10 Things We Love About Living in Kailua

Kailua, located on the Windward side of Oahu, is just 30 minutes from the vibrant cultural life, urban amenities, and international airport in Honolulu. It’s one of Oahu’s most sought after locations because of its laidback lifestyle, natural beauty and tight-knit sense of community. Developed in the 60s and 70s (for the most part), Kailua offers small town life with big city amenities, coupled with gorgeous beaches. Here are some of the many things that residents love about living in Kailua!

1. Kailua Town

Kailua’s beachy, small town vibe belies a surprising array of excellent dining options, as well conveniences like Whole Foods and Target. Residents enjoy charming boutique shops, cafes, weekly farmers’ markets, fitness gyms, local bakeries, health food stores, and access to top-notch medical professionals in private practice and at the nearby Adventist Health Castle Hospital.

2. Beautiful Beaches

Kailua and Lanikai Beaches are some of the most photographed stretches of white sand on O‘ahu, with a combined three miles of beach to explore, walk, run, kayak, paddle, swim, snorkel, kiteboard or simply relax on.

3. Lanikai

Lanikai is a peaceful, private haven tucked at the southern end of Kailua. Nestled between the Kaiwa Ridge and the white sands and turquoise waters of Lanikai Beach, this lovely neighborhood is exceedingly private and peaceful. 

Properties on the hillside below Kaiwa Ridge overlook the silky, white sands and turquoise waters, one of the most cherished stretches of coastline in the state. These properties boasts one of the most sought-after views in all of Hawai‘i (the Mokes…read on for details).

Down below, Lanikai homeowners are just steps from one of the most laidback and beautiful beaches in the world, which can be reached through beach access pathways, for those properties that aren’t oceanfront. The clear, calm waters of Lanikai Beach are perfect for snorkeling, suntanning and spending time with family.

4. The Mokes

Sitting three-quarters of a mile offshore, the graceful and protected Nā Mokulua islets of Moku Nui and Moku Iki (collectively, the Mokuluas) are an integral part of the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary System. Small landing beaches on Moku Nui allow for kayak landings, though visiting Moku Iki and exploring beyond the beaches of Moku Nui is not permitted.

5. Watersports

For boating enthusiasts, the Kailua boat ramp and Kaneohe Yacht Club are both close at hand. Kayak and outrigger canoe paddlers can spot the endangered U‘au Kani and various other shorebird species nesting on the Mokuluas and venture out into the reef-protected Kailua Bay.

Nearby Popoi‘a Island, known more commonly as Flat Island, is also a favorite kayaking destination. Boats can launch directly from Kailua Beach, where you can easily find kayak rentals, or from the Kailua boat ramp. Flat Island is also a protected bird sanctuary.

6. Hiking Trails

O‘ahu offers a host of incredible trails to explore, including the famed Kaiwa Ridge or Lanikai Pillbox Trail, located along the bluff directly behind Lanikai. More trails can be found nearby, such as the Olomana Trail, which is best suited to very experienced hikers.

7. Golf & Tennis

Several world-class golf courses and private social clubs are located in and around Kailua, including Lanikai’s Mid-Pacific Country Club, as well as the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club, Olomana Golf Club and Pali Golf Course. Tennis lovers can join the Kailua Racquet Club or practice their serve at one of 8 free courts available at Kailua District Park.

8. Cycling & Walking Paths

The Hamakua and Kawainui March separate Kailua from the Koolau Mountain Range. These beautiful nature presertves are home to endemic bird species. Residents enjoy easy access to the 2.9-mile Kawainui Marsh Trail and plentiful roadside bike lanes throughout Kailua. The town is mostly flat, with beautiful mountain views, which makes for easy and enjoyable riding about town.

9. A Short Commute to Honolulu

A quick half-hour commute brings you to downtown Honolulu, Hawaii’s commercial center. A cosmopolitan city that attracts visitors from around the world, Honolulu offers a rich and diverse cultural life, with world-class dining and retail, incredible beaches, the iconic Waikiki, and a unique arts scene. Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, with direct flights to all major Pacific Rim cities, is a quick 30-minute drive from Kailua and Lanikai.

10. Easy Access to the North Shore

The North Shore’s country life is punctuated by the luxurious Turtle Bay Resort, roadside fruit stands and food trucks, boutique shops in charming Haleiwa, and a distinctive surf culture vibe. Some of the world’s best big wave surfing can be found just an hour’s drive along the coastline or through the island’s rich agricultural center to reach iconic surf breaks like Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay.

Bonus: Kailua Real Estate

Kailua is home to plenty of distinctive neighborhoods that began to be developed in the 1960s. Homes in each neighborhood have their own architectural style, but most offer wider avenues with beautifully mature trees and landscaping. You may find your next home for sale in Kaimalino, Beachside, Kailua Estates or Lanikai. Visit our Kailua office or make an appointment to chat with one of our Kailua real estate experts to get some insights into this thriving real estate market on Oahu’s Windward coast. 

Photo used with permission. Photo Credit: RYSE.


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