Lanikai Beach, meaning heavenly sea, is a hidden paradise among Hawaiian Beaches, noted for the softest white sand and aqua blue sea. The water is calm year round and is one of the few beaches on Oahu with no shore break waves. Snorkeling is popular among the coral heads located in the shallow water just off the beach. Please remember that regardless of their appearance, coral heads are living organisms and they should never be touched. The signature view of the Mokulua Islands is breathtaking and even views of Molokai can be seen on clear days, to the South East. Located on the windward coast within Kailua Bay, it can be a little bit tricky to find Lanikai Beach by bus or car. The access and parking is limited by residential properties and care should be given to respect local residents. The best way to see this out of the way beach is by kayaking or stand up paddling there from Kailua Bay. This trip takes 30 to 45 minutes and is usually quicker on the return due to the tail wind pushing you back. There are no restrooms, lifeguards or facilities in Lanikai.
Snorkeling from Lanikai Beach is some of the best on the East Side. The calm and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for beginners and experienced swimmers alike. The waters at the edge of Lanikai Beach are natural feeding grounds for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, which feeds on the green algae growing on coral and rocks at the end of the beach. Cruising through the turquoise waters, snorkelers will see a great variety of tropical fish and coral, even in waist deep water just a few feet offshore.