Why live in Mililani, Hawaii?

Mililani, located in central Oahu, was Hawaii’s first planned community, with spacious homes rising from the red clay of the plantation fields in 1968. Now the neighborhood has mature trees, great public schools, and almost any amenity to make living comfortable. With the construction of the H-2 freeway in 1976, the commute to Honolulu became twice as convenient. The H-2 freeway divides the two Mililani neighborhoods: Mililani Town, the older portion west of H-2, and Mililani Mauka, built starting in 1990 and to the east of H-2. Mililani is also a convenient commute to Kapolei, and its central location is only twenty minutes from the pristine beaches and storied surf of the North Shore. Living in the fifty-year-old neighborhood of Mililani means enjoying a family-friendly community – with all the conveniences of planned development and all the natural beauty of Hawaii.

Mililani is an All-America City with streets named after shimmering stars. Here are more interesting facts:

  • Mililani is four miles from Wheeler and Schofield Barracks and eight miles from Camp Smith, making it a great community for military families.
  • There are many streets and townhouses in Mililani with the name “Hoku.” Hoku means star in Hawaiian, alluding to the abundant amount of shimmering stars that can be seen in the dark night sky of Mililani.
  • Mililani was named an All-America City in 1986 by the National Civic League because of citizens’ grassroots efforts to clean pesticide-contaminated drinking water. Mililani is the only community in Hawaii to achieve this accolade.

How long does it take to get from Mililani to Honolulu? What’s the transportation like?

Commute Time. The average travel time to work is 32 minutes, according to the U.S. Census from 2012-2016. With minimal traffic, it takes 26 minutes to go to Honolulu and 21 minutes to arrive in central Kapolei.

Buses. TheBUS serves Mililani with routes 51, 52, 501, 503, and 504. 

What’s the weather like in Mililani?

Stare up at the stars during a clear night in cool Mililani. Annual temperatures in Mililani range from 63 degrees Fahrenheit to 84 degrees Fahrenheit with some rainy, breezy days that keep the days cooler than some neighborhoods on Oahu. 

Over the entire year, the temperature varies from 63 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with the coldest days of the year being in mid-January with an average low of 63 and high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains in Mililani typically from the end of October to March, with 17 percent of those rainy months’ days experiencing rain. Rain and wet days peak in mid-January. 

Mililani, Hawaii, is almost always muggy and humid, with some decreases in humidity during December, January, February, and March. Mililani’s windiest days of the year peak in July with average hourly wind speeds hitting around 16.7 miles per hour. With many sunny days, solar panels and water heaters can definitely be an option for homeowners – along with sunbathing, outdoor exercise, and growing plants. 

From Native Hawaiian ali‘i to Castle & Cooke, the lands of Mililani have a storied history.

The local Native Hawaiian chiefs fought battles to control the precious lands of Mililani, which had fertile soil, a cool climate, and sacred sites, like the Birthing Stones, where ali‘i, or ruling, women delivered their children. The armies of Oahu also trained for war in the Mililani mountains. And in 1410, when the chiefs of Maui and the Big Island attacked Oahu, a decisive battle would be fought in Kipapa Gulch, which runs along the southeast side of Mililani. This bloody battle would result in an Oahu victory, but local legends still abound about the spirits of the warriors in the gulch.

In 1850, King Kamehameha III granted the Waipi‘o Ahupua‘a, which included Mililani, to John Papa I‘i, the son of a Kona chief who adored exploring the Mililani lands during his childhood. John Papa I‘i named the land “Mililani,” which means “exalted” or “to look skyward.” After his death in 1870, the area was put into a trust and then leased or sold. 

Castle & Cooke obtained most of the land from the trust, first transforming it into flourishing pineapple and sugar plantations. Workers from around the world would settle into small plantation villages in the Mililani Town area, but as the economy changed, the plantations began to close a century after their commencement. 

Castle & Cooke would again transform the land, creating a comfortable residential community. On June 3, 1968, the first 112 houses were offered for sale in Mililani. With the completion of H-2 in 1976 and the construction of thousands of more homes along with wide streets, schools, shopping centers, a golf course, a technology park, and more, Mililani evolved into a distinct family-friendly community in central Oahu.

The newest development from Castle & Cooke is called Koa Ridge with 3,500 planned new homes.

Moderately priced single-family Oahu homes can be found in Mililani. 

Mililani Housing and People Stats

Thai, Japanese, Italian, Korean, local food and more – there are Mililani restaurants for all types of cravings.

Thai Village. 95-1249 Meheula Parkway. Refreshing papaya salad, crispy fried chicken, vegan stir-fries – this restaurant has delicious Thai food in a clean environment with excellent customer service. 

Sakura. 94-780 Meheula Parkway. Sakura serves an array of sushi rolls are buy one get one half off during happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. They also have an excellent kids’ menu and daily Japanese food specials. 

Assaggio. 95-1249 Meheula Parkway.  Sit down to a candle-lit Italian lunch or dinner while divulging in a traditional pasta dish or trying a unique Assaggio creation.

Mililani Bar-B-Q. 95-1249 Meheula Parkway. Delicious local, Korean food served with great service and for a great price. Try the array of side dishes and the specials.

Nagoya Ramen. 95-221 Kipapa Drive, Ste C-15. Tasty ramen, crisp mochiko chicken, delicious curry, and free gyoza – Mililani has a great place to satisfy your Japanese cravings.

Taps & Apps. 95-1830 Meheula Parkway, Ste C6. With unique pupus like spicy pistachio poke, a large selection of beers, and live entertainment on the weekends, Taps & Apps offers a lively venue to meet with friends or family. 

Rajanee Thai Cuisine. 95-390 Kuahelani Avenue, Ste 3C. Locals love this place with delicious Thai at a great price! Good for take-out or eating in the restaurant. They also do catering.

Mililani Restaurant. 95-221 Kipapa Drive. Located in the Mililani Shopping Center and serving Hawaiian and local favorites for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Friendly service and great for take-out.

Rise and Shine Cafe. 95-1057 Ainamakua Drive, Ste F-6. A popular spot for breakfast and lunch with delicious food and refreshing coffee at reasonable prices. 

Freestyle Cafe. 94-780 Meheula Parkway. A cute café decorated in a wonderland theme. Their menu includes acai bowls, milk tea, crepes, coffee, and more.

Convenient shopping centers offer options for finding all your family’s needs.

Town Center of Mililani. 95-1249 Meheula Parkway. With a Fun Factory, Consolidated movie theater, UFC Gym, and numerous restaurants – along with a Walmart, PetSmart, City Mill, and public library nearby, the Town Center is Mililani’s central place for shopping needs and family-friendly entertainment.

Mililani Shopping Center. 95-390 Kuahelani Avenue. A smaller shopping center with a variety of shops, eateries, and businesses. This shopping center serves as a place for community members to host events, like the farmers market that is held every Friday afternoon.

The Gateway at Mililani Mauka. 1840 Meheula Parkway. This shopping center has a Long’s Drugs, Starbucks, gas station, dry cleaner, comic book store, and a variety of restaurants.

Mililani has a golf course!

Mililani Golf Club. 91-050 Fort Weaver Road. A well-maintained golf course with a driving range, pro shop, and restaurant. They offer twilight golfing specials on the weekdays.

Mililani parks provide walking, sporting, and exercise options for the entire family, including the dog.

Launani Park. 95-515 Wikao Street. A dog and keiki-friendly park with a playground, two tennis courts, a basketball court, trees, and green areas. It’s also very clean!

Mililani Ravine Park. 95-1145 Lehiwa Drive. This park has a beautiful trail for walking or running and well-maintained grounds for relaxing.

Kipapa Neighborhood Park. 95-439 Kuahelani Avenue.  If you are yearning for a grassy area or the traditional park amenities – baseball field, basketball court, playground equipment, bathrooms – this neighborhood park is the place for you.

Kuulako Park. 95-1030 Kuauli Street. A newly remodeled smaller park with a unique play structure for school-aged children – complete with three slides, a rock-climbing wall, a hammock and more.

Mililani District Park. 94-1150 Lanikuhana Avenue. Many sporting events, including basketball, tennis, baseball, or volleyball, are held in this park. Facilities also include an indoor gym, a skatepark, and restrooms.

Makaunulau Community Park. 95-800 Makaunulau Street. Park in one of the many parking spaces to enjoy a game in the big, level grassy area or a picnic on one of the tables.

Ukuwai Park. Ukuwai Street. A small neighborhood park in Mililani Mauka with benches, pull-up bars, and an area to walk the dog.

Mililani Waena Neighborhood Park. 95-590 Naholoholo Street. This park has an open grassy field and bathroom facility and is the place for frequent dog training classes.

Mililani Mauka District Park. 95-1069 Ukuwai Street. A newer park in Mililani Mauka with a baseball field, basketball courts, and bathrooms. 

Mililani Off-leash Dog Park. 94-245 Kaloapau Street. With water bowls, toys, waste bins, several benches, and lots of open space, this park is a great Mililani feature for dog owners.

Long-distance biking is limited, but bikers can enjoy short rides through the wide Mililani streets.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Bike Map Oahu
Oahu Bicycling League Bike Map

Mililani public schools have a better reputation for offering quality education.

Mililani High (Public)
95-1200 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, Hawaii 96789  

“Vision: We, at Mililani High School, envision a safe, nurturing learning community that guides and supports all its members in their efforts to become responsible, productive citizens. Mission: Graduates of Mililani High School will be able to: think critically, independently, and compassionately about the world they live in; produce quality products; communicate ideas clearly and effectively; use technology in a knowledgeable and ethical manner; and exhibit a responsible commitment to society,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mililani Middle (Public)
95-1140 Lehiwa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789

“Mililani Middle offers a nurturing, safe and challenging academic environment. Core teams provide opportunities for student-centered learning, integrated curricula, varied instructional strategies, flexible scheduling and a rich exploratory program. An array of afterschool enrichment opportunities is also available to students. Mililani Middle implements a consistent curriculum, the result of continuous dialogue and articulation within and among the schools’ Professional Learning Communities. To create engaging, active learning environments, teachers integrate project-based learning. The school offers service learning opportunities to increase rigor and relevance. Mililani Middle is a multi-track school and runs on a special calendar,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Kipapa Elementary (Public)
95-076 Kipapa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789  

“Kipapa Elementary's philosophy is to educate the ‘whole child’ by supporting students to learn and grow academically, physically, socially and emotionally. The school believes early intervention is crucial and supports all students with a variety of transition services. Students lacking preschool experience can attend a free summer KinderCamp to help prepare them for school. A parent orientation meeting communicates program goals and expectations. Parent and community engagement continue to be a high priority for Kipapa Elementary. Many parent workshops and coffee hours are offered throughout the school year to assist parents with information to support student achievement in standards-based education, personal growth in character and areas of strength and passion. The Parent-Teacher Group and School Community Council actively support school initiatives and activities,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mililani Ike Elementary (Public)
95-1330 Lehiwa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789 

“Mililani Ike Elementary provides a comprehensive Common Core State Standards education and a full scope of student services ranging from student adjustment, counseling and behavioral supports to gifted and talented program and several co-curricular activities. The school offers robotics, student government, junior police officers, choir, strings orchestra, drama and library clubs, cross-country, track and flag teams. All students receive instruction in Hawaiian studies, world languages, physical education, fine arts and career and technical education,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mililani Mauka Elementary (Public)
95-1111 Makaikai Street
Mililani, Hawaii 96789

“At Mililani Mauka Elementary, use of technology to enhance teaching and learning is integral to the school's operation. The school was built under Harvard’s Project Zero Smart School on a principle that ‘learning is a consequence of thinking and should be reflective of deep understanding.’ The school has an active School Community Council and supportive Parent Teacher Organization, which funds various initiatives for the students in the arts, technology, music and physical education. Mililani Mauka Elementary's Parent Community Networking Center encourages parents to volunteer for a variety of activities ranging from single events to year-long assistance as tutors, library helpers and classroom helpers,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mililani Uka Elementary (Public)
94-380 Kuahelani Avenue
Mililani, Hawaii 96789

“Mililani Uka emphasizes high academic standards, a positive learning environment, parental involvement and the development of good character and civic responsibility. The school provides tailored interventions to students and professional development to educators to help them implement research-based strategies. Art, music, healthy activities and technology are infused into the curriculum. Student activities include Student Council, Junior Police Officers, Egret Chorus, cross country and track. The school's Hui O Mililani Uka (parent-teacher organization), School Community Council and military partners are active and supportive of school goals,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mililani Waena Elementary (Public)
95-502 Kipapa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789  

“Mililani Waena Elementary embraces research-based best practices that promote student achievement. The school's foundation is based on 5Rs: Rigor, Relevance, Relationship, Reflection and Results. Educators utilize a combination of literacy approaches, while mathematics is taught with the emphasis on investigating and applying concepts. Scientific exploration is also a major emphasis,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Hospitals and Health Centers

Straub Mililani Family Health Center
95-1249 Meheula Pkwy #187, Mililani, HI 96789
Open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Wahiawā General Hospital
128 Lehua St, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Open 24 Hours

Kaiser Permanente Waipio Medical Office
94-1480 Moaniani St, Waipahu, HI 96797
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

Access Medical Clinics
95-1249 Meheula Parkway, Ste D, Mililani, HI 96789
Located Inside Long’s Drugs at Mililani Town Center
Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Emergency Hurricane Shelters

The following hurricane evacuation shelters are provided by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management to offer some protection from high winds, flying debris, storm surges, and flooding. If possible, the Department of Emergency Management recommends the public to “Shelter-in-Place.” Note that more information about shelters will be broadcast over local media and official social media sites during an emergency. Also, you should bring a three-day supply of food, water, clothing, medication, personal hygiene items, and a mat or cot for sleeping, since the shelters are not stocked with supplies. 

Mililani High 
95-1200 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, Hawaii 96789  

Mililani Middle 
95-1140 Lehiwa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789

Kipapa Elementary 
95-076 Kipapa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789 

Mililani Uka Elementary 
94-380 Kuahelani Avenue
Mililani, Hawaii 96789

Mililani Waena 
95-502 Kipapa Drive
Mililani, Hawaii 96789