Kane’ohe is a quaint city surrounded by the beautiful Ko’olau mountains ("Kane" means man and "‘ohe" means bamboo). It is about 7 miles NE of Honolulu, and you can access the city via all 3 major highways. When you come out of the tunnels, the lush greenery will take your breath away. It’s particularly breathtaking on the H-3 during a heavy rain where you can see tons of waterfalls.
Chinaman's Hat in Kane'ohe
What to See & Do in Kane'ohe
This city is rich with history and Hawaiian culture. There’s also lots to see and do here:
- Kane’ohe features Windward Mall, one of the 4 major shopping centers on Oahu with a great child’s play area
- Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, where you can hike, camp, or do catch and release fishing on the weekends
- He’eia Kea Pier where you can fish from the pier, take a glass bottom boat ride around the Bay or a snorkel tour to the Sandbar (better yet go on a boat ride with friends). You will see others paddle boarding or kayaking as well. If you go further out by boat, you may even see the Humpback whales between the months of December through March.
Kane'ohe Bay Sandbar
The Marine Corps Base Hawaii is on the South end of Kaneohe Bay. If you’re military, you can rent a pontoon boat to go to the Sandbar (Ahu o Laka). Here’s where it gets really fun...depending on the tides, a 1 mile by 3 mile wide stretch of sand will be exposed for you to play, relax, and BBQ on. Besides fish, there have been sightings of green sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and even manta rays.
From a boat you can also pull up to “Secret Island” beach owned by Kualoa Ranch, where it’s very secluded and calm. Kualoa Ranch is the location where many movies have been filmed, and where you could even take a movie tour by bus, go horseback riding, ride an ATV, and even go on a 2.5 hour zipline tour. Directly across Secret Island is Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i), a famous and iconic symbol for the Windward side of Oahu.
Kane’ohe is also home to the world-famous Ko’olau Golf Club, one of the hardest courses on the island, and also the Pali Golf Course, which is a very affordable municipal course. Across from there is Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawaii Loa campus, offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and nearby is Windward Community College, offering Associate degrees.
What Kane’ohe doesn’t have are a lot of the big box stores like Walmart or Costco. Instead the town is full of “mom and pop” type stores and restaurants, which its residents prefer.
As for real estate, there are a variety of choices offered here, from affordable townhome living to plantation style homes...homes overlooking Kane’ohe Bay to oceanfront homes...there are also homes in a gated community where all the lots are at minimum 1 acre, quite big when you consider how limited the land is for housing here.