We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

Winchester, Virginia
1 post
Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

We are 2 couples (ranging in ages 53-78) planning a land-trip for 2 weeks next year in Sept 2012. Went last year before cruising the islands and loved Oahu! However, we'd like to stay away from the downtown Waikiki area this time. Looking at a vacation rental in either Waimanalo or Kailua. Pro's and Cons???

Is there still a crime issue in Waimanalo? Waimanalo sounds great, but is it too far off the beaten path for us older tourists?

6 replies to this topic
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
1,594 posts
56 reviews
1. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

You can't go wrong with either one. Waimanalo has a beautiful beach and will be less crowded; however, your choices for rental properties will be significantly fewer. Another factor is restaurants. Although, it's not that far from Kailua, you will have a longer drive to access the town and all of the restaurants. If you're going to eat most of your meals at the house, it's a moot point.

Does Waimanalo have more crime than Kailua? Probably, due to the demographics of the area...but it's not a whole lot more. Most of the local people are very welcoming. If you respect them and the land, they will respect you. Always a few bad apples, but you find that anywhere.

I personally love Kailua because it's where I grew up and I like the ability to go into town quickly when I need to. Waimanalo has far fewer stores.

Bottom line, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Waimanalo to a friend, but my personal choice is Kailua.

Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
739 posts
1 review
2. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??


There are virtually NO restaurants in Waimanalo. Nor shopping.

The only things comparable are the beaches. They are both great!

Kiawah Island...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
Level Contributor
10,241 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Waimanalo, we planned our days and if we were eating dinner out, usually did so before returning in the evening.

This was an adult trip, our next trip will have several "younger" adults w/us, so we're planning to stay in Kailua.

Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
7 posts
38 reviews
4. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

we are in our mid 50's and just returned from a 13day stay in waimanalo and 11 days in kaanapali maui. this was our 3rd time vacationing in hawaii, the previous time we spent time on the north shore. my opinion is that waimanalo is very residential. not a whole lot to see or do, but did have nice beaches that were not busy during the week, but during the weekend got busy with locals. we felt very safe and the people where very nice. we picked a rental off vrbo.com and was happy with the rental. i checked honolulu police dept's website for crime complaints before i rented and found it safer than where we live. but the whole state does have problems with theft out of rental cars, so don't leave anything in your car.

but next time we will stick with kauai and maui. much more laid back and the traffic isn't as bad.

Bossier City...
1 post
5. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

Hello. This July will be my first time to Hawaii. My family and my boyfriend are going. The ages of the adults in the group range from 28-70s. I'm 28 and am concerned about my parents decision to stay in Kailua. My boyfriend and I are spending a lot of money on this trip. We just want to make sure there are things to do. I've already heard there is virtually NO nightlife. We aren't wanting anything crazy, just a place to grab a drink and soak in Hawaiian culture. Are we getting any of this in Kailua? We want shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Any suggestions are helpful.

Level Contributor
70,840 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??

Sara, it would be best to start your own thread. This thread should have been closed *years ago*.

One thing you should know is that very, very few rentals in Kailua are legally permitted. *That* could be a big issue for you.

Reply to: Waimanalo or Kailua ?? What's your preference ??
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Waimanalo