"Keeping It Kailua" Top 5 Page for this destination Kailua by AKtravelers
Kailua Travel Guide: 63 reviews and 176 photos
If you drive around the small downtown of Kailua, you'll bumper stickers urging readers to "Keep It Kailua". After you've spent a few days here, you'll understand what they're saying. Despite the massive growth of the Oahu population and the Hawaii tourism industry, Kailua has managed to keep the feeling of an old isolated beach town from a simpler time. There still are small, independently run corner markets here, people can walk from their homes to the beach and there are only a few high-rises. And yet you're only a 20-minute drive over the Pali to the bright lights of Honolulu. So far the big resort developers have been kept at bay, but the new H3 highway makes the Windward side tempting resort territory and a target for growth. Forever, there seems to be a battle about allowing short vacation rentalbed & breakfast-like properties or not -- currently they are illegal unles you have a very-hard-to-get permit. There's also continuing controversy about beach access -- beaches are public but private road owners are gating the ways to the beach! Janet and I are all for aloha, and it's good to keep these local spats in perspectives -- after all, we could be arguing about urban blight.
According to some publications -- even some publications NOT written in Kailua -- Kailua beach is America's Number 1 Beach. It is a five-mail soft white-sand crescent with clear blue water and minimal development. Often, Kailua's top competitor for the number one beach is Lanikai Beach just down the road, and technially in Kailua (according to zip code if not according to spirit). In any case, Kailua Beach is great to have nearby and a wonderful place to while away an hour or view a full moon.
Kailua is on the windward side of Oahu, which is also known as the rainy side. This may sound unfortunate, but it's not. The windward side is slightly cooler than other parts on Oahu, such as Hawaii Kai or Pearl City, so most homes need neither heat nor air conditioning -- the weather is almost always comfortable. Plus, the extra rain gives Kailua a lush, tropical feel, unlike many areas of the island which offer close to desert conditons. Finally, the proximity of the beach and the mountains in a relatively country-like setting makes Kailua truly feel like paradise. Plus, here's the secret -- it really doesn't rain all that much here during the day. Kailua is much drier than neighboring Kaneohe, but often gets painted with the same brush.
- Pros:small beach town feel
- Cons:sometimes the town is too small
- In a nutshell:It Feels Like Hawaii Should!
Kawapalai Market, at the beach yerminus of Kailua Road, is an icon. If you need a sandwich, drinls (including wine or... more travel advice
Kailua is one of the most dog-friendly places we have ever lived. Dogs are allowed on all the beaches, and especially in... more travel advice
AKtravelers' Related Pages
Kailua Travel Guide
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- "Laid-Back Beach Town"
- "Kailua, on the Windward Side"
- "Keeping It Kailua"
- "Aloha, Kailua"
- "Welcome to Haolewood"
- "Kailua Hawaii"
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- 13 Reviews
- 35 Photos
- 1 Forum posts
- 7 Comments
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