The Kailua Visitors Center has great volunteers that have lived in Kailua 30 plus years. They can tell you all the places to go, the history, just about anything you want to know. They have bus schedules, maps, brochures, coupons and even t-shirts sometimes.
Very nice people and a great way to start your trip.
If you are in Hawaii you have to experience a Lomi Lomi massage. Not only because it is awesome but because it part of the culture.
Kailua is considered the massage capital of Oahu because it has more massage therapist per square mile than another other town. It is also known to have some of the best ones so there is no better place than to try LomiLomi.
Below are a few places that offer it:
Lomi Lomi Hanalima
We wanted to get surfing lessons one day and stopped by Kailua Ocean Adventures. This place rents bicycles, snorkeling gear, surfboards, stand-up paddle boards. The rentals, tours, and lessons offered by Kailua Ocean Adventures are handled inside the Hawaiian Island Creations store across the intersection from the Boots and Kimos restaurant. Rates for surfboards and stand-up paddle boards (SUP) are both $30.00 for a 24 hour period, and you can get a 90 minute lesson for an extra $20.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. On the day we went it was very windy, so they convinced us to try stand-up paddle surfing instead and directed us to a sheltered cove and canal near the "Castles" area of Kailua beach. We paddled and surfed in the waves just off Obama's Winter White House -- the waves break slowly in deep water over the reef there and only one other person was out in the waves with us. It was a perfect recommendation by the staff at Kailua Ocean Adventures. I highly recommend them.
You'll have to have a car to transport your rentals to and from the beach. They will let you borrow the necessary items to secure the boards to the top of your car, even if the vehicle doesn't have a roof rack.
We'll go back again sometime for their sailing canoe tour to the Mokulua Islands near Lanikia beach.
Kailua Beach is not only beautiful and unspoiled, but it's also a very long beach that's perfect for walks. It's amazing how your worries just fall away when you've got sand under your feet and the sound of the waves in your ears.
The remains of a huge heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple) can be found on the outskirts of Kailua, sandwiched in between the YMCA and a taro patch (lo'i). It is a serene, spiritual place where you can picture what old Hawai'i was like.
Ulupo Heiau is one of the oldest in the Islands. Although some sensational reports claim that it was used by royalty for human sacrifice, most historians disagree, saying that it was more likely a place for commoners to worship. It was also the largest heiau on Oahu, and its lo'i and 450 acre fish pond provided food for an estimated 17,000 people in the area.
After the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy, Ulupo Heiau was looted and fell into ruins. However, an ongoing restoration project, staffed by volunteers, was begun in 2005, and you can now discern the shape of the original massive structure. Native plants are being reintroduced, and there are plans eventually to make the heiau, now a state historical monument, into a cultural and educational center.
When you visit, please be respectful and remember that this is a sacred place of worship. Be careful not to walk on or remove the stones.
This is the view from the yard of my house in the Maunawili section of Kaiklua. Normally, I never saw waterfalls, but after an especially heavy rains they magically appeared! In fact, you can usually count on waterfalls after heavyu rains, but you have to be lucky enough to have the clouds lift to see them. Drive to Maunawili or through the tunnels on the H3 tyhe next time you get a heavy, persistent rain that covers the entire island and you'll be stunned! I estimate this happens about 5 times a year, so you have to be lucky.
When you're in Kailua, you have the choice of two beaches that are rates #1 in different publications as the best beach in America. As of this writing, I favor Lanikai Beach, which is just south of Kailua beach and used to be connected. There's less sand but the view of the Mokolua's really takes our breath away. If you've seen pictures of bathing suit models whiling away the time with islands off the coast, chances are you're looking at Lanikai Beach. The sand is the softest, whitest around and the surf is virtually nonexistent.
...Kailua Beach offers slightly rougher sand but a playful body surfing are near Kalama Beach park. It's wider, longer and less crowded than Lanikai, and you're less likely to get a parking ticket. Kailua Beach is where the Obama family chose to spend their Christmas right before their inauguration, so it stands up pretty well to most competition. If you have a chance visit both of these jewels.
ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN THE WORLD!!!!!
A GREA T PLACE TO ENJOY HEAVEN ON EARTH. .EVERYTHING FROM EATING A PICNIC ON THE BEAUTIFUL GRASSY AREAS TO WINDSURFING ON THE BEST WAVES !!! !!!!! !!!!!!!.. Kailua is first and foremost a beach community. In fact, the steady onshore trade winds makes Kailua Beach one the world’s preeminent windsurfing destinations.
ONE CAN NOT BUT JUST BE OVERWHELMED WITH THE BEAUTY OF KAILUA BEACH.... !!!!!
In 1998, Kailua Beach Park was named "America’s Best Beach" by coastal expert Doctor Stephen Leatherman and then "retired" from subsequent consideration. As one Kailua resident noted in ALOHA Magazine, "If I feel stressed out, boom, in three minutes I can be at the beach and rigging up my sailboard. Even if you’re not at the beach, it’s never far away. It’s in the air, you can smell it."
If you are on the island of Oahu, it's worth it to travel to the windward side of the island to Kailua. Lanikai beach has gorgeous blue water and soft white sand. It's in a very nice area and great for families. My friends and I come here at sunset once a month to drink wine and enjoy the full moon.
The beaches between the town of Waimanalo and Sea Life Park are also gorgeous and sometimes practically empty. I would avoid the beach park in the town of Waimanalo. It has become a camp for the homeless. They get camping passes and just live there. There is much trash here and I would be nervous leaving my car unattended. It's unfortunate because it's such a beautiful area! The other beaches are fine. The water is a spectacular color of blue, especially on a clear sunny day!
Lanikai is one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. Many beach ratings have confirmed that opinion. The beach is less crowded than many other beaches since it is located in a residential neighborhood. Many choose to explore the area by kayak or snorkeling.
The beach is perhaps most well known for the two Mokolua islands that are located just 1 mile away from the shore. These islands are probably what all the kayaking is all about. They are bird sanctuaries though and access may not be permitted.
I absolutely love "poke", which is basically a general term for a raw marinaded seafood salad. I highly recommend the island-style tuna poke. Go on, do the hokey-poke. You know it's tasty if I'd even take a picture of it at the Foodland supermarket in Kailua.
A site dedicated to the remembrance of the brave who fought and loss their lives in the Pacific during World War II. It is definitely worth a visit, but keep in mind that there are tons of tourists there. You want to arrive as early as you can!
Climbing Mount Olomana is one of the best short hikes on all of Oahu, but I'm putting it on my Kailua page because the only people we met on the hike were all from the Windward side, so it's apparently not of interest to the mainstream Oahu visitor. Good news for you if you like hiking and you've stumbled on to this tip.
The hike is 3 hours round-trip, and starts after the gate at Luana Hills golf course. After a gradual decent through forest, you start finding that you'll need to use the ropes (already there) to hoist yourself over rock formations or up rock cascades. It'sreally quite fun, though if you don't like heights you may cringe at some of the exposed rock scrambles and narrow knife-edged ridges near the top. However, the views are excellent -- a 360-degree look at the Windward side!
By the way, this hike was actually written up in the New York Times, so don't only go based on my recommendation.
Good 40 minute to an hour (depends on your level of fitness, if your in a hurry etc) hike/climb to get to the top....the first peak anyway, there are three in all, can you get to all three? Don't forget your Camera and some water!