What is it like to live in the neighborhood of Salt Lake, Hawaii?

To the north of the international airport and a short drive from downtown Honolulu, lies the green suburban community of Salt Lake. Also known as Āliamanu after a nearby crater, the name Salt Lake is derived from the historically important lake that once filled Āliapa‘akai (“salt lake”) crater. The community is surrounded by military bases including Fort Shafter, Hickam Air Force Base, Pearl Harbor, Camp Smith, and Tripler Army Center as well as three main Oahu highways – the H1, H201, and H3 – making it a convenient commute to anywhere on the island. Parks, golf courses, and hiking trails complement the many residential options: single-family homes, townhomes, and high- and mid-rise condominiums. With a desirable location, great public schools, affordable housing, and green spaces, Salt Lake is a convenient and comfortable community to call home.

Salt Lake has the famous Hitachi tree in Moanalua Gardens, and Hawaiian stories and artifacts allude to its past

  • The Hitachi tree is a large, exceptional monkeypod tree in the middle of Moanalua Gardens. This tree generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the park, as Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has paid for exclusive promotional rights to use the tree as their corporate symbol since 1973.
  • In some mo‘olelo (stories), Moanalua has been referred to as Paliuli, meaning a legendary paradise or “garden of Eden,” alluding to the flowing springs and rich fertile soil.
  • Next to Moanalua Stream in the Valley, a large sacred rock tells the story of times past through intricate petroglyphs carved into the stone.

How far is Salt Lake to Honolulu?

Commute Time. With minimal traffic, it takes 14 minutes to arrive in downtown Honolulu and 24 minutes to arrive in Kapolei 
TheBUS serves Salt Lake with routes 3, 9, 11, 16, 19, 20, 20A, 31, 32, 40, 42, 43, 51, 53, 54, A, C, and E

What’s the weather like in Salt Lake Hawaii?

Enjoy Salt Lake’s dry, hot days with clear skies and sunshine almost year-round. Annual temperatures in Salt Lake Hawaii range from 67 degrees Fahrenheit to 87 degrees Fahrenheit with the hottest months being from late May to early October. 

Over the entire year, the temperature varies from 67 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit, with the coldest days of the year being in mid-December to April with an average daily high temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest day of the year is in mid-August with an average high of 87 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains in Salt Lake Hawaii typically from the end of October to March, with 16 percent of those rainy months’ days experiencing rain. Rain and wet days peak in mid-January. 

Salt Lake, Hawaii, is often muggy and humid, with some decreases in humidity during December, January, February, and March. Salt Lake’s windiest days of the year peak in July with average hourly wind speeds hitting around 16.6 miles per hour. With many sunny days, solar panels and water heaters can definitely be an option for homeowners – along with ample opportunities to enjoy Salt Lake’s many beautiful parks and outdoor activities. 

A lake to a golf course, the royal Hawaiian family to the U.S. government: Salt Lake, Hawaii has a storied history

The Moanalua ahupua‘a, or land division for early Hawaiian inhabitants, once stretched from the mountains above Salt Lake to the sea, where the Honolulu International Airport is located today. In the center of the ahupua‘a was a nearly one-mile wide shallow lake, formed by saltwater seepages and freshwater springs filling the Āliapa‘akai crater. Water evaporated and left salt deposits – which was a commodity to Hawaiians and explorers. After extreme salt exports, plantation runoff, an artesian well, sewage pipes, and eventually the filling of the lake in 1966, all that remains of Salt Lake today is a pond on the golf course at the Honolulu Country Club.

After the Great Mahele allowed ownership of the land, the Moanalua ahupua‘a passed through the royal Hawaiian family – from King Kamehameha V to Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani and then to Bernice Pauahi Bishop. In 1884, Samuel Mills Damon became the main owner of the land, leasing lots to the Honolulu Plantation Company for sugarcane production and utilizing the Moanalua hillside for cattle grazing. Rice and bananas were also grown in the rich soil. The U.S. Government began purchasing land in the area around 1914, eventually establishing the bases of today. In 1956, the Damon estate sold much of the former Moanalua ahupua‘a land to residential and commercial developers, catalyzing the post-state construction of the suburban neighborhood.

Salt Lake offers many rental properties as well as more affordably priced housing options on Oahu

Salt Lake Housing and People Stats

Restaurants in Salt Lake offer a multitude of dining options

Kau Kau Grill. 852 Mapunapuna Street. A popular gourmet plate lunch place in the middle of Salt Lake’s commercial area. Eat-in or take-out.

Soon’s Kal-Bi Drive-In. 848 Ala Lilikoi Street. Salt Lake has delicious Korean food with huge portions, great prices, and friendly and fast service. 

Pad Thai. 848 Ala Lilikoi Street, Unit 118. A mom-and-pop shop serving not only Pad Thai but also house fried chicken, spring rolls, pineapple fried rice, curry, papaya salad, and more.

Take’s Fish Market. 1151 Mapunapuna Street. From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in 99 Ranch Market, Uncle Take and his wife serve the freshest fish in their rolls, chirashi bowls, and sashimi.

Islander Drive Inn. 848 Ala Lilikoi Street. Grab great local food to go. This cash-only joint serves ono hamburger steak, garlic shrimp, chicken katsu, and more.

604 Express. 943 Valkenburgh Street, Building 888. Sit down in the air conditioning to enjoy music and great grinds like huge hamburgers, nachos, and pot stickers. They also have alcoholic beverages and happy hour specials.

Mitch’s Fish Market. 524 Ohohia Street. Known as one of the finer sushi restaurants on the island, enjoy a decadent lunch or dinner with mouthwatering toro, fresh abalone, grilled dishes like lobster van van, and more.

Big Kahuna’s Pizza. 550 Paiea Street. Delicious dough, fresh toppings, garlic cheese balls, and more local Italian delights in a fun atmosphere with local music and great service.

Wah Kung Restaurant. 1151 Mapunapuna Street. Local Chinese food served at decent prices. They have dinner and lunch specials and dishes can be taken to-go.

Kusina Korner. 1151 Mapunapuna Street. Find Filipino food in the Moanalua 99 food court. Popular dishes include the lechon kawali, chicken papaya, and pork adobo.

Convenient shopping and entertainment options in Salt Lake make it an easy place to call home

Salt Lake Shopping Center. 848 Ala Lilikoi Street. Conveniently located in the heart of Salt Lake, this shopping center has a Safeway, Longs Drugs, restaurants, small boutiques, a gas station, a laundromat, and more. 

Moanalua Shopping Center. 930 Valkenburgh Street. This center is located next to the Navy Exchange, but no military ID is necessary. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or a coffee at Starbucks. There are also other businesses like a cleaner, clothing shop, vitamin store, dentist, nail salon, and keiki hair salon.

Stadium Mall. 4510 Salt Lake Boulevard. Hawaii’s only year-round ice rink – the Ice Palace – is found on the edge of Salt Lake in Stadium Mall. While the keiki play ice hockey or figure skate, parents can change their tires at Goodyear or visit one of the eateries.

Aloha Stadium. 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard. On Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday explore the Aloha Stadium swap meet to discover discount souvenirs or pick up fresh produce from the farmers. There are a variety of events held at Aloha Stadium, including concerts and games.

Salt Lake’s dog, beach, sports, and garden parks offer an array of outdoor options

Salt Lake District Park. 1159 Ala Lilikoi Place. Breath the fresh air at this large clean park with numerous facilities: a vast grassy field, fun playground, basketball courts, indoor gymnasium, karate room, exercise room, and an Olympic-sized pool. The park also offers a range of organized activities for all ages.

Moanalua Gardens. 2850 A Moanalua Road. A peaceful place with magnificent trees, a grand lawn, koi pond, ducks, and seats and tables for a picnic. Tourists come from around the work to view the Hitachi tree, and the park can be rented for events.

Ala Puumalu Community Park. 1575 Ala Puumalu Street. This is a tiered community park called “levels” because of its three levels. Have fun exercising and enjoying the fresh air on the tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, walking path, and fields for soccer, football, and baseball/softball. There are clean bathrooms and a recreation center offering organized classes like Zumba.

Forest City Dog Park. 3772 Radford Drive.  A fenced-in park for your furry friends that also has a small dog section. The well-maintained area has toys, a bench, and a water fountain.

Moanalua Community Park. 2900 Moanalua Road. This clean park located between Moanalua Elementary and Middle Schools has tennis and basketball courts, playground equipment, fields, and a recreation center offering classes. There is also a dog area adjacent to this park.

Ke‘ehi Lagoon Beach Park. 465 Lagoon Drive. A tranquil park on the water and also close to Nimitz. The large grassy field is popular for weekend events, and there are also tennis courts, parking spots, and planes flying overhead.

Golfing in Salt Lake can be played at a number of golf clubs and courses

Moanalua Golf Club. 1250 Ala Aolani Street. A reasonably-priced 18-hole course tucked in the Moanalua Valley with a rich history - built in 1898, the nine-hole course was the first golf course constructed in Hawaii. They also have a beautiful restaurant serving local food from breakfast to dinner.

Honolulu Country Club. 1690 Ala Puumalu Street. This private club not only has a beautiful course, driving range, and pro shop but also offers a pool, jacuzzi, restaurant, and event space.

Walter J. Nagorski Golf Course. 711 Morton Drive. Opened in 1919, this 9-hole course at Fort Shafter offers amazing views of Pearl Harbor. They have rates for military and non-military members along with two restaurants – Mulligans and Hale Ikena – and a pro shop.

Navy Marine Golf Course. 943 Valkenburgh Street. A beautiful, well-maintained course serving military members and their guests. There is a restaurant and a driving range as well.

Take a stroll on one of the many hikes in Salt Lake

Moanalua/Kamananui Valley Trail. Park near the basketball courts at the end of Ala Aolani Street. A gorgeous well-marked six-mile trail that is fairly level and transgresses seven bridges, a stream, ruins of a Damon estate home, lush landscapes, and incredible views. Bug spray and pants recommended. 

Tripler Ridge Trail. Find the paved path around the Tripler housing area. Access may be restricted to military members only. A paved 2.6-mile roundtrip path that also leads to a difficult ridge hike that has no end sign. This trail offers amazing views with options to connect to Haiku Stairs by following some of the most difficult hiking terrains on the island. 

Fort Shafter Ridge and Bowman Trail. Enter from Radar Hill Drive. Access is restricted to military members only. This steep trail offers a challenging ridge hike for advanced adventurers. There are some magnificent views and plenty of lush landscapes.

Salt Lake has limited biking options

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

Public schools in Salt Lake Hawaii have a reputation for being better than most on the island

Moanalua High (Public)
2825 Ala Ilima Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818 

“Moanalua High offers a rigorous comprehensive curriculum, with college preparatory, advanced placement, career-technical education, English as a second language and special education courses. Two learning centers for media communications & technology, and world languages, along with an outstanding music program, and the state’s largest Air Force JROTC, round out programs offering high-quality academic opportunities available to students. The School Community Council, which includes administrators, staff, parents and students, is part of Moanalua High's governance system,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Moanalua Middle (Public)
1289 Mahiole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

“Moanalua Middle provides a caring and supportive adult advocate for each student via its core team structure and individualization through advisory class. The school incorporates research-based practices to support learning success. The School Community Council and Parent Teacher Student Association are forums for exchanging ideas and/or points of views from all stakeholders on matters affecting student achievement and school improvement. The athletics program consists of an active Central District Interschool League engaging middle school students in cross country, volleyball, basketball, track, and cheerleading. Several cocurricular programs and clubs are also offered,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Moanalua Elementary (Public)
1337 Mahiole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819  

“Moanalua Elementary teachers strive to create a safe and caring culture while using active instructional strategies to engage all learners and build communities within classrooms. Enrichment program activities include Junior Police Officers, Student Council, robotics, a video production partnership with Moanalua High, Alliance for Drama Education, Orchestra and Academy of Arts. The school enjoys strong support from the School Community Council, Parent Teacher Organization and community volunteers,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Red Hill Elementary (Public)
1265 Ala Kula Place
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

“Red Hill Elementary is focused on incorporating technology in the curriculum to help prepare students for college and careers. The school has a state-of-the-art computer lab, interactive smartboards in every classroom, in addition to over 200 computers and other technology resources. Children needing interventions are identified using data from various assessments and supported through targeted instruction,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Salt Lake Elementary (Public)
1131 Ala Lilikoi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Salt Lake Elementary prepares children to be lifelong learners. Students wear uniform T-shirts to promote school spirit, pride and safety on campus. Students may join service groups such as Junior Police Officers and Conflict Mediators and participate in various civic responsibility opportunities including Kids Voting and sustainability projects. The school also provides robotics and music programs. The School Community Council is actively engaged in the development of all academic and financial plans. The Parent Teacher Association is also active in fundraising and sponsors the annual Fun Fair to raise funds to support field trips and other school initiatives,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Major General William R. Shafter Elementary (Public)
2 Fort Shafter
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 

“Shafter Elementary is focused on best practices in classroom instruction with an emphasis on literacy, numeracy and the well-being of the learner. The school prioritizes the following areas: Assure all students graduate college and career ready through effective use of standards-based education; Ensure and sustain a rich environment and culture for lifelong learners; Continuously improve the effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness of the educational system,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Admiral Arthur W. Radford High (Public)
4361 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Radford High has a number of measures to improve student achievement through standards-based education, including a Rigor, Relevance Framework, where teacher training stresses the improvement of lessons through hands-on applications; An Advancement Via Individual Determination curriculum to provide student support in writing, inquiry, collaboration and reading; Reading and math workshops to support students in need of additional instruction. Radford High provides gifted-and-talented language arts courses, expanded AP courses, a Multimedia Program under the Arts and Communications Career Pathway, JROTC, a Culinary Arts Academy, a Building and Construction Academy and many other electives. The school also maintains several outstanding comprehensive student support programs. A Transition Center includes orientation, a “lunch buddy” program and a tutorial for students who need additional help. The Discovery Center assists students with job preparation and placement. The College/Career Resource Center helps students with college applications. Finally, senior and parent conferences inform seniors and their families of students' graduation status early in the senior year,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Aliamanu Middle (Public)
3271 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Aliamanu Middle's philosophy focuses on meeting the needs of young adolescent learners by offering a safe and nurturing environment. Students are placed in learning teams that integrate curriculum across the content areas. We are aligned with the national common core standards to prepare our students to be college ready. Literacy is dominant as a common school culture across the core curriculum. Supplemental differentiated programs that put emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary and writing proficiency are also made accessible to all students. In addition, we align with Radford High and teach a common Advanced Via Individual Determination note-taking method across the curriculum,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Aliamanu Elementary (Public)
3265 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Aliamanu Elementary School first opened in 1957 in an old building that was once Pearl Harbor Intermediate School. The following year, Aliamanu Elementary School was relocated to its present site on Salt Lake Boulevard. The Aliamanu area is considered part of the larger Radford Complex that includes the Salt Lake subdivision and Foster Village. The community is a diverse population of military families, middle-income apartment condominium dwellers, and low-income rental units. The population of the school community includes both local and military families. Aliamanu Elementary serves military families from Moanalua Terrace, Maloelap, Halsey Terrace and Doris Miller Park. ,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Lt. Col. Horace Meek Hickam Elementary (Public)
825 Manzelman Circle
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Hickam Elementary enrolls students from many school systems throughout the nation and from schools for U.S. dependents established in foreign countries. The school provides strong academic and co-curricular programs such as Student Council, music, physical education, gifted and talented program and computer technology. Extracurricular programs include art, ukulele, garden, and fitness clubs, as well as chorus, drama, basketball, track and volleyball. Comprehensive Student Support Services provide an array of services, which include Primary School Adjustment Project, Friendship Group, a PACT (Problem-Solving, Awareness, Communication, Teamwork) Group, Gifted and Talented, Speech and Language services, and Special Education services for identified students,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Makalapa Elementary (Public)
4435 Salt Lake Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Makalapa Elementary focuses on quarterly goals in reading, writing and math. Teachers strive to integrate common assessments and writing activities in the curriculum. The school utilizes several computer-assisted programs to help teachers serve the diverse language arts and math needs of its students. Teachers conduct formative assessments and use data to track student progress and adjust instructional techniques and strategies. Makalapa Elementary offers a wide variety of programs, including vocal music, strings, robotics, band, and intermural sports to students in grades 4-6. Various fine arts programs are offered to K-3 students,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Mokulele Elementary (Public)
250 Aupaka Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

“Mokulele Elementary is committed to creating a safe and caring culture while using active instructional strategies to engage all learners. Teachers work in Professional Learning Communities analyzing student work, collaborating on unit plans and exploring personal inquiries to improve their craft. The Sports Intramural program offers students in Grades 2–6 opportunities to participate on a team for flag-football, basketball and softball. The Radford Complex Extramural Program includes all seven elementary schools in coed volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and track. Dedicated teachers volunteer to coach and facilitate both sporting events. The music program has a weekly Strings and Woodwind ensemble program in addition to the existing Chorus program,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Elementary (Public)
520 Main Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818  

“Nimitz Elementary is a learning community where administrators, educators, staff and parents devote their time and energy to promote student achievement. The school provides a challenging, coherent and relevant curriculum based on best practices and aligned with state and national standards. Data teams monitor and analyze student performance, and teachers analyze assessment data to drive and improve classroom instruction. Consistent, sequential and developmentally appropriate learning experiences invite students to take an active part in the learning process,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Pearl Harbor Elementary (Public)
1 Moanalua Ridge
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818 

“Pearl Harbor Elementary teaches the Common Core State Standards from kindergarten through grade 6. The school has implemented a data team process to ensure data collection and adjustments to instruction for optimal student achievement. Recognizing the large proportion of military children it serves, Pearl Harbor Elementary has established a strong partnership with its military community. The school’s leadership is actively involved with the military through the Joint Venture Education Forum, which provides funding for the school’s Transition Center, textbooks and technology needs,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary (Public)
1 C Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818 

“Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary's administration and staff focus on the following areas of school improvement: Ensure involvement of all stakeholders in the development, implementation and refinement of school plans; Monitor consistent implementation of schoolwide curriculum and instruction through frequent classroom walkthrough observations. Feedback to teachers will increase the consistency of instructional practices; Implement and incorporate a data team structure to ensure that all students achieve their goals. Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary has developed a class schedule that provides collaboration time for all teachers; implemented a research-based system of data-driven student assessments; created a well-articulated system of curriculum binders, year at a glance, pacing guides and other teacher support systems and has provided continuous professional development opportunities,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Salt Lake has a number of nearby hospitals and health centers

Pali Momi Medical Center
98-1079 Moanalua Rd, Aiea, HI 96701
Open 24 hours

The Queen's Medical Center
1301 Punchbowl Street
Open 24 Hours

Kuakini Medical Center
347 North Kuakini Street
Open 24 hours

Kaiser Permanente Mapunapuna Medical Office
2828 Paa Street
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center
3288 Moanalua Road
Open 24 hours

Concentra Urgent Care
545 Ohohia Street
Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

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. 

Moanalua High 
2825 Ala Ilima Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818 

Red Hill Elementary 
1265 Ala Kula Place
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Salt Lake Elementary 
1131 Ala Lilikoi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

Admiral Arthur W. Radford High 
4361 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

Aliamanu Middle 
3271 Salt Lake Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

Makalapa Elementary 
4435 Salt Lake Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

Pearl Harbor Elementary 
1 Moanalua Ridge
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818 

Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary 
1 C Avene
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818