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Things to do in
Kailua

Our most recommended things to do in Kailua

Kailua: Nighttime Manta Ray Cruise with Snorkeling Option

1. Kailua: Nighttime Manta Ray Cruise with Snorkeling Option

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

From Honolulu: Oahu Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

2. From Honolulu: Oahu Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

Hop aboard a helicopter and admire Oahu’s landmarks on a guided flight tour from Honolulu. See the Waikiki skyline from above, fly past Diamond Head, and round the volcanic cliffs to Makapu’u Lighthouse. Choose a private or shared tour, with your choice of an on-or-off door experience. Make your way to the local partner’s helipad to begin your experience. Ascend above the city and follow the Windward Coast, with breathtaking views of the Ko’olau Mountains in the distance. Listen to your guide's live tour commentary. Pass Lanikai Beach and see its gorgeous coral formations. Cruise over Kaneohe Bay and discover why this place is regarded as one of the most scenic locations on Earth. Glide past the “Chinaman’s Hat” off the east coast of Oahu. See the Ka’a’awa Valley—the historic home of the island’s kings. Plus, take in views of the lush rainforest surrounding the Sacred Falls. Continue onto the North Shore to spot surfers at the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay. Loop back to Honolulu and get a glimpse of the pineapple-tastic Dole Plantation. Finally, pass over the iconic Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, before returning to the helipad.

From Waikiki: Best of Oahu Photography Tour with Pickup

3. From Waikiki: Best of Oahu Photography Tour with Pickup

Take beautiful photographs of Hawaii on a photo tour from Waikiki. Capture the stunning colors of the island with the help of a professional photographer guide. Bring any camera you like on our tour and see the best of Hawaii on a photography tour. Visit scenic locations to see the amazing blue waters of the ocean and the skies of the east coast. Go to picturesque locations, such as the fantastic Makapu'u Beach lookout and the Halona Blowhole formed by molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of years ago. Admire Waimanalo Beach and the Ko’olau Mountains, and capture the stunning views from the Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout. Make a stop at Waimanalo for lunch. It's a great tour for anyone who wants to see beautiful locations and spend some time capturing them on their cameras as ever-lasting souvenirs. It's also ideal for cruise ship passengers who want something different to do while in port. Tour leisurely to enhance your Hawaii experience and enjoy short walks through the dramatic landscape. Stops will be made at: • Tantalus lookout • Pali lookout (admission included) • Ko’olau Mountains • Waimanalo Bay • Ono Steaks & Shrimp Shack (not catered)  • Makapu’u Beach lookout • Sandy's Beach Lookout • The Blow Hole • Hawaii Kai • Leonards Malasada (our treat)

Oahu: Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

4. Oahu: Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

Take a scenic helicopter flight over Oahu and marvel at the island's highlights from the air. Choose between a shared or private tour option to best suit you. See Waikiki Beach, Makapu’u Lighthouse, the Chinaman's Hat, and much more. Begin the helicopter adventure with a flight over Honolulu Harbor. See the Aloha Tower, which has been welcoming ships into the harbor for nearly a century. As you soar down the coast, go past the Waikiki beaches, looping around Diamond Head. Shortly, witness Maunalua Bay open in front of your eyes, revealing the island's world-renowned reefs. Be greeted by Makapu’u Lighthouse after the rocky cliffs before you travel up Windward Coast. Pass Lanikai Beach and then see the appropriately named Chinaman’s Hat, the island’s iconic monument. But it’s not all beach and coastline on your tour. Get a chance to experience the lush tropical landscapes of the Ka’a’awa Valley and see the beautiful Sacred Falls. On your homeward journey, catch sight of the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Get an emotional flyover of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. The top sights include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Makapu’u Lighthouse, Lanikai Beach, Chinaman’s Hat, Ka’a’awa Valley, Sacred Falls, and Dole Pineapple Plantation.

Kailua: Explore Kailua on a Guided Kayaking Tour with Lunch

5. Kailua: Explore Kailua on a Guided Kayaking Tour with Lunch

Set off on an eco-friendly kayaking tour led by certified lifeguards and discover the secluded coves and beaches of Kailua. Glimpse into the world beneath the waves with a snorkeling stop at Kailua's turtle feeding grounds and explore the stunning coral reef below. Meet your guides and pick up all the necessary safety equipment for your kayaking adventure. Kayak across the azure waters of Oahu, taking in the breathtaking views of the coastline and stunning Mokulua Islands passing you by. Scout out lesser-known locations with your guide, including tide pools and secluded coves. Marvel at the white shores of Kailua beach stretching along the coast and native wildlife at a sea-bird sanctuary. Recharge with a break complete with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. Enjoy the chance to snorkel with your guide at Kailua's turtle feeding grounds and explore the reef and its marine inhabitants. If the waves pick up, try out kayak surfing and feel the thrill of catching the swells. If you don't know how, your guide is there to help. Throughout the tour, you will collect marine plastics and learn how to positively interact with local wildlife and the environment. Finally, make your way back to the meeting point to say goodbye after your kayaking adventure.

Oahu: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

6. Oahu: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you across Oahu to not-to-be-missed viewpoints, with fascinating stories, tips and directions, along the way. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Want to explore Hawaii, beyond Waikiki? Then it’s definitely worth taking a full day from sunbathing, renting a car, and driving to tour around Oahu. Major Highlights: Byodo-In Temple* Diamond Head Dole Plantation* Hale'iwa Hanauma Bay Kailua & Lanikai Ko Olina Laie Sea Arch National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific North Shore, Sunset Beach & Banzai Pipeline Pearl Harbor* Punchbowl Crater Shrimp Trucks* The Pali Lookout Includes: Island Circle If you want to have an amazing day and see everything, then all you have to do is start early and spend a full day of sunshine driving all the way around the island. Whichever direction you choose to go around, you will hear all of the commentary and visit all the best locations. Explore Oahu's Beaches and Volcanoes If you have more than one day and you like to do the activities as well as enjoying sightseeing, this is a great route to follow that can be completed in as little as half a day - but you can easily fill a full day too. This route starts by driving from Waikiki to Diamond Head (reservations now required). It then explores the south eastern corner of the island, places like Hanauma Bay (reservations now required), Halona Blowhole and Kailua before you have the option to cut back across the island to Waikiki, via the Pali Lookout. Head to the North Shore Many visitors are excited to start their journey by heading to Oahu's most famous surfing beaches and the eclectic town of Haleiwa first and then following around the windward side of the island (clockwise). Again, you can fill a day of touring by stopping at all the suggested attractions including the Polynesian Cultural Center. Instead of going all the way around the island, you can also cut across the island back to Waikiki as a shortcut at the Pali if you don't have time to complete the full circle in daylight. Visit Pearl Harbor It's recommended to dedicate at least a half day as its own day trip from Waikiki for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center if you want to pay your respects and explore this still active naval base.

Oahu: Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure to Mokuluas

7. Oahu: Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure to Mokuluas

Sail Kailua with local watermen on the wa’a (canoe) while learning about its history and cultural significance to Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. You will be given the opportunity to explore the ecosystem as you discover the coral reefs of Kailua with honu and other native species of fish. Enjoy the views of the Ko’olau range surrounding us as your guides tell the mo’olelo (stories) of various Ahupua’a (land divisions) that make up Kailua and the Ka Iwi coastline. Watch as the indigenous seabirds such as ‘Iwa (Great Frigate) and ‘Ua‘u kani (Wedge-tail Shearwter) fly close by. On Mokulua Nui, hike to the Queen’s Bath for a truly spectacular view. Back on the beach, taste some local treats, relax, and simply take in the serenity of the isolated beach.

Oahu: Grand Circle Island Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

8. Oahu: Grand Circle Island Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! NOTE: This 90-mile-long tour covers the essentials of Oahu Grand Circle in 3 - 5 hours. With an app that functions as your guide, audio tour, and map all in one, explore Oahu and the vibrant city of Honolulu that offers a little bit of everything, from lush greenery to the most stunning beaches in the world. Cruise around this tropical paradise, hike its best trails, and learn about its incredible conflict-strewn history, all from the comfort of your own vehicle. As an added perk, enjoy animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms, along many of the tour stops. After downloading the tour app (download instructions sent via email after booking), start your Oahu adventure at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial where you’ll begin to learn about the unexpected history of Honolulu. Next is Aloha Tower, one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Continuing on, see Iolani Palace, the extravagant former home of Hawaii’s monarchs, as well as a statue of King Kamehameha the Great. The first beach on the Oahu tour is Ala Moana Beach, a pristine stretch of sand that was once used for something else entirely. Then, visit Waikiki Beach, where surfing superstar Duke Kanahamoku got his start before he transformed the world of surfing forever. Leaving the beaches for a moment, get an up-close look at Diamond Head State Park, an enormous volcanic crater and Hawaii’s most popular park. Head toward the volcanic China Walls next, where you’ll hear the dramatic tale of Kamehameha’s rise to power and his rival, Kalanikūpule, who was willing to do the unspeakable to take control for himself. At the Hanauma Bay Lookout, find some of the most spectacular views; be sure to have your camera at the ready. For a less crowded spot, follow the route to the next lookout, which most visitors miss. After passing some seriously scenic shoreline, spot Rabbit Island just off the coast and learn about the utterly failed rabbit farm that once operated here. Then come to Waimānalo Beach, the perfect stop for anyone seeking a little seclusion. As you approach the town of Kailua, hear a dramatic account of the Battle of Nu’uanu. If you’re a kayaker, you won’t want to miss Kailua’s beach. Up next, catch a glimpse of the last remaining Heiau on Oahu. These ancient temples were deeply sacred to the Hawaiians and still hold a great deal of significance today. Find a trail to one of Oahu’s famous waterfalls. If you’re craving more nature, the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden will be just ahead, offering a staggering 400 acres of carefully cultivated flora. You might not expect a huge Buddhist temple in Hawaii, but that’s the next stop! After checking out the Byodo-In Temple, reach the Kualoa Ranch that’s become a Hollywood favorite. Wildlife enthusiasts will love what comes next: a huge wildlife refuge and Turtle Beach, frequented by the enormous Hawaiian green sea turtles. Then, head to Sunset Beach, the perfect spot to catch the day’s final rays of light. Later, head to the historic Dole Plantation, where the tour concludes.

Oahu Bundle: 6 In-App Driving and Walking Audio Tours

9. Oahu Bundle: 6 In-App Driving and Walking Audio Tours

Welcome to Shaka Guide's audio tour app, your ultimate companion for exploring the vibrant island of Oahu, Hawaii. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through stunning beaches, lush valleys, iconic landmarks, and cultural treasures. As you begin your tour of Oahu with the Shaka Guide app, prepare to be immersed in the island's natural beauty, rich history, and unique cultural experiences. The app will provide informative and engaging audio commentary, sharing insights into the island's geology, marine life, Hawaiian traditions, and local tips. The app will guide you through the historic district of downtown Honolulu, where you can explore attractions such as Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, and the iconic King Kamehameha Statue. Discover the vibrant food scene, explore local markets, and learn about the city's fascinating past. Continue your exploration as you venture to the North Shore, a surfer's paradise renowned for its massive waves and laid-back vibe. The app will guide you to famous surf spots like Waimea Bay and Banzai Pipeline, where you can witness surfers tackling the legendary breaks. Enjoy the pristine beaches, indulge in delicious shrimp from the local food trucks, and explore the charming town of Haleiwa. Discover the natural beauty of Oahu's eastern coast as the app leads you to scenic spots like the Halona Blowhole and the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail. Marvel at the stunning panoramic views, spot humpback whales (during the season), and capture the beauty of rugged cliffs and sparkling turquoise waters. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and lushness of the island as you journey to the stunning Ko'olau Mountains. The app will guide you through scenic drives and recommend hiking trails where you can marvel at waterfalls, tropical foliage, and panoramic views of the island's interior. Experience the cultural richness of Oahu by visiting sites such as the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Byodo-In Temple. Learn about the diverse Polynesian cultures, enjoy traditional performances, and soak in the serene ambiance of the temple. As you explore the island, the Shaka Guide app will recommend local eateries, hidden gems, and cultural experiences that will enhance your visit to Oahu. Whether it's trying local Hawaiian dishes, or snorkeling in pristine waters, the app will provide valuable insights to make the most of your trip. With the Shaka Guide app as your knowledgeable companion, your tour of Oahu will be enriched with fascinating stories, natural insights, and practical information. So, grab your phone, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through the captivating landscapes and vibrant culture of Oahu, Hawaii.

Oahu: Kailua Guided Kayak Excursion with Lunch

10. Oahu: Kailua Guided Kayak Excursion with Lunch

Perfect for beginners or travelers wanting to perfect their skills, this kayak tour has been designed to show off the very best that Hawaii has to offer. Follow a qualified guide to their favorite locations around the bay, visit secluded coves, discover Hawaii’s marine life, and find the best spots to snorkel. During the tour you’ll also protect the island by helping to collect marine plastics as well as learn how to positively interact with wildlife. The tour focuses on sustainable tourism and incorporates eco-friendly practices, such as the elimination of single-use-plastics at lunch. Get kitted out with all the necessary safety gear before hopping onboard your kayak and heading into the water. The first stop of the day is the beautiful Popoi’a Island, where you can admire and learn about the nesting sea-birds which are protected here. Next, follow your guide on an easy eco-hike around the island, and explore the tide pools that line the shore. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, replenish your energy with a snack break. While you eat, marvel at the magnificent landscapes of dormant volcanoes and the Ko’olau Mountain Range, which provide the perfect back drop to learn about Hawaii’s geologic history. Back on the kayak, soak up the tranquil atmosphere as you go in search of the green sea turtles that call these waters their home. Next, enjoy some free time to snorkel in search of colorful marine life, have a go at boogie boarding, or simply relax on the beach.

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What people are saying about Kailua

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 367 reviews

It was such an amazing and beautiful experience. I was able to see a manta ray, and in the blink of an eye, there were seven of them. I could safely encounter them very closely. The captain and crew were so friendly and fun that I couldn't stop smiling. Everything was perfect, from the music and complimentary suits to snorkeling equipment, noodles, and the atmosphere! I highly recommend it. I'll come back with my family within the next ten years, so stay healthy until then, Captain!

Snorkeling with mantarays was so unique.... it was highly recommended by friends but nothing can prepare you for the actual experience. The boats crew were top notch, providing education, safety tips, encouragement and help when needed. This is an activity that is a must when visiting the Big Island

Outstanding, we got lucky with a ton of Manta activity, spent about 30 minutes in the water and had non-stop Manta's swimming right up to us, at times touching us. At any given moment you could look side to side and then down and see at least 15 different Manta Ray's. Once in a lifetime experience.

Loved every minute. Emma was great. Lots of information and scenery and loved the ride.

We absolutely loved this tour! Highly recommend for sure