Punaluu is a small and quiet community on Oahu's eastern coast perfectly situated for a luxurious and relaxing Hawaii vacation. Located along a picturesque stretch of the windward shore, the Punaluu region has often been used in movie scenes with the lush and green Koolau mountain range rising up behind idyllic beaches.
Things To Do Great beaches along the eastern shore provide many options for ocean activities from snorkeling and surfing to ocean kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Kailua Bay south of Punaluu is a water sports mecca with vendors nearby renting equipment for various activities. Nearby to Kailua is Lanikai Beach, one of Hawaii's prettiest beaches known for its powdery white sand, clear blue water and scenic views. Just north of Punaluu is the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie where you can learn about Pacific Island nations at the interactive theme villages and from various exhibits as well as an IMAX theater. From Punaluu a fun day trip is to take a drive along the north shore to see the famed surfing beaches and visit historic Haleiwa town, known as the "gateway to the north shore."
Nearby Beaches Punaluu Beach Park is a nice place for snorkeling when the ocean conditions are calm. The beach is narrow and sandy, and at the north end of the beach the Punaluu Stream flows into the sea. Punaluu Beach Park is not the best swimming beach to the shallow ocean bottom and coral reef, though it's a good location for fishing. You can also find good snorkeling in the clear, blue waters of Kaneohe Bay with scenic views including the offshore islet of Mokolii, known as Chinaman's Hat due to its shape. Kayaking, body boarding and long beach walks and are all enjoyed here along with just relaxing on the expansive beach. A bit farther south is Kailua Bay which is a mecca of ocean recreation.
Restaurants Punaluu offers a few restaurant options including Keneke's Grill serving casual, local fare including their popular Teriyaki chicken and Kalua pig. It's also a great place to grab a hamburger, cheeseburger, or specialty plate lunch with choices such as barbecue chicken and grilled mackerel. For hearty helpings of local style food check out Papa Ole's Kitchen, a family restaurant three miles north of Punaluu on Kamehameha Highway. They serve up delicious breakfasts including tasty macadamia nut pancakes. The Shrimp Shack food truck just south of town is renowned for its coconut shrimp as well as grilled mahi-mahi and snow crab, or just get a hot dog. A bit further south is Uncle Bobo's Smoked BBQ serving up delicious beef brisket and pork ribs smoked with hickory and tropical woods. This is also a great place to enjoy a shave ice after a morning at the beach. For more dining options make the short drive to Kaneohe town where you have your choice of many great restaurants and interesting shopping including a mall. Farther south in Kailua town are numerous exceptional restaurants. Sunday mornings the Kailua Town Farmers Market is a great place to get fresh produce, hear live music and taste the prepared dishes made by local vendors.
Shopping For more shopping options head south to Kaneohe town where the Windward Mall has many interesting shops to browse. Just south of Kaneohe is Kailua town with a walkable downtown where you will find boutique gift shops, art galleries, department stores and other merchants.
Getting Around Renting a car is recommended when staying in a Punaluu vacation rental so you can explore the great beaches and towns of the windward shore and enjoy day trips to the north shore as well as Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. The drive from Punaluu to the Honolulu Airport takes about 45 minutes. Most major populated areas of Oahu can also be reached on the public transit system known as "TheBus."
Weather and Ocean Conditions Punaluu weather ranges from about 70 to 85 degrees F. throughout the year with rain and wind conditions varying in different areas throughout the Island. The eastern and northern shores are generally a bit wetter and cooler than the south and west shores, and the winter months typically see more rain than summer. Sunny skies, mild temperatures and warm trade winds make Punaluu an excellent vacation destination all through the year. Rain showers are typically brief and light with ample sunshine even on the rainier days. Hawaii's predominant trade winds blow from the northeast bringing moisture-laden clouds that typically rain onto the mountains of the east and north shores creating green and lush landscapes.Trade winds are almost always calmest in the mornings so it's a good time to visit the beach. Ocean conditions vary each day though typically the north shore will have the calmest waters during the summer months and the south shore will have the calmest waters during the winter. Some beaches provide more protection from the open ocean, and if the waves are too big at the beach you visit then you may be able to find a more sheltered beach where water activities are safe. For swimming and ocean activities visit Oahu's lifeguarded beaches, obey all posted warnings and ask about the conditions on that day for the activities you choose.
Vacation Info Our Punaluu vacation rentals offer the finest in luxury and relaxation on Oahu's scenic windward shore. Browse through our Punaluu vacation rental listings to get an understanding of the different amenities and property features we offer. Punaluu vacation homes provide the optimal way to enjoy your Hawaii vacation with all the luxuries of resort living and all the comforts of home. Our goal is to provide you with a with an unforgettable Punaluu accommodation for your dream Hawaii vacation. We take pride in having the largest selection of high-quality vacation rentals on Oahu and we stand behind our product, making sure only the best of the best Punaluu properties are listed on our site. If you have questions about our Punaluu rentals or which Oahu destination is best for your vacation needs, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
History Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie to learn about Hawaii's rich history as well as other Pacific Island cultures. The Center is fun for the whole family with themed villages and interactive exhibits as well as an IMAX theater. You can see ancient Hawaiian stone structures preserved at Puu O Mahuka Heiau in Pupukea. Take a drive to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout where there are informational plaques about the famous battle that took place there. The site also provides a stunning view of the windward side in including Kailua and Kaneohe.