A perfect day in Lanikai beach on the east side of Oahu

One of the most perfect beaches to explore and enjoy on the windward side of the island is Lanikai Beach just right next door to Kailua town. This little beach on a quiet neighborhood area in East Hawaii always seems to be on the top list of the best beaches to be around the World now.

A perfect day in Lanikai beach on the east side of Oahu

What makes Lanikai beach so special?

Translated from Hawaiian, Lanikai means “Heavenly Ocean ” and it fits that description perfectly. The beach sand at Lanikai is almost powdery perfect and set against clear aqua to blue, blue ocean in the background. Lanikai is special and locals on the island know it. When locals love to visit along with tourists even as a popular tourist venue, then you know that it really is a special beach to hang out it.

Off the coast is the Mokuloa islands in the background and they are fun to explore via kayak, Lanikai views are fantastic up and down the coastline

What makes Lanikai beach so special?

Where is Lanikai beach located?

Lanikai is the neighborhood south of Kailua beach and tucked into a quiet neighborhood with no parking lot area to access the beach quickly. To get to Lanikai take Kawailo Rd to Aalapapa Drive.  Aalapapa and Mokulua make a large one-way loop that encompass Lanikai and you basically have to find parking on the street.  

There are no park areas that front the beach in this neighborhood, so you cannot easily see the beach parts of Lanikai. In between the homes and beach are beach access paths that will allow you to walk to the beach directly. The beach area is exposed so bring all your hats, sunscreen and covers for spending more time at the beach.

There are no parks, facilities or lifeguards at Lanikai, making this purely a neighborhood type beach.

Where is Lanikai beach located?

How to park in Lanikai?

Since the Lanikai neighborhood is purely that, parking is difficult and only on the streets which are busy all the time. There are loop roads around the neighborhood that you can drive around to find a spot, but make sure not to block any entrances and always take out all your belongings in the seating areas to avoid break ins.

When you find parking look for the beach access pathways to get to the beach directly.

Lanikai beach access pathways to get to the beach

Top things to do at Lanikai Beach and surrounding areas

Enjoy a spectacular sunrise

Probably one of the special things you can enjoy on the east side of the island with the Mokuloa islands in the background is a beautiful sunrise experience on the island. The best thing about doing this early is easy parking and a few people on the beach to experience this own your own.

Go Kayaking around Lanikai and head to the Mokes

You can rent kayaks from nearby Kailua beach and paddle to Lanikai and to the Mokes if you’re up for the challenge.  On Kailua beach is Kailua beach adventure rentals that you can rent by the hour with Kailua Beach Adventures or take a tour cruise with them to show you some of the best spots around the area.

Check out the fun kayaking to the Mokes on this video below.

Hike the Lanikai Pillbox area

You’ll enjoy this gorgeous hike and views of Lanikai , Kailua and surrounding coastal areas below on the Kaiwa Ridge and up through Lanikai Pillbox on this trail that is about 1.8 miles to the Pillbox that overlooks the area. Check out the views from this video below.

Enjoy some beach combing and beach time

It’s all about the beach time on this amazing beach with the softest sand and lovely ocean water that just sparkles with its aqua to blue ocean.

Top things to do at Lanikai Beach and surrounding areas

What else to see close by to Lanikai Beach

Visit Hawaii Kai area of East Oahu

Explore Kailua town and Beach areas

Check out the area around Waimanalo Beach

Visit Hanauma Bay

Check out the Makapu’u trail to the light house and tidepools

Visit the Sea Life Park for a family friendly recreational experience

What else to see close by to Lanikai Beach
Visit the beach of Kailua and downtown district

Other tips for a perfect beach day at Lanikai

There are no shady areas on the beach so you need to bring your own covers for longer stays on the beach.

Best time to get to Lanikai is the morning while parking is relatively good and visiting the beach areas during the week day is a lot better than weekends.

With no food vendors in the area, try to pick up some food to go from Kailua area grocers or take spots to bring to the beach and have a picnic.

Forget about your snorkeling equipment, there are no good snorkel spots around Lanikai which is basically for beach fun and beachcombing.

Check out these other posts on Visiting Oahu

Exploring the North Shore of Oahu

Virtual tours of Oahu

Free or cheap things to do in Oahu

A Diamond Head Hike in Honolulu

Family friendly beaches in Oahu

Top things to do in Honolulu

Explore and Hike Waimea Valley

Horseback Riding in Hawaii

Conclusion of best things to do around Lanikai Beach

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.