Kailua Beach, Oahu — What to Expect

Kailua Beach, Oahu — What to Expect

Grace Towle

Grace Towle

Living on Oahu, Grace Towle knows all the best places where locals go.

One of my all time favorite places on the planet. I’m not alone, Kailua on the windward side of the island has been voted “Best Beach in America” by several magazines and travel experts and it’s the go-to spot for President Obama and his family.

That said there is plenty of room on the sand for everyone. Besides some crowded weekends, there is ample parking. Why? Many reasons, 3-miles of powdery white sand, gentle waters, plenty of recreational opportunities (windsurfing, kite boarding kayaking, surfing, boogie boarding). Flat Island, just off the public boat ramp is a popular snorkeling and kayaking destination. There is also a large grassy area with picnic tables, volleyball courts and clean public restrooms.

Water sports: Before you plan your activities, check the Surf-Forecast for daily updates, Regardless of the weather, there is always a way to spend an enjoyable day.  Most people surf or boogie board in the middle of the beach. There are various public access streets along Kalaheo Avenue, but if you don’t know the area very well, it’s best to park in the main lot and walk along the water. SUP, kayak and snorkeling rentals as well as lots of friendly advice on where to launch is available at Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks on Kailua Road (a block inland from the public parking lot).

Parking: While there are a few public access paths through residential neighborhoods, the best option is the public lot at Kailua Road and Kalaheo Avenue.

Shade: Shade can be found above the sand on the grass, however in the afternoon some parts of the beach can be shaded.

Food: There is no official food vendor on the beach, but Kalapawai Market and Café serves up really good deli sandwiches and more.

Dangers: Always check with locals if possible before heading out into the surf or water, there can be Portuguese Man-of-War (jellyfish) and stinging limu (seaweed) especially from June through September on the sand as well as in the water. Also never leave valuables in your car.

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