Lanikai Beach


Just southeast of Kailua, Lanikai is an exclusive residential neighborhood fronting a gorgeous stretch of powdery white sand overlooking two postcard-perfect islands, known locally as the Mokes. Today the beach is shrinking: nearly half the sand has washed away as a result of retaining walls built to protect the neighborhood’s multimillion-dollar mansions. There are 11 narrow public beach-access walkways off Mokulua Dr. No bathrooms, no lifeguards.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kailua attractions

1. Kailua Beach Park

0.75 MILES

A wide arc of sand drapes around the jewel-colored waters of Kailua Bay, bookended by formidable volcanic headlands and with interesting little islands…

2. Hamakua Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

1.65 MILES

Downstream from Kawai Nui Marsh, this tiny nature preserve provides more habitat for rare waterbirds, including the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), aeʻo …

3. Kalama Beach Park

1.83 MILES

Kalama Beach Park, 1 mile north of Kailua Beach Park on Kalaheo Ave, is the best place to park for a great walk. Climb over the grassy lawn to a much more…

4. Bellows Field Beach Park

2.37 MILES

An extenuation of stunning Waimanalo Beach, this beach park is only open to civilians on weekends (and national holidays), as it fronts Bellows Air Force…

5. Ulupo Heiau State Monument

2.46 MILES

Rich in stream-fed agricultural land, fishing grounds and protected canoe landings, Kailua was an ancient economic center that supported at least three…

6. Kawai Nui Marsh

2.82 MILES

One of Hawaii’s largest freshwater marshes, Kawai Nui provides flood protection for the town and a habitat for endangered waterbirds, and is also one of…

7. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park

3.35 MILES

Also known as Sherwood Forest, as a gang likening themselves to Robin Hood and his merry men operated here in the 1960s, this broad sandy beach backed by…

8. Waimanalo Beach Park


By the side of the roadway south of the main business area, this sloping strip of soft white sand has little puppy waves that are excellent for swimming…