Lanikai beach is on Oahu's southeastern coast, and has been ranked as one of the world's most beautiful beaches, along with neighboring Kailua Beach. The aquamarine waters, smooth white sands and gently swaying palm trees epitomize South Pacific Paradise. There are even times you can be there by yourself. Of course, when the wind is up, the hordes of energetic windsurfers quickly dissolve any fantasies of being marooned on a tropical island.
Still, most of the time, the beach is fairly quiet, and even when it's not, one must gape a bit at the natural beauty of it. Note: As with all Hawaii beaches, conditions are changeable. Check with the lifeguards or locals before entering the water, and always use caution. Lanikai, which translates to “Heavenly Waters,” is a beachside community, with exclusive Lanikai villa and condo rentals sitting on a reef-protected turquoise-blue bay. Right next door to Kailua Town, the two communities together offer the best Oahu has to offer, without the hassle of crowds. You'll find a variety of activities in the area, including swimming, sunbathing on soft white sand beaches, snorkeling and diving, sailing, hiking, and golf. Kailua Beach is known as one of the best beaches for windsurfing on the islands.
There is also a wide range of lodging, unique dining experiences, shopping at boutiques and markets. All of this and you are just twenty minutes away from the Honolulu Airport and the beaches of Waikiki! For the utmost in Hawaiian relaxation, Lanikai offers visitors a place where the past peacefully resides with the comforts of the present.
You might want to kayak out to the offshore Mokulua Islands. Lanikai Beach has the best view of these twin islands, which are recognized worldwide. The Mokulua Islands are about one half mile off the shore of Lanikai. These islands house many birds such as the I`wa, as well as provide a destination for fun recreational activities such as surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and paddling. Only Moku Nui, seen on the left as you face them from Lanikai Beach, is open for landing. Visitors are restricted to the beach so as not to step on the many seabird nests. This gorgeous island has a superb beach, an impressive double mountain, and stunning offshore views. Its somewhat smaller twin, Moku Iki, is almost its spitting image, but officially landing on it is not permitted (bird sanctuary). You can rent a kayak from a rental “van” across from the park. The water is clear so you can see the sand and corals underneath you. We saw a turtle surfacing from a distance. There's a couple of islands near Lanikai that you can kayak to. We only kayaked to one island to rest and ate some snacks. It was a bit tricky to get back in the water but if you are not afraid to get wet and jump back into the kayak, it's do-able.
My husband and I waited until the last day of being at our rental property on Oahu to visit Lanikai – big mistake! Had we gone there on the first day, we would have spent every day there! This is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. For sure, the best on Oahu. The sand is soft and fine, the water is warm, calm and clear, it is very quiet and secluded.