Kailua Beach & Lanikai - Our Family's Favorite Beaches!
If I had to pick a favorite of all the Hawaii beaches, just one beach, it would be Kailua Beach, on Oahu's windward coast. Here you'll find more than a beautiful beach. Instead, if you spend some time in the area you'll grow to appreciate the unique lifestyle that this windward destination offers.
Certainly, you'll find beaches with better sand, better water conditions, or even more spectacular scenery... but you'd be hard pressed to find a single beach that offers as many options as Kailua Beach!
Due to the geographical and weather conditions, Kailua Beach probably offers more than any other beach in terms of recreational options.
Fishing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and kiteboarding are all popular activities here and the number of Equipment Sales/Rental resources in the area will strongly attest to that.
If you're interested in pursuing any of these activities while you're here, you won't find a more convenient place to do so.
You won't find any hotels here in Kailua but there are quite a bit of Kailua vacation rentals ranging from single rooms to luxurious beachfront estates. And to keep you entertained while you're here in Kailua kayak rentals, kayak tours, SUP tours & rentals, windsurfing rentals and lessons, and kitesurfing lessons & rentals are all available either within walking distance to the beach or delivered to a convenient Kailua beach location.
The prevailing tradewinds blow toward the shore making Kailua Beach a safer spot than most to learn windsurfing and kitesurfing.
For those interested in kayaking, snorkeling, or diving the clear calm waters, numerous reef formations, and three offshore islands offer a place of beauty, abundant wildlife, and gorgeous scenery. In a couple of major surveys Lanikai Beach, in Kailua, was picked not only as one of the best Hawaii beaches but the best in the nation!
As a residential community, Kailua Beach offers many spots shielded from crowds (most visitors to Oahu traveling around the island will miss this bedroom community altogether) yet accesible to the general public.
Great restaurants and shops abound in this little town and as mentioned previously those wishing to stay a bit longer might look into some of the quaint-to-luxurious bed & breakfast and vacation rentals in the area. It's convenient location, just twenty minutes to downtown Honolulu will make it an exciting base for the traveler wanting to experience much of what Hawaii can offer.
Any way you look at it, Kailua Beach is a place for the whole family offering beach activities, shopping and dining, and the scenic backdrop to enjoy it all. Spend some time here and you may decide to make it your home. We did!
The Kailua coastline which includes both Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach stretches approximately four miles and includes near the center a small boatramp and park facilities.
Just past the boatramp is a small point and scenic overlook which serves as the "divider" between Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach. Take advantage of the scenic overlook and you'll see in a galnce why Kailua Beach is so popular. And if you'd like an even more dramatic view ask any of the local folks how to get to the trail for the Lanikai ridge. That's where some of these pictures were taken!
Directly offshore, about 700 meters, from the boatramp is Popoia Island ("Flat Island" to the locals), a bird sanctuary.
Flat Island has numerous holes in which sea birds make their nests and it's not uncommon to come across seabirds nesting in these holes on the ground as you walk around the island.
If you happen to be in the Kailua area on the Fourth of July, be sure to enjoy the fireworks display that's launched from the island and wonderfully visible from all along the Kailua shoreline!
Aside from a great spot to swim or paddle out to, Flat Island is a popular spot for surfing and kayak surfing as incoming swells crest as they approach the shallow waters surrounding the island to create one of Kailua's surf breaks.
Though not spectacular for Hawaii surfing standards, the waves at Flat Island make for a fun and friendly surf spot with one heck of a view looking inland!
Proceeding past the boatramp and over the small hill will take you right into the Kailua community of Lanikai with a stretch of beach approximately a mile long.
A single road, Aalapapa, runs the length of this community and loops back to the small hill. On the beachside of this loop are a number of public right-of-ways offering within a few steps some of the most perfect beach conditions you'll find anywhere!
Adding to the great sand and perfect water conditions of Lanikai Beach, approximately a kilometer offshore, are the Mokulua Twin Islands, two beautiful islands which have been the subject of so many postcards.
The Mokulua Islands, one with a small sandy beach, are wonderful destinations for kayaking and picnicking and the waters around them which are rich with coral formations are excellent spots for snorkeling and diving .
The long stretch of beach, a little over two miles going north from the "point" is Kailua Beach. With fewer reefs and the lack of shelter from offshore islands like Lanikai beach, this side of the coast gets more wind and wave action making for great windsurfing and kitesurfing.
For kids and novices, the small shorebreak along this stretch of beach makes for fun and safe bodyboarding, bodysurfing, and surfing.
The northern side of Kailua Beach transitions abruptly from a sandy beach into a rocky coastline that eventually ends where the restricted area that is Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station begins.
Also, on this side of Kailua Beach are two more points of interest lying a bit farther offshore. Mokolea Rock and Mokumanu Island offer some great paddling destinations the latter having a sea cave that you can actually paddle into (on a very calm day!)
Except for the previously described public areas, the Kailua Beach shoreline, like that of Lanikai Beach, is bordered by homes which create a buffer between the beach and roadway traffic and noise.
Public right-of-ways every few blocks provide access to the beach (a 50-75 yard walk from the road to the beach) through the residential areas and the proximity of homes along the beach make for a safer environment than other remote areas on the island.
As you might imagine, real estatein Kailua is quite sought after and the recent boom in housing sales have increased property values here dramatically.
Here's a brief slideshow of pictures taken from Lanikai Ridge!