The eight significant regions on Oahu:
- Metro Honolulu: This includes the dense urban area of Honolulu and all of the new high rises in Kakaako, Ala Moana, and Waikiki. There are also older neighborhoods with smaller apartment buildings and single family home neighborhoods like Manoa and Kaimuki.
- East Oahu: The East side of the island tends to be drier and sunnier. This area extends through some of Oahu's most expensive neighborhoods including Diamond Head, Kahala, Hawaii Loa Ridge and Portlock. Hawaii Kai is a particularly popular area because there is a marina that extends through much other community and there are homes, townhomes, and condos on the marina with docks.
- Windward Oahu: Windward Oahu is on the Northeastern side of the island. This is generally the wettest and coolest side of the island. Much of the area has onshore breezes. This area extends from Waimanalo all the way to Punaluu and Hauula. This includes Kailua town, an immensely popular town with a beautiful long white sand beach. The town has some exclusive neighborhoods like Lanikai and Beachside. Kaneohe is also a large town which is between the dramatic Ko'olau mountains and Kaneohe Bay.
- The North Shore: The North Shore is famous for surfing. During the winter months, the surf can get quite big and draws world-renowned surf competitions at such places like Sunset, Pipeline and Waimea beaches. The North Shore is both country and a beach atmosphere. The main town towns along this coast are Laie, Kahuku, and Haleiwa. Pupukea is one of the only neighborhoods that is not on the beach, and it has larger parcels perfect for a large house and even horses. Moklueia is the last neighborhood before the end of the island at Kaena Point.
- Leeward Coast: The Leeward Coast is on the southwest side of the island. This perhaps the driest part of the island, although it is not a desert by any means. The main town, Waianae, has many ranches and farm fields close to the mountains. The area of Makaha is home to one of Oahu's most beautiful beaches, and it is excellent for surfing. It is a small town, and this has some of the least expensive beachfront properties on the island.
- Ewa Plains: This area used to be covered with sugar cane plantations. This area has Kapolei, Oahu's second city. Many of the government services are being relocated out here. It also includes Ewa, Ewa Beach and the hillside area of Makakilo. There are many small communities of new and new homes in this region. Ko Olina is the big destination resort in this area. There are townhome communities and condos with golf courses and luxury hotels nearby.
- Mililani - Wahiawa This is in the center of the island. Wahiawa is an old town and is a rural community. Mililani and Mililani Mauka are two master-planned communities. There are all sorts of single-family home and townhome communities throughout this area. Eventually, this will also be the location of Koa Ridge, which is the future master-planned community located between Wahiawa and Mililani.
- Aiea - Pearl City area is just outside the metro Honolulu area and is above Pearl Harbor. If you have an ocean view from here, there is an excellent chance you will have a look over Pearl Harbor. This area has primarily moderately priced single-family homes and some condos and townhomes. The location is close to Honolulu, which allows for less time for the commute.
Oahu is Hawaii's most populated island. It is where Honolulu, the state capitol is located. Many people prefer this island because even if you live out in the country, like remote places on North Shore, Waimanalo, or on the Waianae coast, you can still drive into the urban center and experience all of the shopping and attractions of the urban core.
Initially, Oahu was an agriculture mecca. With the major crops being sugar cane and pineapple. Over the past century, farmlands have been converted to mostly housing in the form of subdivisions. The primary economic drivers here are tourism, the Department of Defense and construction, with tourism being by far the most significant source of revenue for the island.
Waikiki has historically where all of the tourists stay. The vast majority of hotels are located here including a new Ritz-Carlton, the Halekulani, The Moana Surfrider and the iconic Ilikai. Other pockets of hotels have emerged on the island including Ko Olina Resorts on the west side have opened up.