Kapolei is the southwestern region on the Leeward Side of the island and is referred to as Oahu’s “Second City” for its popularity as a Honolulu suburb. It isn’t located terribly close to “town” but the availability of affordable homes has made the commute worth it for some. Kapolei is also a great place if to look if you’re commuting up to Schofield Barracks or Wheeler Army Airfield. There’s a scenic state road leading all the way up, avoiding the dreaded H1/H2 traffic. Beautiful beaches, family friendly neighborhoods, fantastic shopping, and proximity to several attractions should land Kapolei a spot on your short-list.

People come from all over the island for the shopping in Kapolei, and if you live here you really don’t need to leave! There are local shops, every big brand imaginable (Target, Sports Authority, TJ Maxx, etc.), the Waikele Outlets are nearby, and there is a wide variety of dining options available.


There’s a very diverse work force in Kapolei with the majority of its residents commuting to Honolulu or one of the several military installations on the island. Families are everywhere, along with retirees. Like most of the island, you’ll find vibrant ethnic enclaves that offer exposure to rich cultural experiences if you embrace them!

Neighborhood Feel

Kapolei has a very suburban feel and despite the rapid expansion, they’re consciously trying to retain a small town ambiance with a carefully planned town center and walkable amenities. There is a serious housing boom bringing new developments and attention to updating older homes. You’ll find a mix of master planned communities alongside older, traditional Hawaiian homes at reasonably affordable price points — by Hawaii standards. Homes here have a little more yard space, but the area is fairly densely populated.

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Neighborhood Location

JBPHH – Nimitz Gate
Schofield/Wheeler – Lyman Gate
Tripler AMC – Main Gate
Fort Shafter – Buckner Gate
MCHB – Front Gate
Drive Time to Gate
60 to 90* minutes
20 to 35* minutes
30 to 60* minutes
30 to 65* minutes
45 to 90* minutes
By Transit
60 minutes
1 hour 50 minutes
53 minutes
51 minutes
2 hours

Neighborhood Info

Kapolei - Schofield Barracks & JB Pearl Harbor-Hickman, HI - gomillie.com

Points of Interest

Disney’s Aulani Resort

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii Water Park

Ko’Olina Golf Club

Kapolei Shopping Center

Big Plus

Kapolei is home to phenomenal beaches and popular shopping districts.

Easy access to H1 and the rest of the island facilitates exploring and commuting.

There’s a raved-about Army military treatment facility called Warrior Ohana Clinic located in Kapolei, thus negating the need to travel into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam or up to Schofield Barracks for prescriptions or check-ups.

Disney’s Aulani Resort is in Ko’Olina and is a fantastic setting for island relaxation or fun. Lagoons, beaches, restaurants and entertainment are plentiful. There are also luxury residential communities here if resort living is for you!

New construction and mainland style neighborhoods and homes are available here and more are being developed every day.

Getting to Schofield Barracks/Wheeler Army Airfield is a beautiful 20 min drive up the scenic Kunia Road. Kunia Road is just a two-lane road, so getting behind a tractor can cause a hiccup in your day, but you won’t deal with any of the infamous highway congestion!

Things to Consider

Being on the Leeward Side of the island, the weather tends to be hotter and dryer. Go ahead and adjust your inner thermostat because central air conditioning is a rare find. Most homes do have single room or window units, but they draw serious power. Cost of living throughout the island is significantly higher than the national average, affecting the housing market, utilities, groceries, fuel, etc. If you do opt for more modern construction and search out centralized air conditioning, keep in mind that utility costs are much higher in Hawaii than on the mainland. Definitely be on the lookout for energy efficient construction practices and even then, consider yourself warned.

Ko’Olina and the Kapolei beaches are pretty big tourist draws. If you want to “go local,” your plans may be interrupted here.

Older homes in Kapolei and elsewhere on the island are built with “single-wall construction.” This is the main reason for the lack of centralized air conditioning (nowhere to run the ducts) and also makes it hard to cool your home even with window or single room units. Open the windows and try to catch the breeze – but also know you’ll be inviting in nature. Embrace the island! And keep in mind, geckos eat the mosquitos…

Even though it’s only 20 to 30 miles to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,  it can take well over an hour during peak times because of the congestion on H1.

How’s the Market?

The median home value is $559,800 according to the Zillow Home Value Index.

Home Values are forecasted to increase by 1.2% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single-family homes in Kapolei is $2,702.

School Scoop

Kapolei contains 8 primary and secondary schools. One of the best schools is Hawaii Technology Academy (charter school), which has a rating of 8 according to GreatSchools.org.

Hawaii is the only state with a unified school system, meaning all taxes are distributed to the schools at the state level and schools are not grouped into districts.  

When looking at Oahu’s test scores and GreatSchools.org ratings, we advise you to look at the entire picture. Hawaiian public schools are evaluated based on Common Core standards, but many areas suffer a fairly large achievement gap due to socioeconomic disparities, despite offering a better quality education than the ratings imply. Many spouses report that the rankings don’t always reflect a school’s quality of education, so we encourage you to talk to friends, or Scouts, about specific schools.

Geographic Exemptions (GE’s) are available if you wish for your child to attend a different school from where your family is zoned, but these are granted on a space available basis and are at the principal’s discretion. Keep in mind – if your child attends a school while in a temporary lodging facility, he/she will have to move schools when you move out of the TLF if your new home is zoned to a different school. You may apply for a GE, but it isn’t guaranteed. Priority goes to those zoned to a failing school (based on No Child Left Behind standards), children of teachers at the school, and children who already have siblings at the school.

Highlighted Areas

Nearby Ko’Olina


Olina at Mehana

Kahiku at Mehana