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Diamond head

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Aloha! Welcome to Diamond Head

On the southeastern shore of Oahu lies the “Gold Coast” community of Diamond Head. This upscale neighborhood located between the towns of Kahala and Kaimuki sits oceanfront east of Waikiki, giving residents breathtaking views of crystal-clear waters, white sand, and beautiful sunsets every single day. Homes for sale in Diamond Head are not only set in a stunning natural landscape, they provide easy access to a raft of top-end amenities. In Diamond, you can have it all.

Here we’ll guide you through living in Diamond Head. It might just be that what was seemingly a distant dream is well within your reach and paradise, only a call away.

Brief history

The Diamond Head neighborhood is named after the Diamond Head crater, one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii. The crater, also known as Lēʻahi in Hawaiian, is part of the Honolulu Volcanic Series. One of the most famous volcanic formations in the world, it is also one of the most photographed and painted spots in Oahu.

Diamond Head was purchased by the federal government in 1904 for $3,300 to serve as a military facility, along with other surrounding areas. Because of its elevation and steep mountain walls, it served as a perfect spot to fire at incoming ships in the nearby waters. The first U.S. military reserve in Hawaii was Fort Ruger, which was built inside the crater of Diamond Head. A reminder of its military past, many of the gun emplacements, pillboxes, and foxholes still remain on the crater rim. The Birkheimer Tunnel, which was built in 1916, is still being used to this day as the headquarters for the State Civil Defense Agency. At present, the mountain and crater has been converted to a state park and is now known as the Diamond Head State Monument.

Diamond Head in a snapshot

With its breathtaking views, rich culture, and strategic location, Diamond Head has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Hawaii. Here’s a look at Diamond Head in a snapshot.

  • The Diamond Head community is located in the greater Diamond Head Region, an upscale section of Honolulu comprised of several neighborhoods offering views of enchanting white sand beaches, awe-inspiring ocean scenes, and the grandeur of the Hawaii islands. Other neighborhoods you can find in the region are Aina Haina, Kahala, Kapahulu, and Kaimuki.

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Diamond Head region has a total population of 10,975 residents.

  • Out of its 4,830 households in the area, 50.72% are family establishments and 49.28% are non-family units. Only 53.06% of the housing units here are owner-occupied with the rest being renter-occupied.

  • Diamond Head boasts beach weather all year round. Temperatures normally stay in the 70s and 80s, which is perfect for water activities such as surfing, stand up paddling, and kayaking. During winter, you might catch a glimpse of migratory humpback or koholas whales in the waters of Oahu.

Diamond Head homes for sale

Diamond Head has some of the most desirable properties in Honolulu. This exclusive area offers various real estate options such as beachfront estates, upscale oceanfront condominiums, sophisticated townhouses, and charming 1920s homes that are located close to Kapiolani Park.

Beautiful house with pool along the beach in 3d renders

As well as the beautiful views residents of Diamond Head also enjoy the convenience of being located near shopping, dining, and entertainment establishments in Waikiki and Kahala. Plus, living in this neighborhood means easy access to Honolulu’s finest beaches, hiking trails, and other significant natural and historical landmarks.

With these factors, it is expected that Diamond Head homes for sale are priced higher than properties of the same size sold in other states. The housing market in Honolulu is still one of the most expensive in the country, with a median sale price that’s 22% higher than the national average. Condo units start at around $500,000, while single-family homes start at the million mark and easily go much higher.

Since Diamond Head is located in Honolulu, a global tourist destination and major economic hub in the Pacific, owning a property here provides lucrative opportunities for short-term rentals, which can be a source of passive income for investors. The substantial military presence in the area also increases the demand for rental properties, given that military assignments are usually just temporary.

Living in Diamond Head

What’s it like living in a tropical paradise like Diamond Head? Here’s what makes the community one of the best neighborhoods in Honolulu.

Cost of living

Being situated in Honolulu –– Hawaii’s business and cultural center –– living in Diamond Head comes with a relatively high cost of living. In 2020, Kiplinger reported Honolulu in the top 20 most expensive cities in the U.S., with a cost of living that’s 84% higher than the national average. Here’s how this will affect your expenses:

  • Housing: 214% higher than the national average
  • Utilities: 42% higher than the national average
  • Transportation: 26% higher than the national average
  • Food and grocery: 50% higher than the national average
  • Healthcare: 18% higher than the national average

Though an exclusive area, the benefits of living in Diamond Head seem to very much outweigh the expense. It’s also true that those looking to live here have the means to enjoy the paradise with the median household income in Honolulu coming in at $92,600 as of 2022, considerably higher than the national average of $74,580.

The city of Honolulu ranked #18 in the 30 Happiest Cities in America, a testament to the sense of community and well-being in the area. Honolulu may be an expensive place to live in compared to other cities, but it’s worth the trade-off when you experience the high quality of life that this city offers.

Getting around

Oahu has many different modes of transportation that make it easy to explore the island.

  • Taxi
    You can easily spot taxi stands at the airport, in the business district, and major shopping centers. However, locals and frequent visitors here know that finding taxi stands or calling for pick-ups is the normal practice. So when you’re in Hawaii, do what the Hawaiians do!

  • TheBus
    Getting around the island is easy with Oahu’s public bus system known as TheBus. Its routes cover pretty much most of the island, with buses that generally run every 15 or 30 minutes. Fares are to be paid with the exact amount upon boarding as drivers do not carry cash for change. You can also buy a HOLO Card ahead of time, a reloadable smart card you can use to pay for rides.

  • Waikiki Trolley
    If you want to try traveling on a double-decker bus, try the Waikiki Trolley. It’s a fun way to travel around Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This hop-on, hop-off trolley has five lines that stop by the Diamond Head State Monument, Ala Moana Center, and other key attractions.

  • On foot
    Oahu’s top tourist attractions are not that far away from one another. Sightseeing on foot is easy with some attractions such as Iolani Palace and Honolulu Museum of Art just within walking distance from each other. So if you enjoy walking and getting some exercise, exploring on foot is a great way to get an immersive feel of the island.


There’s more to Diamond Head than living a luxurious beach lifestyle. Parents will be happy to know that the area has some of the best schools in Honolulu from pre-school to higher learning. Top performing public and private schools in the Diamond Head-Kapahulu-St. Louis area include:

The city is also home (or near) to some of the best colleges and universities in Hawaii, such as:

The area provides easy access to quality education to its residents, making it a suitable choice to settle down for families with children. Living in Diamond Head means living a healthy balance between fun and learning.


Diamond Head has a wealth of establishments where residents and visitors can dine out. The restaurant scene caters to those looking for a fine dining experience but also to those just looking to hang out with friends or have a casual meal with the family. Here are some select spots you should try.

Romantic seaside restaurant at sunset
  • Diamond Head Market & Grill. This restaurant is known for its classic American dishes infused with Asian and island flavors. Savor the goodness of their hamburger steak plate smothered with caramelized onions and made-from-scratch brown gravy. If you’re craving Japanese food, try their Char Siu Pork glazed with sweet-red BBQ sauce. They also offer delectable desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  • South Shore Grill. The home of Honolulu’s best fish tacos, South Shore Grill is another local favorite in the area. This family-run restaurant has been serving delightful burgers, burritos, and sandwiches in the neighborhood since 2004.

  • Hau Tree. Cap your day with a sip of your favorite drink at Hau Tree. This renowned restaurant offers the best beachside menu offerings, including their notable ‘ahi burger and cocktail drinks designed for every liquid traveler.

  • Miro Kaimuki. For a fine dining experience inspired by the best French cuisine, try Miro Kaimuki. The dishes are lavish with excellent presentation that will delight both the eyes and the taste buds. You’ll need to make a reservation for dinner at this establishment.

  • Arancino. If you’re looking for Neopolitan cuisine, Aranciino can serve authentic Italian fare. As well as a good selection of perfectly cooked pasta dishes, there’s a great choice of seafood.

  • Ono Seafood. This is a great establishment for great seafood without the fanfare. This no-frills restaurant has outdoor seating so locals and visitors can pop in and enjoy fresh seafood perfectly prepared.


Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind local finds or branded luxury items, the shopping options you’ll find in the area will not disappoint. Here are some of the malls and centers you’ll become familiar with in and around Diamond Head.

  • T Galleria Hawaii: Has the largest selection of duty-free shopping in Oahu.
  • Ward Village Shops: Lined up with local restaurants and shops that sell unique island-style art and wares.
  • Ala Moana Center: One of the largest outdoor malls in the world.
  • Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. A beautiful high-end entertainment and shopping center with everything needed for a great time out. 
  • Kahala Mall. A fine place where you can eat shop and use a variety of services. 
  • Monsarrat and Kapahulu Blvd. These areas have a selection of boutique shops where the discerning shopper can find unique items. 

Recreational activities

The neighborhood promises plenty of recreation opportunities that are intrinsically tied to the heart and soul of Hawaii.

  • Hike the Diamond Head Summit Trail. This world-famous hiking trail is a 1.6-mile roundtrip with a 560-foot elevation. This can be challenging for some people, especially on hot summer days. However, along the trail, you’ll find benches to rest on. The path is also paved making the hike easier, and the steepest portions are equipped with stairs for everyone’s safety. People take on this trail just to get a bird’s eye view of Honolulu and the southern shoreline.

  • Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. Along the Kaiwi shoreline, this trail offers fantastic views of Koko Crater and the offshore islets. On the trail, you’re likely to see a great deal of the natural wildlife in the area including many birds and possibly humpback whales.

  • Koko Crater Steps. For something a little more challenging, make your way up Koko Crater Steps. As you ascend the view becomes more glorious culminating in a wonderful sense of achievement and a panoramic view of the entire area. Typically taking 30 mins to an hour, you can go at your own pace to fully enjoy the experience.

  • Hanauma Bay. This natural preserve has a raft of activities to enjoy, including snorkeling and sailing in some of the clearest waters in the region. Though a protected area, Hanauma Bay strikes a balance between, protecting the environment and wildlife and making the area open to visitors. 

  • Spend a day at Kapiolani Park. The Kapiolani Regional Park is the second oldest public park on Oahu and dates back to the late 1800s. It serves as a green oasis amidst the urban landscape of Diamond Head and Waikiki. Equipped with top facilities for soccer, baseball, and other team sports, it’s a great place to get some exercise. If you want a more relaxing, educational day out, you can go to the Honolulu Zoo to see various wildlife and exotic species from tropical rainforests and savannahs. Kapiolani Park also serves as a venue for various outdoor festivals promoting Hawaiian culture with music, dance, and food. Every Saturday, the park transforms into a bustling farmers market where you can find various fresh produce and handmade crafts.

  • Enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Diamond Head. It goes without saying that living in Diamond Head means enjoying the sunny weather and warm ocean breeze every single day. Grab your surfboard, take a swim, or just take a stroll along the white sands as you embrace the Aloha spirit.

These are just some of the excellent reasons why people fall in love with the area, there are many more, something you’ll discover when you visit.

Own a part of paradise in Diamond Head

If you’d like to know more about your real estate options in this tropical paradise, you can explore Diamond Head homes for sale with the help of Taniguchi & Associates.

Real estate agent showing a mature couple a new house

Erik Taniguchi is a licensed REALTOR® with more than 12 years of experience in the industry. His market knowledge combined with top-end customer service provides his clients with a first-rate buying experience and gears them toward reaching their financial goals. With Erik’s team, you get the service you deserve.

Contact Erik and his team today at 808.285.3422 or send an email here to learn more about Diamond Head homes for sale. We look forward to hearing from you!

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