Although it is only around a half-mile long, Lanikai Beach offers plenty of seclusion for soaking up the sun and swimming. Located in a private neighborhood, and not too visible from the road, Lanikai’s semi-isolation keeps the crowds away.
If you want to do something more energetic, you can join one of the kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or bodyboard tours that take place here. Taking a tour is ideal for beginners or those unsure about local conditions. One popular route is to Na Mokulua (The Mokes), two small islands just offshore.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lanikai Beach has no lifeguard or on-beach amenities; bathrooms are available on nearby Kailua Beach.
- As the beach is in a residential area, visitors can be respectful toward locals by keeping noise down and parking in designated areas.
- Watch out for Portuguese man-o’-war jellyfish and stinging limu (seaweed), especially from June through September.
How to Get There
Lanikai Beach is a half-hour drive northeast of Waikiki, or 90 minutes by bus. Take bus number 20 to Ala Moana/Queen Street, then the 67 to Kailua Road/Hamakua Drive, before catching the 671 to Lanikai, or save time on a tour that includes round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The beach can get busy at weekends, which makes parking difficult to find. Weekday mornings are generally much quieter. The beach is also a great spot for sunrise and full moonrise viewing.
Pillbox Hike After soaking up the sun, you can stretch your legs on the short but rewarding Pillbox Hike. Setting off on the trail behind the beach, you pass by old military bunkers on the way up to a viewpoint that offers spectacular views of the coast. The round-trip hike takes between one hour and 90 minutes.