Lanikai Beach Oahu Hawaii
is a destination all
itself. It is not only
described as "most
of all Oahu beaches, but Lanikai
Beach ranks as one
of the best beaches in the world.
Surrounded by endless miles
of calm tranquil aqua blue waters, it’s hard to look at it these
special windward ocean waters without
getting an urge to jump right in. You will be mesmerized
walk down one of the several public beach access alleyways.
“Lani Kai” translates to “Heavenly
Ocean”. It’s such a fitting name for such a
place. Inspired from this paradise, I named my daughter
Kailani, which is the true Hawaiian translation of “Heavenly
Ocean”...and quite fitting at that!
Worth a thousand pictures...this Lanikai Beach video captures
relaxing pure beauty that this amazing Oahu beach displays!
Finding Lanikai Beach can be a bit tricky, since there are no posted beach signs. You will know that you are in the general vicinity, as “Lanikai” is written on a huge pillar entrance.
The pedestrian access is located through beach alley ways between the residential homes. There are 6 beach pathways.
The first 4 are the most popular, while the last 2 lead only to water as the sand has eroded away.
As beautiful as Lanikai Beach Oahu is today, it is unfortunate that the
coastal home development of seawalls has eroded much of the sandy
beach, which used to exist. For those of you that are in
search of the missing powder sand, look no farther than next door, the
beautiful Kailua Beach Park.
Kid and Family Friendly: I’ll start off by saying that this is my family’s favorite beach to visit. The calm waters are friendly for my daughter and son to swim and play in –make sure you always swim and keep an eye on your children even though the waves are almost always calm at Lanikai Beach. There is no lifeguard on duty.
The visitors and locals that frequent this beach are friendly. I think it’s the peaceful setting that promotes a relaxing setting for everyone to enjoy!
It's also common to see locals to bring their dogs to the beach to play in the water and run around in the sand.
Swimming and Water Activities: While the magical aqua blue calm waters are ideal for swimming, it is not great for snorkeling. You're best chance of seeing fish is on the left hand side...look for the dark areas in the water that represent rocks, where they will most likely be.
There is no reef to attract the fish, and the water can also become a little cloudy from the fine sand stirring up from the bottom shoreline.
Kayaking is a fantastic way to enjoy Lanikai's calm waters. Many beginners and advanced kayakers enjoy a trip to the two not so distant Mokulua islands off shore.
Get up extra early and you'll be treated to a gorgeous sunrise...on most days that is! This picture was taken from the Lanikai Pillbox Hike that backs right up to the beach. The hike will take you 20 to 30 minutes to reach the top.
Experience the beauty of the Mokalua Islands, and the Windward
Coastline from a distance, on a fun guided kayak ride! It’s
amazing enough to just step onto this beach, but paddling out gives
you a whole new perspective. Not to mention observing the crystal clear
waters below as you journey out.
This is a special 2 hour adventure that you must plan a head and sign up before arriving at the beach. It includes transportation, lunch, snorkel gear, life jacket, dry bag, and caters to beginners to more advanced kayakers.
You'll see a bunch of outriggers lining the back of the beach area. Many of them are pulled into the water by their rowing teams in the afternoons, and taken for some practice runs far out into the ocean.
They are fascinating to watch as they race along the shoreline. There are other types of outriggers that feature sails and only require one or more people to operate.
I would highly recommend renting a car to
travel out to this beach location. You can access it by
taking the bus, but it will take about an hour and a half, and 3 bus
transfers from Waikiki, versus 30 to 40 minutes with your own vehicle.
From Waikiki, you will want to jump onto the H-1
Freeway headed west…
Take the Pali Hwy (Hwy 61) over to Kailua
Turn right on Kailua St.
Stay on Kailua St. when you have to merge left (towards the ocean)
Turn right onto Kawailoa St and follow until it turns into Aalapapa.
Aalapapa loops around and turns into Mokumanu on the Oceanside.
When arriving in Lanikai Beach Hawaii, you will want to seek out beach access points located off of Mokumanu Drive.
-turn left down Kaiolena Dr to access the main beach area or
-turn left down Kuailima Dr to access a more secluded beach area.
Parking Tip: Be very careful of where you park and be aware of posted “No Parking” signs. Patrol enforcement is frequent in this area.
Don’t ruin a nice day at the beach with a parking ticket waiting for you. Also please be respectful to surrounding residents who see visitors coming by on a daily basis.
Take the number 20 bus from Waikiki to the Ala Moana Center. Transfer onto the 67 to downtown Kailua, and finally transfer to the 671 shuttle bus. Ask the bus driver to tell you when to get off and transfer.
No Bathrooms and
Lanikai Beach Oahu does not have any bathroom
facilities or outdoor
showers to rinse off. I would recommend
stopping at Kailua
Park, which is
located less than a mile away, for it’s picnic
tables, bathroom and shower facilities.
Food Tips: I would also recommend bringing along a small cooler with some drinks and comfort snacks. You might want to give yourself some extra time to stop in the lovely Kailua town that you will have to pass through to get to the beaches.
The town of
Kailua has some great places and grocery stores to pick up some food,
ice, and drinks. Consider picking up a Hawaiian plate lunch on your way...
Visiting Tips: Visit Lanikai Beach Hawaii earlier in the day, as the sun travels over the Koolau Mountains in the afternoon. This Eastward side of Oahu Hawaii is also a perfect viewing spot for a Hawaiian sunrise.
first before trekking out to Lanikai for an early morning sunrise, just
in case heavy clouds are forecasted to linger during the
Also remember to be
courteous to the
local residents, and clean up after yourselves when leaving the beach.
Compact Sun Shade and Beach Blanket Picks to bring with you
If you are looking for a much larger version of Lanikia beach Hawaii with facilities, I recommend checking out it’s next door neighbor Kailua Beach Park. There is a fun 2 mile hike in the area that will lead you to some amazing ridgetop views of the Lanikai beach Oahu area.
Check out the Lanikai Pillbox hike…
I highly recommend traveling
over in the morning and stopping at Boots
& Kimos for
breakfast. They have some to-die-for macadamia
w/ a special macadamia nut syrup, not to be missed!
If your looking for something refreshing and on the healthier side, stop in Lanikai Juice Company located in downtown Kailua. Creative juices, smoothies, and bowls filled with acia, papaya, ginger, turmeric, and other superfoods! They also have salads and a few healthy entrees if you need something more substantial.