A Locals Guide to Kailua, O’ahu

Kailua is a charming (growing) town that has a little something for everyone. The lush greenery that surrounds the area is just the beginning of the beauty. Kailua is located on the east coast of Oahu. The town provides coastline access to award winning beaches, hiking spots, mom & pop shops galore, & plenty of food choices for everyone to nibble at.

Intrigued yet?

If you’re planning a trip to Oahu, Kailua is a must stop (arguably a whole day destination). While living in Hawai’i this has been one for my favorite spots to hangout.

pssst… location headings are hot links.

The Best Activities

Kawai Nui Marsh

This location is spectacular to take a nice stroll or jog. The paved trail overlooks the largest wetlands in Hawai’i & is the nesting grounds for some of the endangered native birds of the islands.

3 miles round trip
Bring your fur baby – dogs are welcome on the trail.

Lanikai Beach

Beautiful beach, perfect for picnics, & pet friendly

Thrift Shop Hoppin’

Shout-out high school throwback!

One of my fondest memories is when a friend of mine & I went thrift shop hoppin’ trying on the most elaborate dresses we could find.

Seriously though, with as many thrift shops that are located in this small town you would be crazy to pass them up. I have hit some major jack-pot finds shopping these locations.

Don’t forget to stop into the little shops along the way.

Thirst Quenching & Caffeine Craving Crushers

Whatever you like… chai, coffee, juice, local craft brew Kailua is a hot spot for some of the best thirst quenching, caffeine craving crushers around.

My notable selections are listed below.

nnnhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh



Kalapawai Market

Iced chai is my go to order at Kalapawai Market. This is also a great spot to stop in for a snack before the beach. There are two locations in Kailua. The market near the beach is darling, but the one located in the center of town has the best fries. Either choice is a win.


Tasty treats & cute drinks – this place is a sweet spot to stop in, grab some original tea brew & enjoy the atmosphere

I ordered the lavender green tea latte & ginger guava latte (both iced) & didn’t regret it. Both were delish.

Grace & Growlers

Grace & Growlers is a self serving tasting room for some of the best locally made craft beers. Personally, I’m in love with this place. The atmosphere is super chillax. There are board games & you can bring food in from other locations.

Pour it yourself | Buy the ounce.

Oldie & Goodie

Pieology is usually my food go to during Grace & Growler visits. It’s close by plus beer & pizza are soulmates in the cosmos

Grab Some Grinz

The food in Kailua Town is some of the best around (at least if you ask me). Bullet points:

Brunch is hot here. Over Easy is one name drop spot.

Foodies wet dream destination.

There are a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly places here.

From acai bowls, thai tacos, to full experience sit on floor Moroccan cuisine (I see you Casablanca!) there is something for everyone. Here are two of my preferred eateries:


The Beet Box Cafe

The menu is vegetarian based with a variety of options. Breakfast is served all day & with options like banana oat pancakes you’ll be grateful for that.

I have been here a few times and there hasn’t been a thing I didn’t enjoy.

Lots of reasons to love this place.
That time we ran into Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy deferentially takes the cake .

Down to Earth

My always there place! I almost didn’t put it on the list because there are numerous locations around the island but… it is truly my favorite.

Down to Earth is a local market, vegan grocery with a hot bar & food counter. The Black Bean Beet Burger (as a wrap) & Kreamy Kale Smoothy is my main. Not a big fan of kale, but this guy tastes like almond butter.

So much belly joy after I leave this place.

Appreciate the Kailua Charm.

Thank you for the memories.

There are an unbelievable amount of options in Kailua Town. The things I listed are just my personal favorites, but really I didn’t even cover the half of it. Don’t believe me? Explore for yourself.

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