I moved to Honolulu ten years ago from a small town in Florida called Seffner. I remember getting off the plane the night I landed in Honolulu and the air was filled with the smell of fresh flowers. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the smell of pikake and tuberose leis; I instantly fell in love. Being from a small town proved to be a bit of a culture shock; not only is Honolulu very densely populated but there are so many different cultures and ethnicities here as well.
I have lived in different parts of Honolulu over the last ten years but nowhere ever quite felt like home. Fast forward to April 2015 and my boyfriend and I were looking for a home to buy, one of our requirements were that it was quiet and out of the main city. We quickly learned that we could get so much more "bang for our buck" by going further west.
Makaha is a town in Waianae, located approximately an hour to an hour and a half from Honolulu or about 30 minutes from Kapolei. There is only one way in and one way out of Waianae, and it is two lanes both ways. On one of my first drives out to Makaha, I fell in love with the fact that the road was lined with ocean views for most of the way, and immediately said "THIS I could get used to"; rolling down the window, I was greeted by the smell of the ocean.
One thing you won't see in Makaha is all of the big name companies lining the streets; there is no Wal-mart, Target, or even Safeway, what you will find is small local stores like Waianae Store or Tamura's Superette.
The west side gets a bad rap, but in all my years living on O'ahu, it has some of the friendliest people I've ever met by far. When I leave my home in the morning, I am almost always greeted with a friendly smile and "hello" or "good morning" from neighbors in passing.
Another benefit of living in Makaha is that there is a beach no more than 10 minutes away from where you are. My home happens to be right on the beach, like many in Makaha, and I just walk out a back gate to get to it. The beaches here are clean and often empty. When you do see someone else on the beach, they are just as friendly as your neighbors – I've even had a family come up and offer me fresh mango!
If you're like me and enjoy sitting on the beach while the sun sets over the ocean, then there is no better place to be. Once the sun has disappeared, stick around for what I like to call the main event – STARS! If you've stayed in Waikiki or Honolulu, you know that seeing the stars at night is next to impossible among all of the high rises and bright lights but in Makaha stars blanket the sky.
If you want to be a part of a community and enjoy the small town or country-feel, there is no place better than Makaha to call home!