Crystal clear water and white fine sand. Calm mornings and less tourists. Is this what you dream of during your vacation on Oahu? You can have it. A forty-minute drive from Waikiki can take you to a completely different, more local and peaceful destination. The sky blue ocean at Lanikai Beach in Kailua will enchant you. Here are our Lanikai Beach recommendations for your visit.
Lanikai Beach located on the windward coast of Oahu, Hawaii is basically heaven. This tiny half-mile strip of beach is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world. Despite the fact that it is located in an upper-class residential area and therefore there is no official parking, showers, toilets and no lifeguard. But that also makes it feel much more intimate.
Lanikai Beach parking recommendations:
Do not park in the immediate vicinity of the beach in front of private residences. It might not be worth it, as getting a ticket here is the order of the day. You can find legal parking spots in the area, which are a 5-10 minute walk from Lanikai Beach. It is also possible to park in Kailua Town and walk to Lanikai Beach via Kailua Beach.
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
If you want to take a trip to Lanikai Beach during your vacation, we recommend you set aside a full day to explore the surrounding area as well. Start early in the morning and make your way to Lanikai Pillbox. This short easy challenging hike is great for watching the sunrise. You’ll have a spectacular view of Lanikai Beach, located directly below, and two islands in the distance, commonly called “the Mokes”.
In Kailua town you can enjoy a great breakfast. There are plenty of good cafes, restaurants and other local businesses selling, for example, swimwear and souvenirs. While you’re here, don’t miss a visit to Kailua Beach. This is directly adjacent to Lanikai and is a little less crowded during the weekdays, so we recommend not planning your visit during the weekend. Our other tip, if you don’t want to just lie on the beach all day, is to head to the kayak rental shop in town and explore Mokes up close.
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
If you don’t mind a little detour, but it’s worth it, check out the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden on the way back. It’s located on the same side of the island, so we recommend not skipping a visit if you’re in the area. Plus though entry to the botanical gardens is completely free. Visiting hours are daily from 9am to 4pm and the views of the Ko’olau Mountains are absolutely jaw-dropping.