Waiahole Beach Park,
view from Waiahole Beach Park, Windward Oahu, Honolulu Directions, Oahu, November 2006 Greg Ward—Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

33. Koolaupoko, Hawaii

Sep 17, 2016
Median Home Price$766,500
Property Tax$2,364
Unemployment rate3.6%
Commute time26 minutes

If you think of Hawaii as just a vacation destination, Koolaupoko might surprise you. This southeastern district off the windward coast of Oahu has the lush valleys, gorgeous beaches, and barrier reefs that the 50th state is known, along with a lesser-known but rich history. Koolaupoko ("Ko'olau" means "windward"; "poko" means "small") supported one of the largest populations in the islands prior to British explorer James Cook’s arrival in 1778. Its proximity to downtown Honolulu—a 30-minute drive to hotels, resorts, and restaurants—means there are tons of jobs nearby. (Koolaupoko boasts a low 3.6% unemployment rate.) And the new Windward Mall in Kaneohe gives locals plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as a two-days-per-week farmers’ market.

One caveat: Housing costs take a serious bite of Koolaupoko residents’ earnings. The median home price through July 2016 was a steep $766,500. Median household income is $87,342.

Find homes for sale in Koolaupoko

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions