Kailua, Hawaii is named for the two currents that run through the Kailua Bay. This small bustling beach community features white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, and charming locals who make guests instantly feel at home. Find yourself among palm trees, lush greenery, and towering mountains in this tropical paradise. When you book a vacation rental here, you can enjoy a variety of watersports, as well as hikes along the Lanikai Pillbox, and plenty of locally owned restaurants and shops. Book a stay at an incredible Kailua vacation rental today. Here are the most scenic places to visit in and around Kailua.

1. Kailua Bay

Protected by the outer reef, Kailua Bay features calm waters that are ideal for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming. When you stay close by, you can head to the Kailua Bay Beach Park which offers a picnic area, showers, and restrooms on-site. Some vacation rentals include fishing poles and equipment, so you can easily grab some gear and spend time on the Kailua Pier

2. Makaha

Discover all of the activities Makaha has to offer when you book a vacation rental in near the Makaha Beach Park. Sign up for a Dolphin Excursion snorkeling adventure, or spend the day at Aki’s beach where you can look for sea turtles. Experience Hawaii from the air in an open cockpit aircraft or take surfing lessons and hit the waves.

3. Alala Point

Relax in the paradise setting of Alala Point. Rentals include efficient apartments or spacious beachfront homes for families. Sign up for a little something different and tour the island on a Segway, or rent a car and travel along the Southeast Shore. This long stretch of beach is one of the best kept secrets in the area, which is ideal for families who like to avoid the crowds.

4. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is considered one of the top beaches of Oahu. Vacation rentals on the water and an endless stretch of sand make this the perfect spot for an early morning walk. You can also go swimming, let the kids play volleyball and build sand castles, or simply lay in the sun. Look for gifts and tropical fruits at the Kailua Farmer’s Market, or go kayaking and canoeing along the crystal blue waters. Lanikai is also close to the Olomana Three Peaks Trail, which is ideal for those who enjoy hiking.

5. Kaneohe

Kaneohe is one of the largest communities along the Oahu Coast, and one of its most traveled locations is the Byodo-in Temple. Challenge friends and family to a game of putt-putt of the Bay View Mini-Putt location, or sign up for ziplining through the lush greenery. The Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens features a variety of flora and fauna from the region. Afterward, you can stop by the Kualoa Ranch for a day of horseback riding.

6. Maunawili

Maunawili is home to the Maunawili Falls, which is a 3-mile hike up to a beautiful waterfall. Here, you can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views, or go swimming in one of the swimming holes. Less than 2 miles away, the Manoa Falls offers cool waters to beat the heat of the summer sun. When you book your vacation rental, make sure you bring your hiking boots so you can head to the Nuuanu Pail Lookout for stunning views of the valley below.

7. O’ahu

Located just to the north of Kailua, Sunset Beach is one of the most popular surfing beaches in Oahu. Take lessons and learn how to conquer the waves like a pro, or dry your feet and shop at the North Shore Country Market. Adventure Tours offers day tours of the area, or you can rent a horse and take the family on a ride on the beach.

8. Waimanalo Beach

Sit back and enjoy the views of the Kamehame Ridge from the tranquil Waimanalo Beach. Take part in an official Chief’s luau and enjoy some authentic Hawaii meals and dance. Vacation rentals on the beach include fully furnished condos to multilevel luxury homes with swimming pools and other amenities.

9. Kahaluu

Blend in with the locals when you rent a home in the small residential community of Kahaluu. The Kahaluu Bay offers calm waters that are ideal for learning how to stand-up paddleboard or surf. Take the kids on a learning adventure to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve where there are a variety of hands-on exhibits. History buffs will enjoy the WWII Pacific National Monument.

10. Waikiki

Waikiki is a beachfront community located approximately 30 minutes from Kailua. This famous city was once the playground to Hawaiian royalty, and now it is one of the most popular tourist locations in the state. Go shopping at one of the many shops on the island or visit the Honolulu Zoo. If you have a sense of adventure, sign up for a surfing or out rigging lesson, or dance the hula at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

11. Ahuimanu

One of the more exclusive places to look for vacation rentals, Ahuimanu is situated near the city of Honolulu. Take a tour of the island from a helicopter, or sign up for a Keawe Adventure and go fly-fishing or snorkeling. If you enjoy a challenging hike, climb the Haiku Stairs for incredible views of the region.

12. Ewa Beach

Select a cozy cottage along Ewa Beach for access to plenty of activities and beautiful landscapes. Visit the Queen Annes Revenge, which brings artifacts from the ocean floor, or visits the beach for swimming, surfing, shell collecting, or relaxing. Play a round of golf at the Ewa Beach Golf Club or take a ride on the Hawaiian Railway.