Kailua is located on the east side of Oahu and is a cutie of a beach town. We rented kayaks and then rolled them to the water’s edge with use of a handcart. I saw some folks complain about this process in online reviews, but we didn’t find it a problem. You can launch right on the beach or in a small, side stream. We chose the side stream so that we could ‘practice’ in the calm waters. This allowed my 8 year-old to get a feel for the boat and understand our plan for the day.
Then, we headed out to Flat Island. The half-mile trip was quick and completely safe. The island is a bird sanctuary, so visitors need to purchase a day-permit to land. The $3 purchase was totally worth it, as my boys enjoyed exploring the rocky landscape all around the island. My youngest and I took photos of the nearby islands, beach, and waves, while my oldest son and husband paddled out a bit further to catch some waves and ride their kayak in the surf.
Mokulua Island is nearby (an additional mile away), but we decided instead to head back to Kailua Beach Park to have lunch and then return to Flat Island a second time. The boys were more relaxed the second time, as the trip was familiar. Then, after returning the kayaks, we enjoyed the calm waters at Kailua for the rest of the day. Soft sand, calm waves, and shade. Hooray!