A few weeks ago we jetted off to Hawaii for spring break. Like recent years, we split our time in North Shore and at Disney’s Aulani. This year rather than renting a house in North Shore we went to the East Side for a few days in Kailua.
We found an adorable cottage a few blocks from the beach and it ended up being the perfect base for our family. As the girls get older, our needs for a vacation stay are changing. Our first jaunt to Hawaii when K was a baby, we needed hotel service. Both P and I were exhausted and just needed everything done for us. Now, we have the patience and desire to shop for groceries, stock our beach rentals and explore the area for new places to eat and things to try.
After unpacking, we walked to the Kailua beach and just relaxed while the sun set. It rained a few days out of the week so we threw open all the windows and listened to the rain. Each morning I went for a run around the neighborhood which was pretty tough in 84% humidity but it was so necessary to keep up exercising after all the delicious food we consumed.
Speaking of food, we explored the food scene in Kailua. One thing P loves to do is check out the local coffee spots. Our favorite was The Curb Kailua with their honey vanilla syrup. We also discovered Kono’s a tiny eatery with delicious pulled pork that is located near The Curb. The girls and P loved their pulled pork sandwiches and the entire dinner was very affordable. Here are a few helpful Kailua travel tips.
1. Stock up on groceries in town!
Kailua has several grocery stores like Foodland (which has an amazing poke bar) Whole Foods, Target and Safeway. We went to Foodland for deals on fruit and seafood, and Target for snacks and beach toys for the kids.
2. Visit Kailua Beach Park with Kids
Kailua Beach Park has bathroom and shower facilities. There were a few times we had run quickly to the bathroom with our toddler and thankfully they were close! The bathrooms are old so make sure to bring extra wipes. Kailua Beach waves are pretty gentle and our kids played the entire time at the water’s edge. There are also Lifeguards on duty. Parking gets filled quickly so the earlier you can arrive, the better.
3. Coffee Lovers have lots of options.
We found several local coffee roasters like The Curb Kailua, ChadLou’s and Morning Brew. Each of the shops offered small breakfast plates and pastries. I’d say that The Curb has great coffee but ChadLou’s beats it in pastries and food! All three places had excellent customer service. We got there usually right when each place opened because it took awhile for the kids to adjust to the time change.
4. Dine at Cinnamon’s Restaurant
Everyone usually flocks to Boots & Kimo’s but Cinnamon’s is more popular with the locals. Cinnamon’s is a favorite of President Obama and has delicious breakfast options. Located in a tucked away strip mall in the center of Kailua, waits can be long, so get there early.
5. Rent a Kayak
Rent a kayak and then head out to Kailua Beach to get to the tiny islands a mile or so out. The views are stunning and it’s great exercise!
6. Rent a bike.
If you are staying in a rental, consider renting a bike to get to the beach and in the downtown area. There are tons of shops, grocery stores, and restaurants all within 2-3 miles of the beach. Bikes made getting around much easier.
Do you have any tips to share on visiting Kailua? Share below and stay Pono!