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Things to do in

Kailua

Our most recommended things to do in Kailua

Kailua: 2-Hour Guided Kayak Excursion with Lunch

1. Kailua: 2-Hour Guided Kayak Excursion with Lunch

Perfect for beginners or travelers wanting to perfect their skills, this kayak tour has been designed to show off the very best that Hawaii has to offer. Follow a qualified guide to their favorite locations around the bay, visit secluded coves, discover Hawaii’s marine life, and find the best spots to snorkel. During the tour you’ll also protect the island by helping to collect marine plastics as well as learn how to positively interact with wildlife. The tour focuses on sustainable tourism and incorporates eco-friendly practices, such as the elimination of single-use-plastics at lunch. Get kitted out with all the necessary safety gear before hopping onboard your kayak and heading into the water. The first stop of the day is the beautiful Popoi’a Island, where you can admire and learn about the nesting sea-birds which are protected here. Next, follow your guide on an easy eco-hike around the island, and explore the tide pools that line the shore. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, replenish your energy with a snack break. While you eat, marvel at the magnificent landscapes of dormant volcanoes and the Ko’olau Mountain Range, which provide the perfect back drop to learn about Hawaii’s geologic history. Back on the kayak, soak up the tranquil atmosphere as you go in search of the green sea turtles that call these waters their home. Next, enjoy some free time to snorkel in search of colorful marine life, have a go at boogie boarding, or simply relax on the beach.

Oahu: Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

2. Oahu: Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

Take a scenic helicopter flight over Oahu and marvel at the island's highlights from the air. Choose between a shared or private tour option to best suit you. See Waikiki Beach, Makapu’u Lighthouse, the Chinaman's Hat, and much more. Begin the helicopter adventure with a flight over Honolulu Harbor. See the Aloha Tower, which has been welcoming ships into the harbor for nearly a century. As you soar down the coast, go past the Waikiki beaches, looping around Diamond Head. Shortly, witness Maunalua Bay open in front of your eyes, revealing the island's world-renowned reefs. Be greeted by Makapu’u Lighthouse after the rocky cliffs before you travel up Windward Coast. Pass Lanikai Beach and then see the appropriately named Chinaman’s Hat, the island’s iconic monument. But it’s not all beach and coastline on your tour. Get a chance to experience the lush tropical landscapes of the Ka’a’awa Valley and see the beautiful Sacred Falls. On your homeward journey, catch sight of the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Get an emotional flyover of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. The top sights include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Makapu’u Lighthouse, Lanikai Beach, Chinaman’s Hat, Ka’a’awa Valley, Sacred Falls, and Dole Pineapple Plantation.

Oahu: Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure to Mokuluas

3. Oahu: Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure to Mokuluas

Sail Kailua with local watermen on the wa’a (canoe) while learning about its history and cultural significance to Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. You will be given the opportunity to explore the ecosystem as you discover the coral reefs of Kailua with honu and other native species of fish. Enjoy the views of the Ko’olau range surrounding us as your guides tell the mo’olelo (stories) of various Ahupua’a (land divisions) that make up Kailua and the Ka Iwi coastline. Watch as the indigenous seabirds such as ‘Iwa (Great Frigate) and ‘Ua‘u kani (Wedge-tail Shearwter) fly close by. On Mokulua Nui, hike to the Queen’s Bath for a truly spectacular view. Back on the beach, taste some local treats, relax, and simply take in the serenity of the isolated beach.

Oahu: Twin Islands Guided Kailua Kayak Tour

4. Oahu: Twin Islands Guided Kailua Kayak Tour

This kayak tour is led by certified lifeguards and true watermen and women, ensuring that your activities for the day go off without incident. During the day you will kayak to some of your guide's favorite spots, including secret, secluded locations throughout the bay where you can discover marine life, great snorkelling spots, a place to kayak surf, discover hidden tide pools, secluded coves, and visit a sea-bird sanctuary.  You will have the opportunity to snorkel with your guide in a live coral reef inside Kailua's turtle feeding grounds and enjoy the idyllic, tropical paradise settings. During your tour, you will collect marine plastics and learn how to positively interact with local wildlife. The local partner is a leader for sustainable tourism and incorporates eco-friendly practices into their tours such as eliminating single-use-plastics from their lunches.

South Oahu: Whales, Chocolate & Beaches East Shore Day Trip

5. South Oahu: Whales, Chocolate & Beaches East Shore Day Trip

Set off an adventure around Oahu's East Shore, also known as Windward Oahu, from Honolulu or Waikiki. Visit Halona Blowhole, Makapu'u Lighthouse, the Manoa Chocolate Factory, Kualoa Ranch, Kualoa Regional Park, Chinaman's Hat, and Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm. Begin your day with pickup at your hotel in Honolulu or Waikiki, then drive in an air-conditioned van to Halona Blowhole, where Pirates of the Caribbean, 50 First Dates, and From Here to Eternity were filmed. Next, head to Makapu'u Lighthouse for a great view of the East Shore. Be on the lookout for whales off the coast from November to May. Everyone needs a little chocolate, so make your next stop at Manoa Chocolate Factory for a chocolate tasting in the historic town of Kailua. After, grab a local farm-style lunch from Kuoloa Ranch, the official film location for Jurassic Park. Take your pick from locally farmed and raised food, including hamburgers made from locally raised beef and garlic shrimp from shrimp raised onsite. The ranch offers vegetarian options too. Lunch is not included in the tour price. After lunch, relax and hang out at the beach in Kualoa Regional Park, across the street from Kualoa Ranch. Swim, bathe, and take photos with Chinaman's Hat — an island shaped like a hat — in the background. Finally, head to the Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm for some coffee and macadamia nuts. Make one last stop at Pali Lookout for a breathtaking view of the East Shore of Oahu before returning to your hotel.

Oahu: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

6. Oahu: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Combine the convenience of a tour with the flexibility of a road trip. This app will take you to O'ahu's best beaches and landscapes, as well as off-the-beaten-path gems. Explore the gorgeous and green Manoa Valley before driving to Tantalus Mountain for some breathtaking city views. After, visit the Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery and learn about its unique significance. Experiences you can have on the tour are: •⁠ Watch surfers at Banzai Pipeline •⁠ Hike to a waterfall at Waimea Valley •⁠ Eat garlic shrimp in Kahuku and shave ice in Haleiwa •⁠ Snorkel at Shark’s Cove (no sharks) •⁠ Grab a Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation •⁠ Hike Diamond Head Crater •⁠ Snorkel at Hanauma Bay •⁠ Hike Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail •⁠ Relax at Lanikai Beach •⁠ Grab lunch in Kailua Town •⁠ Explore Manoa Valley before driving to Tantalus Mountain

Honolulu: Full-Day Guided Hawaiian Food and Photo Tour

7. Honolulu: Full-Day Guided Hawaiian Food and Photo Tour

Experience the flavors of Hawaii on this full-day guided food tour. Stop for incredible photos along the way while sampling authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Start your adventure in the morning and head to the coffee shop for a local dish called the musubi. Continue to the Diamond Head Lookout and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the ocean. From here, head to Leonard's Bakery and try the famous Portuguese malasada. Next, visit the Halona Blowhole and Makapu'u Lookout to capture the most amazing photos of Hawaii. Now it's time for the famous plate lunch. Try it with shrimp or steak or a combination of both and see why it's one of the most popular meals on the island. Then, treat yourself to a trip to the chocolate factory in Kailua. Learn about Hawaii's history of chocolate and the movement to make it a sustainable industry. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to the Ko'olau mountains, and stop at a popular poke shop. Get a sample plate of poke to try the different flavors of this local dish. If you're not interested, don't worry, your tour guide will eat it for you. After, head to a local family spot for a large selection of traditional Hawaiian dishes to sample. Here, enjoy the diverse flavors of Hawaiian food. Finish your tour at one of the most popular shave ice places near Waikiki. Pick up one of these famous treats before being dropped off at the departure point.

Oahu: Best of Hawaii Photography Tour from Waikiki

8. Oahu: Best of Hawaii Photography Tour from Waikiki

Take beautiful photographs of Hawaii on a photo tour from Waikiki. Capture the stunning colors of the island with the help of a professional photographer guide. Bring any camera you like on our tour and see the best of Hawaii on a photography tour Visit scenic locations to see the amazing blue waters of the ocean and skies of the east coast. Go to picturesque locations, such as the marine reserve of Hanauma Bay and the Halona Blowhole formed by molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of years ago. Visit Sandy Beach and the Makapu’u Point Lookout on Oahu's southeastern tip. Admire Waimanalo Beach and the Ko’olau Mountains, and capture the stunning views from the Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout. Make a stop at Kailua or Waimanalo for lunch. It's a great tour for anyone who wants to see beautiful locations and spend some time capturing them on their cameras as ever-lasting souvenirs. It's also ideal for cruise ship passengers who want something different to do while in port. Tour at an easy pace to enhance your Hawaii experience and enjoy short walks through the dramatic landscape along the way. Stops will be made at: • Tantalus lookout • Pali lookout (admission included) • Ko’olau Mountains • Waimanalo Bay • Ono Steaks & Shrimp Shack (not catered)  • Makapu’u Beach lookout • Sandy's Beach  • The Blow Hole lookout • Lana’i lookout • Hanauma Bay

Oahu: Sunrise Photo Tour with Professional Photo Guide

9. Oahu: Sunrise Photo Tour with Professional Photo Guide

The Golden Sunrise Tour is something that you can't miss! When the sun breaks over the horizon on O'ahu and lights up the sky with its brilliance, there's nothing to compare with its majesty. Wake up your senses with the dramatic feel from this spectacular dawn of the day. There are many different spots to choose from, but this tour ensures you will experience the best ones. After the sunrise, you'll explore the area for more great photos with beautiful lookouts, secluded beaches, wildlife, and a spot chosen favored by former famous photographer Ansel Adams, to capture the beautiful Ko'olau Pali. You will also enjoy a well-earned breakfast in Kailua (not included in price).  

From Honolulu: Kailua Shuttle with Hotel Pickup

10. From Honolulu: Kailua Shuttle with Hotel Pickup

Book a round trip shuttle to quaint Kailua and take advantage of plenty of free time to explore every corner at your own pace. This little town is home to excellent restaurants, cafes, antique stores, boutiques, breweries, and, of course, beautiful beaches. Leave your Honolulu hotel early in the morning and enjoy a short ride in an air-conditioned vehicle. Once in Kailua, treat yourself to local food, such as poke bowls and shaved ice. Sample different types of chocolate or rent a bicycle to explore Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach. You can also experience the Lanikai Pillbox Trail, a popular trail on Oahu. Make the most of your time without a strict schedule and head back to your shuttle to be dropped off straight at your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua

Want to discover all there is to do in Kailua? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kailua

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 274 reviews

We had an amazing time sailing. Our captains, John & Toby, were a wealth of information about the history/cultural significance of “the Mokes”. This activity included a bit of everything…beach time, wildlife (monk seal, birds & crabs), paddling, sailing, hiking and playing in the waves. The wa’a (canoe) was very stable and none of us felt in danger, even with the wind and big waves. Paddling the canoe was easier than we thought. We did get wet, but our stuff didn’t! They supplied quality dry bags for our items. Once at the island, we hiked up to Queens Bath. Even though John and Toby hiked up barefoot, you’re going to need no slip shoes of some sort. It’s very rocky, but easy if you follow the guides. I have double knee replacements and didn’t have a bit of trouble. It has an amazing view and well worth it! Not once did we feel rushed and were so relaxed the entire time. It was a great way to end our vacation. This was by far my 13-year daughter’s favorite activity.

Jon was phenomenal and made a great experience even more fun, educational, and entertaining. My 17-yo daughter loved it. The highlight of a busy week on Oahu.

Had a great time on my vacation. Went to some amazing spots. Mike really knows his stuff! Definitely recommend this to anyone

Great tool to get about. The narration was useful and entertaining

It was fun. Don’t forget to wear non slippery shoes.