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A Little About Oahu

The island of Oahu is home to the majority of the state’s population, economic drivers, historic sites, and cultural centers. Oahu is not physically the largest of the major Hawaiian Islands, but accounts for more than three quarters of the state’s population. The high quantity of residents is generally concentrated in the city of Honolulu, which is located on the southern coast of the island. The City and County of Honolulu encompasses the entirety of the island of Oahu, although the city proper is generally understood to extend from the Pacific Ocean to the South, the Ko’olau Mountain Range to the North, Kalihi Valley to the East, and Kaimuki to the West. Residential properties in the urban core of Honolulu are generally apartments or high rise condominiums, while the remainder of Oahu varies between single family homes and apartment buildings. Property values on Oahu are considerably higher than the remainder of the state and well above the rest of the country. Residential neighborhoods range from affordable, such as on the North Shore and in Pearl City to extremely expensive and decidedly upscale, such as the communities of Portlock and Hawaii Loa Ridge. Many properties throughout the island of Oahu have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, especially high rise condominiums and homes on a higher elevation.

Oahu’s six hundred square miles encompass the most important economic players in the state of Hawaii, including leading tourist sites, commercial districts, and military bases. The largest shopping centers in the state of Hawaii are situated on Oahu, including Pearlridge in Pearl City, Ala Moana in downtown Honolulu, and Windward Mall in Kaneohe. Nearly all well-known restaurants and retailers are represented on Oahu, including everything from Macys, Costco, Outback Steakhouse, and Walmart to Wendy’s, Sears, and Target. Oahu is, of course, home to Pearl Harbor, which is known in a historical sense for being the site of the first Japanese attack on the United States during the Second World War. Now, Pearl Harbor is a leading tourist site for tourists from around the world. The site is home to the remnants of the ships that were sunken in the attack, as well as a commemorative memorial, and a visitor’s center. Oahu also plays host to Hickam Air Force Base and Schofield Barracks, which anchor the large military presence on the Island. Together, military spending and tourism represent the two largest components of the economy of Hawaii.

Tourist sites are among the leading reasons why so many individuals visit Oahu every year. These tourist sites range from very well known beaches to hole in the wall gems that are often overlooked by casual visitors. Nearly everyone in the United States is familiar with Waikiki Beach, a strip of sand on the southern coast of Oahu that is bordered by world class shopping districts and a striking volcanic crater called Diamond Head. That area is popular not only for beachgoers but also for wedding parties, proms, and photographers. There are a number of restaurants, clubs, and historical sites slightly off the beaten path in the suburbs and rural areas of Oahu, including old plantation towns and saimin stands. Oahu is home to most of the private schools in the state of Hawaii, including Punahou, Iolani, and Kamehameha Schools. The town of Manoa, found in a valley in Southern Oahu, is home to the flagship campus of the University of Hawaii, UH-Manoa. UH-Manoa is world-renowned for its Japanese Language and Marine Biology Programs, and the University of Hawaii system also manages three large community colleges on Oahu. Adult educational opportunities are also afforded by part time degree programs, such as those offered by Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, and Brigham Young University. Oahu is also home to the largest library in the island and dozens of smaller libraries.

Information provided by Oahu Realtor Jeff Manson - American Dream Realty broker.

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