Kailua, Hawaii is located on the windward (southeastern) shore of Oahu, located about 25 miles east-northeast of Honolulu, easily accessible by car or bus. In constrast to the bustling capital city and the tourist destination Waikiki, Kailua is a laid-back town of local residents. The town is located on a bay at the foot of the Koolau Mountains, and is to Waikiki what bed-and-breakfasts are to resort hotels. Catch a cuppa-joe with the locals at The Morning Brew, in one of the shopping centers.

South of the small town center is Kailua Beach, a long stretch of sandy beach next to a large, grassy park. The wind here is strong, and as evidenced by its popularity, a great place to windsurf and participate in a sport I'd never before seen nor knew. About 5 brave lads attached to small boards held onto small sail-shaped parachutes and were dragged (sailed?) to-and-fro at blistering speeds, occasionally being yanked 10 feet or so from the water. Ignoring the risk of crashing into one of the many reefs below, this looked like great fun, even if hard work.

One can recommend no better place than nearby Lanikai Beach for watching the sunrise. This beach is in a residential neighborhood, and what a nice neighborhood! At 6 am there were locals gathering for seakayak outings and walks. The sun rose behind the distant island of Molokai, usually invisible except when backlit by the sun. We stashed our towels and clothes for a quick dip. Given more time and energy, we might have chanced a swim to two small islands nearby, called the Mokulua islands; however, kayakers are best equiped to explore these bird sanctuaries.

Thanks to Frommer's guide for the tips.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.