Picture a beach idyllic enough to garner the praise of lifeguards, coastal researchers, visitors and locals, one that stretches golden along the shore, where ocean conditions are generally safe and gentle, and where the tradewinds pump steam into windsurfers’ sails.

Nationally Recognized

This is Kailua Beach, recognized as one of the nation’s top beaches by a coastal research expert who makes it his business to survey beaches. The bay that floats Crayola Blue from this long stretch of fine sand beach is made for kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing and sailing.

Kalapawai Market Est. 1932

A couple enjoys a refreshing snack outside of Kalapawai Market. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Faris.

In addition to the natural attributes of this beach, it is home to a groovy beach market. Kalapawai Market was established in 1932 and stocks everything a beachgoer needs for a day at the beach. Here you can order gourmet take-out lunches from the deli, pick up a great cup of coffee, choose from a large selection of wines and soft drinks, all that and more in this sweet-smelling stop by the sea.

Doubly Blessed

Kailua Beach is a short drive over the mountains on the scenic Pali Highway from Waikiki. Situated on the island’s east shore, the beach is located in Kailua, a bedroom community of 36,513 people that attracts some 15,000 visitors per year. In addition to Kailua Beach, the town is blessed with another picture-perfect beach. Lanikai Beach, which some say is the best swimming beach in Hawaii, is known for its long expanse of powdery sand beach and its clear turquoise water.

Kayak Rentals in Kailua

Kailua Beach offers a number of nearby retail services including kayaking and windsurfing rentals and lessons. Kailua Bay’s protective reef allows for safe kayaking and the opportunity to paddle to Mokulua Islands, a bird sanctuary located on a pair of tiny islands with a small beach. You’ll paddle through calm waters with coral reefs and large sea turtles for company. There are generally no significantly hazardous ocean or beach conditions at Kailua Beach, except the occasional presence of Portuguese man-of-war. Watch for beach signs warning against going in the water when these nasty creatures are in residence.