Waianae Neighborhood Guide

The 13 miles from Nānākuli to Makua comprise the Wai‘anae coast, simply known as “The Coast” to locals. With breathtaking beaches, majestic valleys, and abundant marine life, Wai‘anae offers a westside escape from urban Oahu life.


The neighborhood is rich in cultural history and close-knit community living. The mix of condos, single- and multi-family homes, vacant land, and Hawaiian Home Lands properties with attractive price points make Wai‘anae a place for all types of home buyers.

Interesting Facts About Waianae

  • Searider Productions is an award-winning Waianae High program that includes journalism, digital media, animation, graphic design, web design, interactive media, audio production, and photography classes for students.
  • Buffalo’s Big Board Surfing Classic has been held for the past four decades on Makaha Beach. Divisions include SUPsquatch and tandem.
  • Max Holloway, the UFC Featherweight Champion, is from Waianae. Learn more about celebrated community members at the Wai‘anae Coast Hall of Fame.

Transportation

Commute Time. The average travel time to work is 46 minutes, according to the U.S. Census from 2012-2016. With minimal traffic, it takes 43 minutes to go to Honolulu and 23 minutes to arrive in Kapolei.

Buses. TheBUS serves Waianae with routes 401, 402, 403, C (Downtown Ala Moana), 40 (Kapolei, Waipahu, Honolulu), 93 (Express Honolulu), and PH1 (Express Pearl Harbor). There is a Transit Center in Waianae off Leihoku Street.

History

The Wai‘anae mountain range is the oldest area of volcanic activity on the island, and at just over 4,000 feet, the highest peak on Oahu, Mount Ka‘ala, attests to those volcanic beginnings. The name Wai‘anae is comprised of two Hawaiian words: wai meaning water and ‘anae meaning large mullet, fish that were once produced in large quantities by Native Hawaiians in brackish-water pools. The legend of the ancient demigod, Maui, says he and his grandmother Hina lived in Kaneana cave in Wai‘anae. 


(Hawaii State Archives)

The Native Hawaiians of Wai‘anae became a prosperous fishing village – perhaps because of Maui’s influence on the land and sea. In the early 1800s, with the arrival of James Cook and other traders from Europe and America, Waianae’s sandalwood trees became a valued crop. But other crops were neglected, and foreign diseases were introduced, causing the local population to plummet. In the late 1800s, a railroad was built, connecting Wai‘anae to Honolulu and facilitating the establishment of the Waianae Sugar Plantation in 1878. Immigrants from around the world settled in Wai‘anae to work on the sugar plantation. With its closure in 1946, the commercialization on the Wai‘anae coast mostly ceased, leading to the reemergence of abundant wildlife that is seen today.

Real Estate Statistics

Waianae Housing

Restaurants

Coquito’s Latin Cuisine Restaurant. 85-773 Farrington Highway. This cozy, unassuming restaurant serves delicious Latin American food, like mofongo, pernil, and tres leches, for lunch and dinner.

Ma Luna’s Resturant. 85-923 Farrington Highway. Exceptional Filipino food with great service. Try the squid guisado and adobo fried rice. 

Countryside Cafe. 87-070 Farrington Highway. A beachside brunch of French toast, lilikoi biscuits, eggs benedicts, strawberry Belgian waffles, and more is served in this cute, local establishment.

Ka‘aha‘aina Cafe. 86-260 Farrington Highway. Serving local and Hawaiian food for breakfast and lunch, this cute café also boasts beautiful ocean views of the Waianae Coast. 

Barbecue Kai. 85-973 Farrington Highway. Open from breakfast to dinner, this long-time local mom-and-pop shop serves ‘ono combo plates that can be eaten on outdoor benches or taken to go.

Saito & Pho II. 86-120 Farrington Highway, Ste 308. Located in Waianae Mall, the attentive staff serves tasty Vietnamese dishes, like pho, vermicelli, and banh mi. 

Spicy House. 87-730 Farrington Highway. Get your Thai fix for lunch or dinner in this clean restaurant with great food. BYOB.

Kahumana Cafe. 86-660 Lualualei Homestead Road. Walk around the farm to enjoy the growing vegetables and grazing animals, and then step inside the café to eat fresh vegan-friendly dishes.

The Lighter Side. 87-070 Farrington Highway, Ste 103. Serving vegetarian, gluten-free, pescatarian, and other diet-friendly dishes with clean and homey décor. They also have smoothies and acai bowls.

Waianae Flamingo. 65-910 Farrington Highway. Offering daily specials and local favorites like mochiko chicken, loco moco, and oxtail soup, the Waianae Flamingo is open from breakfast to dinner and is great for take-out or eating in. 

Shopping and Entertainment

Waianae Mall. 86-120 Farrington Highway. With weekend events for families, a variety of eateries, and a City Mill and Longs Drugs, this shopping center caters to locals who live near.

The Makaha Gateway. 84-1170 Farrington Highway. Facing the ocean and offering occasional craft fairs, the Makaha Gateway hosts a grocery store, a laundromat, and clothing stores.

Nanakuli Shopping Center. 87-2026 Farrington Highway. Located in the heart of Nanakuli, this bustling center boasts grocery stores, a post office, a beauty salon, and restaurants for locals to stop and shop.

Makaha Valley Country Club. 84-627 Makaha Valley Road. Offering discounted golf rates for kama‘aina and a spectacular view from the ocean to the mountains, this country club is a great place to enjoy a game of golf with friends. 

Parks

Kaena Point State Park. 955 Kamehameha Highway. On the most western point of Oahu, this remote coastal area has a lava shoreline with scenic, rugged hiking trails. Go to the nature preservation area to view the albatross or Hawaiian monk seals.

Kea‘au Beach Park. 83-431 Farrington Highway. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sandy beach with a rocky shoreline. Bathroom facilities are available.

Makaha Beach Park. 84-369 Farrington Highway. A white sand beach in the heart of Makaha with solid surf and bathroom facilities. 

Kaupuni Neighborhood Park. Kaneaki Street.  A park for families with basketball courts, a pavilion, and restrooms. Parties in the pavilion are permitted through the Parks Department. 

Pōkaʻī Bay Beach Park. 960 Bayview Street. This park has an open market every Friday and is a family-friendly place with a playground, restrooms, and calm waters next to the sandy beach. This park also allows dogs!

Māʻili Beach Park. 87-21 Farrington Highway. Amenities include showers, ample parking, restrooms, and charcoal disposals. It is a good place to relax and BBQ with family while enjoying the beautiful beach and grassy areas. 

Waiʻanae District Park. 85-601 Farrington Hwy. Located next to the Waianae Public Library, this park has a multi-purpose building that offers a range of activities, including crafts, Zumba, excursions, sports, and Hawaiiana. There is also a playground and an indoor basketball court.

Surf Spots

Makaha. Park at Makaha Beach Park. There are four main waves at Makaha: the Inside Reef, the Blowhole, the Point, and the Bowl. Visitors or new surfers to the area are advised to practice aloha when surfing at Makaha, or any break on the island. These waves are ridable at any size with lefts and rights, inside ankle slappers for keiki, and monster waves during northwest swells.

Yokohama Bay. Park at Keawaula Beach. This exposed beach, reef break is consistent year-round. Beware of the strong rip tides and rocks and be respectful of locals.

Ma‘ili. Park at Mā‘Ili Point. Maili Point is a far offshore break with regular clean-up sets and difficult rocks to paddle around. It delivers fast lefts over the shallow coral with bigger southwest swells. Nearby is the Green Lantern break that provides rights during northwest swells. Beware of sharks and rocks. 

Hiking

Ka‘ena Point Trail. A flat, easier trail that features cliffs, beautiful flowers, and a stunning ocean view. Parking is on the gravel or lightly paved surface at the end of the road past Yokohama Bay. Animals sightings often abound – albatross, monk seals, and even whales in the winter. 

Mount Ka‘ala Trail. Waianae Kai Forest Reserve. Climb 5,000 feet to summit Oahu’s highest peak. The difficult trail is over five miles with certain parts offering astonishing views from the Waianae Coast to the North Shore.

Pu‘u O Hulu. One of the shortest hikes on Oahu but with an incredible view at the top! Ascend the narrow, steep trail to discover several bunkers – one that is painted hot pink. Then relax and enjoy the 360-degree views.

Biking

Farrington Highway. Going through Makaha, there is a bike lane, and as a biker travels along Farrington Highway toward Yokohama Bay, the traffic lightens on the shared road.  

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

People

Waianae People

Schools 

Leihoku Elementary (Public)
86-285 Leihoku Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792 
808-697-7100
https://les.nwcomplex.org/
  

“Leihoku Elementary’s school improvement efforts focus on standards-based instruction, increasing the number of proficient students, and developing social and civic responsibilities. The school aligns its efforts to prepare students to become successful secondary students who will graduate with career-and college-ready skills and attitudes. Teachers develop school, grade level, and class plans based on student assessment data and assignments. The information guides instruction and professional development. Leihoku Elementary looks forward in continuing our progress in developing and implementing a seamless K-6 curriculum based on student needs in standards-based classrooms,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Maili Elementary (Public)
87-360 Kula'aupuni Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-697-7150
https://maili.nwcomplex.org/
  

“Maili Elementary supports student achievement through place-based learning, in which students connect their learning to the community, its history and its future. The school incorporates Hawaiian language and culture into the life of the school. Maili Elementary's School Community Council, which includes parents, the community, teachers, administrators, and other staff members, ensures that student academic progress is being made and that the school’s budget supports the initiatives in the academic and financial plan,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Makaha Elementary (Public)
84-200 Ala Naauao Place
Waianae, Hawaii 96792 
808-695-7900
https://makaha.nwcomplex.org/
  

“At Makaha Elementary, standards-based instruction and data analysis guide professional development activities. The school's inclusion program benefits special education students who are taught in regular classrooms. Makaha Elementary also provides a Hawaiiana and environmental studies program that teaches students real-world applications of concepts learned in the classroom. Makaha Elementary’s Positive Behavior program works toward engaging students in a variety of physical and academic standards-based activities. The school promotes a scholarly environment and continues to implement the Advancement Via Individual Determination system, whose mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Waianae Elementary (Public)
85-220 McArthur Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-697-7083
https://wes.nwcomplex.org/
  

“Wai'anae Elementary emphasizes standards-based instruction and focuses on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards; improving classroom assessment of students to reflect a fuller profile of student academic progress, and adapting curriculum and instruction, and staff professional development to better support student achievement. The school offers a technology-rich environment with wireless internet connectivity, six computer labs, and interactive whiteboard in all grade 2-6 classrooms, a media lab, a robotics lab, and closed-circuit television within each classroom. Students participate in programs to meet their specific needs such as special education inclusion classes, English for second language learners and counseling. Schoolwide programs include Hawaiian studies, library skills, computer education and physical education,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Waianae Intermediate (Public)
2130 Hookiekie Street
85-626 Farrington Highway
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
https://wis.nwcomplex.org/
  

“Wai'anae Intermediate provides rigor and relevance in a curriculum aligned with the Common Core State Standards to increase student achievement. The school aims to increase the percentage of on-time graduation rates, and utilize formative assessments and data analysis to drive instruction. Education is personalized with appropriate and timely support. Educators received quality professional development to become highly qualified and highly effective. Wai'anae Intermediate involves parents and the community as partners to support learning through participation in the School Community Council, Parent Ohana, Parent Teacher Student Association and various parent involvement activities throughout the year,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Waianae High (Public)
85-251 Farrington Highway
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-697-9400
https://whs.nwcomplex.org/
 

“Wai'anae High's mission is to build a collaborative learning environment and culture that emphasizes responsibility, innovation, complex thinking, effective communication and excellence. Increasing and strengthening relationships, communication and accountability are areas of emphasis for all teachers and staff. The school has an academy structure to focus on student interests and needs, personalizing education and increasing rigor and relevance. Academies are also focused on building parent communication and involvement, and the systemic use of data to drive and monitor improvement efforts. All Wai'anae High students enter the campus as a member of the Ninth Grade Success Academy. The academy structure continues into grade 10 as students move into either the Sophomore Academy or the Searider Productions Academy – a New Tech Network School. Students may opt from numerous interest areas, including natural resources, business, industrial, engineering and technology and health and human services. Wai'anae High's schedule is designed to provide students with opportunities to participate in early admission courses for college credit and internships,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Nanaikapono Elementary (Public)
89-153 Mano Avenue
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-305-7800
https://npono.nwcomplex.org/
 

“Nanaikapono Elementary strives to provide every child with learning opportunities to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. The Nanaikapono School-Community Museum, unique in the state, provides cultural experiences for the school and the public. The school has two computer labs, one for upper and one for lower elementary students. Partnerships with Kamehameha Schools, and the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, the University of Hawaii, and Safe and Civil Schools provide support services for students, parents and teachers. Students receive a variety of tutorial services, parents participate in volunteer services and parenting workshops, and teachers receive valuable professional development opportunities,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Nanakuli Elementary (Public)
89-778 Haleakala Avenue
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-668-5813
https://nes.nwcomplex.org/
  

“At Nānākuli Elementary, interim and informal assessments are used to measure students’ progress toward achieving proficiency and to help educators adjust instruction. The school offers a Hawaiian language immersion strand that provides instruction in the Hawaiian language. Students may participate in groups such as Student Council, library helpers, Junior Police Officers, intramural teams and other leadership programs. Parent meetings are held to support students achieve academic excellence and to discuss the school’s academic and financial plan. Parents are invited to special observations in the classroom and special classroom celebrations when students share their successes. Nānākuli Elementary has strong partnerships with a number of organizations that support initiatives for improving student achievement and safety,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Nanakuli High and Intermediate (Public)
89-980 Nanakuli Avenue 
Waianae, Hawaii 96792
808-668-5823
https://nhis.nwcomplex.org/
  

“Nānākuli High and Intermediate focuses on fostering positive and caring relationships, providing a stimulating curriculum and making learning relevant for all students. The school seeks to prepare students for college and careers through an exciting and enriching learning environment grounded on project-based learning. Students have access to a variety of programs, including Arts and Communication Learning Center composed of performing arts, visual arts, multimedia and musical arts; Robotics; Health Occupations and Professions Exploration program; JROTC; and Career and Technology Education program, such as Food Service, Agriculture, Building and Construction, and Electronics. The school has also implemented the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, which promotes a college culture. Nānākuli is home to the Nanakuli Performing Arts Center, an innovative afterschool program for students grades 4-12 that promotes academics, college and confidence via the arts,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Hospitals and Health Centers

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
86-260 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792
Open 24 hours
808-697-3300

The Queen's Medical Center West O'ahu
91-2141 Fort Weaver Rd, Ewa Beach, HI 96706
Open 24 hours
808-691-3000

Kaiser Permanente Nanaikeola Clinic
87-2116 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
808-432-2000

Urgent Care Hawaii
890 Kamokila Blvd, Kapolei, HI 96707
Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
808-521-2273

Emergency Hurricane Shelters

The following hurricane evacuation shelters are provided by the City and Country 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. 

Makaha Elementary 
84-200 Ala Naauao Place
Waianae, Hawaii 96792 

Kamaile Elementary PCS 
85-180 Ala Akau Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792 

Waianae Elementary 
85-220 McArthur Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792

Leihoku Elementary 
86-285 Leihoku Street
Waianae, Hawaii 96792

Nanakuli Elementary
89-778 Haleakala Avenue
Waianae, Hawaii 96792    

Nanakuli High and Intermediate
89-980 Nanakuli Avenue 
Waianae, Hawaii 96792

Tsunami Evacuation Zone Maps:


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