Moving To & Living In Hawaii Kai, HI - The Definitive Guide | 2020 Edition

Hawaii Kai is a planned community located around ten miles east of the vibrant Honolulu. The neighborhood used to be wetlands, but it was reconstructed in the 60s by Henry J. Kaiser. His vision was to create a perfect neighborhood for everyone. Whether you have a young family, you’re retiring, or you’re used to living in the lap of luxury, Hawaii Kai would appeal to you.

What is it like to live in Hawaii Kai?

It has become one of the wealthiest communities on Oahu, and many amazing amenities have moved in. There has been significant growth in the community since it’s inception. There is access to excellent dining options, retail stores, and some of the top schools. While there has been a major focus on building a perfect community, the community has worked hard to preserve the land around the community. Sandy Beach and Hanauma Bay are close by to go boating, snorkeling, and surfing, along with areas to go for a hike, walk, or bike ride.

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Interesting Facts About Hawaii Kai

Pele’s Throne, which is a rock formation, is considered to be the Hawaiian goddess’s final resting place.
The Hawaii Kai Marina is the central point of the area, and there are several channels that allow for waterfront homeowners to have their own boats docked in their backyards.
There are numerous community events and festivals held in the community. The Festival of Lights Boat Parade is held at the marina, and it’s where locals decorate their boats for the holidays.

Transportation

Hawaii Kai is both transit-accessible and great for those who own their own vehicles. It’s located about 25 minutes from Honolulu’s city center with minimal traffic, and TheBus serves the area. The award-winning transit system offers several routes through Hawaii Kai.

What is the History of Hawaii Kai?

Hawaii Kai means ‘community by the sea,’ and it was originally called Maunalua by native Hawaiians. Maunalua means ‘two mountains,’ which is directly referring to Koko Crater and Koko Head. Early settlers enjoyed an area that had a plentiful amount of fish in the calm bay.

The Bishop Estate would acquire the land after the Great Mahele land division in 1848 occurred. The valley remained untouched and was a roaming place for cows until the tsunami in 1946 destroyed the fields, properties, and more. This was when the land turned to swampy wetlands. In 1961, Henry Kaiser began his vision of the perfect community.

What is Real Estate like in Hawaii Kai?

The median home value is around $980,000 in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood. 85% of residents own their homes, and 15% are renter-occupied. Typically, the homes are around 40 years old, but most properties have been renovated and upgraded since their initial construction.

Hawaii Kai Restaurants

Kona Brewing Company | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
The Kona Brewing Company is a staple among the Hawaiian islands. It’s a must-try for residents and visitors alike. This particular location is a waterfront dine-in restaurant that serves craft brews, American and Hawaiian dishes.

Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway, Ste D100A
Some of the best pizza on the island. Located in the Koko Marina Center. Get your pizza made-to-order with the freshest ingredients.

Roy’s Hawaii Kai | 6600 Kalanianaole Highway
Filled with traditional Hawaiian decor, Roy’s is a fine dining experience with an ocean view surrounded by lush greenery.

Hi Pho | 377 Keahole Street, Ste C3
Hi Pho is a popular Vietnamese restaurant that serves the best traditional dishes.

Moena Café | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
The Moena Café is a quaint little place for brunch. Get the loco moco or the banana pancakes.

Maile’s Thai Bistro | 333 Keahole Street, Ste 2B8
For Thai food lovers, Maile’s is the place to go.

Pa’ina Cafe | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
Grab a freshly made sandwich, salad, smoothie, fresh juice, or acai bowl.

Island Brew Coffee House | 377 Keahole St.
Grab a coffee or a snack on the go on the marina.

Greek Marina | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
The best place to grab a classic Greek meal on the water. It’s also pet-friendly.

Assaggio Ristorante Italiano | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway, Ste D107
A beautiful dine-in Italian restaurant with an incredible reputation.

What is there to do in Hawaii Kai?

Shopping

There are many excellent shops to enjoy that range from local handmade goods to luxury goods.

Hawaii Kai Towne Center | 333 Keahole Street
The center includes restaurants, a shopping center, ample parking, and a Costco.

Koko Marina Center | 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
The center has numerous restaurants, banks, personal services, gas stations, a movie theatre, a fitness center, pet store, and commercial offices.

Hawaii Kai Shopping Center | 377 Keahole Street
The center has a drug store, Safeway, gas station, restaurants, a bank, and other local retailers.

Outdoor Activities

Hawaii Kai Golf Course | 8902 Kalanianaole Highway
This par three course has a driving range, restaurant, event space, and pro shop. It’s an affordable course that is accessible to everyone.

Koko Head District Park | 423 Kaumakani Street
A great place for hikers, this famous park has excellent facilities for residents and visitors. The facilities come equipped with a weight room and gym, meeting room, six tennis courts, a baseball field, two basketball courts, a volleyball court, three softball fields, and an arts and crafts building. There is something for everyone at this park, and is the perfect place for families to enjoy.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve | 100 Hanauma Bay Road
The beautiful beach is the perfect spot for snorkeling or relaxing in the sun, and it’s free to residents.

Kuliouou Beach Park | 96 Bay Street
One of many beautiful beaches, this park is an ideal place to watch the sunset along the sandbar or on the grassy green space.

Koko Kai Beach Mini Park | 10 Hanapepe Place
A beautiful green space with a rocky beach to go swimming or fishing.

Hawaii Kai Dog Park | 333 Keahole Street
A local favorite, the Hawaii Kai dog park, is a well-maintained place for dogs to play and meet each other. There is a separate section for smaller dogs.

Hahaione Neighborhood Park | 663 Pepeekeo Street
A playground for children to enjoy right next to an elementary school.

Kamiloiki Community Park | 7750 Hawaii Kai Drive
Along with an open green space, there’s also a roller rink, basketball court, skate park, playground, and tennis court.

Some of the best places to go hiking include Koko Crater Railway Trail, China Walls, Sandy’s at Sandy Beach Park, and Hanauma Bay Trail. These trails often lead to incredible views and lookout points. There are a variety of difficulty levels, and there are a lot of interesting things to explore.

Residents

There are just over 27,000 residents in Hawaii Kai. With 51% of the population being female and 49% being male, the average age is 45 years old.

What are the schools in Hawaii Kai?

Aina Haina Elementary
801 W. Hind Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96821
808-377-2419

The Aina Haina Elementary school works hard to encourage the high performance of its students. The staff have high expectations for students to achieve goals and successes. The staff and students are supported by the parent organization. While there is a strong focus on education, there’s also a focus on arts and being creative, building strong connections and relationships, and lifelong learning. Parents are often very involved in the school through volunteer efforts, tutoring, and extracurricular activities.

Kamiloiki Elementary
7788 Hawaii Kai Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
808-397-5800

Kamiloiki Elementary has been striving to become the premier math and science institute among Hawaii Kai schools. The school has an educational focus on discovery, exploration, and contributing on a global scale and being strong members of society. The school is working to become an International Baccalaureate school. While the school focuses on elevating the standard curriculum, there are many creative activities available for students to join after school. Programs like band/orchestra, piano, science club, art, chorus, golf, Japanese, hula, ukulele, and Junior Lego and FIRST Lego League Robotics that students can enjoy. Parents are heavily involved with volunteer efforts, fundraising efforts, and other activities to help build a strong community.

Koko Head Elementary
189 Lunalilo Home Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
808-397-5811

Koko Head Elementary School strives for high-performing students with high standards and an atmosphere of excellence. The school is supported by the incredible parents and volunteers, so the students are privy to excellent resources. The school aims to prep students for their futures in an increasingly complex world. It focuses on programs, systems, and initiatives to make students the best communicators and problem solvers.

Even though these are elementary school students, the end goal is post-secondary education, and the school promotes lifelong learning and its importance. The school offers the traditional core curriculum of math, language arts, social studies, and science. It also offers music, Mandarin, Spanish, Hawaiiana, physical education, health, and computer technology. Staff also receive the ability to grow their skills and professional development in teaching, increasing awareness, and increasing student engagement.

Niu Valley Middle
310 Halemaumau Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96821
808-377-2440

Niu Valley Middle School is designated as an International Baccalaureate World School offering the Middle Years Programme. There are four areas of focus:
“(1) A rigorous and challenging academic program. All students are placed into the IB Middle Years Programme; (2) Extra- and co-curricular activities, including athletics, consists of afterschool extramural teams in cross country, volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

Other programs include Science and Engineering Fair, MathCounts, First Lego Robotics, VEX Robotics, Solar Sprint, Jr. Engineering Expo, Parade of Bands and Orchestras, Solo and Ensemble Festival, Select Band and Select Orchestra Programs and Visual Arts competitions; (3) Facilities, which support learning in a technological environment; (4) Parent and community involvement. The school is supported by parents and community through the Friends of Niu Valley Middle School,” - hawaiipublicschools.org.

Henry J. Kaiser High
511 Lunalilo Home Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
808-395-1200

Kaiser High is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. It achieved this for its Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme. Kaiser’s feeder school, Niu Valley Middle, is also an IB World School. This designation allows for students to complete the five-year IB curriculum.

The schools in the Kaiser Complex Area are all working towards developing the IB programs and employ the philosophy behind holistic learning, awareness, and the importance of lifelong learning. The high school offers the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, which is a program to prepare for college. The school is consistently focused on improving curriculum and resources.

Hawaii Kai Hospitals and Health Centers

Queen’s Health Care Center
377 Keahole St, Honolulu, HI 96825
Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
808-396-6675

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Kai Clinic
6700 Kalanianaole Hwy #111, Honolulu, HI 96825
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
808-432-2000

Straub Hawaii Kai Family Health Center
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy A200, Honolulu, HI 96825
Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
808-396-6321

Minute Clinic
377 Keahole St, Honolulu, HI 96825, Located in Longs Drugs
Open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
808-395-4427

Island Urgent Care Hawaii Kai
6600 Kalanianaole Hwy #114a, Honolulu, HI 96825
Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
808-735-0007

Emergency Hurricane Shelters

As mandated by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management, there are designated hurricane evacuation shelters for when there are storms, high winds, debris flying around, and flooding. When the department urges the public to shelter-in-place, there are specific places to retreat. Residents are urged to bring a three-day supply of clothing, food, water, any medications, personal items, and something to sleep on as the shelters are not stocked. The department will advise residents through social media, television, and other local media during any emergency with directions and additional details.

Kamiloiki Elementary
7788 Hawaii Kai Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Koko Head Elementary
189 Lunalilo Home Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Aina Haina Elementary
801 W. Hind Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96821

Niu Valley Middle
310 Halemaumau Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96821

Henry J. Kaiser High
511 Lunalilo Home Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

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