Kailua Beach#8 in Best Things To Do in Honolulu - Oahu
If you like to kite surf or windsurf (or watch others participate in the sports), head to Kailua on the Windward Coast and find a perch at Kailua Beach. This 3-mile stretch of white, shaded sand and warm, turquoise-hued water appeals to both families and adrenaline junkies thanks to its gentle waves and ample facilities, including picnic tables, restrooms and free parking.
Some former visitors reported having a hard time finding parking here, but overall, many praised the beach's calm water and beautiful sand. Others appreciated the beach's less crowded atmosphere (on weekdays) and its breathtaking sunrises.
Kailua Beach sits within walking distance of Lanikai Beach and a few shops, eateries and bed-and-breakfasts. To get to the beach, plan on driving or taking the No. 70 bus to one of several stops on Kalaheo Avenue, Lihiwai Road or Kawailoa Road. If you decide to use public transportation, you will need to transfer to the No. 70 bus in Maunawili. The beach is free to visit 24 hours a day. Check out the Kailua Chamber of Commerce's Beaches in Kailua page for more information.
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#1 Waikiki Beach
Nineteenth-century Hawaiian royalty used to come to the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki to relax and surf, just as scores of tourists do today. That's because this area's famous beach (which is a string of several beaches dotting the island's southwest coastline) is the go-to spot for its soft, honey-colored sand and the high waves that lap the shores during the winter months. But you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate Waikiki Beach; just lie back on a beach towel, relax and gaze up at the majestic Diamond Head State Monument in the distance.
When you need a break from the beach itself, there are scores of shops and restaurants lining the adjacent Kalakaua Avenue. The street is home to some of the world's most exclusive (read: expensive) designer boutiques, including Cartier, Coach, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Many of the best Oahu hotels also overlook Waikiki Beach.
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