Though it is best known as the site of Ala Moana Center, the largest open air shopping center in the world, Ala Moana is much more than just the mall. Bordered by a long stretch of exceptionally beautiful shoreline, the beach and the long narrow park abutting it are a huge draw for residents and visitors alike. Sleek high rise towers dot the horizon, with exciting new luxury developments recently opened and under construction, and fantastic dining and nightlife options abound.
1. WHAT TO EXPECT
Cosmopolitan amenities and natural splendor, all within a few square miles. The mall crowds don’t ever stop and the beach is often as crowded as it is beautiful, but the balance of tourists and locals keeps the neighborhood from feeling too hectic.
2. THE LIFESTYLE
Fast paced—for Hawai‘i, at least—and stylish, the neighborhood is a destination for foodies, shoppers, and surfers. Ala Moana is growing in popularity as a residential area, particularly in the luxury market, and as one of O‘ahu’s most walkable areas, has great green-appeal.
3. WHAT NOT TO EXPECT
Hiking, jungle, or local vibes—Ala Moana is all bustle, which is part of its charm.
4. THE MARKET
New and renovated luxury high rise condos and co-ops, with limited availability of older single family homes.
5. YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH
The walking lifestyle and quick commute to all points on the South Shore, and enough excellent restaurants to have a different destination dinner every night of the week.
Walkable, Bikeable, Shopper’s Paradise, Tourist Attraction, Easy Commute, Vibrant, Beach
Airport: 15m by car
Downtown: 10m by car
Diamond Head: 15m by car
North Shore: 45m by car
Kapolei: 40m by car
East to West Kalakaua Ave. to Queen St and Pensacola St.
North to South S King St. to ocean
Nearby Neighborhoods Waikiki, Moiliili, Kaka‘ako
Ala Moana has long been the place to come for retail therapy or a five star dinner. In recent years, the burgeoning crop of luxury residential towers has also made it home for some of the vibrant young professionals of Honolulu’s business and creative industries. Always a place to play, the exciting buzz of Ala Moana proper pairs well with the more laid-back residential corners of the neighborhood, where long time residents enjoy a quiet—and incredibly convenient—quality of life.
It’s an easy stroll from the heart of Ala Moana Center to the beach park, where the long stretches of grass and paved pathways flank the sandy-bottom beach.
Far from being the eyesore that the word “mall” can evoke, Ala Moana Center is actually a fabulous amenity to have in one’s proverbial backyard. Some of the island’s best restaurants, from the uber-exclusive Vintage Cave Club and the posh lunchtime café Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, to the always-solid poke bar at Foodland, can be found within the confines of the shopping center.
Ala Moana Center draws huge numbers of tourists to the area, so it’s a live-and-let live kind of thing. Fortunately, the spillover of mall crowds tends to stay in the main commercial center, leaving the beach park and surrounding neighborhood a little calmer.
A number of exciting new developments are in the works or nearing completion in the development zone that has been dubbed “Midtown Ala Moana.” The soaring 400’ Keeaumoku Towers, scheduled for completion in late 2020, boasts 964 units (128 of which are affordable units).
Joining the crop of new towers are Azure Ala Moana, which sold quickly but still has several units left on the market, the all-condo Sky Ala Moana, and the forthcoming ultra-luxury Mandarin Oriental Honolulu, a mixed residential and hotel project that claims the title of Most Expensive Penthouse in Hawai’i with its top-of-the-house coming it at a cool $35mil.
Home to both a celebrated performance wave and long stretches of sandy bottom beach that stays calm even when swells come in, water life in Ala Moana is hard to beat.
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