The Best Places To Live On Oahu for Families [2022 Version]

Oahu is a tropical paradise that can be a fantastic place to live for you and your family. It can be challenging to know if your family will enjoy living on a Hawaiian island when you’re about to embark on a PCS or your first PCS. Between researching the best schools, activities, and the best places to live on Oahu for families, there can be a lot of information to take in before the big move. 

Oahu has seen some impressive growth in recent years, and with that growth has come real estate, educational, and business opportunities for those who live there. With the constant construction of new, more affordable homes, you and your family can live a comfortable life while you’re stationed there. As a military member, taking advantage of your VA loan to buy a home on Oahu for your family is one of the best decisions you can make. Especially if you do so in an incredible community.  

The Best Places to Live on Oahu for Families

It’s hard to go wrong with any Oahu community - you’re moving to paradise, after all. When you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood, here are some of the best. 


Honolulu has been long considered one of the best places to live in the country for many reasons. With the combination of incredible lifestyle, low crime rates, job opportunities, and family-friendly amenities, it’s definitely one of the best places to live on Oahu. 

The surrounding area beyond Honolulu is of the same caliber. Kaimuki and Diamond Head are seeing growth, and with being minutes from Honolulu, it’s no surprise they’re getting just as much attention. There are plenty of housing options available, from single-family homes to luxury high-rise apartments. 

With the explosive growth in the area, homes are selling fast, and the market is competitive, so if you have to act fast on properties you love. While Honolulu sees many tourists, the perks of the healthy tourism industry are that residents have access to the best amenities around. City lovers will adore living in Honolulu. 

Downtown Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Kai

Hawaii Kai is a planned community created by Henry Kaiser in the 60s. The homes in the area are on the more expensive side, with a median value of close to a million dollars. Still, it’s an excellent place for families who have that kind of budget. There’s something for everyone in the area with endless outdoor activities and impressive schools. The Maunalua Fishpond, wetlands, and natural beauty are great for kids to explore and learn about nature. The Marina, golf courses, and access to shopping are perfect for parents. For the whole family, it’s easy to go snorkeling, spend time on the beach, enjoy nearby parks, and utilize sports fields. The Hawaii Kai community is highly desirable and a great option for families. 


The affluent community of Kahala is small but mighty. If you’re looking for an idealistic suburban lifestyle, this community is the one for you. Wide streets, oversized lots, and beautiful properties allow residents to have a personal slice of paradise. 

Homes can be on the more expensive side, but there are some more affordable options, with the median home value being around $700,000. Suppose you’re in the market for a luxury home. In that case, the community delivers with plenty of incredible estate homes on the market. It’s not far from the big city, but it’s not a popular tourism spot, so residents have the added bonus of privacy and tranquility. 

The community has plenty of amenities, like the Kahala Mall, which has Whole Foods, Multiplex, restaurants, local businesses, and more. You can get all your needs right at home, but the city is just a short drive away if you need anything else. There are some incredible beaches and parks nearby, making it ideal for families. The activities available in Kahala are endless. 

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Just 20 minutes from Honolulu, Manoa is a lush, green haven for outdoor lovers. If you have an active family who loves to spend time outdoors exploring, this is the community for you. Residents can experience the countryside charm while being close to the city for everything they need. 

There are plenty of paths, hiking trails, Manoa Falls, and tropical landscapes to explore whenever you like. The daily rainfall helps to keep the area looking its best all year round. Parents can feel confident in the education offered in the area, with the Manoa Elementary school being top-rated and respected in the community. There are private school options, including Punahou K-12, which President Obama attended. 


If education is on the top of your list as an interested homebuyer, Mililani is a great option. Mililani Town is just outside Honolulu but offers some of the same perks as the big city. It is known for its excellent schools, including Mililani High, which has an impressive faculty considered the best in the state. In 2012, history teacher Cynthia Tong was awarded Teacher of the Year by the National History Day Organization. 

Excellent Schools in Mililani, HI


If you’re looking for other young families and beautiful new homes, Kapolei is an area that should pique your interest. The excellent location allows residents quick access to great schools, shopping, restaurants, and more. Kapolei is expected to continue its massive growth, so getting into this community now is likely a solid investment. It’s known as Oahu’s ‘Second City,’ as it’s one of the largest cities, close behind Honolulu. 


The northeastern shore of Oahu is home to one of the most desirable communities, especially those who are involved in the Church of Latter-Day Saints. The Laie Elementary School has also been recognized for excellence in its math program. There are plenty of activities to enjoy for all members of the family, including the Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie Point State Wayside Park, Laie Falls Trail, Laie Hawaii Temple, and Gunstock Ranch. 

The North Shore

Beyond Laie, the entire North Shore is one of the most famous areas in the world due to the incredible beaches. Most, if not all, of the communities in the North Shore, are highly desirable and popular. These communities offer a bit more privacy for locals, as not too many tourists make their way into the neighborhoods. 

The North Shore is the epitome of a laid-back island vibe town, fully-equipped with excellent local eats, endless beaches, and some of the best surfing in the world. If your family loves to spend time in the water, the North Shore is a great option. Housing in the area is on the more expensive side, but it’s a wistful place to live if it’s within your budget.

Surfing at Sunrise 

Ewa Beach

You’d be hardpressed to find the best neighborhood list for Hawaii that didn’t include Ewa Beach. Not only is it gorgeous and there’s always something to do, but it’s also known for having an impressive dedication to its education and resources for children. The high education level of residents reflects the focus of excellent schools in the community. The beaches, amenities, and real estate options are just an added perk. 

The Leeward Side

The Leeward Side includes great communities like Ewa Beach, but the whole area is home to a predominantly military population. It offers residents a nice balance between the city and beach life. There are plenty of commercial amenities, so you can get everyday essentials without roaming far. You’re also a short drive to the city if you want to spend the day shopping or dining. With the military community being so large, there is a robust and friendly sense of community. 

As a military member, you’ll find many of your friends and other members. The Leeward Side of the island has some of the more affordable housing and new construction in the area, so there are plenty of options to fit into a family budget. The area's suburban feeling is perfect for new families searching for a great home. 


If you’re all about the island lifestyle, Kaka’ako will be right up your alley. With easy access to shopping like the Ward Village Whole Foods and the Ala Moana Shopping Center, the incredible Ala Moana Beach Park, and the top schools in the area, the community is definitely one of the top locations. If you’re in the market for a luxury condo with all the perks designed to make life a little easier, you’ll find what you and your family are looking for here. 

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Koa Ridge may be an option worth checking out if you have young children. With new schools and recreation centers in development, this up-and-coming community will be a haven for families. The area also has a pedway that spans 7 miles, perfect for walking and biking. This could be a great option for your next home if you have an active family.


The laid-back community of Kaimukī is known for life moving a little slower. With historic and eclectic homes, the neighborhood offers a charming atmosphere. There are plenty of great amenities at residents’ fingertips and so many activities to do with your family. The Art Explorium, Gecko Books and Comics, and Page Academy of Dance are just a few great options, depending on what your kids like to do. The Kāhala Mall has something for everyone, and there are plenty of fantastic restaurants, like Jewel or Juice. 

When you start searching for the best places to live on Oahu for families, you’re in good hands with Oahu Military Real Estate. We’ve helped so many service members through the entirety of the process, and we aim to make it as easy for you as possible. We want you to find your dream home for your family while making you feel comfortable about moving far from home. There’s never really a bad option on Oahu for communities. Still, we’ll take your needs and priorities and help you find your new home within your budget. 

Oahu Military Real Estate have streamlined the process of buying or selling a home to make it easier for you! Our team is made up of caring, knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to providing the most up-to-date market data in the area. Contact us today to find out how can be of assistance to you! 

A local real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!