St. Louis Heights

St. Louis Heights

St. Louis Heights is a residential neighborhood located in the hills above Honolulu, Hawaii. The area was once part of a large estate owned by Queen Emma, the wife of King Kamehameha IV, in the 19th century. The land was later purchased by James Campbell, a prominent businessman and sugar plantation owner, who built his summer home on the property in the early 1900s.

The area was named St. Louis Heights after the nearby St. Louis School, which was established in 1846 and is still in operation today. In the mid-20th century, the area was developed into a residential neighborhood, and today it is a popular location for families and professionals due to its convenient location and beautiful views of the city and ocean. St. Louis Heights is also known for its lush greenery and cooler temperatures compared to the lowlands of Honolulu.

VA home loan assumptionSt. Louis Heights: Jewel of Honolulu’s Residential Areas

Welcome to Saint Louis Heights, a jewel of Honolulu’s residential areas! With its zip code of 96816, it’s the only place where you can simultaneously get a view of the ocean and the cityscape below, which is why everyone’s flocking here. And don’t worry if you need to get around, because the area is well-connected with the city center and Waikiki Beach, so you can be sure to always get to where you need to go.

But that’s not all that Saint Louis Heights has to offer. It also has proximity to many parks and outdoor recreation areas, from the Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park to the Honolulu Zoo, so you can get your nature fix whenever you need it. Plus, there are plenty of stores, restaurants, and cafes around, so you’ll never go hungry or have to go far for shopping.

It’s also an ideal area for families, since it has excellent schools and a low crime rate, so you can rest assured that your kiddos are safe. Plus, the police presence is quite high, so you know you won’t have to worry about any criminal activity.

Unfortunately, all the hype and attention that Saint Louis Heights has been receiving lately has caused the prices of real estate to skyrocket. With so many people wanting to live there, it’s become increasingly difficult for locals to afford the high cost of living, and many are being forced to move elsewhere.

But despite all this, there’s still a sense of community in the area. People are coming together to support each other and come up with creative solutions to the housing crisis. From affordable housing initiatives to campaigns to increase wages, the residents are doing what they can to ensure that everyone can afford to stay in the neighborhood.

It’s clear that, despite the rising prices, Saint Louis Heights is still a place that people love and call home. And with the community’s determination and dedication, it looks like it will stay that way for a long time to come.

Saint Louis Schools is an independent boys Catholic school in Honolulu, Hawaii, that offers K-12 programs to over 1,000 students. Founded in 1867, the school has a long history of providing a quality education and strong emphasis on faith-based learning. The school’s mission is to provide a rigorous and diverse academic program that prepares students to lead successful and meaningful lives.

The curriculum at Saint Louis Schools focuses on the development of the whole person, with a balance of spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical growth. The school offers a wide range of courses, from core classes such as math and science, to electives like art and music. Additionally, the school has an extensive extracurricular program, with clubs and activities ranging from robotics to theater.

Saint Louis Schools is also well-known for its excellent football program. The team has won numerous state championships and has produced a number of NFL players. The school has a strong sense of school spirit, with the entire community coming together to support the team.

Overall, Saint Louis Schools is a great place for students to receive a quality education and develop a strong sense of faith and community. With its rigorous academic programs, extracurricular activities, and successful athletics program

Saint Louis Schools also offers several opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom. The school has numerous after-school clubs and activities, from robotics and robotics to theater. Additionally, the school is home to several community service projects, such as a food pantry and clothing drive. These projects give students the chance to give back to their community and make a positive impact.

The school also has a strong commitment to helping its students succeed after graduation. The school has a comprehensive career center that offers mentorship programs, internships, and job fairs. The career center also helps students with college applications, providing guidance and support throughout the process.

With its commitment to providing a quality education, extracurricular activities, and strong sense of community, Saint Louis Schools is a great place to get an education and prepare for the future.

Chaminade University is a liberal arts institution in Honolulu, Hawaii, dedicated to providing students with a quality education. While it’s known for its rigorous academic programs, Chaminade is also a great place to have a bit of fun. After all, what’s college without some shenanigans?

The university has a long history of excellence in the classroom and on the court. Chaminade’s basketball team, the Silverswords, has been particularly successful in recent years, winning three consecutive conference championships and making the NCAA tournament in 2020. The team is known for its tenacious defense and dynamic offense, and they’re always a crowd favorite when they take the court.

Chaminade also offers a variety of extracurricular activities. From student clubs and organizations to volunteer opportunities, there’s something for everyone. The school also offers a variety of cultural events, such as Hawaiian dance and language classes, to help students learn more about their local heritage.

Overall, Chaminade University is a great place to get a quality liberal arts education and have some fun. With its rigorous academic programs, successful basketball team, and variety of extracurricular activities, Chaminade is sure to provide a memorable and enjoyable college experience.

Saint Louis Heights is located on Waialae Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Honolulu, Hawaii, stretching from Kaimuki to Kahala. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The road is lined with restaurants, boutiques, and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.

The history of Waialae Avenue dates back to the early 20th century, when it was used as a road for farmers to transport their goods to the markets in Honolulu. In 1931, it was officially named Waialae Avenue, and it soon became a popular spot for locals to shop and socialize.

In recent years, Waialae Avenue has become a hotspot for coffee shops. One of the most popular is Coffee Talk, a cozy cafe that serves a variety of specialty coffees and teas. The cafe has a cozy atmosphere and is a great place to relax and chat with friends. Coffee Talk has become a popular spot for locals to meet up and catch up, making it a great spot for people to connect.

Overall, Waialae Avenue is a great place to explore, with a wide variety of attractions and activities. Whether you’re looking for a great cup of coffee or to explore the local shops and restaurants, Waialae Avenue has something for everyone.

Additionally, Waialae Avenue is a great place to take part in community events. Throughout the year, the avenue hosts several festivals and events, such as the annual Waialae Avenue Festival. This event features food, music, and entertainment, and is a great opportunity for locals to come together and celebrate.

Whether you’re looking for a great cup of coffee at Coffee Talk or to explore the local shops and restaurants, Waialae Avenue is a great place to explore and experience the best of Honolulu.

Driving up Saint Louis Heights is an experience like no other. It’s a steep and winding road, with switchbacks and sharp turns that can make even the most experienced of drivers a bit nervous. The view from the top is worth it though, with stunning views of the city and ocean below.

The most important thing to know when driving up Saint Louis Heights is to take it slow. The road is steep and winding, so it’s important to stay vigilant and drive carefully. The slope can wear on your car too, so make sure to get your brakes and tires checked out before heading up.

There are a few different routes up Saint Louis Heights, but the most popular is the winding road that takes you up the mountain. It’s a great way to take in the scenery and get a feel for the area. Just make sure to drive slow and take your time, and you’ll be fine.

So if you want to experience the beauty of Honolulu from a different perspective, then you should definitely take a drive up Saint Louis Heights. Just make sure to take it slow, and you’ll get to the top in one piece!


Military and veteran families who live in St. Louis Heights will find a decent public elementary ( Hokulani) and middle (William P. Jarret) schools. It is in high school where Kaimuki ranks in the bottom 3rd of Honolulu metro area high schools. Never fear though, living here provides one close proximity to every major private school on the island. Punahou, ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, Sacred Hearts, St Louis, and Mid-Pacific are all within a 15-20 minute drive from St Louis Heights.


For those military members who have PCS’d to O’ahu and are commuting from St. Louis Heights to one of the many bases on the island, the commute time and distance will vary depending on the location of the base (and how high you are up the hill). However, several military bases are located within a reasonable driving distance from St. Louis Heights, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Schofield Barracks, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The commute time to these bases can range from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic and the location of the base. In general, St. Louis Heights has good access to major highways and roads, which can make the commute to military bases on the island more convenient. Obviously, the commute to JBPHH will be much quicker than to Schofield or MCBH. For those members who have orders to O’ahu, my suggestion is to use one or two of your house hunting days and do the commute you will likely have to base should you choose to live here.

Things to do

St Louis Heights location essentially means we could list everything there is to do in Honolulu for St Louis Heights. One of the more unique things to do is to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July, or New Year’s Eve. You will not find a more spectacular view of the city’s fireworks display than from St Louis Heights.


As mentioned under things to do, living in a hill overlooking the city means you have access to all things available in the city. The coffee shops on Waialae Ave (not far away) do bare special mention. Coffee Talk was discussed, but we would be remiss if we also didn’t mention The Curb as well.

Utilizing your VA loan benefit in St Louis Heights

The average home price in St Louis Heights is slightly over $1,300,000, which is slightly above the average O’ahu home. The homes often are older, typically built in the 1960s and 1970s. Members and veterans looking to know how much home they can afford should visit our military pay calculator page ,start the process by learning how to pull your COE , or applying to get a Hawai’I VA loan pre-approval with a VA loan specialist. After you are pre-approved for your VA loan, you should look to find an agent who is an expert in St Louis Heights and the surrounding areas – Hina Kong is just such an agent. A retired FBI agent, Hina is meticulous in her work to find military buyers the perfect home in town.

Overall Quality of Life Rating for Members and Veterans

St. Louis Heights is a great place for singles or families. Military members and Veterans valuing close proximity to the city, spectacular views, and a cooler climate should definitely check out the area. St Louis Heights isn’t close to any base, but it isn’t too far from any of them (besides Wahiawa) either. It offers decent public schools, close proximity to Honolulu’s great restaurants, Waikiki beaches, and the city’s nightlife. St Louis Heights offers something for everyone and should at least be considered by folks PCSing on-island.

Get expert advice on VA Home Loans tailored to your needs from Elias Halvorson. Don’t wait – contact him now and start your homebuying journey with confidence.

hawaii kai

Hawaii Kai

Guest poster alert: My wife Lily, a local who grew up on this beautiful island wrote this introduction. Probably more mentions of romance than I would put in an article about a town, but I will happily admit she is a much better writer than I, so enjoy her introduction to Hawaii Kai! Even after living on Oahu for years, I am still surprised when I’m reminded that Hawaii Kai is still considered to be within the boundaries of Honolulu. This is not only because Hawaii Kai is located so far East of downtown Honolulu, my cognitive disconnect arises from the noticeable changes in landscape and weather. As you drive onto Kalanianaole from the H1, you will notice that tall buildings become sparse, and the highway hugs the coastline. Fun Fact, you can consider yourself an honorary local when you have lived in Hawaii for seven years and can say Kalanianaole three times, fast

Ask me where I think the most romantic place on Oahu is, and I will say Hawaii Kai—it’s got some of the island’s most gorgeous scenery and lookouts located in one zip code. Living in Hawaii Kai in Honolulu, Hawai’i is a dream come true for many people. With its idyllic, yet urban setting, this neighborhood offers something for everyone. From the breathtaking beauty of the ocean, the lush landscapes and stunning views of the mountains, to the convenient access to downtown Honolulu, this area is the perfect place for those who want to experience the best of both worlds..

Things to do

Hawai’i is a nature-lover’s paradise and Waimanalo does not disappoint with numerous outdoor activities. It’s beaches are among the best on the island, with the two most popular among military members and veterans being Waimanalo Beach Park and Bellows Air Force Station. Both beaches have beautiful sand, crystal clear water, and lush green mountains in the background, Waimanalo Beaches are true paradise. The parks also offer picnic areas, showers, and restrooms, making it a great place to spend a day with family or friends.

The breathtaking beauty of the ocean is one of the biggest benefits of living in Hawaii Kai. However, the beaches in Hawaii Kai are not suitable for swimming due to several factors. First, the reefs that line the shoreline can be dangerous for swimmers. The shallow waters and rocks can make it difficult to navigate and the strong currents can be hazardous. Further, many of the beaches in Hawaii Kai are also home to endangered species and wildlife, and swimming in these areas is strictly forbidden. For these reasons, it is best to enjoy the beauty of the beaches in Hawaii Kai from the shoreline and refrain from swimming. Drive a bit farther east and you will find the white-sand beaches of Kailua and Waimanalo, to the crystal clear waters of the Pacific, you can experience the full beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaii Kai has a special place in my heart because it is where some of my favorite romantic spots on the island are located. This is where you can plan the perfect romantic outdoor dates. Hike up into the misty mountains of Kuliouou Ridge, a scene atop so picturesque it’d be where I’d imagine fairies would get married. Sit along the rocks to watch the sunset on China Walls for an intimate picnic at Portlock. Fly a kite in the open fields next to Sandy Beach or hold hands all the way up to the top of Koko Head. Every full moon, you will see couples taking a romantic stroll up to the Makapuu lighthouse during moonrise.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a beautiful hike located on the east side of Oahu. This trail is a great way to experience the stunning beauty of Hawaii while getting some exercise. The trail is approximately 3.5 miles long and begins in the valley of Kuliouou Ridge. The trail winds through lush, green vegetation and offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Makapu’u and Sandy beaches. The trail is also home to a variety of native Hawaiian bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching. The hike ends with a steep climb to the top of Kuliouou Ridge, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the entire east coast of Oahu. With its beautiful scenery and variety of wildlife, Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a great way to experience the beauty of Hawaii.

China Walls in Portlock, Hawaii Kai is a popular spot for bodyboarding and surfing located on the south shore of Oahu. The spot is known for its strong waves, which can reach up to 10 feet in height. The area is also known for its stunning views of the ocean and the nearby Koko Head Crater. It is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike and is a great place to catch some waves and take in the beautiful scenery.

The Koko Head hike is a popular hiking trail located on Oahu’s east side. But probably not a first date attempt, unless you are Chris Pratt training for Guardians of the Galaxy (who was spotted on this hike by my friend once!) The trail begins at the Koko Head Stairs, a series of 1,048 steps that lead to the summit of Koko Head Crater. The trail is a great way to get in some cardio and take in the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding landscape. The trail is also home to a variety of native Hawaiian bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching.

If you don’t look sexy hiking or even walking, fear not, you can still woo your partner just sitting down in Hawaii Kai. Sitting in your car, that is, and driving along Kalanianaole highway. The drive along the coast from Hawaii Kai to Waimanalo is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The journey begins with a stunning view of the majestic Koolau Mountains, and continues along the shoreline, passing by the picturesque beaches of Kailua and Waimanalo. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the lush, green landscape of the Hawaiian Islands. The drive ends with a breathtaking view of the Waimanalo Bay, where the crystal clear waters of the Pacific meet the white sands of Waimanalo Beach. This drive is truly one of the most beautiful experiences in the world.

Another romantic stationary event is the annual Christmas boat festival at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center, a beloved holiday tradition. Every year, the Towne Centre hosts a dazzling display of colorful boats illuminated with Christmas lights. The festival also features live music, food booths, and a variety of holiday-themed activities for the whole family. The event is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit and enjoy the beauty of the holiday season. The festival typically lasts for several nights, giving people plenty of time to enjoy the festive atmosphere and take in the holiday spirit.

One of the downsides to living in Hawaii Kai is the cost of living. The area is known for its high cost of living, which can be a challenge for some people. Additionally, the area is also known for its traffic and congestion, especially during peak hours. Finally, the area is known for its rainy weather, which can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities. Although the area has its drawbacks, it is still a great place to live for those who want to experience all that Hawaii has to offer.


Before Western contact, the Hawaii Kai area was known as Maunalua, which means “two mountains” in Hawaiian, referring to Koko Head and Koko Crater. The region was fertile, with abundant fishponds, taro fields, and agricultural terraces. The Maunalua area was divided into several ahupua’a (land divisions), which extended from the mountains to the sea, providing the native Hawaiians with all the resources they needed to sustain their communities.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Maunalua area saw a transition to ranching and agriculture, with cattle grazing and crops such as sugar cane, pineapple, and sisal being cultivated. The land was owned by the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, which leased it to ranchers and farmers.

The modern-day community of Hawaii Kai can be traced back to the vision of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. In the late 1950s, Kaiser purchased a 6,000-acre tract of land in East Honolulu, including the Maunalua area, with plans to develop a suburban community. Kaiser’s ambitious project included dredging and filling the area’s natural fishponds and wetlands to create the Hawaii Kai Marina and additional land for housing developments. This large-scale transformation laid the foundation for the contemporary community of Hawaii Kai, with its residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and recreational facilities.

The first homes in Hawaii Kai were built in the early 1960s, and the community continued to grow throughout the following decades. The development of the area was carefully planned, with a focus on preserving open spaces and creating a balanced, livable community.

Hawaii Kai is now home to a variety of residential neighborhoods, parks, schools, and commercial centers, such as the Koko Marina Center and the Hawaii Kai Towne Center. The area also boasts numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, with the nearby Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Koko Head Regional Park, and Sandy Beach Park attracting both residents and visitors alike.


One of the best selling points for military members PCSing to Hawaii Kai is the schools. From Elementary schools to Niu Valley Middle School to Kaiser High School many of Hawaii Kai’s schools consistently rank in the top 10% of Hawaii’s schools in both standardized testing and overall rankings. With such excellent public schools, private schools are an afterthought for many of the folks living in Hawaii Kai. There are private schools such as Calvary by the Sea Montessori School, Holy Trinity, and Waldorf for great elementary and middle school education. It is also in close enough proximity for your kids to go to all the town private schools. I would rate Hawaii Kai, Manoa, and Mililani as the best school districts top-to-bottom for military families.

Commute to Bases

It really depends where you work. If you are at the Coast Guard base downtown, it isn’t a terrible commute. But, as with anything on the island, your commute will depend on your work hours. If you leave early enough and return before 3 P.M. , not much is a problem. That being said, morning rush hour traffic from Hawaii Kai to town is some of the worst traffic on the island. So, if you are working typical 730-1630 type hours, this will be an extremely bad commute. If you are PCSing here and checking out the Hawaii Kai area I highly recommend trying a morning or two of the daily commutes before you decide to buy.

Things to do in Hawaii Kai

Hawaii Kai is in close enough proximity to town to include all of the Honolulu activities, but it can also function as a fairly self-contained town. There is a town center which includes a Cinema to see the new releases, and a variety of shops and restaurants. Things unique to Hawaii Kai include my favorite hike on the island, the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. This hike is shaded most of the way and truly a hidden gem in an island full of great hiking. You can also try snorkeling at the most famous snorkeling spot on the island, Hanauma Bay. If you live on island make sure you buy your own snorkeling gear as the cost to rent is almost 2/3s the price of buying the equipment. Hawaii Kai is also home to the Christmas Boat Parade where hundreds of residents decorate their boats and cruise along the shore for spectators to see.

Food and Shopping

Hawaii Kai has many grocery stores, including a Costco which means members and veterans do not have to make a trek to the commissary to save money. The Town Centre is filled with restaurants and stores to shop. The Kahala mall is also not far away from Hawaii Kai should the Town Centre not satisfy your shopping itch!

Utilizing your VA loan in Hawaii Kai

The median home price in the area is hovering at $1.2M making it slightly higher than the average price of a single-family home on Oahu. The schools, location, and natural beauty all make Hawaii Kai a great place to live. The biggest drawback is the commute. For those members and veterans working on JBPHH, Schofield Barracks, Camp Smith, or Ft Shafter, be prepared for a longer commute if you will be commuting during rush hour. Those looking to buy need to call Ben Puccetti ASAP. Ben is a leading agent for all over the island, but is a true expert on all things Hawaii Kai. For those looking for more education on VA loans please reach out for a free consultation on utilizing your Hawaii VA Home Loan benefit, or for any VA loan related questions you might have.

Get expert advice on VA Home Loans tailored to your needs from Elias Halvorson. Don’t wait – contact him now and start your homebuying journey with confidence.