What do many people who don't live in Hawaii Kai, know about Hawaii Kai? "A lot of people have boats". With the exception of where the closest Costco is on the east side, the general consensus is that Hawaii Kai is an affluent neighborhood. Hawaii Kai is unique in that it is built around a marina. That marina gives the feel of a different style of living. The marina lifestyle, though, masks the true depth of the community and why Hawaii Kai just might appeal to the broader base.
Hawaii Kai was the master-planned community dream of Henry J. Kaiser, an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding to create a completely new Oahu district where little existed before. Because of that, there is structure and a layout that flows. That's something not found in other neighborhoods around the Island. At least not on the east side or at this scale.
From the get-go, Hawaii Kai was much more than just residential development. It was designed to be self-sustaining, with its own shopping, schools, and even health care resources planned within its boundaries to serve the residents. Residents, needn't go far for almost any goods or services. The master-plan also included a visually aesthetic appeal and more options in terms of available real estates than most people realize.
As you drive through Hawaii Kai, visual appeal of the waters on both sides of the highway highlight range of the region from Mauka (mountain) to Makai (ocean). The full range of Hawaii's living experiences is laid out in this one community.
The Communities of Hawaii Kai – From Top to Bottom
Overlooking the town proper from the ridges far above, your spectacular views are endless. funneling through the mountains and the green valleys, your view stretches across the vast Pacific. The monument that is Koko Head, the magnificent gift created during the birth of the islands.
The sppectacular views seem to have been laid out specifically for the homes in Napali Haweo, Mariners Ridge, and the upper sections of Hahaione. From their cooler climates, you enjoy these panoramic views plus having the luxury of being disconnected from the urban noise of the highway below.
This exclusive community lives up above on the east most ridge on Oahu somewhat the crown of Hawaii Kai. Homes enjoy a view bookended with Koko Head in the foreground to the left and Diamond Head off in the distance to the right.
If a golf course home is what you're looking for, you can live in the quiet splendor of manicured greens with the silence interrupted by the occasional ping of the club meeting a golf ball. With some of the greenest views in all of Hawaii Kai, the neighborhoods of Koko Villas, Laulima, and Queens Gate sit right on the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Residents look upon the pristine landscapes of the links. Tucked away from the main thoroughfare, yet just a stone's throw from the world-famous Sandy Beach,
An easily overlooked section of Hawaii Kai, Queen's Gate is as much a part of the lifestyle here as the marina itself. Many forget that it is even there.
Back to marina living Easily the most conspicuous real estate of all in the area. It’s also probably the most envied. As you pass through it's hard not to notice the personal docks just steps from the backdoors of so many of the homes in communities like Anchorage, Luna Kai, and Spinnaker Isle. If the boating life is what you crave owning one of these homes might just be for you.
Imagine heading out on the water as the mood strikes you. Or crossing over the marina for dinner or for a quick trip to the grocery store? How about gazing out at the water from home and letting the stress drift away. These waterfront homes in Hawaii Kai will make your dreams a reality.
Just before heading up the hill to Hanauma Bay take a right, and you’ll be driving through Portlock. These are where some of the most splendid oceanfront properties on the Island sit, staring out across Maunalua Bay with Diamond Head’s proud peak in the distance. If you're lucky, you might even spot a celebrity amongst your neighbors. Kaiser, the visionary of Hawaii Kai, chose this community to call his home, Evidence to the appeal of the captivating horizon and amazing sunsets viewed year-round. A man who could have chosen anywhere to call home, and he chose, Portlock. 'nuff said.
Just around the bend from Hanauma Bay on this same stretch of land is Koko Kai, where some of the most exclusive estates sit on dramatic oceanfront cliffs. These homes are no less stunning, transitioning from the calmer waters of Portlock to the dramatic experience of foam and spray from the cascading waves as they meet the sheer cliffside fronting these homes. The power of Mother Nature is something that never gets boring.
These homes are opulent, boasting huge dimensions with designs that combine the indoors with the outdoors, taking advantage of the year-round temperate climate making this truly an island-style living experience.
Recreational Opportunities Abound
From sailing to water skiing, jet skis, kayaking, and paddling these are a few of the activities found on the marina and out in the ocean itself, and just about any other activity you if you want to get wet.
And when you talk about water activities, you must include Hanauma Bay, which is just a short hike up the hill from Koko Marina Shopping Center. This world-famous snorkeling destination is a must for visitors, and residents as well. One of the perks of living nearby this natural treasure is the free admission for kama'aina.
If a drier, more heart-pumping workout is for you, The Koko Head hike provides the perfect exercise and rewards you with an amazing view that makes the ascent to the top worth every step. The nearby Hawaii Kai Golf Course is actually 2 courses, an easy par 3 course that snakes up into the valley and a world-class full course with amazing ocean views so captivating you’ll even forget all about those extra strokes running up your score.
If that's not enough, include the many open park spaces throughout the community, the wide sidewalks that are perfect for jogging and the active lifestyle that the residents pursue so conspicuously and you’ll be inspired to get outside and join in. Staying indoors is not an option here.
Shopping & Dining Options
We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of your homebuyer’s research, though. Daily life activities are an important part of deciding where you want to live; the schools, shopping, and health care options all play a part in your decision.
One of the highest profile shopping centers in the neighborhood is Koko Marina. With over 70 different retailers and some 20+ restaurants and eateries to pick from, ranging from local drive-inn style places like Zippy's and Fatboys to Assagio’s Italian food and Kona Brewing Company. You'll find everything from sushi to shave ice. It also has a local movie theater. In short, this is Hawaii Kai’s mall, a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
Just to the west are 2 other major centers, right next door to each other. The more makai Hawaii Kai Shopping Center features Safeway and CVS/Long’s Drugs, providing the two basic staples of groceries and smaller, daily need goods. More eateries can be found here as well.
Hawaii Kai Towne Center is probably best known for where Costco is, but it's also anchored by City Mill and, yes, you'll find a Starbucks there. Both the shopping center and Towne Center have numerous services, eateries, and restaurants as well, providing almost anything you’d need from banking to an animal hospital.
What more can you ask for? Almost anything that you need can be found between these 3 gathering places. You can even find furniture Costco or City Mill. It will be a rare occasion when you have to leave this Hawaii Kai to find something because there’s that much here.
Hawaii Kai – Healthy Living
Another pro to Hawaii Kai is that you won't have to go far to take care of most health needs. There are few communities on Oahu that have the concentration of healthcare providers Hawaii Kai does. Hawaii’s three major medical care providers – Straub, Queen’s, and Kaiser – all have facilities here to provide routine and urgent care for you and your entire family.
There’s also the Queen's Island Urgent Care facility that specifically serves emergency room types of cases, so you have a place you know you can go to should you need it. It’s reassuring to know all of this is right here, within reach for both routine check-ups, flu shots, or immediate attention.
These institutions play a major part in the community, but they are not the whole story of a destination that is well thought out and designed.
How Does This Neighborhood Compare?
You decide. Take it all in and rank it to other communities around Oahu. Hawaii Kai is just as rooted in the local values that Hawaii has to offer, and has an abundance of outdoor activities as any other community in Hawaii. What makes it unique is the variety of homes to choose from, the spectacular beauty where the mountains meet the ocean, combining the best of mother nature with the well-planned community, and the all-important health and education resources that are available right in your backyard.
Hawaii Kai provides a diverse lifestyle for all. Residents are invested in bringing it to life, and it thrives today. As a Hawaii Kai resident, you will do the same.
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