Imagine a place where the ocean caresses the sands of a gorgeous beach. Imagine a place surrounded by fertile land, hemmed in by mountains formed from the walls of an ancient volcano. Breezes blow gently, the sun shines down warmly, and everything just feels good. That place in your imagination might just be Waimanalo.
The town of Waimanalo sits just to the east of the Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area. The beach there is really well suited to learning to surf and is somewhat less crowded than other area beaches. Waimanalo Beach sits in the center of the recreation area. Shade trees sit all along the beach, and the water is great for plain old swimming. It is a gorgeous stretch of sun, sand and water. The beach is beloved by locals and tourists alike, and is a favorite of swimmers, snorkelers and sunbathers. The beach has a very gentle slope and the water is clear and inviting. The entire beach is a few miles long, purportedly the longest length of sandy beach on the entire island. Some say it is the best beach in the world.
Waimanalo is in the Koolaupoko district, on the windward side of Oahu. It is near both Kailua, and Kaneohe. The town itself has a bit of the feel of the past. Part of the “local” feel of Waimanalo is that a number of residents fully embrace their Hawaiian culture. Many participate in a number of traditional Hawaiian activities, from outrigger canoeing to learning, teaching and speaking the Hawaiian language. While there are some commercial establishments along the main road (Kalanianaole Highway), for those people looking for an authentic island experience, Waimanalo may be their best bet. Waimanalo has its own restaurants and shops, but for those who need more, Kailua Town and Kaneohe are not far away. People can head out to the Windward Mall near Hawaii Kai for more shopping. Waimanalo is also close to Makapu?u Beach and to Sea Life Park, and is home to the Waimanalo Polo Fields.
Some say that Waimanalo means "potable water", which sounds like a very mundane name for such a gorgeous place. Others say the name really means, “protected precious waters”. Heading out from the town towards the Ko?olau Range, the valleys contain a good deal of agriculture. The Ko?olau Range is the remnant of an ancient volcano, and so is really not a true “mountain range”. The valleys leading up to the Ko’olau range also are home to many ornamental plant nurseries. There are also a number of farms that raise taro and other native staple crops.
Waimanalo real estate consists of a very wide range of housing levels. This is one Oahu community that has more affordable family homes in addition to a number of huge mansions. As of 2010, the median price for a single family detached home in Waimanalo was in the mid $700,000’s. For a condominium or townhouse in the area, the median price was about $370,000. Most residents have very easy access to the beach. When they turn around and look the other way, almost everyone who lives in Waimanalo has great views of the Ko'olau Range.