhood Profiles: Kaneohe

The Hawaii of Dreams

"From Little Grass Shacks to Quaint Communities"

This part of the Windward Coast leading up to the North Shore looks like the Hawaii about which people have always fantasized. Here are the modern versions of the sleepy little beachside towns and undulating coconut palms of old Hawaii, with glorious mountains on one side and the electrifying blue ocean on the other.

Originally a tiny Hawaiian fishing and taro farming village where folks lived in grass huts, Hauula is now a charming little community of affordable single-family residences and condos. A sandy procession of beach parks lines the makai side, and a new beach pavilion and the newly renovated Hauula Shopping Center have townsfolk understandably proud.

The legendary crouching lion rock formation and the Crouching Lion Inn mark the north end of Kaaawa. Otherwise, you might not know you've been through town. Here, the steep, green cliffs of the Koolaus allow barely enough room beside this coastline-hugging stretch of Kamehameha Highway for the neat affordable to mid-priced homes of Kaaawa.

Kahaluu, the northernmost of these neighborhoods, is a spiritual experience. Getting the most rain; it’s the most luxuriant in plant growth. It's a tropical nirvana is wedged between the incredible cathedral spires of the Koolau Mountains and the turquoise opalescence of Kaneohe Bay. Home prices vary from mid-range to expensive, with views that will take your breath away.

Located at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains is Kaneohe, the second biggest community, with 40,000 residents. Windward Community College and fabulous Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden are both here.

Mokapu Peninsula, which rests between Kaneohe and Kailua, is the home of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, formerly known as Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station. In addition to moderately priced homes, Kaneohe has a wide selection of townhomes, condos and apartments. Both H-3 and Likelike Highway connect Kaneohe with other areas of Oahu.

Right now, Punaluu is the tiniest community of them all, but it looks like growth is on the way. The Pacific Ocean isn't the only thing lapping at these shores. Lots are on the market, developers are developing and a few fee simple homes are for sale in the middle to upper price range. Three alluring beach parks are mainly used by the few residents and vacation condo renters who are lucky enough to live in this divine place.

*Content provided courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser