Kaaawa, Honolulu County, Hawaii

Tourists would always remember Kaaawa as a world-class surfing haven. It is best loved by surfers, divers, and snorkelers because the point where shores meet in Kaaawa is facing the windward direction, causing fantastic waves and mild currents. From the map, one can see Kaaawa as the coast where Kaoio Point and Kahana Bay meet. A historic county in Honolulu, Kaaawa has numerous attractions such as wineries, area parks, and museums found in the heart of metropolitan Honolulu. If there's anything tourists would wish for in a grand vacation, it's always a mixture of both the ocean and mountain vistas and activities. They can find it all in Kaaawa.

Part of the attraction of Kaaawa Valley are the surfing shores, ranches, beaches, gardens, and open-air restaurants. Kaaawa is surrounded by parks, museums, and historic sites that invite tourists from all over the world. A favorite attraction is the Kualoa Ranch, where tourists take horseback trail rides and Hollywood directors shoot commercial films. Near the ranch, one could visit the Kualoa Regional Park, the Ha'iku Gardens, and the famous museums around Kaaawa Valley.

Because of the tourism boost, Kaaawa is at present a promising Hawaiian county with a small population and a high living and housing cost. There are more people employed in Kaaawa than in the rest of the US states and counties. However, because of the high state capita taxes, the living cost is 89% higher than in the mainland US. According to statistics, Kaaawa has a very high quality of health, education, transportation, and general environment.

Kaaawa's History

Since Kaaawa can be found in Honolulu, it is home to historic museums and palaces that remind Hawaiians of the Big Island's rich ancestry. For instance, one can find the USS Arizona in this county at the Arizona Memorial Palace. The USS Arizona is the battleship that sank during the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941. There are several museums in Kaaawa, Honolulu, dedicated to the preservation of the county's history, namely the Bishop Museum, Contemporary Museum, Hawaii Maritime Center, Hawaii's Plantation Village, Mission Houses Museum, US Army Museum of Hawaii, Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.

Most notable of all historic sites is the Iolani Palace, where the last Hawaiian monarchs Queen Lili'uokalani and King Kalakaua resided, circa 1882 until 1891. This palace was built with complete Masonic rites on the 31st of December, 1879. It was previously called Hale Ali'i -- the House of Chief -- before it was changed into Iolani Palace, which means "a majestic Hawaiian hawk." This is where King Kalakaua, along with his wife, entertained the royal visitors and performed the kingdom's rites throughout their reign.

Another historical site is the Queen Emma Summer Palace. Queen Emma was King Kamehameha IV's wife. The stylish palace was a political and social center with its Victorian heritage clearly evident in its cosmopolitan setting. The palace can be found at Nu'uanu Valley and was formerly called the Hanaiakamalama. Today, the Daughters of Hawaii are responsible for the historic palace's maintenance.

Kaaawa's Attractions

The attraction that really stands in the crowd is the Kualoa Ranch and Regional Park. It has been quite a "celebrity" in its own right because most Hollywood films were shot in this location. In reality, it is a 4,000-acre ranch with a picturesque view of the mountains (notably Kualoa Mountains) and an eight-century old fishing pond. Most tourists visit the Kualoa Ranch to buy nature gifts, spend the afternoon at the picnic areas, or tour the entire area. The ranch is fraught with tropical flowers which are picked and brought to the mainland US. From a distance behind the picnic groves, one can easily spot the flower farms and the Chinese Man's Hat.

The Kualoa Regional Park is where the sand beach can be found. Ancient Hawaiians considered it a sacred place because it is in the Kualoa shores where the whalebones are washed up. These have been valuable trade items back then. If you plan to visit the Kualoa Regional Park, there are always amenities and services you could take advantage of such as picnic areas, barbecue grills, showers, and fishing equipment. Those who plan to snorkel and dive must take caution against jellyfishes and stinging seaweeds, which are rife in the summer.

There are lots of rental homes found within Kaaawa. Those who would spend days here can take a tour of Kaaawa museums, historic sites, cultural centers, state parks, and golf courses. Driving around Waikiki and Honolulu only takes 40 minutes. If you go sightseeing you will find some local attractions such as the Kahuku Golf Course and Polynesian Cultural center.

Kaaawa's Economy

Kaaawa draws lots of tourists within the Oahu and Honolulu area. This is a major tourism boost that has generated a considerable amount of revenue and more jobs for the people. As a proof of this, the rate of unemployment is only 2.9% compared to 5% in the mainland US. There has been a tremendous growth on the number of jobs available, and this number will continue to increase in the future. However, housing costs are pretty expensive, averaging to $661,800 per home. Household incomes averaging $58,395 are far higher than in the mainland US. The income taxes are twice as high as with other states in the US, and the living costs are 89% higher.

The Kaaawa residents enjoy a high quality of living, from food, housing, health, transportation, and education. The government spends $5,909 for every student. The housing costs are doubly expensive, but the utilities are cheaper. Because Kaaawa is located at Honolulu metropolis, lots of tourists think it's a pretty crowded place. It is evident in the mass transit and the length of commute time around the area. There are more people who opt for carpooling and there are less work-at-home jobs. Like other Big Island's counties, cities, and towns, Kaaawa faces the burden of high state income capita tax, because the government and social services are rendered on a state instead of municipal level. However, this is offset by a standard quality of living, as evident in the clean environment and the high income average per household.

Kaaawa Statistics:

Population: 1,324
Households: 469
Median resident age: 37.9 years
Median household income: $54,500
Median house value: $314,500
Land area: 0.6 square miles
Elevation: 6 feet
Latitude: 21°33'N
Longitude: 157°51'W
Zip code: 96730
County: Honolulu
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