Have you ever dreamed what it would be like to live in a nice home right by the ocean? Would you feel like Magnum P.I. as seen in the famous TV show Hawaii Five-0?
Millions have seen the show and have been inspired and awestruck by blue ocean, dancing palm trees and sunny blue skies. This is not a coincident. Honolulu stands head above shoulders compared to many other coastal locations in America offering a magical and unique combination of the best of both worlds:
1.) Tropical paradise with perfect climate, clean air and crystal blue oceans, together with..
2.) all the benefits that come along with living in a modern metropolis.
Honolulu’s population has reached the $1Mill mark in 2016. If you are one of the lucky ones to move here and need a house in Honolulu, start your journey here and search all Honolulu homes for sale.
Plenty of blue ocean surrounds the city, but did you know there are only about 425 Honolulu single family homes directly on the ocean. That is all, and there is no more oceanfront to add!
If ordinary is not enough and you desire that special dream home on the ocean for a truly magical lifestyle within Honolulu city, you have come to the right place: Our guide to Honolulu oceanfront homes and neighborhoods will help you find your dream home.
You may already know Diamond Head and Kahala, arguably Honolulu’s most famous beachfront residential neighborhoods. Perhaps here you will discover a few other, lesser known oceanfront communities. See what differentiates them from each other. Explore each respective neighborhood with aerial videos and maps. Compare unique neighborhood features and ambiance. See why Honolulu oceanfront homes are favored by ocean lovers from all over the world.
Offering the finest in oceanfront living, following in geographical order going from west to east, we start with:
1.) Diamond Head (see video)
Many consider Diamond Head the ‘King’ of Honolulu’s oceanfront neighborhoods offering some of the finest most sought-after Honolulu real estate. This is where royalty used to live and play. Just past Waikiki, wrapped around the world famous imposing Diamond Head Crater, the neighborhood features pristine white sandy beaches but also a few dramatic cliff side properties.
Waikiki Beach close by is getting all the tourist attention, but many don’t realize the amazing beauty and serenity of Diamond Beach between Beach Rd and Kulamanu Pl. Beaches here are picturesque with impeccable sand. Hardly ever does the beach here gets crowded other than surfers launching off to enjoy the waves south of Diamond Head.
A seawall protects the properties west of Beach Rd. Residents have access to what is a narrow beach, if any, in front of the seawall. The most eastern section of Diamond Head Beach past Kulamanu Pl gets rocky with a steep cliff transitioning into the adjacent Black Point neighborhood.
Roughly at the halfway point along Diamond Head’s two-mile oceanfront stretch between Waikiki and Black Point towers the Diamond Head Lighthouse marking Oahu’s most southern point. A couple of Diamond Head lookout points just east of the light house give you a good raised vantage point to watch the surfers. From here you get a peek-a-boo view of some of the hidden, private and elusive oceanfront mansions and estates.
One notable Diamond Head property close to the lighthouse is the stunning Mediterranean villa at 3603 Diamond Head Rd, listed at $13.9 Mill (Summer 2016).
Only about 60 of the 650 Diamond Head homes are right on the ocean. Because of the sloped topography along the craters base, many of the non-oceanfront homes still enjoy mesmerizing ocean views.
Diamond Head land values are some of the most expensive on the island. It’s no surprise due to limited supply and to maximize the highest use of the land, some lots have been subdivided or redeveloped into cluster developments wherever possible. Check some unique Diamond Head real estate treasures on our complete list of Diamond Head Real Estate CPR & PUD cluster developments.
We invite you to take a closer look what makes this neighborhood so special. As a longtime Diamond Head resident once said: “Diamond Head residents not only live well, they seem to live well forever”
Life here is sweet.
2.) Kahala Black Point (see video)
Kahala Black Point consists of only about 75 homes on an oceanfront black lava rock knoll that juts out to the ocean. This neighborhood might be small, but mighty impressive are the dramatic cliff side ocean views.
Kahala Black Point aka Black Point is often overlooked because this small community is wedged between famous Diamond Head and Kahala.
An unassuming rod iron security gate at the top of Black Point Rd offers privacy to about 35 homes. Behind the gate is where Tom Selleck aka Magnum P.I. used to live in real life. A separate security gate off Royal Circle offers privacy to another 8 Black Point homes.
Only about a dozen Black Point homes are directly on the ocean. Kahala Black Point oceanfront means rocky shoreline with dramatic wave action below. The only swimmable ocean is at a small east facing hidden beach behind the gate off Royal Circle.
For the privileged few that live behind either gate, Black Point offers privacy, security and some of the most fabulous ocean views primarily south and east facing, looking along the Kahala coastline with Koko Head and Koko Crater in the distance. It gets a bit windy here on the knoll for properties exposed towards the prevailing northeast trade winds.
Exclusive for Black Point residents, behind the main gate an amazing unique ocean water infinity pool chiseled into the cliff makes up for the lack of sandy beach and swimmable ocean. This famous Black Point infinity pool with blue ocean right below is truly an unforgettable special place in paradise.
3.) Kahala (see video)
If Diamond Head is the undisputed ‘King’ of Honolulu’s oceanfront neighborhoods, world-famous Kahala takes the title of the ‘Queen’ of Honolulu’s oceanfront neighborhoods. Rightfully often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Honolulu, Kahala has a predominantly flat topography.
Only about 40 homes of the 1,200 Kahala homes are located along the 1 mile stretch of pristine Kahala Beach enjoying direct ocean views. Kahala oceanfront properties are between half an acre and sometimes over 2 acres in size. These large trophy estate properties are rare. Scarcity creates exceptional value with unlimited upside potential. Look no further if you want the truly extraordinary in oceanfront estates in Honolulu’s prime most prestigious luxury neighborhoods.
Hunakai St marks the halfway point between Royal Circle, the most western end of Kahala Beach, and Kealaolu Ave, the most eastern end of Kahala Beach. Homes located east of Hunakai Ave enjoy pristine white sandy beach with little foot traffic. A seawall protects the homes located west of Hunakai Ave offering increased privacy.
If Kahala oceanfront homes are a bit too big in size, and or budget, you might consider a Kahala home just mountain side of Kahala Ave. There are several public beach walking paths between the large oceanfront estates allowing access to one of the finest beaches on Oahu’s south shore. Most non-oceanfront Kahala homes sit on generous lots often 10,000 sqft in size, and the beach is just down the street always close by.
Kahala lots can not be subdivided because of neighborhood deed restrictions that run with the land ensuring a desirable low density neighborhood with larger homes. Either an oceanfront home for the super-size budget or an interior Kahala home starting in the $2Mill + range, Kahala appeals to many looking for a prestigious neighborhood with wide roads, luxurious homes on large level lots, an awesome beach and yet a quick and easy commute into town.
4.) Kai Nani (see video)
Kai Nani is a special coveted beachfront neighborhood next to the prestigious private Waialae Golf Course. Kai Nani enjoys a magical setting with mesmerizing colors of blue ocean and green fairways. Kai Nani homes appear stately, grand and well maintained. Every Kai Nani home looks fabulous.
Only 10 of the 30 total Kai Nani homes are located along a narrow stretch of beach. The ocean here is calm because of a protective outer reef. The beach is narrow and a bit rocky. There is hardly any foot traffic along this stretch of beach.
Almost every Kai Nani home is either fronting the beach or the golf course. Keep in mind that this golf course is not just any golf course. This is the exclusive private Waialae Golf Course, home of the famous annual Sony Open Golf Tournament.
One privileged Kai Nani home enjoys both, ocean frontage and golf course frontage. It is the famous blue roof ‘Tutu Hale’ located at the end of Kaimoku Pl. The home is prominently visible from almost everywhere on the golf course. The Sony Corporation founder’s family currently owns the property.
Kai Nani has its unique appeal to residents that desire ocean or golf course frontage. A fabulous neighborhood with grand looking homes and a convenient commute. A street light on the corner of Kaimoku Pl and Kalanianaole Hwy allows for quick and easy left turn into town.
Kai Nani homes rarely become available. Learn more about Kai Nani’s magic and see Kai Nani homes for sale.
5.) Wailupe Beach & Peninsula (seee video)
Wailupe Beach is the natural extension of the beach continuing past the Kai Nani neighborhood. A few estate size deep lots are located towards the western end of Wailupe Beach. Going further east lot sizes get smaller as the highway runs closer to the ocean before Wailupe Beach Park, the most eastern section of Wailupe Beach.
Only about 19 homes enjoy direct ocean frontage along this beach. The beach here is quiet and narrow like the beach at Kai Nani. An outer reef protects the homes creating a calm shallow ocean great for fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding.
Just east of the Wailupe Beach Park is the Wailupe Peninsula, an artificial peninsula that juts out to the ocean, surrounded by crystal blue water on three sides. Wailupe Peninsula homes enjoy increased privacy because of a protective lava rock seawall. Instead of a beach where people might walk by your property, here you can moor your boat on your private boat dock off your back yard. The army corp of engineers dredged a deep water channel around the peninsula to allow boat access for Wailupe Peninsula residents.
Wailupe Peninsula used to be an ancient fishpond many years ago. Filled land, a seawall and the deep water channel surrounding the peninsula created today’s highly desirable residential oceanfront community. Environmental laws would make it impossible to recreate today. That makes Wailupe Peninsula forever special and unique.
Only 31 of all 120 Wailupe Peninsula homes front the ocean along the seawall. These homes are some of the finest real estate for ocean lovers that like to have a boat dock. None of the before mentioned oceanfront neighborhoods allow you to keep a boat just outside your back yard.
Wailupe Peninsula homes along the east facing seawall enjoy natural cooling because of the prevailing easterly trade winds. Homes along the western facing seawall enjoy sunset and Diamond Head views, with trade winds blowing gently from the land out to the ocean.
Wailupe Peninsula homes enjoy large level lots with great ocean views, privacy and boat access, but remember, there is no beach at the Wailupe Peninsula. A neighborhood boat ramp is available exclusively for Wailupe residents for convenient ocean access. Bring your boat or kayak and start living.
6.) Aina Haina Beach (see video)
Aina Haina Beach is a beachfront community with 75 beachfront homes along the narrow beach between Wailupe Place and Kawaikui Beach Park. At Aina Haina Beach the distance between the beach and Kalanianaole Hwy is greater compared to Wailupe Beach or Niu Beach. Because of the greater depth of some of the lots, Aina Haina Beach is known for some impressive grand beachfront estates, a few of them as large as 2 acres.
One of Aina Haina’s first beachfront estates built 1936 is the famous historic Bayer Estate at 5329 Kalanianaole Hwy. Because of its charm and magical beachfront location, the property has become a popular spot for wedding celebrations.
Noteworthy is the sale of 5415/5435 Kalanianaole Hwy, a 2.621 acre beachfront parcel, purchased by an Asian holding company for $13.5 Mill in September 2014.
Aina Haina’s beach is quiet and hardly used by tourists. The ocean here is shallow and a bit rocky with calm waters because of the protective outer reef. A great beach for fishing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding but not ideal for swimming.
7.) Niu Beach & Peninsula (see video)
Niu Beach is the natural extension of Aina Haina Beach past the Kawaikui Beach Park.
There are about 31 homes along this stretch of beach until you get to the artificial Niu Peninsula protruding out to the ocean. Lot sizes vary but can be as large as 3/4 acre, or even 1.5 acres for the exceptional Pflueger Estate built on a choice double lot just past where the Niu Valley stream enters the ocean.
The beach here is comparable with Aina Haina Beach, narrow, with a calm shallow ocean protected by an outer reef.
For those desiring the privacy of a seawall, the Niu Peninsula is an artificial peninsula that was developed out of what used to be an ancient fishpond. Like its larger sibling the Wailupe Peninsula, filled land with a fortifying seawall and a surrounding dredged deep water channel for resident’s boat access make Niu Peninsula a popular residential oceanfront community.
Only about 20 homes are fronting the ocean within the peninsula. The lucky few enjoy forever ocean views.
East facing homes experience the cooling easterly trade winds. West facing homes enjoy sunset views and less wind and ocean spray.
Another dozen Niu Beach homes are located past the Niu Beach Peninsula along the beach stretch before you reach Paiko Dr.
8.) Paiko Lagoon (see video)
If you are looking for a one of a kind Honolulu oceanfront property, consider a home at Paiko Lagoon. Here serenity awaits you. If you love living on the ocean, Paiko Lagoon offers two distinct different lifestyles.
22 Paiko Lagoon homes are located on the outer perimeter south facing ocean side of the saltwater lagoon along a very pleasant calm beach. The ocean here is shallow and protected by an outer reef.
Another about 22 Paiko Lagoon homes ring the interior of the lagoon, a shallow body of water, like a lake surrounded by tropical palms.
All water areas within Paiko Lagoon and the adjacent State owned land have been designated as a wildlife sanctuary. No fishing or other activity disturbing plant or wildlife are allowed.
In other words, if you are looking for peaceful and quiet enjoyment, you have come to the right place. Living here is like living in a different world.
However, if watersports are what you are after, you will need to consider the exterior ocean side of the lagoon or another oceanfront neighborhood on our list.
Some notable Paiko Lagoon properties are:
‘Hale Lilikoi’, a 3/4 acre Polynesian style resort fronting the lagoon at 6021 Summer St, listed for sale at $11Mill (Summer 2016).
201 E. Paiko Dr built in 2007 and located at the end of Paiko Dr, surrounded by ocean on three sides at the tip of the natural Paiko Peninsula, listed earlier in 2016 at $8,888,888.
5949D Kalanianaole Hwy, the old Pepsi estate, 1 acre surrounded by water on two sides, sold for $7Mill in 2006.
9.) Portlock & Koko Kai
Our guide to Honolulu oceanfront homes would not be complete without Hawaii Kai’s Portlock and Koko Kai oceanfront neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods have been featured in our article ‘Stunning Hawaii Kai ocean view homes’.
Only 40 of all Portlock homes are on the ocean either fronting a mellow beach, or from 303 Portlock Rd onwards fronting a protective seawall without the beach. All Portlock oceanfront homes enjoy western sunset views with a perfect view towards Diamond Head. Trade winds blow gently from the land out to the sea.
This is where Henry Kaiser, grand visionary, industrialist and Hawaii Kai’s master developer built his impressive 5.5 acre estate along the 500 block of Portlock Rd. No doubt, Henry Kaiser had good taste and a keen eye for real estate’s most important criteria: location, location, location! Check out Portlock’s beauty in our Portlock video.
A few years ago Henry Kaiser’s grand estate was listed for sale at a whopping $80 Mill!
Koko Kai is Portlock’s natural neighborhood extension to the south. Here the ocean front terrain gets rocky turning quickly into a steep cliff further south. Out of all 130 Koko Kai homes, only 32 are along the rocky shoreline, some as high as 120ft above the ocean.
There is neither a beach nor a swimmable ocean here, but the west and southwest ocean views are spectacular with dramatic wave action below. See our Koko Kai video.
Let us know what you think. We love to hear from you.
We are here to help. ~Mahalo & Aloha