Flawless beaches and understated elegance await in this windward Oahu enclave

Welcome to Kailua

Flawless beaches and understated elegance await in this windward Oahu enclave

Situated on the lush east side of Aloha State’s most populous and populated island, Kailua has earned accolade after accolade simply for being alive. Ranked one of the best beach towns not just in Hawaii but in all of the world, the picturesque community serves as a sanctuary on an island positively teeming with energy. Its two stand-out beaches — Lanikai and Kailua — crystallize the prevailing dream of paradise with their soft, golden sand, aquamarine waves, and unobstructed views of Na Mokulua, or The Mokes, a pair of volcanic cones that frame the seemingly-unending horizon.

While Honolulu, or Town, as Hawaiian residents know it, thrums 24/7 a mere 12 miles away, Kailua is a tranquil, family-first, wholesome haven. Kailua is a town where neighbors and proprietors know each other by name, and glimpses of “Old Hawaii,” from shave ice shops to rich cultural sites, lend the town tremendous charm. 

Top all of this off with a host of sprawling tropical estates and a downtown district flourishing with indie boutiques, inviting bars, and both laidback and upscale eateries, and you can easily see why Kailua has been dubbed the quintessential beach city.

What to Love

  • Steps away from two of Oahu’s most breathtaking beaches
  • An ideal mix of urban sophistication and kickback, surfer cool
  • An abundance of outdoor recreational pleasures
  • Tropical waterfront estates and stunning, exclusive properties

Local Lifestyle

Kailua has a warm, welcoming atmosphere where everyone from third-generation Kailua locals to new residents bonds together over maintaining the town’s perfect marriage between city and country, tourists, and kama’aina. 

Whether you work remotely, commute to Town, or are retired, you’re bound to feel like part of a larger ‘ohana. Given its proximity to the North Shore’s world-class waves, a bevy of awesome hiking trails, and Waikiki’s slew of luxury shopping, the town attracts a sweet mix of surfers, outdoor enthusiasts, professionals, retirees, students, and families.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Forget the fact that nearby Honolulu is internationally acclaimed for its first-rate restaurants and high-end shopping plazas — Kailua has its own extraordinary culinary and shopping scene!

Buzz’s Original Steak House is a testament to this. The legendary beachside restaurant has been abuzz since 1962, plating out Alaskan king crab legs, buttery lobster, and cooked-to-perfection steaks since its inception. From fruity craft cocktails to sashimi ceviche, this iconic Lanikai/Kailua landmark is a must for anyone who lives on or visits Oahu. 

Should you be fortunate to call Kailua home, now or in the future, you’re almost certain to run into one of your neighbors or friends at Kalapawai Cafe & Deli. This family-owned and operated market celebrates Hawaii’s rich culinary heritage. Fresh-brewed Kona coffee, gourmet snacks, locally-caught seafood, and an impressive deli round out its appeal, explaining why it’s the optimal spot to pick up a spread for a backyard barbeque or savor a casual dinner al fresco. Be sure to add their brown butter salted chocolate chip cookies to your cart — they’re famous for a reason! 

Start your morning off on a high note with a fresh, steaming cup of joe from Times Coffee Shop. This laid-back cafe pairs its welcoming atmosphere with a vast menu selection of flavorful and popular libations, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. A few other excellent restaurants in Kailua include the always-lively and always-satisfying Nico’s Kailua and the beloved Cinnamon’s Restaurant Kailua.

Shopping is just as delightful in this scenic community. From Kailua Town Center’s slew of markets — and a superb yoga studio to boot — to Kailua Square’s range of locally-owned boutiques, the town offers an impressive collection of shops, markets, and cafes to satisfy your wants and needs. Stop into Lemuria Crystal Shop to peruse a curated selection of rocks and crystals.

Things to Do

Kailua is globally renowned for the exquisite beaches it boasts. At the ever-glorious Kailua Beach Park, you’ll find a vibrant crew of visitors and locals taking full advantage of Hawaii’s epic weather, whether stand-up paddling or kayaking to The Moke’s. Meanwhile, Lanikai Beach’s pristine stretch of sand redefines heaven on earth. This beach is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or relax on the warm sand with a book.

Kailua residents, and Oahu residents in general, also strike gold on Thursdays and Sundays at the town’s magnificent farmers’ markets. Every Thursday, the Kailua Farmers’ Market features a bounty of delicious, Hawaiian-grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs, fresh-caught seafood, gorgeous flowers, and ono snacks to relish as you move from one vendor to the next. 

On Sundays, you can enjoy the camaraderie of the community and stock up on organic produce, honey, and just-pulled-from-the-oven pastries at the KailuaTown Farmers Market. This thoroughly loved event lures residents from across the island.


Children in Kailua are served by the Hawaii Department of Education. Several of the best schools in the region include:

Overview for Kailua, HI

38,051 people live in Kailua, where the median age is 41 and the average individual income is $54,021. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

41 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Demographics and Employment Data for Kailua, HI

Kailua has 12,309 households, with an average household size of 3. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Kailua do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 38,051 people call Kailua home. The population density is 7,948.74 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

49.74 / 50.26%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Kailua, HI

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Kailua. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Kaelepulu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Kainalu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Enchanted Lake Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Kailua Intermediate School
7th - 8th
Keolu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Ka'ohao Public Charter School
PreK - 6th
Aikahi Elementary School
PreK - 6th
St Anthony School Kailua
PreK - 8th
No rating available
St John Vianney Parish School
PreK - 8th
No rating available
Huakailani School For Girls
K - 7th
No rating available
Kailua Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Hawaiian Mission Academy Winward Campus
K - 8th
No rating available
Kalaheo High School
9th - 12th

Around Kailua, HI

There's plenty to do around Kailua, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Very Walkable
Walking Score
Bike Score
Some Transit
Transit Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Dip Into Paradise, Aloha Sweet Remedies & Juice, and All Hawaiian Honey.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 4.67 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 0.37 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 3.97 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 4 miles 7 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 4.67 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 0.26 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
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