Waianae, HI

Finding Apartments for Rent in Waianae, HI

Waianae, Hawaii, is a 60 minute drive west of Honolulu and half a world away in attitude. According to the 2010 census just over 13,000 people call Waianae home, making it one of the largest towns on Oahu’s West Shore. Two of the most favorable neighborhoods are Ma’ili and Makaha, both fronting the Pacific Ocean. Another is along Paakea and Mailiilii Rds, which is more inland but still within a few blocks of the sea. More laid-back than the more populated parts of Oahu, this is where you’ll find stunning sunsets and a special reverence for family, or “ohana” in the Hawaiian.

Top Neighborhoods in Waianae, HI

The Makaha and Mai’ili neighborhoods are great if you want to be close to ocean parks and beaches. Some condo-apartments are oceanfront. Mai’ili is the older of the two areas with some homes dating back to the 1940s. Development in Makaha didn’t really start until the 1970s. Makaha is also the farthest neighborhood from Waianae's town core. The neighborhood fronting Paakea and Mailiilii Rds is another mixture of vintage homes and newer structures. Apartments and homes in this area tend to be larger with some properties having five or more bedrooms. Homes on the western end of the Paakea neighborhood are an easy walk into downtown or to the sea. The bus serves all three areas with most stops along Highway 93 and the major side streets.

Cultural Attractions in Waianae, HI

Hawaiian culture is very much alive in Waianae. The Makaha Valley is home to the Kaneaki Heiau, a temple dating back to the 17th century. Dedicated to the fertility god Lono, it sits on private land but visitors are welcome. The site has been restored with the thatched meditation huts and the heiau, made from lava rock, kept in their original state. Ku’ilioloa Heiau sits on a small peninsula in Waianae. This temple was a teaching center focusing on Ancient Hawaiian fishing and navigation methods. The pointed tip of Mauna Lahilahi is south of Makaha. Find ancient petroglyphs on the eastern slope along with evidence of another heiau. The area around this mini-mountain is a prime fishing spot. Visitors are also welcome at Hoa ‘Aina O Makaha, a recreated Hawaiian village and farm built by the people of Waianae, many of them children. Watch authentic hula and learn about Ancient Hawaiian gardens, games, crafts and cooking methods. This is a laid-back Hawaiian cultural experience without the usual tourist trappings.

Shopping and Dining in Waianae, HI

Waianae Mall is in the center of town and is home to a small collection of restaurants and shops. West Coast residents head here for Longs/CVS Drugstore, the City Mill, banks and name-brand fast food outlets. More shops and services front Highway 93 that runs through town, including the US Post Office  and the locally owned Hale Nalu Surf and Bike Shop. For more extensive shopping, the malls at Waipahu are 20 miles away and those at Kapolei are a 15-mile drive. That same Highway is home to fast food outlets and local eateries such as  Coquito’s, serving Puerto Rican fare and Hannara Restaurant, offering a mix of Korean, American and Hawaiian foods. The locals often visit Hannara for their banana pancakes.

Outdoor Activities in Waianae, HI

Fronting Waianae’s central core is Poka’i Bay and Waianae Regional Park. Families gather here to surf, swim, snorkel and picnic. One of the most protected beaches on the West Shore, the swimming here is usually safe for families. Sometimes you will get heavy surf but that just brings out the more serious surfers. Waianae Boat Harbor is on the southern end of the park. Fishing charters, whale watching and snorkeling tours are offered. Three miles north of town is Makaha Beach Park, known for winter waves that can top 30 feet in height. The Buffalo Big Board Classic is held here every February. In summer Makaha's waters are usually calm enough for casual swimming near the beach's center section. At the end of Highway 93 you’ll find Ka’ena Point State Park, locally called Yokohama Bay. This secluded beach offers great snorkeling during the summer and surfing challenges during the winter. Ka’ena Point State Park is also the trailhead for the Ka’ena Point Trail. It’s a 3.5 mile hike around the rugged northwest tip of Oahu, one-way. Golfers can tee off at the Makaha Valley Country Club, a public course that’s been around since 1967.

Transportation Options in Waianae, HI

This is almost the end of the line for TheBus, Oahu’s public transit system. The turn around point is just north of Makaha Beach Park. Beyond that the area is largely unpopulated. It takes about 90 minutes to get to Honolulu by bus as opposed to the 60 minutes by car. Both time frames increase dramatically during the commute hours. The busiest times are Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 am and from 3 pm to 6 pm. The back-up doesn’t usually start until you connect to Highway 1 near Kapolei. Many Waianae residents prefer to drive. Heading north, Highway 93 ends at Ka’ena State Park. The only way around the northwest tip of Oahu is on foot.