7-Eleven Neighborhood Guide
Jasmine Lombardi | Feb 13, 2017
The community of Kāneʻohe is a beautiful neighborhood with a great mix of suburban, commercial and environmental appeal. Due to the abundance of rainfall, Kāneʻohe was once an important agricultural area but today, is a residential community that is surrounded by enduring, natural beauty.
The history of Hawaiian chiefs who chose to build their sacred fishponds can be felt on Kāneʻohe Bay, the waters stretching from Mokapu Peninsula to Mokoli’i Island (well-known as Chinaman’s Hat). There are five small, uninhabited islands spread amongst this stretch of water—many instantly recognizable, including Moku o Lo'e Island (Coconut Island), seen on the hit TV show Gilligan’s Island. Though its not the best for swimming, residents enjoy fishing, diving and snorkeling throughout the bay. Many people take advantage of the bay by renting kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and canoes, or booking a private boat tour. No matter how you get there, it’s worth venturing to the Kāneʻohe Sandbar, where it is especially buzzing on weekends and holidays during low tide.
This piece of the Hawaiian countryside is a paradise for outdoor recreation.
The Art of Leisure
Aside from the activities surrounding the bay, Kāneʻohe is the perfect place to get lost in leisure. Golfers can hit the links at one of the three courses in the area: Pali Golf Course, Koʻolau Golf Club and Bayview Golf Park. For a taste of history, head to the Byodo-In Temple, the non-denominational shrine that’s a replica of the 950-year-old temple in Uji, Japan. A great gathering place for families and nature-lovers is Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, where you can explore a rainforest garden featuring plants from major tropical regions around the world. Spending a few days at the garden is easy—considering the grounds include various walking trails, a lake, campgrounds and a visitor center with a lecture room, exhibition hall, workshop and botanical library.
Ready, Set, Action!
Perhaps one of the most famous destinations on this side of the island is Kualoa Ranch. The sixth generation kamaʻaina (island-born) family-owned cattle ranch was established in 1850 and continues to operate today—hosting tours, special events, weddings and more. Many Hollywood films and well-known TV shows have used the dramatic landscape of Kualoa as a backdrop, most famously Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, Hawaiʻi Five-O, Magnum P.I. and Lost. This piece of the Hawaiian countryside is a paradise for outdoor recreation, as many areas of Kualoa’s 4,000 acres are only accessible by horseback, on an all-terrain vehicle, or by hiking.
The commercial center of the town is spread mostly along Kamehameha Highway, where you’ll find several restaurants and the areas largest shopping complex, Windward Mall. Kāneʻohe, like many suburban neighborhoods in Hawai‘i, has a variety of residents, activities and small-town flair, making it one of the most sought-after communities on the island.