A ½ mile stretch of beautiful sand and palm trees look out over the crystal clear waters at Lanikai Beach. Two islands called “Na Mokulua” less than a mile off-shore create a beautiful paradise atmosphere on what is one of our favorite beaches on Oahu.
Lanikai Beach, which means “heavenly sea”, is often ranked in the world’s top beaches and even has some nice snorkeling spots close to shore. The neighborhood behind the beach is an upper-class sector of Oahu, with too many homes we all wish we could retire in. Imagine a two minute walk to one of the best beaches in the world in a small island neighborhood. I guess we can all dream.
Above the beach the Lanikai Pillboxes hike, is a short 30 minute trek from bottom to top and is known to be an amazing spot for sunrise. If you wake early enough the sun rises between the middle of the Na Mokulua islands during different times of the year.
There is no public parking, and on the weekends you cannot even park in the neighborhood, this is to help the flow of traffic and make sure that the residents have somewhere to park. This may seem unfair but when you see the amount of visitors to the beach on a weekend, this rule will make sense. Fear not, you can still visit the beach on a weekend, just be prepare to walk in from the Kailua area, which is only a short 10 minute stroll..
Weekdays are less crowded and you can park in the neighborhood, so if you are on Oahu for vacation, try and visit this beach before the weekend crowds overrun the beach. There is also no public toilets or change rooms, although once again you can access these amenities 10 minutes down the coast at Kailua Beach Park.
If you are feeling adventurous there are many kayak shops in Kailua that will rent you a kayak for the day so you can paddle out the Na Mokulua Islands (only the left island is accessible) for the day to explore. We did a daytrip with Aloha Canoe Adventures and enjoyed a great time exploring the Queen’s Bath and seeing the protected Shearwater birds out on the island.