Mānoa (/ˈmɑː.noʊ.ə/, or informally /mɑːˈnoʊ.ə/) is a valley and a residential neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The neighborhood is approximately three miles east and inland from downtown Honolulu and less than a mile from Ala Moana and Waikīkī.
Similar to many Honolulu neighborhoods, Mānoa consists of an entire valley, running from Mānoa Falls at the mauka (inland-most) end to King Street. The valley receives almost daily rain, even during the dry season, and is thus richly vegetated – though the valley walls are often dry. Seeing rainbows in the valley is a common occurrence, and is the source of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa sports team names, the Rainbow Warriors (for most men’s teams) and Rainbow Wahine (for the women).
The neighborhood is composed of private houses - most of which were built before the 1960s - and low-rise condominiums. In fact, this neighborhood has some of the most beautiful historic homes in Honolulu. It is the best place to look, in Honolulu, for exquisite Victorian homes, Craftsman homes, Tudors, Dutch Colonials, and other turn of the century home styles.
Mānoa is home to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the flagship campus of the University of Hawaiʻi System. The University has several faculty and student residence areas in Mānoa. Other educational institutions located in Mānoa include Mānoa Elementary School, Noelani Elementary School, Punahou School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Saint Francis School, and a handful of small, private pre-schools.
The central shopping area of Mānoa is the Mānoa Marketplace which features a farmer’s market several days of the week. More recent development has seen housing on steeper parts of the Diamond Head side valley wall.
Mānoa stream begins at the base of Mānoa Falls and runs through the valley before joining Palolo stream to form the Manoa-Palolo drainage canal, which flows into the Ala Wai Canal. Floods caused by high rainfall have plagued the residents living along Mānoa stream. Most recent was on October 30, 2004 when Mānoa stream overflowed causing millions of dollars in damages to residential homes and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa buildings.
Mānoa is the site of the first sugarcane and coffee plantations in the Hawaiian Islands. John Wilkinson tended the first crops in 1825, brought on the ship HMS Blonde.:34 Hawaiʻi is the only state in the United States that produces coffee commercially. For more history see coffee production in Hawaii.
There are many legends associated with Manoa, one very well known legend is the story of Kahalaopuna. Kahalaopuna was born to Kahaukani and Kauakuahine. Kahaukani is the wind of Manoa and Kauakuahine is the rain of Manoa. Kakaukani and Kauakuahine were brother and sister, both born to Akaaka (the projecting spur of the Manoa mountain range) and Nalehuaakaaka (the lehua on the brow of the Manoa ridge). 
(The above is taken from Wikipedia under Creative Commons License)