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Twelve miles northeast of Honolulu is the beautiful Kailua – a 4-mile ivory sand, pristine bay protected by coral reefs. The scenic views, and paradise-like vibes of Kailua makes it a famous getaway spot for anyone who wants to escape busy Honolulu for a while. Kailua is known for its iconic beaches and gentle waves – ideal for water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, and other water sports. Although Kailua is only 30-minutes away from Waikiki and Honolulu, it feels a world away from the sprawling resorts and high rise hotels. Home to the largest wetland in the islands, beaches perfect for first time surfers, and world class kite and windsurfing, Kailua is a perfect destination for your adventures.

Kailua is a superb place to kayak and stand up paddleboard. There are many secluded islands to explore just offshore, as well as sea cliffs and sea caves. A 45 min scenic paddle takes you to the Mokulua Islands seabird sanctuary. Frequently visited by Sea Turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals, the island offers an unparalleled, unique kayaking experience. Nearby Popoi’a Island is another popular place to paddle to with your kayak or SUP, and is known for its rich marine wildlife. Just a quick 15 minute paddle from Kailua – it features unique Hawaiian bird life, sea life, snorkeling and paddling. A short paddle away from Kailua Bay is Lanikai Beach, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A rock and coral formation break creates gentle waves that make it a great spot for kayaking and SUP.

The best time to visit Kailua is from January through May for the best temperatures. April to June and September to December see less visitors, so also make ideal times to visit.

TripOutside features the best shops for Kailua kayak and SUP rentals and tours, as well as the best surf shops in Oahu.

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