Drive up the Leeward Coast of Oahu, on past Waianae, and eventually you'll come to the last neighborhood on this side of the Island. In fact, go past it just a little further and you'll come to a dead stop where the road ends its climb up the Western shores. Makaha is that last stop before you reach the end. It's a frontier community, left alone by most outsiders except for surfers who come to take on the waves that put up a challenge for even the most experienced riders.
Though there is the popular Makaha Beach Park
and one or two hotels, you might as well be on a different Island than places like nearby Ko Olina
. Makaha is a small, tightly knit community, where you know not only your neighbors, but just about everybody else who lives here. There's a pride and an identity in being from Makaha. You're living out on the edge and you're loving it. Nature Abounds Freely In Makaha
The beaches here are exceptionally beautiful and, best of all, uncrowded. You're not jockeying for space on these sands, even on the weekends. If there's a best kept secret in Oahu beaches, this might be it. The sunsets? Incredible. What makes them even more special is that they feel personal in the quiet and solitude that reigns over these lands. Like they were painted just for you.
Up here the climate is drier than the rest of Oahu, with one of the lowest rainfalls. This can make for some warmer days, but nothing like the punishing summers of the Mainland. It's a tropical heat that was made for spending part of the day under the cover of shade and smart habits.
Don't mistake the frontier label for a lack of modern, or even luxury, conveniences, however. Makaha real estate is a varied collection of residential options, from old Hawaii plantation-style houses to beachfront condos and some estate properties as well. There truly is something for everyone at the end of this road.
The full shopping and dining conveniences of Kapolei are about 25 minutes south. It is a little bit of a trip, but with planning and smart shopping, you should do just fine. Besides, for most needs, you'll be able to take care of them in Waianae just down the road.
For those willing, or even attracted, by the remoteness of this town, you're rewarded with home prices that can be more affordable than comparable properties in Oahu real estate
. One reason? The commute to Honolulu is a longer one, ruling it out for many who'd normally jump at the chance to live in a rural, unspoilt part of Hawaii. Their loss can be your gain. Mahaka Real Estate - Something for Every Homebuyer
Dreamt of a beachfront or ocean view condo, but discouraged by the high entry? The Makaha Shores' oceanfront condos
is a very attractive offering that could be in your range. Their studios start at just $200K, putting you in a home fronting one of the finest beaches on the west Oahu shores. Why pay more when the views are as good, if not better, than anywhere else? That's just one of the area's condo buildings that sit right on oceanfront property.
Go back further toward the mountains and you find more affordability, without sacrificing quality one bit. The Mahaka Valley Towers stand against the cooling mountains, yet they retain a view of the ocean in the distance. 1BRs begin in the range of just $100K here.
If more space is required, there's also the Makaha Valley Plantation townhomes, some of which are within sight of the ocean. The townhome layout starts at 2BRs, but the pricing levels commence at the same $100K range. Beauty and affordability rarely go together, but Makaha succeeds in bringing both to the table for you. Now, what about the homes?
Beginning at the shoreline, we'd have to mention the beach homes on Moua, Upena and Makau Streets. You get not only that window onto the fabled Makaha waters, but also large lots to view them from, in sizes from 10,000 to 20,000 sq ft. Rarely do you get that kind of space on the ocean. Here it is common.
Even this far up the coast you'll find new construction as well. The Makaha Oceanview Estates were built in 2013, creating homes of 4,000 to 5,000 sq ft lots on Kili Dr. All 5 models available in this gated community are 3 or 4 BR houses, starting at only $400K. Enough room for even large families.
Head deeper into the valley and you'll find other secured neighborhoods that include every kind of residence for sale â€“ condos, houses & townhomes. The most prestigious addresses, however, are on Maunaolu St. Many locals don't know these estates even exist.
The mansion sized houses lie on lots of 1 acre or more, protected by the mountains on 3 sides. They look out over 2 golf courses, then further on to the ocean sparkling beyond. It's your retreat and hideaway from the stresses of life that only this level of country living can bring.
Those golf courses should tell you something further about Makaha. You are in a different world, no question, but going without isn't part of the entry fee. Unless you count going without traffic jams, noise and high-rises that block you in from the wonders of Hawaii you long to see.
Instead, for the right people, it's a place of great gains. The chance to disconnect from the always accelerating world that has reached even Hawaii's shores. The quiet of tropical evenings broken only by nature's whispering wind and the swaying of palm trees. Most of all, the deep satisfaction that, out here, old Hawaii still has a remarkable spring in her step.Makaha History
Throughout the history of Makaha there have always been some common threads. It is up here on the Leeward Coast of Oahu that people have come to retreat from the reach of outside forces. Most did so because of sweeping changes that came through war or religion. It all began, though, with a group that were truly outsiders.
In Pre-Contact times, Makaha Valley was notorious for a band of thieves who robbed travelers that came through the area. There is a large rock still on the main road that is said to be where the gang's lookout watched for vulnerable passers-by. The next wave of residents would come for different reasons, seeking self-preservation rather than criminal gain.
After King Kamehameha's victory in taking Oahu, he installed his own lieutenants as the new chiefs to rule the Island. Afraid for their lives, many of the old chiefs and their followers fled to Makaha where they would be safe. Up the western coast, far from the main communities, they could live on quietly.
This same process repeated itself just a few decades later when the missionaries arrived, an event that eventually resulted in the ending of the kapu system and the Old Hawaiian religion itself. Again, Makaha was where those practices persevered unlike the rest of the Islands. Once more, this place became the refuge for those who resisted the changes sweeping the lands.
This would probably have remained a low-profile community today as it always had, except for one crucial factor – Surfing. In the days before the North Shore's swells were finally conquered in the 1970's, Makaha was the ultimate destination for big waves. Surfers came from everywhere to try their skills on the 25-foot waves that routinely sweep in here.
Although the surfing focus shifted northward in recent years, Makaha is still a challenge and remains a world-renowned name for board riders. This hasn't been a welcome notoriety with the locals, however.
Makaha residents are defiantly independent and suspicious of outsiders, an attitude that clearly reflects their history. Some of the most beautiful resorts are found up here, yet they're easily the least known. Some residential development has also been done on the lands, but certainly not to the extent of other Oahu towns. Change comes slow here and it usually meets strong resistance.
You'll find incredible beauty up here, but it's vitally important that you recognize the traditions and experience of Makaha when you come up here. Like a hot bath that can be wonderfully refreshing, you need to ease in slowly, lest you get burnt.