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Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii

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Title: Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii  
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Subject: Oahu, National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, Honolulu, Harold Kainalu Long Castle
Collection: Census-Designated Places in Honolulu County, Hawaii
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Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii

Kailua, Hawaii
Census-designated place
Aerial photo of Kailua, Enchanted Lake and Mokapu Peninsula
Aerial photo of Kailua, Enchanted Lake and Mokapu Peninsula
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Country United States
State Hawaii
 • Total 10.6 sq mi (27.4 km2)
 • Land 7.8 sq mi (20.1 km2)
 • Water 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 38,635
 • Density 3,700/sq mi (1,400/km2)
Time zone Hawaii-Aleutian (UTC-10)
Zip Code 96734
Area code(s) 808
FIPS code 15-23150
GNIS feature ID 359894
View of Kailua from the Kaiwa Ridge Trail (Keolu Hills)
View of Kailua Town from Ahiki, the third peak of Olomana

Kailua is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.[1]

In the Hawaiian language Kailua means "two seas" or "two currents", a contraction of the words kai (meaning "sea" or "sea water") and ʻelua (meaning "two"); it is so named because of the two lagoons in the district or the two currents which run through Kailua Bay.

Kailua is primarily a residential community, with a centralized commercial district along Kailua Road. It has a compact, easy-to-shop business district surrounded by mostly single-family homes. By 1992, 50,000 residents encompassed a central urban core with surrounding residential areas.[2]

Places of note in Kailua include Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Kawai Nui Marsh, Maunawili Falls,[3] and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • 20th century 1.2
  • Beach 2
  • Geography 3
    • Kaʻōhao/("Lanikai") 3.1
  • Demographics 4
  • Government and infrastructure 5
  • Winter White House 6
  • Education 7
    • Public schools 7.1
    • Area private schools 7.2
  • Films 8
  • Community 9
  • Notable people 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Early history

It is possible that Kailua was home to Hawaiian families at least 1,500 years ago. The earliest settlers are thought to have lived, fished, and played on the slopes surrounding Kawainui Marsh. A report on archaeological excavations of the marshland concluded that when the marsh slopes were first occupied about 500 AD, agriculture was not possible.[4] Early Hawaiian occupants of Kailua apparently lived beside a lagoon or bay open to the sea, hundreds of yards shoreside of today's shoreline.

In the 16th century, Kailua attracted the ali'i. During the reign of King Kakuhihewa and his successors, Kanekapu, Kahoowaha, Kauakahiakahoowaha, and Kualii, Kailua replaced Waikiki as the residential seat of the Alii Aimoku of Oahu. Many legends were born, including the menehune, who were known for working at night in Kawai Nui Marsh, and mo'o, who took the shape of a large lizard that attracted fish.

Kailua was densely populated even before the arrival of Captain James Cook, and was the ancient capital of Oahu's kings. The biggest event in Kailua and the entire Windward side was in 1795 when King Kamehameha I conquered O'ahu in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. The king granted Kawai Nui Marsh and old Kailua, which included large freshwater fish ponds and saltwater ponds at Mokapu, to warriors and chiefs who had helped him. The land was used in various forms for agriculture (e.g., sugarcane, rice, and taro), and eventually was used primarily for cattle raising. Many ancient temple ruins, such as those at Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site, are in the area.[5]

20th century

Kailua is a small town of barely 3,000 in the 1940s. However, the events of World War II changed the appearance of Kailua. Kaneohe Ranch sold portions of land to the government for expansion of the Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay (now Marine Corps Base Hawaii) and the Army's Fort Hase. Finally, in 1942, Kaneohe Ranch closed down its cattle-raising operations entirely, freeing thousands of acres for post-war development. Harold K.L. Castle, owner of Kaneohe Ranch, donated the land for churches, schools, and a new hospital.

In 1946, a small Liberty House (now Macy's) shop opened with three employees and upgraded to a full-line department store in 1953, with nearly 50 employees. The first bowling alley, a branch office of the telephone company, and the first supermarket in Hawaii opened in Kailua in 1947. A new four-lane highway, tunneling through the Koʻolau Range, was completed in the late 1950s. By the end of the 1950s, Hawaii had become a state and Kailua became the official postal designation (previously known as Lanikai). By 1960 the population was up to 24,400. Castle Hospital (now Castle Medical Center) opened in 1963. Craig's Bakery was a well-recognized bakery that opened in the late 1950s and closed in late 2001.[6]

The Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hokuleʻa, arrives off Kailua Beach
View across Kailua Beach to the offshore islet known as Moku nui, one of Nā Mokulua off Lanikai


Kailua Beach is often cited as Hawaii's best beach. It was ranked as the finest American beach in 1998 by coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, and then "retired" from subsequent consideration.[7] It is crescent-shaped, about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long and ranging between 50 and 150 feet (15 and 46 m) wide. The ocean bottom fronting the beach slopes gently to overhead depths without any coral heads. Light to medium waves support surfing and bodysurfing.

The steady trade winds make Kailua Beach one of the world's preeminent windsurfing and kitesurfing destinations. Robby Naish, first World Champion of windsurfing and Professional Windsurfers Association Hall of Fame inductee, grew up in Kailua.[7][8][9]

Sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to the protected seabird sanctuaries Flat Island and the Mokulua Islands, popularly known as "the Mokes", have become increasingly popular water activities at the beach. Dogs are not allowed.


Kailua is located at (21.397370, −157.739515).[10] Nearby towns include Kāneʻohe, Maunawili, and Waimānalo.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.4 km2). 7.8 square miles (20.1 km2) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) of it (26.62%) is water.[11] A significant portion of this water area is Kawai Nui Marsh, the largest wetland in the Hawaiian Islands and a nominated Ramsar Convention site.


Kaʻōhao (pronounced Kah-OH-how) is the earliest known Hawaiian name for the place known as "Lanikai." Kaʻōhao means "the tying" and is derived from an old story in which "two women were tied together here with a loincloth after being beaten in a kōnane game".[12] Kaʻōhao was commercially developed in the 1920s and was at that time renamed "Lanikai."[13] It is now an unincorporated community in Kailua on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. Lanikai Beach was rated as one of the top ten beaches in the world by Sherman's Travel Magazine.[14] The area is known for its white powder-like sandy beach, easy access to the Mokes and its hiking trail along the Keolu Ridge to the World War II military bunkers or "Pillboxes".[15] Due to it being a small community and easy access to its famous beach, Lanikai has one of the most expensive real estate markets in the state.[16] It is served by Kailua's zip code 96734.


Historically, Kailua was an ahupuaʻa, or area of land ruled by chief or king and managed by the members of the ʻaliʻi.

As of the census of 2000,[17] there were 36,513 people, 12,229 households, and 9,318 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 5,495.8 people per square mile (2,123.2/km²). There were 12,780 housing units, at an average density of 1,923.6 per square mile (743.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 43.84% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 21.11% Asian, 8.07% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 24.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.10% of the population.

There were 12,229 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 16.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98, and the average family size was 3.33.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $72,784, and the median income for a family was $79,118. Males had a median income of $46,789, versus $35,612 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $29,299. About 3.3% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under the age of 18 and 1.5% of those 65 and older.

Government and infrastructure

The Honolulu Police Department operates the Kailua Substation in Kailua.[18] The United States Postal Service operates the Kailua Post Office.[19]

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety operates the Women's Community Correctional Center in Maunawili CDP,[20][21] near Kailua.[22] The Hawaii Department of Human Services operates the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF) in Maunawili,[21][23] near Kailua.[24]

Winter White House

Barack Obama has taken winter vacations in 2008 & 2009 in Kailua and in the rented, ocean-front house Plantation Estate in the Paradise Point Estates in 2010, 2011 & 2012. The house was built by developer Harold Kainalu Long Castle, who also lived there.[25] Obama also took a vacation break in August 2008 at a different Kailua house, Oahu Lani, during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.
Obama signing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 on January 2, 2011.
President Obama signing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 on December 26, 2013.


Public schools

The Hawaii Department of Education operates the public schools.

Elementary schools in the CDP include Aikahi, Enchanted Lake, Kaelepulu, Kailua, Kainalu, Keolu, Lanikai, Maunawili, and Mokapu. Kailua Intermediate School, Kalaheo High School, and Kailua High School are also in the CDP.[26]

Area private schools

  • Le Jardin Academy
  • St. John Vianney School
  • St. Anthony School
  • Trinity Christian School
  • Redemption Academy
  • Huakailani School for Girls
  • Windward Adventist School


Movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Kailua include:

  1. Hawaii Five-O (1968): "King of the Hill" – TV episode
  2. Waikiki (1980) (TV)
  3. Mädchengeschichten (1998): Shea – "Surfer girl" – TV episode
  4. Lost (2004–10) – TV episodes
  5. Magnum, P.I. (1980–88) – TV episodes
  6. Hawaii Five-0(2010)- TV episodes


Kailua hosts various events throughout the year, from block parties to fireworks.[27]

Notable people


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Kailua CDP (Honolulu County), Hawaii". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "History of Kailua". Kailua, HI, USA: Kailua Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Na Ala Hele - Hawaii Trail System: Oahu: 14". 2000-09-21. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Kailua, Hawaii County, Hawaii". Hawaii State Info. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site". Department of Land and Natural Resources. State of Hawaii. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  6. ^ Bernardo, Rosemarie (December 10, 2001). "Kailua family bake shop forced to close its doors". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Kailua, Oahu". Media-HI, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  8. ^ World of Windsurfing : Robby Naish
  9. ^ PWA Profile – Naish
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Kailua CDP (Honolulu County), Hawaii". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hawaiian Place Names". Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  13. ^ "History". Lanikai Association. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  14. ^ "Top 10 beaches we love".  
  15. ^ A Windward Hike To Remember | Keeping Score |
  16. ^ Lanikai Real Estate
  17. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  18. ^ "Contacting HPD." Honolulu Police Department. Retrieved on May 19, 2010.
  19. ^ "Post Office Location – KAILUA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  20. ^ "Women's Community Correctional Center." Hawaii Department of Public Safety. Retrieved on May 19, 2010.
  21. ^ a b "Maunawili CDP, Hawaii." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  22. ^ "LexisNexis sells its database to prisons." Associated Press at MSNBC. March 16, 2004. Retrieved on May 19, 2010. "Harry Fuchigami, librarian at the Women's Community Correctional Center in Kailua."
  23. ^ "Frequently Called Numbers." Hawaii Department of Public Safety. Retrieved on August 22, 2010. "Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility" "42–477 Kalanianaole Highway Kailua, HI 96734"
  24. ^ "Re: Investigation of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, Kailua, Hawaii." United States Department of Justice. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  25. ^ President Returns to Paradise Point Estates, the Obama Winter White House – KAILUA, Hawaii, Dec. 23, 2010
  26. ^ "Kailua CDP, Honolulu County, Hawaii." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  27. ^ "Kailua Events". Kailua, HI, USA: Kailua Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 

External links

  • Kailua Chamber of Commerce
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