Off-campus Community


Our Off-campus Community

BYU-Hawaii is located 38 miles from Honolulu, and can be reached via the scenic Kamehameha highway which runs alongside the ocean front. The speed limit in most single-lane highways in the island is 35 mph. Therefore, under normal traffic conditions it takes about one hour to reach Laie by car.

Our students typically live in the town of Laie and our neighboring towns of Kahuku and Hau’ula, which are about a 5-10 minute drive from Laie and line the ocean front. These three communities have large LDS populations and are centrally connected through BYU-Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the LDS Hawaii Temple.

Students living in Laie can get around by foot, bike or car. It’s about a 5-25 minute walk to the university from just about anywhere in Laie, by bike it’s about 5-10 minutes, and less than 5 minutes by car. Students living in our neighboring towns of Kahuku and Hau’ula can get to Laie by car in 5-10 minutes.

The island has quite an effective public bus system, called "The Bus." It offers air-conditioned buses that run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends. Special bus passes at a discounted rate are offered to our BYU-Hawaii students, and may be purchased at our Aloha Center Information desk upon arrival.

The university provides a Free Aloha Late Night Shuttle Service to all students living off-campus. This shuttle leaves each night at 10pm and 12am midnight, Monday through Saturday, and will drop off students to their off-campus residence in Laie, Kahuku, Hau’ula and Punalu’u. Students should sign in at the Security Office 10-15 minutes prior to departure as shuttles will leave promptly at 10pm and 12am midnight. Any student living off-campus may take advantage of this free service. 

Although we do have “The Bus” and the Free Aloha Late Night Shuttle Service as alternative modes of transportation for students who do not own cars, we do find that these services are not used as often once our students settle in, as they tend to carpool with other students living in the same apartment off-campus.


For minor household purchases and some entertainment, there is the Laie Shopping Center, administered by Hawaii Reserves Inc., which is a church-owned company. It is a 10-15 minute walk from campus and less than 5 minutes by car. This plaza is open from Monday thru Saturday and offers movies at Laie Palms Cinemas, banking with American Savings Bank Hawaii, fast food restaurants, hardware store, dentist, barber, etc.

Major purchases and services will require a trip "to town" (i.e., either Honolulu, Mililani, Waipahu, or Pearl City). In town one can find all kinds of stores and services, either in malls or neighborhood shopping centers.

As far as malls, there is the Windward Mall in Kaneohe (40 minutes from Laie), Pearlridge Center in Aiea, Pearl Highlands in Pearl City, Kahala Mall in Kahala, Waikele Premium Outlets in Waikele, Aloha Tower Marketplace, and the large Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu (all between 60 to 90 minutes from Laie, depending on traffic conditions).

Discount warehouses Sam's Club and Costco have stores in Honolulu and Pearl City. Wal-Mart has stores in Honolulu, Mililani, and Pearl City. Kmart also has stores in Honolulu and Waikele. Office and computer supplies can be found at Best Buy, Office Depot, and Fisher Hawaii located in Honolulu and Waikele. All of these places are about an hour away.


 The Laie Shopping Center has a branch of the Foodland grocery chain. The Hau’ula Shopping Center has a branch of the Tamura’s Market shopping chain, as well as Longs Drugs which is now part of CVS Pharmacy.

Prices for groceries in Hawaii may appear higher than in the continental U.S. (a.k.a. "the mainland".) The large chains of grocery stores offer free membership cards for Hawaii residents, which provide discounts in many products. For example, the supermarket chain Foodland offers its “Maikai Card.”



Located on the island of Oahu lies the small town of Kahuku. Spanning over just 2 square miles in size, the city is home to over 2,500 residents. Its high school is known for its great academic and athletic programs. The school has even produced somewhat famous people, the well-known musician, Jack Johnson, the renowned Chef, Sam Choy, and award-winning surfer, Pancho Sullivan. Kahuku is also a popular filming location, with exquisite oceanfront views and breathtaking backdrops for video. Some of the most recent filming include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Along Came Polly, Soul Surfer, Blue Crush, Alvin and the Chipmunks III (Chipwrecked), Journey 2 the Mysterious Island and Pirates of the Caribbean IV. The most famous draw of the city are its many shrimp trucks, where locals and tourists can grab a bite for lunch and enjoy a refreshing Hawaiian shave ice. Other attractions popular in the area include the local beach, golf, hiking and fishing.