A Peach of a Beach
Kailua Beach is, naturally, crescent shaped, measuring about 2 miles in length.
Have you heard of Kailua Beach? No? Well, you should have. It's one of the finest Hawaii attractions. In 1998 it was declared America’s most splendiferous sandy stretch, and removed from future contention because it was deemed otherwise to be unfair on the other beaches. Unsurprisingly, it can be found along the sun-kissed shores of , an archipelago of islands that grace posters tacked to walls the world over, each depicting an idyllic white beach framing translucent azure waters beneath the shade of an indolent palm tree.
The intriguing thing is that these golden mirages actually exist.
Kailua Beach is, naturally, crescent shaped, measuring about 2 miles in length and fluctuating between 50 and 150 feet in width. It is sprinkled with the kind of sand you imagine having been carefully sifted before each grain is checked by hand, just to make sure they’re the right colour and shape, across which water of the bluest blue persistently advances and recedes, like a swell of sparkling crystals tumbling forward and falling away.
It is popular with locals, which is always an auspicious omen, yet enjoys fewer crowds and cleaner water than it’s more famous brother, Waikiki. What’s more, bathers are spoilt with a delightful view across the Moakes, two tiny uninhabited islands that have been delineated protected bird sanctuaries. They can be reached by a number of means, including paddleboard and, for the particularly intrepid and bold, an hour-long swim.
We recommend kayaking, however, a less demanding option that doesn’t come with quite so many risks of fatality. Besides, kayaks are available in abundance; energy is (usually) not. Look out for the kayak trucks (literally trucks with stacks of kayaks atop) loitering in Kailua Beach Park, which itself is a perfect spot behind the beach for a BBQ or picnic.
Thanks to its exposure to consistent trade winds, Kailua Beach is also a perfect spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing, adding spectacular splashes of colour and movement to the postcard vista. One might see an experienced kitesurfer soar 20 feet towards the heavens, or a beginner lose their kite to the clutches of a tree. Both are equally entertaining.
At the day’s end, lobster-faced loungers can drain the sand from their nooks and crevices and repair to Kailua town, a hip yet laid-back area with a selection of delectable restaurants, before setting out for more adventures in the morning.