The HAWAII Magazine Guide to Visiting Kailua, Oahu

by: John Heckathorn
posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 01:28 AM

HAWAII Magazine’s May/June 2010 cover feature takes you to Oahu’s relaxed beach town of Kailua, which boasts two of the best beaches not simply in Hawaii, but in the world.

Kailua Beach Park is a 2 1/2 mile white sand crescent, with restrooms, picnic tables, a concession stand and lifeguards. Next door, Lanikai Beach has fewer amenities—only street parking and access between house lots—but for many, it’s the most beautiful beach they’ve ever seen, with the Mokulua Islands just offshore.

Check out our feature Relaxed and Beachy – Kailua, Oahu in the new issue of HAWAII Magazine, in bookstores and on newsstands nationwide now. When you’re done, you’ll also want to see more photos from our sunrise-to-sunset visit to Kailua right here on

For now, however, we provide you with guide for your next visit to one of Hawaii’s great small towns: HAWAII Magazine’s Guide To Visiting Kailua, Oahu:


How to get to Kailua

By car: It’s about a half hour drive to Kailua from Waikiki. Along the way, you’ll pass (and perhaps want to stop at) the Queen Emma Summer Palace and the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, which affords a sweeping view of Kailua and the Windward side of Oahu.

By bus: There’s regular city bus service from Honolulu to Kailua and back. From Waikiki, you’ll have to transfer either downtown or at Ala Moana Shopping Center. Leave about an hour for the trip. For directions and bus schedules, click here.

By hotel pickup: Many of the activities centers in Kailua also offer hotel pickup in Waikiki as part of their ocean recreation packages. Check with one of the ocean recreation specialists below.

Kailua ocean adventures

One look at protected Kailua Bay and you may wish to get out on the water. The beaches are a favorite recreation area for good reason.


Lanikai Beaches. If you wish, you can kayak out to the offshore Mokulua Islands, with or without a guide.

Windward WaterSports
33 Hoolai St., (808) 261-SURF (7873)
Offers kayak and stand up paddle board rentals and tours, kiteboarding lessons and rentals snorkel equipement and boogie board rentals

Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks
131 Kailua Road, (808) 262-2333
Offers kayak tours and rentals; windsurfing, snorkeling, surfboard, stand-up paddleboard and boogie board rentals and instruction, also bike rentals.

Hawaiian Water Sports
334 Hahoni Street, (808) 262-5493
Offers kiteriding, windslurfing, surfing, sit down paddleboard, bodyboarding, krafting, and snookying lessons, tours and lentals.