26 March 2013


If you’re moving (or PCS) to Schofield Barracks, you’re moving to the most geographically isolated group of habitated islands in the world — welcome to Hawaii!  This isn’t a bad thing (you’re in paradise), but it can be very challenging to understand what to expect, and make the best decision for your military housing situation, because not much precise, up-to-date info exists out there — and when you try to find it, people try to sell you stuff.  Not me!  So, let me give you my advice on best practices and the mistakes you’ll regret making!
Bottom line up front — live on the North Shore (or you’ll never forgive yourself)!
Oahu is beautiful, sometimes beyond words.  Spend as much time out in nature as possible, especially on weekends.  I spent time living both inland and on the water.  I’m telling you — live by the water!  If you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life (seriously).  Take advantage of Hawaii’s beaches and nature.  You joined the military for adventure, anyway! ;-)
Great, so where should I live on the North Shore?
Deciding to live on the North Shore gives you a few general options.  Every place else would be too long of a commute (I’ll explain more), and just not worth it since it’s a small island and you can drive anywhere you’d like on the weekend anyway.
Your options on the North Shore are essentially:  Haleiwa, Waialua, Mokuleia, and Pupukea.  Check out this map as I explain more.

Pros —
  • 10-15 min commute both ways to/from Schofield.  
  • You can enter/exit the base at the gate with the LEAST amount of traffic build up — don’t underestimate how nice this is!
  • Walking distance to Oahu’s famous (for good reason) north shore beaches
  • Tons of beach-related stuff to do — come on, get a nice tan!  Go to some of the best snorkel/surf spots on earth.  Ride your bike there.
  • Opposite of city living — it’s quiet and non-industrial
  • Easy drive to Schofield’s commissary to get groceries, etc.
Cons —
  • Tourists get bused up to Halewia from Honolulu almost every day.
  • Halewia can feel very touristy on the main strips — lots of quasi-aloha junk for tourists in TOmmy Bahama shirts to buy.
  • Not as close to the beach as Mokuleia or Waialua (although it’s a close call)
Same pros-cons as Haleiwa (its closest comparison), except for these points…
  • Waialua is quieter and more removed from the tourist scene — you can really get away from it all
  • You’re a little bit closer to the water
Same pros-cons as Waialua (its closest comparison), except for these points…
  • 5 min further drive (at least) to Schofield
  • Even more removed from Haleiwa, which is nice — but you’ll have a further drive to Halewia if you need to make a quick run for groceries or to a restaurant
Same pros-cons as Haleiwa (its closest comparison), except for these points…
  • Closer to awesome surf spots like Pipeline, Sunset, and Waimea Bay.
  • Longer, more tedious drive to/from Schofield.  The road is 2 lanes — 1 lane each way.  There’s one road you can take, basically.  Traffic can get bogged down badly during rush hour by Waimea Bay as you head due northeast from Halewia.  Living here would add at least 10 mins each way to your commute.  On the way home, you may even add something like 30 mins due to traffic.
  • Pupukea is actually more up in the foothills that look down on the coastline.  There is an “Upper” and “Lower” Pupukea.  Lower doesn’t have many options (small supply), and Upper is a windy uphill drive to get to your place.
Finally, it’s critical to connect with military people at Schofield prior to moving out there.  There’s really only one place on the internet that is for current military personnel only — and that’s RallyPoint.com, the first-ever professional network for the US military.  I would check out the site (it’s free) and search for Schofield Barracks, HI — and then see everyone who is (or used to be) stationed at Schofield Barracks.  Their advice will be invaluable!

1 comment:

  1. For too long I've been accidentally living in a state of flux, hating the idea of moving again but knowing practically I would have to again soon with https://www.moveprola.com/valley-village-moving-company/. Where I'm living now is getting more expensive, and I'm growing out of my place here. Not because it's too small, the new place has a smaller room, but because I'm ready to move on. The fact that I'll be living downtown, a short walk to everything I've been itching to explore, only makes the idea more exciting.