Neighborhood Guide: Kaimukī

7-Eleven Neighborhood Guide


Jasmine Lombardi | Feb 13, 2017


Charm & Culture

Kaimukī is one of Honolulu’s oldest neighborhoods, providing the perfect mix of residential charm and modern, urban culture. Situated among the tony neighborhoods of Diamond Head, Mānoa Valley and Kāhala, it boasts a unique small-town feel yet is just a short drive from the city, making it one of the most accessible and unique areas of Honolulu.

Rich in History

Once a farm for King Kalākaua, as well as the childhood home to one of Hawaiʻi’s most notable musicians, the late Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole (a.k.a. Bruddah Iz), Kaimukī is a neighborhood steeped in history. Its first road, Waiʻalae Avenue, was paved in 1925 and still serves as the main access road to the thriving business district, as well as the adjoining areas of Pālolo Valley and Wilhelmina Rise.

For a quiet spot where you can learn more about local history, head to the Kaimukī Public Library, which has been serving Kaimukī and the surrounding community since 1915. Here you can comb through the impressive collection of rare Hawaiian books and transcripts. For a visual peek into the past, make your way to Surf ‘N Hula Hawaiʻi housed next to the historic Queens Theatre building, for vintage memorabilia and collectors items of Hawaiʻi’s yesteryear.

The beauty of this dynamic community is that everything is at your fingertips

Locally Grown

As many neighborhoods in Honolulu are experiencing complete renovations and overhauls, the heart of Kaimukī remains relatively untouched, with various locally-owned shops and businesses still serving the community. Many establishments have been around for decades, such as the family-owned and operated surf shop Downing Hawaiʻi; City Mill, a home and hardware store; Calico Cat, a fabric boutique; and Bead It, an accessories store and jewelry workshop. Kaimukī is also where 7-Eleven Hawaiʻi first opened its doors back in 1978.

The neighborhood’s rich past has given way to an exciting future thanks to the burgeoning food scene and abundance of mom-and-pop shops. Kaimukī has quickly become the go-to neighborhood for some of Oʻahu’s top tastemakers — from chefs and restaurateurs like Hawaiʻi’s own Ed Kenney and Top Chef fan favorite Leanne Wong to boutique owners like Momi Chee of Lily Lotus, the lifestyle and clothing store that features community events such as art classes in their store.

Everything at Your Fingertips

Kaimukī is brimming with places that can invigorate your mind, body and soul. Whether you’re looking to hike Pālolo Valley’s Ka‘au Crater for a glimpse of the stunning waterfalls along Waiʻōmaʻo Stream, find inner peace at a hot yoga class or admire the view of the Honolulu sky line from Pu‘u O Kaimukī park, this unassuming neighborhood has a lot to offer.

The beauty of this dynamic community is that everything is at your fingertips. From fine dining to trendy gastropubs and unique gift shops, Kaimukī offers a lifestyle that is as culturally diverse as its residents. Though geographically speaking, Kaimukī is not that large—just under two square miles—its prime location, multitude of cultures and true sense of community make it a great place to live, work and play.