In Hawaiian, Kailua means “two seas,” named because of the two lagoons in the district that run through Kailua Bay. Mainly a residential community, Kailua is just 30 minutes from Honolulu and has a population of about 36,000 residents. The community is accessible from the Pali Highway (Route 61).
According to an archaeological excavation report, the earliest settlers in Kailua are believed to have dwelled on the slopes of the Kawainui Marsh as early as 500 AD. In the 16th century, Kailua replaced Waikiki as the residential seat of the Alii Aimoku of Oahu. According to historical accounts, the biggest event in Kailua was in 1795 when King Kamehameha I conquered O’ahu in his mission to unite the Hawaiian Islands. The King granted old Kailua to the chiefs and warriors who had helped him. The land that they received was used for agriculture, such as the cultivation of rice, taro and sugarcane, and eventually to raise cattle. Kailua is home to numerous ancient temple ruins, including the ones at Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site, a temple whose construction was attributed to the legendary Menehune and which later became a luakini, dedicated to human sacrifice.
Often called Hawaii’s best beach, Kailua Beach is about two miles long and crescent-shaped. It’s a popular location for surfing and bodysurfing due to its light to medium waves. Kailua Beach also has steady trade winds that make it one of the world’s best kitesurfing and windsurfing spots.
Kailua is known for its strong sense of community, holding Christmas and Fourth of July parades every year. To add to its family reputation, to the town also holds block parties, Little League games, and canoe paddling events.
Real estate in Kailua offers ample opportunities for both buying and renting. Many neighborhoods offer a plethora of single-family homes, as well as condominiums and townhomes. Known predominately as a beach community, most residential areas are no more than a few miles from the beach. Architecture tends to be modest post-war post and pier bungalows, or mid-century bungalows, plantation or ranch-style homes, mainly built between 1945 and 1965. For more modern construction, luxury homes and estates can be found in other areas of Kailua, such as in Lanikai and Beachside. Thanks to its beautiful commute to Honolulu, gorgeous beaches, and proximity to Marine Crops Base Hawaii, the property values in Kailua have held up much better than most other areas on Oahu, despite the current economic downturn.
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