About LanikaiLanikai is a small, upscale community on Oahu's windward side and home to one of Hawaii's nicest beaches, Lanikai Beach. The word Lanikai means "heavenly seas" and the shoreline here truly lives up to the name with powdery white sands, crystal clear water and scenic views including the Mokulua Islands offshore.
Things To Do
The highlight of this region is visiting Lanikai Beach and nearby Kailua Beach. There are also some great hikes on the ridges overlooking the town, and exceptional bird watching in Kawainui Marsh which has a paved 3-mile trail that meanders through the wetlands. At Kailua Beach you can rent water sports equipment from surfboards and stand up paddle boards to kayaks and snorkeling gear. You can also arrange for a lesson or a guided excursion which is a great way to improve your skills and also learn about the area from a local expert. A wide variety of other activities are also available in Kailua and nearby areas on the windward and north shores from horseback riding to skydiving, whale watching, helicopter tours and more.
Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, snorkeling surfing and windsurfing are all popular activities at Lanikai Beach as well as Kailua Beach. These are also ideal places to just relax and enjoy the views while taking dips in the azure waters.
Kailua Beach has full facilities and a lifeguard station as well as water sports equipment rentals. Lanikai Beach does not have facilities and can be reached by several public access points. Protective reefs, steady offshore trade winds and clear ocean water that is the perfect temperature make these two beaches ideal for a day of fun and relaxation. Lanikai Beach is so picturesque that it's often the site of photo shoots with top models. For more great beaches head south to Waimanalo Beach or up to the north shore's Sunset beach and Waimea Bay.
Visit Kailua town for a great variety of dining choices and many nice restaurants as well as grocery stores. Stop in at Lanikai Juice for freshest fruit and veggie smoothies as well as acai bowls and fresh juices featuring locally-grown lychee, passion fruit, mangos and papayas. Fresh Island fruits and vegetables can be found at the Kailua Town Farmers Market every Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. This is also a great place to taste a variety of local creations including fresh-baked pastries and also listen to live music.
Close to Lanikai is Kailua town with many boutique and gift shops, island fashions and department stores. Stroll down the main street and enjoy the ambiance of this charming and very walkable downtown. The Windward Mall is a 20-minute drive from Lanikai and has more than 100 stores, movie theaters and many dining choices in the Center Court.
Renting a car is recommended when visiting Lanikai so you can enjoy the great beaches and attractions on the windward side and north shore as well as day trips Honolulu and Waikiki. Oahu's public transportation is known as "TheBus" and is a great way to get from Lanikai to the Windward Mall and Ala Moana Center. Taxis are also available. Lanikai is located about 12 miles northeast of Honolulu.
Weather and Ocean Conditions
Lanikai weather ranges from about 70 to 85 degrees F throughout the year with rain and wind conditions varying in different areas throughout the seasons. The north and eastern shores of Oahu are generally a bit wetter and cooler than the south and west shores, and the winter months typically see more rain than summer. Hawaii's predominant trade winds blow from the northeast bringing moisture-laden clouds that typically rain onto the mountains of the windward and north shores creating the tropical green landscapes. Ocean conditions vary each day though typically Kailua will have the calmest waters during the summer. Lanikai Beach is relatively well-protected from the open ocean and will often have better conditions than other beaches to the north and south. For swimming and ocean activities it is always best to visit lifeguarded beaches like Kailua Beach Park and check with the lifeguards about the conditions on that day for the activity you choose.
Lanikai vacation homes provide the optimal way to enjoy your Hawaii vacation with all the luxuries of resort living and all the comforts of home including nearby shopping, dining and entertainment. Browse through our Lanikai vacation rental listings to get an understanding of the different amenities and property features we offer in prestigious Lanikai neighborhoods. Our goal is to provide you with a with an unforgettable Lanikai accommodation for your dream Hawaii vacation.
We take pride not just in having the largest selection of high-quality vacation rentals in Lanikai, but also in the fact that we stand behind our product and make sure only the best of the best Lanikai properties are listed on our site. If you have questions about our Lanikai rentals or which destination is best for your vacation needs, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
Lanikai was developed commercially in the 1920s when it was known as Kaohao. The name was changed to Lanikai and today it is a prestigious community in Kailua and one of Hawaii's most expensive real estate markets. This region's population grew rapidly during World War II due to military bases in the area spawning an increase in development. When a tunnel was built through the Koolau mountain range in the 1950s the journey to and from the south shore became much quicker and the area became a bedroom community of Honolulu with many workers making the commute each day.
by Scott Coccaro