East Honolulu consists of the areas of Palolo, Kaimuki, Aina Haina, Kahala, and Hawaii Kai. As soon as the H1 ends heading east, there is a distinct shift in the feel of the neighborhoods. This is because almost everything to the east of this point is zoned as residential. Because Hawaii Kai was the first planned community on the island, the organization is much better than in Town. Homes are generally nicer, with larger yards, and less congestion.
There are many commuters who live here and work in town, which means there can be lots of traffic on the morning commute. Some of the most expensive real estate in the state lies in this area, such as beachfront mansions in Kahala and multi-million dollar estates on the ridges of Hawaii Loa and Waialae Nui.
For mainland transplants, this area can be familiar to them because of the demographics, home sizes, and layout of the neighborhood. There is also quite a few newer homes, such as Hale Alii, which is a luxury condominium building being built.