Saint Louis Drive is the main road in and out of the neighborhood, beginning at Waialae Avenue, where Kaimuki's City Mill hardware store is located. Heading up Saint Louis Drive, the first left turn onto Dole Street heads to Manoa Valley and the University of Hawaii campus. Continuing up Saint Louis Drive, the first right turn is Kaminaka Drive. An interesting thing about Kaminaka Drive and the other streets on this side of Saint Louis Heights is that the electrical and telephone wiring is underground. The lack of overhead wiring provides for some great views of Diamond Head and the coastline.
As nice as these views are, Saint Louis Heights has other features to offer. Further along Saint Louis Drive, Alencastre Street on the right is a straight shot up the hill on the east side.
While Saint Louis Drive and other streets in the upper parts of Saint Louis Heights have above-ground electrical and telephone poles, the altitude and terrain still provide great views of Honolulu and the ocean. For example, take a look at this view from the back yard of a home on Alencastre Street.
Most Saint Louis Heights homes were built in the 1950's and 1960's. Because of the great location in town, owners tend to take care of their vintage homes and make them last. Occasionally a home is demolished due to old age, termites etc. and a new home pops up in the area.
In 2011 the average home sale price in Saint Louis Heights was $740,750. The average home sold had 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths and 1,700 square feet of living space. Saint Louis Heights homes hold their values because there is limited inventory - there were 20 sales in 2011.
Lot sizes run about 5,500 square feet on average. Being that this community is on a hillside, often times the yards have some steep terrain or terraces. Level, flat yards in Saint Louis Heights are the exception, not the norm.
Saint Louis Heights is close to downtown Honolulu, providing for short commutes. The University of Hawaii at Manoa campus is even closer, just down the hill and to the west.
This ridge named Kalaepohaku is sandwiched between Manoa Valley and Palolo Valley. At the base of the ridge, Saint Louis School is named after King Louis IX of France. After the school campus moved to its current location, the neighborhood called Kalaepohaku became known as Saint Louis Heights.
The streets of Saint Louis Heights are named after priests, administrators and educators associated with the school along with other Catholic institutions, primarily from the period of the late 1800's to the early 1900's.
Saint Louis School moved to its present location and began holding classes at this campus in 1928. Prior to that Saint Louis School was located at Washington Place, which is now the Hawaii State Governor's mansion.
Near the top of Saint Louis Heights is the Wa'ahila Recreation Area, a Hawaii State Park. The transformation from residential homes to a quiet park with views of Manoa and Palolo Valleys, along with a 2.4 mile hiking trail is surprising. It's one of the better kept secrets on Oahu.
At the entry to the park, elevation is about 1,000 feet above sea level. The elevation and abundance of tall trees makes for cooler temperatures and relaxing sounds of wind blowing through the trees.
Should you visit the park, please keep an eye out for mountain bike riders on the trails. Some hikers might have dogs on the trail too. Dogs should be kept on a leash.
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