Few places in the Islands combine as much fascinating history with natural beauty as Kailua and Lanikai. Hawaiians first settled here as early as 1200, and Hawaiian royalty came here to vacation hundreds of years ago because of the wealth of fresh water and the beautiful bay, fed by numerous streams, ponds and springs (Kailua means “two seas”). In the 1900s there were numerous small farms and a thriving rice industry in the wetlands here, which was gradually replaced after World War II by a bedroom community of veterans and others wishing to raise families in this idyllic setting. Development was further stimulated by the completion of the Pali Highway in 1961.
There are marvelous beachfront homes all along the four miles of beach along sandy Kailua Bay and exclusive Lanikai Beach, home to some of the finest residences in the Islands (including a home near Castle Point, where President Barack Obama has vacationed twice with his family). Kailua also has a wide range of affordable homes inland from the bay, as well as several low-rise condominium units.
Key attractions in Kailua and Lanikai include:
+ Mokulua Islands, a popular destination for kayakers, canoe paddlers and catamaran sailors.
+ Buzz’s Steakhouse and a variety of other fine restaurants.
+ Kailua Beach Park, a favorite for windsurfers, surfers, kite surfers, kayakers and sailing enthusiasts.
+ Kailua Town, offering several convenient shopping centers and dining opportunities, from Pacific Rim to Thai.
+ Luana Hills Country Club and Koolau Golf Course, two of the most challenging courses in the Islands, with the breathtaking Koolau Mountain Range as a spectacular backdrop.