Located ever so slightly out of town, Nuuanu feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu. The area once housed the summer home for King Kamehameha III. It’s no wonder royalty migrated there during the warm summer months; Nuuanu receives regular precipitation and cool breezes keep temperatures milder than other parts of the island.
The Pali Highway cuts through Nuuanu, providing easy access to the H1, downtown Honolulu (about 10 minutes), and the windward side (less than half an hour). The western side of Pali Highway is home to the few high-rises that exist in the neighborhood, and the eastern side is full of single family units.
Nuuanu streets are lined with churches and embassies, giving insight as to the pace and tone of the neighborhood. Toward dusk, couples and families stroll with their dogs, and at night the loudest noises usually emanate from the crickets or stream. A small shopping plaza, several schools, and a local YMCA make up the rest of the neighborhood.
Residents tend to range from high-income singles to seniors who are living out their golden years. The median household income for the neighborhood is $77,000 (Honolulu city average: $63,000).
Nuuanu Apartments and Real Estate
The average median home value for Nuuanu is $770,000, as compared to the rest of the city’s average home value of $840,000 (average Hawaii state value: $550,000). A quick scan of available rental apartments shows most 1-bedroom units priced at around $1500, with two-bedroom apartments available for under $2,000.
There are a many hospitals within a short distance distance of the neighborhood: The Queen’s Medical Center at 1301 Punchbowl, Straub Emergency Room at 888 S. King St., and right within Nuuanu, Kuakini Health System, which has a small emergency room operation at 347 N. Kuakini St.
The closest public library is located at 1515 Liliha St., within walking distance for residents located on the western side of Pali Highway.
Otherwise, the main State Library of Hawaii is located at 478 S. King St.
Nuuanu Pali State Park was an infamous battleground for the fight which occurred between the warriors of King Kamehameha I (who reigned over the Big Island) and Chief Kalanikupule (who oversaw Oahu and Maui). Today, the site remains a favorite of visitors to the island, as the lookout provides a stunning bird’s eye view of the windward side of the island. Parking is free for kamaaina guests. It is always windy, so pack a jacket.
Though not a park, another local favorite is walking or running the Old Pali Road. It’s a scenic detour that parallels Pali Highway for about two miles. The road was originally comissioned in the late 19th century, and functioned as the primary mode of traffic for trips to and from the windward side of the island. While being constructed, skulls and bones from nearly 800 fallen warriors during the Kamehameha and Kalanikupule battle were found.
Nuuanu Valley Park is home to a playground, tennis and basketball courts, and plenty of grassy areas to run around on. The official address is 2925 Pali Highway, but access it by turning onto Puiwa Road.
Nuuanu schools are housed within the Roosevelt Complex of the Hawaii School District. There are six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high-school within the Roosevelt boundaries. For the Hawaii State Department of Education School Finder tool, click here. For a full listing of all schools, click here.
Shopping & Restaurants
Nuuanu is within close proximity to some of the major shopping centers on Oahu, including Ala Moana Shopping Center and Victoria Ward Centers. For small kine errands, check the Nuuanu Shopping Plaza where you’ll find a laundromat and dry cleaners, floral shop, and the requisite sushi joints. Two fan favorite Nuuanu eateries are located close by: Bangkok Chef and Liliha Bakery.