The city is to make it more difficult for visitors to park in Lanikai - full details on KITV's website
See our aerial video of Lanikai
showcasing the stunning oceanfront homes.
Lanikai is widely known as the high-end neighborhood of the Island's Windward Side, but it has a different feel than similar neighborhoods on Oahu. If Kahala is the strong statement in luxury living, Lanikai says it in softer, friendlier tones.
You enter this oceanside district immediately upon heading south from Kailua Beach Park. That proximity to this world famous beachfront, and the incredible beauty of the ocean stretching out from these shores, easily puts these properties at the top levels of Oahu real estate.
From here you look out not only on those turquoise swells, but also to the twin Mokulua Islands, which wade in the Pacific out toward the horizon. This part of Oahu's eastern coast is well known for the common sightings of turtles (honu) enjoying a swim, something you're guaranteed to share with your friends no matter how many times it happens. It's that kind of experience.
The Mokulua Islands aren't the only significant couple linked to this neighborhood. Back on land this district has just two main roads that feed traffic in and out, both one way. Together they comprise what's known as the Lanikai Loop. Aalapapa Drive goes along the mountain, or mauka, side while the aptly named Mokulua Drive brings you back on the ocean, or makai, side.
The fact that both streets are not just one way, but one-laned, and with no sidewalks, reflects the exclusivity of the residences here. It's not completely unwelcome to outsiders. There's public beach access that runs between some properties, but street parking is difficult to find by day and non-existent at night. All these conditions create a protective environment, without being overbearing.
Lanikai Homes - Choices High & Low
Lanikai real estate, as noted, is on the higher end of the market, but, in general, still below the very top pricings on a Per Square Footage scale. That square footage for a property here is around 10,000 sq ft on average, but you'll find numerous lots that run from 5,000 to 15,000 sq ft. There's even a few that claim one to two acres, so there's much to choose from in sizes.
There's also a lot of variety in the verticals as well. Lanikai is a rich mix of homes on the flat land that lies toward the shore and those that sit higher and higher up the mountainside. The first are closer to the beach, but the views tend to get better and better as the altitude climbs. Those at the top have an especially envious vantage point of the Pacific and the surrounding Windward Oahu scenery. Overall, there really isn't a bad view in Lanikai, though.
Prices maintain the same varied pattern. Property sells for anything from $1M, which are often teardowns at that level, on up to $10M. Though these are distinctly high end purchases, most houses aren't the massive estates they're expected to be, just from the price point. Credit that to the unique feel of the neighborhood and the fact that you're on this side of the Koolaus.
Elegant Living, Windward Oahu Style
That softer, friendlier tone is clear from the luxury or large beach cottage feel that characterizes much of the homes. It's an echo of the old kamaaina lifestyle where the rich lived well, but not conspicuously. There's no mistaking that this is an upmarket neighborhood, but residents aren't as concerned about flaunting it. They live here for the beauty and serenity, not to be seen or make an impression. That's for the other side of the mountains.
There actually is one other part to Lanikai, with its own distinct flavor. It's the Bluestone townhome
community that's perched above Mid Pacific Country Club
. Built in 1979, it is also made up of 2 main streets, one of which falls in this neighborhood. The other is considered part of Enchanted Lakes
. These residences have views out over the golf course and further on to the ocean.
Though not a part of traditional Lanikai, they share some of the same outlooks and are worth considering for those looking for something that, while upscale, fall below the $1M mark that the main neighborhood starts at usually.
No matter where you are, up the hills or not, you're never more than a minute or two from the sand. Lanikai Beach was made for swimming and, as you'll see for yourself, windsurfing, too. Head down there and, at times, you'll feel as if you stepped into a living photograph - the bottomlessly blue sky, the laughter of your neighbors carried by the cooling winds and the waters ceaselessly approaching and then retreating in its own uneven rhythm.
In a way, that's your life in Lanikai. An unending cycle of tropical days that have a reassuring sameness but with more than enough little unpredictabilities that will continually peak your interest.
You may also be interested in....
Kailua Beachside homes
and if you are open to luxury homes outside Kailua, check out Diamond Head homes
and Kahala homes