Welcome to Kailua

Laid-back elegance and supreme natural beauty are at the heart of this beachy Oahu community
Frequently ranked one of the most desirable communities in the Hawaiian Islands, Kailua is a picturesque, quintessential beach town situated on Oahu’s gorgeous windward coast. Located roughly 20 minutes away from “town” (or the stunning metropolis that is Honolulu), the small city once served as an oasis for Hawaii’s loyalty. Understandably so because, between its views of the verdant Koolau mountains and its stretches of immaculate white sand beaches, Kailua contains all of the elements that earned Hawaii its legendary status.
Kailua preserves its vacation feel but with an important caveat: There are no immense resorts on its majestic beaches, no towering skyscrapers, and no massive shopping plazas. Instead, you’ll find a panoply of both kick-back and opulent restaurants, cozy coffee houses, bustling neighborhood markets, shave ice stands, and unique, independent boutiques showcasing the work of Hawaii’s finest entrepreneurs. The homes here mirror Kailua’s understated sophistication, with spacious, airy estates featuring koa wood details, lush landscaping, and booming views of the Pacific. And yet, Kahala’s casual nature — a place where you can go anywhere in your surf shorts and slippers — gives it a fun, old-school Hawaii feel that makes every day downright idyllic.

What to Love

  • A tranquil, suburban, tight-knit vibe
  • Proximity to downtown Honolulu, Waikiki, and the North Shore
  • Excellent for walking and biking around town
  • Minutes away from a bounty of awe-inducing hikes
  • Home to two of Hawaii’s most exquisite beaches

Local Lifestyle

The beauty of Kailua is that it calls to a wide range of residents. Affluent professionals who enjoy being a short commute away from Honolulu? Check. Retirees who relish time in the surf and sand? You bet! Passionate artists and entrepreneurs inspired by Kailua’s quiet and beauty? Of course. The aloha-spirited residents that make up Kailua give it its irresistible soul. You’ll often run into your neighbors on Lanikai or perusing the goods at the local farmers’ market.

Dining, Shopping & Entertainment

Honolulu may be a mecca for foodies, but Kailua comes in at a very close second, with great thanks to its high concentration of superb eateries, many of them helmed by the most prominent chefs in Hawaii, and its terrific, locally-owned venues.
To wit: Kalapawai Cafe & Deli. This lively eatery, nestled inside a historic home, features a vast assortment of fresh produce, delicious sandwiches, irresistible salads, and beloved local treats. It is a top spot for a relaxed dinner under the stars or to pick up supplies before picnicking on the beach. Buzz’s Original Steakhouse has been a perennial favorite for Oahu residents since its inception in 1962. Located on the beach with a definitively tropical feel, this is a go-to spot for awesome surf-and-turf and mai tai-infused special occasions.
Many of Kailua’s residents are early risers — who would want to miss out on a minute of Hawaii’s perpetually splendid weather? — and they often head to Cinnamon’s Restaurant Kailua to fuel up for the day. Guava chiffon pancakes, macadamia nut cinnamon rolls, and shoyu pork belly loco moco are just a few of the selections you’ll find on Cinnamon’s delicious menu. Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen is also often abuzz with Kailua residents, who savor hearty breakfasts like banana macadamia nut pancakes and homemade fried chicken and waffles. Regardless of your craving, Kahala is sure to satisfy. 

Things to Do

Kailua’s prime location on the windward side of the island means its residents are perfectly positioned to enjoy an array of activities within minutes. Lanikai and Kailua Beaches, which are consistently ranked two of the world’s most magnificent beaches by Conde Nast Traveler, offer terrific conditions for swimming, snorkeling, SUPing, and kayaking to “The Mokes,” a pair of isles just off the coast.
Kahala’s strong community feel is underscored in events and activities throughout the year. Kailua Farmer’s Market is a local treasure with its collection of vendors peddling everything from organic honey to malasadas. The Kailua Art Fair in downtown Kailua is equally cherished. Its annual parades, including a vibrant Christmas parade, and a spirited 4th of July extravaganza, lure people to the town’s lush, pristine streets.


Kailua is home to a handful of top-performing schools, such as:

Overview for Kailua, HI

38,051 people live in Kailua, where the median age is 41 and the average individual income is $54,021. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

41 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Around Kailua, HI

There's plenty to do around Kailua, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Very Walkable
Walking Score
Bike Score
Some Transit
Transit Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Youpo Noodles, Tofis Coffee, and All Hawaiian Honey.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 0.26 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 0.44 miles 7 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining 3.97 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Shopping 0.31 miles 10 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 0.21 miles 13 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 0.37 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars

Demographics and Employment Data for Kailua, HI

Kailua has 12,309 households, with an average household size of 3. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Kailua do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 38,051 people call Kailua home. The population density is 7,948.74 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

49.74 / 50.26%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Kailua, HI

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Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Kailua. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Kaelepulu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Kainalu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Enchanted Lake Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Kailua Intermediate School
7th - 8th
Keolu Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Ka'ohao Public Charter School
PreK - 6th
Aikahi Elementary School
PreK - 6th
St Anthony School Kailua
PreK - 8th
No rating available
St John Vianney Parish School
PreK - 8th
No rating available
Huakailani School For Girls
K - 7th
No rating available
Kailua Elementary School
PreK - 6th
Hawaiian Mission Academy Winward Campus
K - 8th
No rating available
Kalaheo High School
9th - 12th

Work With Elise

Elise brings a fresh, creative international perspective to her Luxury Real Estate, Concierge & Interior Design career. She chairs the Honolulu Board of Realtors® City Affairs Committee, is on the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Economic Association, an Officer in the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Hawaii Bailliage.