Explore by Kayak!

By Hawaii.com Team

Kailua Beach, Oahu. Photo: beccacantpark.

Paddling a kayak is a good way to leave the world behind and work off some stress. In a kayak, it’s enough to concentrate on the rhythm of paddles dipping in and out of the water, enough to squint lazily into the sun for flashing schools of fish, the occasional dolphin or sea turtle, or a little island floating on the horizon. The world revolves in slow motion and all a paddler has to do is catch the rhythm.

One of our favorite spots to kayak is Kailua Beach — and should be at the top of your list of places to visit. Kailua Beach is within paddling distance of the Mokulua Islands, which are bird sanctuaries commonly known as the Twin Islands. (But in fact, Moku Nui is larger than its tiny twin, Moku Iki.) Affectionately called “The Mokes” by locals, the shorelines of these islands frequently reveal green sea turtles and a host of intriguing seabirds including wedge-tailed sheerwaters, brown boobies and more. Truly the stuff of Paradise.

Since visitors generally don’t check kayaks with their luggage, it’s worth noting that kayaks — and even skilled guides if you don’t want to explore alone — are available to those who want to paddle. Most kayak activity providers offer beginner lessons, affordable kayaks and soft vehicle racks to carry kayaks wherever you want to launch. Several will send professional guides with you on an eco-tour adventure that aims to include as many wildlife encounters as possible.

In addition to Kailua Beach, some of the most popular paddling spots around the island are Kaneohe Bay, the river in Waimea Valley, Kualoa Beach Park, Kahana Bay, Kahana Stream and Waimanalo Beach Park.

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