The word Lanikai means heavenly ocean, which aptly describes this beach which in many top 10 beaches lists. It has an outside reef which keeps the water calm. It is great for swimming snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing or just sitting on the beach with a book. Lanikai Beach is about a mile long and from it you can see the twin Mokuluas (islands).
Once you enter the Lanikai neighborhood, you’ll notice the road forms a one-way loop that starts at A‘alapapa Drive on the mauka (mountain) side and eventually becomes Mokulua Drive once you get to the makai (ocean) side. Park on one of the many side streets that connect these two and make your way down one of the public access pathways to the beach. Please be mindful not to block anyone’s driveway and keep your voices low so as not to disturb the residents.
Before diving in, be sure to check if the water is calm and you don’t see any Portuguese Man-of-War on the shoreline – identifiable by little blue bubbles and a shriveled tentacle. Their sting is brutal!
Note: The only bathrooms nearby are located just before you enter Lanikai at the end of Kailua Beach Park.