Just ten miles from Waikiki, once the ancient Maunalua fish pond and wetland, Koko Marina was dredged from the pond. In 1959 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser developed the area into a residential community, Hawaii Kai. True to its Hawaiian name, Community by the Sea, almost all of the low lying lands around the marina have since been developed into neighborhoods. You will enjoy this more community atmosphere for your vacation.
Meaning “lookout” in Hawaiian, Halona Blowhole is a spectacular sight about ten minutes from Hawaii Kai, you do not want to miss. Formed by lava tubes from active volcanoes thousands of years ago, the blowhole looks over some of the most violent waters in Hawaii. Geysers can shoot up as high as thirty feet when the waves are high and the currents are strong. You will want to be very careful here! Should you choose to explore Halona Beach Cove, visit in the summer when the water is more calm, and the waves smaller. If you come on a calmer day like this, come at low tide and there is a lava tube at the back of the beach you can explore. Bring a flashlight!
Just a mile past the blowhole, you come to the world famous body boarding beach, Sandy Beach. Getting its name from being the only sandy beach along this rocky coastline, this beach gets its famous waves from the ocean floor. From sand and shallow rock ledges the floor suddenly drops to a depth of up to ten feet. This works to create the waves so perfect for bodyboarding. Definitely a must visit spot if you are in the area.
Should you want to visit the exquisite Hanauma Bay, be prepared to respect the ecosystem and preserve the Bay. Being so popular has been nearly catastrophic for this beautiful Bay. By the late nineteen eighties, as many as thirteen thousand tourists per day would descend upon the Bay to enjoy it, and in the process nearly destroyed it. The once beautiful and multi colored reef closest the shore has died, and only the dark skeleton can be seen now. This Bay can be very busy, up to three thousand visitors a day, so be prepared.
Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike
If you are a hiker of any level, you will want to take this little hike to Makapu’u lighthouse hike. The best time to hike is December through May when the Humpback whales are in the area. From the summit of the hike you can see the lighthouse below, it is cordoned off and dangerous to get to, as well as wait to see the wondrous sea giants breaching the waters, and hopefully spouting for you. This is a quick hike, only one mile up, and the views make it worth every step.
Koko Head Crater Hike
Rated as a difficult hike, this nearly three kilometer hike is an out and back trail that you can access year round. Make sure you bring water no matter the time of year you take the trek. Visitors advise to also not stop right at the top, but take some time to explore the summit. The views are breathtaking!
For your shopping here in Hawaii Kai, you have the Hawaii Kai Towne Center boasting more than fifty shops, restaurants, and businesses to explore. You will find plenty for everyone here, national brands as well as local businesses. If you come here to eat, you will find everything from Outback Steakhouse, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and Panda Express to Koa Pancake house, Maile’s Thai Bistro, and Sushi man. Shops range from a Costco to the Hawaii Kai Day Salon and Day Spa.
Koko Marina Center
Italian, Greek, or Korean Barbecue? Can’t decide, grab them all here while you shop for your water sports and specialty gifts. If you are in the mood to see a film, stop by Consolidated Theaters at the Koko Marina Center.
Weather and Transportation
Average highs hit eighty five degrees in the hottest months, August and September, and stay in the low to mid eighties a full six months of the year here. For the most part the temperature does not drop below sixty-five degrees any time of the year, and stays above seventy May through November. You will find Hawaii Kai to be the perfect temperature year round for your visit.
Renting a vehicle will afford you the most freedom of movement throughout Hawaii Kai, the neighboring areas, and all of Oahu. There is a bus line for all of Oahu, and two of the buses do make their way through Hawaii Kai. You can ride the bus around town or take a trip to Waikiki, downtown Honolulu, or all the way to Pearl Harbor. You also have access to Uber, Lyft, and taxis as transport from the airport, as of February 1, 2019.