Much like the other islands, the southern tip of Oahu is known for its sunshine and temperate weather. Small suburban pockets fill the ridges and valleys of the south end of the Koolau Range. Upscale residential complexes and single-family homes create the essential character of this prominent community. The suburb of Hawaii Kai is built around a man-made marina, Koko Marina, that opens into Maunalua Bay. Maunalua means “two mountains” and refers to Koko Head and Koko Crater, which are two well-known peaks at the east end of the bay. Much like Waikiki, Hawaii Kai, was dredged from wetlands and developed into a navigable marina separated by residential tracts and small islands. Many homes have their own docks and every channel has an outlet to Maunalua Bay.
The Koko Marina Center, the largest retail center in Hawaii Kai, is developed along the marina and offers shopping, dinning and sports recreation activities. Since its $3.1 million renovation in June 2008, the Koko Marina has become a popular visitor destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
The specific character of the South includes arid, mountainous terrain that is met by a coastal edge. Within the folds of the landscape are protected sandy coves and beaches that have been preserved by the State for all to enjoy. In Hawaii, the experience of the coastline is to be shared rather than sequestered.