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Living in Kapolei: A Guide

Kapolei is known as Oahu’s “Second City” (after Honolulu), and this thriving community offers beauty, affordability and convenience. Kapolei is situated at the bottom of the majestic Waianae Mountain Range on Oahu’s Leeward side. Once sugarcane and pineapple fields, development of Kapolei began in the 1980s. A range of housing options, as well as new shopping centers, schools, parks, medical centers, universities, government buildings, restaurants, theaters and more can now be found in Kapolei. More than 12,000 homes have been constructed in Kapolei, and the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting expects 40,000 more homes to be completed by 2035.

While development continues – including planned Honolulu Rail stops – Kapolei retains its laid-back Hawaii vibe. The master plan for Kapolei includes pedestrian-friendly growth with gardens, sidewalks, wide streets, community events and a focus on technology. Kapolei is a spacious, convenient and beautiful westside neighborhood to call home. 

Kapolei overview

What's the real estate market like in Kapolei?

Kapolei has a range of housing options. Most homes in Kapolei are newer, with the vast majority of homes constructed in the 2000s. New homes are still being added to Kapolei, too. Kapolei's housing options include condos, townhouses and single-family homes. Kapolei has large, family-friendly, Mainland-style housing on large lots, as well as plantation-style homes on smaller lots. Kapolei’s vast housing options make it a suitable neighborhood for many types of homebuyers, including military families, first-time homebuyers, downsizing empty-nesters, expanding families, single professionals and more.

With the construction of the Honolulu Rail and more development planned for the Ewa side of Oahu, like Hoopili, Kapolei is a popular Oahu neighborhood to call home. Like all Hawaii neighborhoods, there is limited for-sale inventory in Kapolei, and the real estate market is hot. When a house is listed for sale, it typically has multiple offers within a short time. Real estate in Kapolei is often more economical than some other parts of Oahu, such as Hawaii Kai or Kailua. However, the median sales price for Kapolei homes is consistent with the overall Oahu median sales price.

Kapolei neighborhoods

Kapolei Fun Facts

  • Paradise Cove is located in the resort area of Kapolei, Ko Olina. With a beautiful sandy beach and calm waters protected by a rock wall, it's a popular place for swimmers of all ages.
  • Kapolei is expected to have more than 60,000 available jobs within the next two decades, making it a top neighborhood for growth on Oahu.
  • In 2013, the FBI opened a new Hawaii office in Kapolei at Barber’s Point. The office serves as headquarters for all of the FBI's Hawaii operations, and it has won numerous awards for its construction and design.

What's the history of Kapolei?

Kapolei’s history begins with its name, which originates from the name of a hill--Pu‘u O Kapolei--that can be found today in Kapolei Regional Park. According to ancient Hawaiian stories, Kapo was the goddess of fertility, and the “lei” in Kapolei is said to refer to the ring of light that surrounds the hill when the winter solstice occurs.

Development of Kapolei began in 1877, when Irish businessman James Campbell bought 40,000 acres in Ewa, including what is now Kapolei. A water reserve was discovered, and a well was quickly built, which led to the ability to use the dry land for pineapple and sugar cultivation. As Hawaii's plantation era started to decline, the Estate of James Campbell created the “Ewa Master Plan” in 1955, which outlined how the former agricultural land could be transformed into residential communities. Development of Oahu’s “Second City” finally commenced in the late 1980s.

Today, many of the plan’s original development goals have been achieved: roads, residential communities, government buildings, businesses, sidewalks, parks, bike lanes and energy-efficient technology. Kapolei continues to make history today, as the once-barren land now is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods on Oahu.

How far is Kapolei from Honolulu?

Kapolei is driving distance to downtown Honolulu via the H-1 freeway. Kapolei’s West Oahu location makes it easily accessible to Honolulu and all its amenities, like the Honolulu International Airport; however it is far enough away that it lives up to its reputation as Oahu's "Second City."

Without traffic, the trip from Kapolei to downtown Honolulu might take a little more than 30 minutes; however, traffic on the freeway can double or triple that time. Kapolei is a popular neighborhood for military families to call home due to its proximity to a number of Oahu’s military installations. Kapolei is 15 miles (about 25 minutes) to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, 30 miles (40 minutes) to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, 16 miles (25 minutes) to Camp H. M. Smith, 18 miles (30 minutes) to Fort Shafter, and 15 miles (30 minutes) to Schofield Barracks. Barbers Point, located in Kapolei, also has military bases and federal offices.

How far is Kapolei from Waikiki? With minimal traffic, it takes 45 minutes to get to Waikiki and downtown Honolulu from Kapolei. TheBUS, Honolulu City & County’s public bus service, has these Kapolei routes: 40, 41, 413, 414, 415, and 416.

Kapolei golf

What is there to do in Kapolei?


Kapolei has some of the best shopping centers on Oahu. These newly constructed centers offer many shops, movie theaters and all the big box retailers that make life in Kapolei convenient and entertaining.

  • Ka Makana Ali‘i. 91-5431 Kapolei Parkway. This new shopping center with beautiful outdoor areas has more than 100 stores, eateries, and a Consolidated Theatres with reclining chairs and unlimited beverages. Retailers include Reyn Spooner, H&M, Macy’s and Old Navy.
  • Kapolei Commons. 4450 Kapolei Parkway. Kapolei Commons is one of the newer shopping centers in Kapolei and continues to add new shopping and entertainment options. The center currently has a movie theater with reclining chairs, diverse restaurants, and big-box stores like Target and Ross.
  • Kapolei Shopping Center. 91-Farrington Highway. This busy outdoor shopping center has a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options, including Fun Factory, Long’s Drugs, Safeway and more.
  • Kapolei Village Center. 4850 Kapolei Parkway. Kapolei Village Center is a convenient stop to purchase groceries at Foodland, grab a bite to eat at Teddy’s Bigger Burger or get a haircut at Great Clips.
  • Ko Olina Golf Club. 92-1220 Aliinui Drive. This course is known worldwide for hosting the PGA tour. It is one of the world’s best courses, and it has a pro shop and driving range, too. You can also book lessons with a golf pro or enjoy happy hour at Roy’s.
  • Kapolei Golf Club. 91-701 Farrington Highway. This is a private golf club with beautiful greens and large putting areas. It also has event spaces, a driving range and plenty of parking.
  • Barbers Point Golf Course. 2249 Essex Road. An uncrowded U.S. Navy course in a less developed area of Kapolei allows players to enjoy a round or two of golf. Barbers Point Golf Course also has a driving range.
Maunalua Bay

Kapolei parks have almost anything a park-goer could want – fields, courts, restroom facilities, event spaces, BBQ areas and more. Wherever you choose to call home in Kapolei, most likely there is an outstanding park nearby, thanks to the planned development of the area.

  • Kapolei Regional Park. Manawai. This well-maintained park has engaging playground equipment, a large field, skatepark and restroom facilities.
  • Kapolei Community Park. 91-1049 Kamaaha Loop. Located close to the regional park, Kapolei Community Park is a quaint park with a playground, open areas and restrooms.
  • Kamokila Community Park. 91-015 Farrington Highway. This park offers a basketball court, volleyball courts and restrooms.
  • Kahe Point Beach Park. 92-301 Farrington Highway. Known as Electric Beach, this is a popular place for families, divers and snorkelers. Note: Only experienced swimmers should venture out the vents that attract a beautiful array of fish.

Wet n Wild

Attractions and Entertainment

In addition to shopping centers, parks, and breathtaking hikes and beaches, Kapolei has a number of attractions to enjoy.

  • Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii. 400 Farrington Highway. This popular waterpark is fun for all ages. Check out their memberships and party packages.
  • The Salvation Army Kroc Center. 91-3257 Kualakai Parkway. The Kroc Center is Kapolei’s ultimate fitness and event center, with basketball courts, a pool, food court and more.
  • Ko Olina. 92-1480 Aliinui Drive. Escape to vacation mode within Kapolei at the resort area of Ko Olina. The four lagoons offer a relaxing place to swim and sunbathe, and the nearby hotels, spas, restaurants and golf course make for an idyllic staycation.
  • Coral Crater Adventure Park. 91-1780 Midway Road. With ziplines, a raised obstacle course, ATV tours, a 50-foot climbing wall and more, this is a great place to adventure with the family.

There are several hikes in the Kapolei area to satisfy your urge to exercise and explore.

  • Ko Olina Beach Park Walking Trail. This popular walking path is a great place to go for a stroll. Walk several miles through the Ko Olina lagoons and resort areas for epic beach views.
  • Mount Ka‘ala Trail. Waianae Kai Forest Reserve. Hike 5,000 feet to reach the top of Oahu’s highest peak, Mount Kaala. This difficult hike is more than five miles and has views of the Waianae Coast and even the North Shore on the other side of the island.
  • Pu‘u O Hulu. This is a shorter, steep hike that has a breathtaking view at the summit. At the top of the narrow trail, you'll discover abandoned World War II bunkers and 360-degree views.
Kapolei surf

While Kapolei doesn’t get monstrous waves like the North Shore or nearby Makaha, there are some beginner-friendly surf breaks in Kapolei.

  • Barbers Point. The end of Olai Street close to Germaine’s Luau. An uncrowded surf spot that breaks on the reef, it forms long lefts when there are head-high south shore swells.

Kapolei has an array of restaurants for all types of food cravings and occasions.

  • Plantation Tavern. 590 Farrington Highway. Plantation Tavern serves local and Hawaiian food for lunch and dinner. Top dishes include the poke nachos, garlic chicken and pineapple upside-down cake.
  • My Cafe. 563 Farrington Highway, Ste 101B. Open for breakfast and lunch, this restaurant gets top marks for its customer service and ono food. Brunch options include kalua pig hash and chocolate taro haupia pancakes.
  • DB Grill. 4450 Kapolei Parkway. With a modern vibe , Asian-inspired cuisine and bar, DB Grill is a great place to get together for a night out at Kapolei Commons.
  • Ramen Bones. 4850 Kapolei Parkway. Looking for ramen in Kapolei? Ramen Bones offers authentic Japanese ramen with complimentary gyoza and large portions – all for a great price.
  • Hot Pot Heaven. 590 Farrington Highway, Ste 13. With special pricing at certain hours, this Vietnamese-style hot pot place lets you choose your meats, veggies and broths to create your own hot pot. Bonus: They serve complimentary mochi ice cream at the end of every meal!
  • Taqueria El Ranchero. 91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Ste 501. Located in Ka Makana Allii, this restaurant serves Mexican street food that will make your mouth water. Enjoy tacos, burritos and quesadillas from 7 a.m. to midnight every day.
  • Sushi Bay. 590 Farrington Highway, Ste 130. Located in Kapolei Marketplace, this conveyer-belt sushi restaurant is popular with local Hawaii residents. They serve large portions of fish at economical prices.
  • Tasty Shack. 4850 Kapolei Parkway, Ste 404. This Vietnamese restaurant lives up to its tasty name. Their dishes are cooked fast; try the spring rolls, pho or bahn mian for takeout or dine in.
  • Ono Steak & Shrimp. 590 Farrington Highway. This popular place has a few locations on Oahu. They serve up local Hawaii plate lunches and dinners for dine in or take out.
  • Thai Lao Restaurant. 563 Farrington Highway. Craving Thai food in Kapolei? Stop by this highly rated restaurant for delicious Thai and Lao food with great service.

Kapolei Public Schools

Kapolei has several public schools.

Kapolei High (Public, Grades 9-12)

91-5007 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

“At Kapolei High, personalized learning takes place in small communities of teachers and students where there is a shared sense of purpose and opportunities to explore individual interests. The school uses project-based learning as the foundation of an academically rigorous curriculum that integrates complex real-world issues relevant to students and the community. The school prepares students for multiple post-secondary options, including education at universities, community colleges, and trade schools, and success in the workforce. The curriculum builds community through partnerships that support learning, parent engagement and service learning. Volunteers from local businesses and organizations serve as mentors and advisors for students and teachers. The school provides extracurricular activities ranging from culture and nationally-affiliated clubs, drama/music and athletic participation in teams. The athletic department is a member of the Oahu Interscholastic Association. The school also has a Marine Corps JROTC program,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Kapolei Middle (Public, Grades 6-8)

91-5335 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

“Kapolei Middle's mission is to assure the social and academic growth of all students, so they may succeed in high school and beyond. Students are grouped into teacher teams in language arts, math, science, social studies, special education and elective courses to promote stronger relationships. Core team teachers and their special education teacher share a common planning period to coordinate a rigorous standards-based instructional program. Counselors and vice-principals follow their students as they progress through the grade levels. The school's exploratory classes provide students with experiences in life skills and career paths. A wide range of elective classes such as language, physical education, fine arts, performing arts, engineering, and technology are offered to all students. Kapolei Middle is a multitrack school and runs on a special calendar,” as written on hawaiipublicschools.org.

Ho'okele Elementary (Public)

511 Kunehi Street
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

“Ho‘okele Elementary School opened in July of 2015. Ho‘okele means Navigator. The name of this “high-tech” elementary school was selected for its meaning in relation to the 21st century; the students of Ho‘okele must learn to successfully navigate in an ever-changing world. The 21st century skills our students will need to excel in are collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking/ problem solving. Through Project Based Learning (PBL) and our Science STEM Program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), our students have opportunities to authentically work on these skills while focusing on real world challenging problems or questions. In our first year of opening the school, Thinking Maps were implemented followed by the initial implementation of the Thinking Maps Writing Program, Write From the Beginning and Beyond. Ho‘okele students create visual maps to display their thought process when developing concepts across the content areas to support their writing. To build a cohesive collaborative community and positive culture, the Tribes process was selected to assist the school in attaining this goal. The Tribes process will help our students flourish in a safe, caring environment to gain the knowledge, skills and resiliency to be successful in an ever-changing world,” as written on hawaiipublicschools.org.

Barbers Point Elementary (Public)

3001 Boxer Road
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

“Barbers Point Elementary promotes academic excellence, physical education and fine arts. Students are given opportunities to participate in many enriching schoolwide activities such as Math Day, President’s Day Parade, Art Day and May Day. Barbers Point Elementary has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1987,” as written on hawaiipublicschools.org.

Kapolei Elementary (Public)

91-1119 Kamaaha Loop
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

“Kapolei Elementary is committed to equal opportunity for all children in an environment in which staff, parents, students and the community share responsibility and collaborate to shape the school's direction. The school focuses on data analysis to assess student progress and plan classroom and schoolwide initiatives. Students participate in a Character Counts education program to learn lessons on trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. A number of professional development sessions are provided to educators to promote teaching effectiveness and high student achievement,” as written on hawaiipublicschools.org.

In addition to the public schools, Kapolei has private schools with a variety of educational programs.

Island Pacific Academy (Private, K-12)

909 Haumea Street
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Lanakila Baptist School (Private, K-12)

91-1219 Renton Road
Ewa Beach, Hawaii 96706

Friendship Christian School (Private, K3-12)

91-1130 Renton Road
Ewa Beach, Hawaii 96706

American Renaissance Academy (Private, K-12)

300 Franklin Avenue
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Where is the nearest hospital and health center in Kapolei?

Kapolei has a number of health centers nearby for health emergencies and routine care.

  • Kaiser Permanente Kapolei Clinic. 599 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. 808-432-2000.
  • Kapolei Health Care Center. 599 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707. Open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday. 808-697-3800.
  • 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.

What's the weather like in Kapolei?

The weather in Kapolei is known to be hotter and drier than other neighborhoods on Oahu. Air conditioning is considered a must if you live in Kapolei. While Kapolei and other Westside neighborhoods are considered warmer by Hawaii standards, the average temperature ranges from the low 70s to the high 80s, and the ocean breeze and mountain escapes are nearby.

Kapolei can be muggy and humid, and it experiences less rain than other Oahu neighborhoods. The dry season is from March to October, and the wet season spans the other part of the year. A “wet day” is considered to have at least 0.05 inches of rain. With many sunny and dry days, along with the need for air conditioning, solar panels in Kapolei are a popular option among homeowners. The warm weather also makes outdoor activities, likes surfing, swimming and golf an option almost any day of the year.

Kapolei New Neighborhoods

More than 18,000 homes are planned for the Kapolei area over the next few decades. New developments offer modern homes, sometimes with more space. The following are some of the newer residential developments in Kapolei, compiled by Locations agents who live and work in the area.


Former sugarcane fields in East Kapolei will soon be home to nearly 12,000 residential homes, with an array of housing options from large, single-family homes to modern condos. In Hawaiian, Ho‘opili means "to come together," and many families and individuals will soon come together in this new Kapolei neighborhood, which will one day have its own ZIP code.

Developed by DR Horton, plans for Hoopili include a range of residential homes, playgrounds, parks, shopping, restaurants, public schools, communal farming areas, gardens, walking paths and more. Seven recreation centers are also planned for Hoopili, similar to the recreation centers found in Mililani. Hoopili will have its own Honolulu Rail Transit stop, which will be the third stop heading toward Honolulu from Kapolei, making a trip to the Honolulu International Airport or a commute to Pearl Harbor Base easy.

Set to become one of Oahu’s most desirable new neighborhoods, Hoopili will feature a variety of housing options in several phases:

    • Kohina townhomes in Hoopili will be located near the entrance to the development, close to UH West Oahu and the Hoopili rail station. Kohina has seven diverse building designs with one- to three- bedroom options. The designs include lofts and FLEX homes, suitable for a variety of homeowners.
    • Ilima townhomes in Hoopili feature fenced yards, making them a great option for pet owners or people who want to entertain outdoors. Ranging from 935 to 1,400 square feet, one-car garages are also available.
    • Olena multi-generational homes in Hoopili feature contemporary rooflines and modern exteriors. Floor plans range from 1,750 to 2,130 square feet, with two-car garage and in-law suite options. These spacious, striking homes offer a different look from other Hoopili home plans.
    • Liko in Hoopili features single-level, duplex and split-level floor plans. All homes offer air conditioning, two-car garages and smart-home technology.
    • Ho‘oulu has quaint two- and three-bedroom single-family homes with carports. Hooulu homes range from 900 to 1,150 square feet, and each home has a yard and smart-home technology. There are no maintenance fees in Hooulu. Inspired by the plantation homes of Kapolei’s past, Hooulu homes feature post-and-pier foundations and open carports.
    • A‘ulu duplexes and single-family homes in Hoopili offer accessory dwelling unit (ADU) options and two-car garages, along with open-concept floor plans, slab-on-grade construction and smart-home technology.
    • I‘liahi single-family homes and duplexes in Hoopili feature seven different floor plans--all with two-car garages. Some of the homes have permitted ADUs, which could provide additional living space for family members or rental income.
    • Haakea single-family homes in Hoopoli feature six diverse floor plans, with homes ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet on lot sizes ranges from 3,500 to 4,200 square feet. Each home has a gas water heater, air conditioning, landscaped garden and close proximity to the Kroc Center in Kapolei.
    • Haloa in Hoopili features townhomes, single-level apartments and FLEX homes. The popular FLEX homes have space on the first floor for an office, family living or simply extra space.
    • Akoko townhomes and single-level condos offer two- and three-bedroom floor plans, ranging from 750 to 1,500 square feet. Some units have garages or other special upgrades.
    • Lehua single-family homes in Hoopili feature three- and four-bedroom floor. plans. These homes are more spacious, and offer variety of upgrades. Lehua homes are similar to A‘ulu homes.

The Element

Alakai Development is the visionary behind The Element, 318 residential homes located near the entrance to Ho‘opili, a Honolulu Rail Transit stop and the University of Hawaii, West Oahu. Each condo at The Element will have nine-foot ceilings and air conditioning, with a modern design inspired by the four elements. Amenities include: solar panels, a resort-style pool and a clubhouse lounge area.

Makaiwa Hills

Makaiwa Hills will feature 4,100 residential homes on 1,856 acres in Kapolei. Located above the flat plains of Kapolei, in the Waianae foothills, Makaiwa Hills will offer a variety of housing options, including apartments, single-family homes, mixed-use areas, schools and a new shopping center. First planned in the 1970s, James Campbell Company LLC continues to make steps toward completing its construction.

Contact a Locations agent for their neighborhood expertise!

Locations agents are the experts in the Kapolei real estate market.With years of experience living and working in Kapolei, Locations agents are always available to help you learn more about the area and find the right home to fit your needs

Recently Sold

  • Sold on 11/7/2023 for $560,000 91-1075 Namahoe Street, 9H 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 994 sqft
  • Sold on 10/18/2023 for $510,000 91-1145 Kamaaha Loop, 5C 2 Bd | 1 Ba | 840 sqft
  • Sold on 10/4/2023 for $720,000 91-1195 Kaiau Avenue, 1201 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,184 sqft
  • Sold on 9/29/2023 for $610,000 91-1022 Kaiau Avenue, 3E 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 948 sqft
  • Sold on 9/27/2023 for $695,000 91-1201 Kaiau Avenue, 1804 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,184 sqft
  • Sold on 9/26/2023 for $618,000 91-1022 Kaiau Avenue, 3F 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 948 sqft
  • Sold on 9/18/2023 for $425,000 91-1137 Kamaaha Loop, 2B 2 Bd | 1 Ba | 780 sqft
  • Sold on 9/15/2023 for $763,875 91-1036 Palala Street 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,374 sqft
  • Sold on 9/15/2023 for $675,000 91-1201 Kamaaha Avenue, 707 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,105 sqft
  • Sold on 9/7/2023 for $708,000 91-1251 Kamaaha Avenue, 901 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,184 sqft
  • Sold on 9/1/2023 for $665,000 91-1259 Kamaaha Avenue, 106 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,105 sqft
  • Sold on 8/31/2023 for $710,000 91-1247 Kamaaha Avenue, 707 3 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,105 sqft