Three Perfect Days in Kailua
Kailua’s unique local businesses, scenic beauty, soft-sand beaches and friendly faces make it a place where residents and visitors alike can experience some of the most perfect days on Oahu.
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As you drive through mountains to reach it, pouring out of the first tunnel, then the second, there it is—the Windward side. Two brilliant blue bays, miles of lush terrain and a close peppering of neighborhood rooftops come into view from atop the Pali highway. Kailua’s unique local businesses, scenic beauty, soft-sand beaches and friendly faces make it a place where residents and visitors alike can experience some of the most perfect days on Oahu.
The Perfect Weekday
Heading to work, picking up the kids from school, or stopping at the store for groceries don’t feel like chores to the typical Kailua resident. Part of the town’s allure is its convenience—a unique luxury for many residents who live, work and play in Kailua.
If the standard Monday through Friday workweek doesn’t apply to your schedule, a perfect weekday in Kailua would involve going outside to enjoy a Maunawili Falls hike on a near-empty trail, or a less crowded afternoon at Kailua beach. But if a traditional 9 to 5 is your thing, it’s just a short walk around or a couple minutes of a commute, to run an errand, shop for a friend or have a delicious lunch.
Kailua town has several little lunch-break bistros and healthy grab-and-go options. You’ll quickly learn that a sack-lunch sandwich won’t compare when it’s pitted against one of Rosario “Kakay” and Chris Tarvyd’s homemade crepes from Crepes No Ka Oi. The Tarvyds have acquired quite a following with their sweet and savory crepe creations. The La Bella Italia crepe is stuffed with melted provolone cheese, Italian sausage and peppers slow-cooked in marinara sauce. Their most popular crepe, the Ultimate Breakfast Crepe or UBC, has people calling in from Hawaii Kai and the North Shore to make sure they haven’t sold out of the tasty item before heading to Kailua.
Vegan and vegetarian Kailuans don’t have to go far to enjoy a healthy, great-tasting meal. Down to Earth, Hawaii’s only all-vegetarian market, has a convenient Kailua location right on the centrally located Hamakua Drive. The market also features a deli with hot entrees, an extensive salad bar, fresh juices and smoothies, a great made-to-order sandwich menu and fresh grab-and-go options. “We have served health-conscious islanders for over 35 years, with natural and organic products,” says Mark Fergusson, chief vegetarian officer. “Our vast array of prepared vegetarian foods meets such high standards of culinary tastes that it is a destination point for people of all walks of life seeking tasty and healthy food.”
Afternoon shoppers make their way into the town’s main thoroughfare of Kailua Road. Stylish women’s boutique Mary Z’s helps Kailua women and visitors find their perfect outfit. Owner and Kailua native Terrie Farmakis, who named the store after her own mother, says her store offers an eclectic collection of designer jeans, dresses, and blouses that allow mothers and daughters to shop in the same place—a frequent after-school activity. “The women of Kailua are extraordinary,” she says. “They’re loving, kind, and hardworking. They’re friends and mothers and athletes. Every day it’s such a pleasure to see my customers come through the door.” Mary Z’s is constantly expanding its collections and adding new brands to better serve Kailua’s women.