Kailua

Welcome to Kailua

Kailua (in Hawaiian means “two seas” or “two currents”). . . is a laid-back, beach town considered one of the most desirable places to live on O’ahu by us locals and definitely a favorite for tourists. It is located about 12 miles northeast of Honolulu on the Windward side of O’ahu. Adjacent to it, you have the highly desirable neighborhood of Lanikai with one of the highest-rated beaches in the world. So whether you are just looking for a great spot to relax for an afternoon or are searching for an excellent neighborhood to buy a new home on O’ahu, we highly recommend you consider Kailua and Lanikai.

History

An archeological report determined that the Kailua area was first settled around 500 A.D. These early Hawaiians lived along the ocean as well as the marsh slopes surrounding the Kawainui Marsh. In the 16th Century, Kailua became a popular destination for the Ali’i (chief or chiefess) and was quite populated prior to the arrival of Captain Cook.  It depends on who you ask, but many believe the most historic event that occurred in Kailua and the Windward side of Oahu was in 1795. It was this year when King Kamehameha conquered O’ahu and achieved his goal of uniting the Hawaiian Islands.

Current Day

Over the years, Kailua has seen significant changes in demographics as well as development and has become a major tourist destination. These days, only about 4% of residents are local Hawaiians — compared to about 10% on O’ahu as a whole. Some of the local businesses have been replaced by chain stores from the mainland, but there are still numerous independent stores and restaurants that offer quality products and tasty food. And although Kailua and Lanikai have turned into major tourist attractions, recent enforcement of illegal vacation rentals has had some impact on reducing crowds. And since there are no sprawling resorts or hotels in the area, Kailua and Lanikai still offer a relaxing and quaint vibe in many ways.

Kailua Area Highlights:

  • Kailua is bike and walk friendly
  • Kailua Beach
  • Mid-Pacific Country Club
  • Buzz’s Restaurant
  • Lanikai Pillbox hike 
  • Kailua Town
  • Kailua Farmers Market
  • Often beautiful sunrises 

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