Windward Oahu homes - Kailua, Kaneohe and more

Beachside in Kailua

Windward Oahu starts where the North Shore ends and it spans to Waimanalo.  Windward Oahu's best known neighborhoods are Kailua, Kaneohe and Lanikai.

The windward side of Oahu gets more rain than other areas.  The added rain keeps the Ko'olau mountain range green and provides the tropical rainforest setting as you travel these neighborhoods.

Along the coastline, homes near the ocean are very popular.  Kaneohe Bay homes have great views of the water with areas for fishing, kayaking and surfing.  Lanikai has beautiful sandy beaches in a drier, sunny area.

The windward side is like a neighbor island apart from Honolulu.  Employment opportunities in Kailua town and Kaneohe make it possible to live and work on this side of the island without daily commutes to "the other side" of Oahu.

Windward Oahu map

There are four ways to drive to the windward side of Oahu.  The first and oldest route is the road that travels around the island, called Kamehameha Highway in some areas and Kalanianaole Highway in other areas.

Three roadways travel through the Ko'olau mountain range to the windward side.  H-3 freeway is the newest route, coming from Halawa Valley, near Pearl Harbor.  The Likelike Highway originates in Kalihi Valley and goes to Kaneohe.  The Pali Highway was the first tunnel linking Honolulu and the windward side. The Pali begins in Nu'uanu and travels to Kailua.


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Why it's called the Windward side and how it affects the weather

Hawaii's trade winds normally come from the northeasterly direction.  Kailua, Kane'ohe and other neighborhoods on this side of the island get the tradewind breeze first.   Wind usually brings moist air.  As the air is forced over the Ko'olau mountain range it releases rain.  The rainwater travels via streams and tunnels to our water reservoirs, supplying the majority of Oahu's drinking and irrigation water.

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