Lanikai: the Heavenly beach

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Lanikai: the Heavenly beach
Lanikai means “Heavenly sea“. True to its name, this awesome beach is located in the town of Kailua, on the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. I was waiting for a much bigger strip of sand, like the huge ones I found for example in Santa Monica (CA), so at first I was a bit surprised to see this tiny 1/2 mile beach.
It is described as the most beautiful beach in Oahu and one of the best in the whole world. I was already cringing thinking of how and were we could park. I can’t stand overcrowded places – Waikiki beach is awesome but gosh! You gotta push your way to the sea through hordes of tourists! – and yet Lanikai was deserted. Completely empty. The very few people around were surfers. Not far from here there is a upper-class residential area, and even if this strip of sand is public property, it’s not a county beach: there’s no public parking, no restrooms, showers or lifeguards. You’re basically on your own. This probably scares away a lot of the tourists who want to just lay down with every comfort, no matter how much noise there is around. For us adventurers? It was a dream.

Lanikai: the Heavenly beach

As we drove through the town we noticed surfboard tables everywhere. Like exclusive community walls for surfers, they decorate every street, every corner, every parking lot. I talked to one of the surfers there, asking him why this tiny beach is so popular among surfers and he excitedly started telling me about the thrill of surfing in a place like this. First of all, the reef can be dangerous and you have to paddle a long way to avoid accidents. He surfed in what he called a “channel” through the Mokulua Islands, the “twin islands” and it was fun even if there are sharks, because the waves are thick and the water is amazing. As far as he said, you can literally fly in the air. But then again, that’s Hawaii for you!
Now, I’m no surfer at all but this seemed a bit dangerous to me. So, unless you are no Kelly Slater, I’d suggest trying to surf in a safer area, where there will be lifeguards and you can play safe. Don’t be reckless: the sea doesn’t forgive.

Lanikai: the Heavenly beach

 

If you go there to experience a nice and lazy day at the beach, during the week you’ll basically be alone on a soft powdery, clean white sand. It is windy but when it’s very warm you’ll definitely welcome it! The water here is turquoise, clean and not too cold. Even if snorkeling can be a bit dangerous because of the tricky waves (you can get hurt pretty bad if you crash against the corals) on the less windy days you can see tropical fishes and sometimes even sea turtles feeding on the algae growing on the coral (make sure you don’t get caught in a tourist trap! Read more on how to save money in Hawaii by avoiding even the unnecessary tours).
A lot of swimsuit, surf products and modelling shootings take place on this beach and I can well see why. We spent a peaceful day watching the surfers, sitting on the soft sand with our legs in the water. I regretted not booking another day because I would’ve loved to spend more time here!

 Lanikai: the Heavenly beach

 

My suggestion is always to avoid weekends if you can, because I suspect that it will be crowded anyway. But still if you want to go, just drive around, park your car and start walking: there are a lot of tiny coves around the area! Just make sure to park your car at the right spot, because the parking fees here are pretty expensive. There were also a lot of signs reminding tourists not to leave valuables in their cars, so remember not to bring too much with you, because you won’t be able to leave it in your vehicle and if you have to walk for a while before to find the perfect spot, you will be thankful that you didn’t bring that heavy book with you. Which is why I always carry around my Kindle, by the way! It’s featherlight and I can carry it anywhere.

If you want to go for a relatively safer beach with all the facilities and family oriented, the near Kailua Beach would be the perfect spot for you. We’ll talk about it soon!

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Lanikai: the Heavenly beach

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