Ranked: Kailua Beach Park
Total score: 78
Major handicap: You can’t filter perfection.
A key things you must know about Hawaii beaches — they are all public. Even the glitzy resorts aren’t blocked from the general public. To me, that’s great. It means you aren’t stuck in some sort of Disney resort nightmare with Americans who are afraid of the “locals.”
Speaking of locals, this beach and surrounding area is a favorite. Filled with families and active folks wind surfing or ocean canoeing this is a gorgeous beach with laid back vibes away from the crowds of Waikiki.
Solid assortment of happy to be on the beach doggies playing with kids.
Access to wine: 3.
You aren’t supposed to drink on Hawaii beaches. However, a water bottle or cups (as long as you aren’t a mess) will suffice. Generally, this island has great wines, easily bought at the local ABC. Lots of Paso Robles and Australian wine, which happen to be my favorite.
It’s the SAND. Soft and powdery. Water clear blue and green with just a small break so that you can swim and play. Never underestimate perfect, soft, smooth sand. You feel actually healed going into this water.
Solid public bathrooms with outdoor showers for sandy feet. Cleaned often and well cared for, you’re all set here.
Unless you live on the West Coast, Hawaii is far and expensive. But, you can get relatively cheap AirBNBs and local food (including amazing sushi and poke) if you’re on a budget. Still, it’s a tourist destination and generally, everything has a pretty steep markup.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it, you’re still in the US.
Fresh caught fish turning into delicious poke and sushi? Papaya and pineapples abound? Kailua has great places to stop for a snack to pack a beach picnic.
Hawaii is proud of it’s beaches. A melting pot of many cultures combined with a laid back, outdoorsy approach to life, Kailua is the perfect neighborhood beach spot.
WILD: Sports: 10
Windsurfing. Ocean kayaking. You can’t surf but you can basically do anything else.