Manoa, consisting of the entire Manoa valley and towered by the magnificent Koolau mountain range, is one of Honolulu’s most favored residential communities. Manoa is best known for its lush and tropical vegetation, beautiful waterfalls and rainbows, and great walkability. It is rich in historic hawaiiana and a multi-cultural heritage. Just minutes from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, the residents of Manoa live in a cornucopia of idyllic natural beauty. Driving through the gracious streets of Manoa, one can’t help but notice the tremendous pride of ownership the residents of this valley have. Much of the neighborhood is composed of private houses built before the 1960’s, some low-rise condominiums, schools and some commercial buildings. Manoa Valley is home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the flagship campus of the University of Hawaii System, making this quiet residential location a true university town. Other educational institutions located in Manoa include Manoa Elementary School, Nolan Elementary School, Punahou School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Saint Francis School, and a handful of small, private, pre-schools. The central shopping area of Manoa is Manoa Marketplace, which features farmer's markets several days of the week and several quaint eateries.
Manoa Valley, with its magnificent tropical foliage, fertile soil and abundant rainfall, was once a rich agricultural area that included taro farms and cattle ranches, quaint cottages and horse-drawn wagons. Traces of Manoa’s bygone area can be seen reflected in the many ancient rock walls that crisscross the valley and the still present simple existence of a sleepy community. Manoa Valley has special meaning for the people of O’ahu as successive generations and multicultural forces continue to shape this community and perpetuate the valley’s lasting legacy.
Central Manoa is really the heart of the valley consisting of the Central Manoa neighborhoods and Manoa’s commercial district that consists of a variety of mom and pop restaurants, neighborhood banks, drycleaners, hair salons, a music store, bakery, dental care, therapeutic massage and chiropractic services, Safeway, Long's, Starbucks, counter-style eateries like Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies and Off The Hook Poke Market, boutiques, a Japanese language school and a quaint Manoa Valley Theater that are all part of this wonderful self-contained community.
Upper Manoa is really a special area of Manoa. Tucked in the very back of the valley, this neighborhood consists of older, single-wall construction well-cared for homes. The climate in the back of the valley is wetter than the rest of Manoa and possesses an almost rainforest-like atmosphere. The views from the back of the valley put the whole community into perspective as you can take in all of Manoa at once, looking straight down the valley.
One of Manoa’s most desirable aspects is its central location and easy access to Downtown Honolulu’s financial district, Waikiki, convenient freeway access to go west to Pearl Harbor or East towards Hawaii Kai. Lower Manoa is filled with all the hustle and bustle similar to most collage towns around the country and the annual stream of students and faculty bring a certain familiar energy to the well educated surrounding Manoa community that plays a key role in keeping real estate values stable. In addition to the University of Manoa, other Manoa area schools include Punahou School, Mid Pacific Institute, Maryknoll, St. Francis, as well as two public elementary schools Noelani and Manoa. Typical of an established college town, many are drawn to the academic neighborhood because they are a teacher, professor or education administrator keeping the rental and housing market strong.
The Woodlawn area is located on the northeast portion of Manoa Valley and is sheltered by the Wa’ahila ridge of the Ko’olau range. The name “Woodlawn” is derived from the Woodlawn Dairy and Stock Company, whose cows grazed on this hillside during the 1880’s. This area of the valley tends to be a bit hotter as it captures the afternoon sun.