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Named for a native word that means "land division," Aiea, Hawaii, stretches from its northernmost mountains to the Aiea Bay, which is part of Pearl Harbor. Aiea is located on the island of Oahu, about eight miles to the west of Honolulu's downtown area.
The History of Aiea
The Honolulu Plantation Co. operated a sugarcane plantation in the Aiea area in the 19th century. During World War II, Aiea and the surrounding area was the scene of significant conflict, most notably the attack on nearby Pearl Harbor. Many military facilities and docked ships in Aiea were also attacked, and the area sustained quite a bit of damage. After World War II, the sugarcane plantation was shut down while its mill was converted into a large sugar refinery.
After that, developers stretched the borders of the town of Aiea into neighboring sugarcane fields, in an effort to keep the local economy alive. As a result, Aiea is currently an important Honolulu suburb with a rich sugar history. Its sugar industry ended with the closing of the C&H sugar refinery.
Things to Do in Aiea
Aiea is home to Hawaii's largest enclosed shopping center, Pearlridge. The mall is separated into two sections (called Uptown and Downtown) that are accessible via monorail. Hawaii's largest watercress farm is also located on the Pearlridge campus. If you enjoy sports, you can attend games at Aiea's Aloha Stadium. The stadium hosts games for the University of Hawaiʻi Warriors football team as well as the NFL's Pro Bowl.
The ancient Kea'iwa Heiau temple ruins are also located in Aiea. This ancient medicine shrine was built sometime during the 17th century, surrounded by plants that many natives believe to have healing powers. It offers camping, a scenic walking trail and extensive views of Pearl Harbor. The walking trail also provides views of a crashed World War II plane.
Aiea schools are part of the Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area (Central District), served by the Hawaii Department of Education. Students living in town will most likely attend Aiea Elementary, Aiea Intermediate and Aiea High School. There are also a number of private schools in the area, including Our Savior Lutheran School, Calvary Chapel Christian School, Grace Christian Academy and St. Elizabeth Elementary School.
Resources for Moving to Aiea
Here's some handy information to help you plan your move to Aiea:
- Utilities: Hawaiian Electric is the major electricity provider in the area. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply manages water and sewer services.
- Garbage and Recycling: Your trash, recyclables and bulky items will all be collected on a consistent schedule.
- Transportation: The county transit system is referred to as The Bus and operates on several different routes throughout the area.
It's no secret that buying a home in Aiea is going to be expensive, especially because Honolulu ranks as one of the priciest housing markets in the entire country. Because of Aiea's proximity to Honolulu, its cost of living is significantly higher than the national average. Rent is also very expensive, with averages climbing well above $2,000 a month. However, many people choose to call Aiea home despite the expense because of its scenic location and numerous amenities.