Located along the north shore of Pearl Harbor, Pearl City is part of the surrounding Honolulu metro area and is 9 miles northwest of the city itself. Rising as high as 95 feet above sea level, Pearl City boasts a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and offers numerous opportunities for hikers, beachgoers, and nature enthusiasts.
Situated on four ahupuas, which are traditional Hawaiian divisions of land, Pearl City lines up the coast of Oahu. Historically, the area was known for its pearl harvesting as the Pearl River drew many western explorers, and was discovered to be a bountiful resource for oysters. In 1815 King Kamehameha I commissioned Francisco de Paul Marin to focus his pearl trade in Hawaii. In the mid-1800s, cattle-raising become common in the mountains of Pearl City, which destroyed the forests and mountains, eventually harming the oyster population in the Pearl River. In the late 1800s, Pearl City became crop-producing farmland for Hawaii’s sugar production. Today crops such as pineapple, rice other tropical fruits are grown and sold locally.
Modern day Pearl City relies heavily on its booming year-round tourism industry, as well as its international trade commerce thanks to the area’s revitalized business ports. The area also offers many parks, including the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, Pearl City Kai Playground and the Pacheco Playground. For other forms of entertainment, the Pearl City Shopping Center is a premier shopping destination for tourists. The Signature Theatres is an elegant movie house popular with local residents. Pearl City is also home to such higher education institutes as the University of Hawaii – West Oahu and Leeward Community College.
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