What Are the Best Things to Do Kona Hawaii

What Are the Best Things to Do Kona Hawaii?

When it comes to exploring the beautiful region of Kona, Things to Do Kona Hawaii, there is no shortage of incredible activities and sights to enjoy. From adventurous outdoor pursuits to cultural experiences, here are some of the best things to do in Kona, Hawaii. Nestled on the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, Kona is a paradise brimming with diverse experiences that cater to every type of traveler.

From the lush landscapes and pristine beaches to the rich cultural history and vibrant local flavors, Kona offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re an avid snorkeler eager to explore colorful coral reefs, a history enthusiast looking to uncover ancient Hawaiian lore, or a coffee lover yearning to taste some of the world’s finest brews, Kona has something special to offer. Join us as we delve into the best activities and attractions that make Kona a must-visit destination in Hawaii.

Visit Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

A visit to this sacred site allows you to step back in time and learn about Hawaiian history and culture. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, Things to Do Kona Hawaii, also known as the Place of Refuge, was a sanctuary for those who violated ancient Hawaiian laws. Take a stroll through the park and admire the ancient temple platforms, fishponds, and reconstructed thatched roofs. You can also take part in cultural demonstrations and learn about traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts.

Visit Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Explore the Historical Kailua Village

Begin your journey in Kona by visiting the historic Kailua Village. Immerse yourself in the rich history and charm of this seaside town, where you can discover art galleries, boutique shops, and delicious local cuisine. Don’t forget to explore the Hulihee Palace, a former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty, and the Mokuaikaua Church, which is the oldest Christian church in Hawaii.

Snorkel or Dive at Kealakekua Bay

Head south of Kona to Kealakekua Bay, a marine sanctuary renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and vibrant coral reefs. Grab your snorkeling gear and dive into an underwater paradise filled with tropical fish, manta rays, and even dolphins. If you’re a certified diver, consider taking a boat tour to explore the deeper parts of the bay.

Things to Do in Kona Hawaii

When it comes to things to do in Kona, Hawaii, you’ll never run out of options. From stunning beaches and water activities to exploring historical landmarks and sampling delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant town. Here are some of the best things to do in Kona, Hawaii.

Relax on the Beautiful Beaches

Kona is known for its picturesque beaches with pristine white sands and clear blue waters. Spend a day lounging under the sun and swimming in the warm Pacific Ocean at popular beaches like Magic Sands Beach Park and Kahalu’u Beach Park. These beaches offer calm waters and are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, or simply taking in the breathtaking coastal views.

Take a Coffee Farm Tour

Kona is famous for its delicious and highly regarded coffee. Don’t miss the chance to take a guided tour of a coffee farm and learn about growing and harvesting these top-quality beans. You can also indulge in a cup of freshly brewed Kona coffee while enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the lush coffee plantations.

Embark on an Ocean Adventure

Kona is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Try your hand at various water activities such as paddleboarding, and kayaking, or even take a thrilling jet ski ride along the coastline. For a unique experience, consider booking a sunset cruise or a dolphin and whale-watching tour to witness these majestic marine creatures in their natural habitat.

Hike to the Top of Mauna Kea

For adventurous souls, a hike to the summit of Mauna Kea is a must-do activity. This dormant volcano stands at over 13,000 feet above sea level, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the island and beyond. The hike to the summit can be challenging, but the reward is well worth it. On a clear day, you can see the neighboring islands of Maui and Mauna Loa. Remember to dress warmly and bring plenty of water and snacks for this adventure.

Walk Around Historic Kailua-Kona Village

One of the best things to do in Kona is to take a stroll around Historic Kailua-Kona Village. This charming and vibrant area is filled with historical landmarks, unique shops, delicious restaurants, and bustling markets. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Kona by exploring the Historic Kailua-Kona Village. Take a leisurely walk along Ali’i Drive, the main street of the village, and admire the beautifully preserved historical buildings that back to the early 19th century.

As you meander through the streets, you’ll come across landmarks such as Hulihe’e Palace, a former royal vacation home turned museum. Step inside to learn about the Hawaiian monarchy and view the Victorian-era furnishings and royal artifacts. Nearby, you’ll find Mokuaikaua Church, Hawaii’s oldest Christian church, which is worth a visit for its architectural beauty and spiritual significance.

The village is also a haven for shopping enthusiasts. Browse through the charming boutiques and galleries that showcase local artwork, handmade crafts, and jewelry. Look out for the Kona Inn Shopping Village, a historic shopping center that housed the first hotel in Kona. This lively complex is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, where you can find unique souvenirs or indulge in local cuisine.

What is the Best Things to Do Kona Hawaii?

Kona is a beautiful destination that can be enjoyed year-round due to its warm and sunny climate. However, certain times of the year may be more favorable for specific activities or experiences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding the time to visit Kona:What is the Best Things to Do Kona Hawaii

1. Weather

Kona experiences a dry and sunny climate, with temperatures typically ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C) throughout the year. The weather is relatively consistent, making it a great place to visit anytime if you’re looking for warm and pleasant conditions. However, if you prefer slightly cooler temperatures, you may want to consider visiting during the winter months (December to February), when temperatures can be a bit milder.

2. Whale Watching

If you’re interested in witnessing the magnificent humpback whales, plan your visit between December and April. During these months, thousands of whales migrate to the warm Hawaiian waters to breed and give birth. You can book a whale-watching tour to get up close with these gentle giants and hear their haunting songs.

3. Surfing and Water Activities

Kona is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, with waves that cater to both beginners and experienced surfers. The best time for surfing and other water activities is during the winter months, from November to March. This is when the strong swells generated by the North Pacific storms reach the shores of Kona, creating perfect conditions for surfing. Grab your board and head to popular surf spots like Banyans or Magic Sands Beach to catch some waves.

How Many Days Do You Need in Kona?

If you’re planning a trip to Kona, you may be wondering how many days you should allocate for this incredible destination. While the exact number of days will vary depending on your personal preferences and the activities you wish to partake in, here are some recommendations to help you plan your itinerary:

1. Weekend Getaway

If you only have a couple of days to spare, a weekend getaway to Kona can still be a fulfilling experience. With two full days, you can explore the highlights of the area and get a taste of the local culture. Spend your first day exploring downtown Kona, visiting historical landmarks, shopping for souvenirs, and enjoying a delicious meal at one of the waterfront restaurants. On your second day, venture out to explore the natural wonders of Kona, such as snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, or taking a leisurely drive along the scenic Kona Coast.

2. Three to Four Days

With three to four days in Kona, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and adventure that the region has to offer. Use one day to explore the north of Kona, where you can visit iconic attractions like Ma una Kea, a dormant volcano, and the highest point in Hawaii. Take a scenic drive up to the summit and witness breathtaking views of the island. Don’t forget to bring warm clothing as the temperature can drop significantly at higher altitudes.

What is Kona Best Known For?

Kona is best known for its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and its rich coffee heritage. Here are a few things that Kona is famous for:

  • Pr Beaches: Kona is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. From the white sands of Hapuna Beach State Park to the black sands of Punalu’u Beach, there is a beach for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to relax on the shore, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or try out water sports like snorkeling or kayaking, Kona’s beaches are sure to captivate you.
  • Kona Coffee: When it comes to coffee, Kona is renowned worldwide for its high-quality beans. The volcanic soil and ideal climate of the Kona region create the perfect conditions for growing coffee. Take a tour of a coffee farm to learn about the coffee-making process, from bean to cup, and taste the rich and distinctive flavors of Kona coffee. Don’t forget to bring some beans back home as a delicious souvenir.
  • Volcano Tours: Kona is located on the western side of the Big Island, which is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea. Take a volcano tour to explore the incredible volcanic landscapes, witness lava flows, and even hike to the summit of the. You can also visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can learn about the geology and history of the area, and see the stunning lava tubes and craters.

How Do I Spend a Day in Kona?

If you only have a day to spend in Kona, don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to make the most of your time. Here are some suggestions for how to a day in Kona:

1. Explore Kona’s Historic Sites

Start your day by visiting some of Kona’s historical sites. One must-visit spot is Hulihe’e Palace, a former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty. Take a guided tour to learn about the palace’s rich history and admire its beautiful architecture. After that, head to Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in Hawaii. Take a stroll around the church grounds and take in the serene atmosphere.

2. Visit Kona’s Coffee Farms

No visit to Kona is complete without experiencing its famous coffee culture. Spend some time exploring one of the many coffee farms in the area. Take a tour of the farm to learn about the coffee-making process, from growing the beans to roasting and brewing. Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Kona coffee while taking in the scenic views of the coffee plantations.

3. Snorkel or Dive in Kealakekua Bay

Kona is known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, making it the perfect destination for snorkeling or diving. Kealakekua Bay is a must visit spot, offering incredible underwater visibility and the chance to see a variety of marine species, including colorful tropical fish and even dolphins. You can rent snorkel gear or book a guided snorkeling or diving tour to explore the bay’s stunning coral reefs and underwater formations.

Why Should I Visit Both Kona and Hilo?

While Kona and Hilo are both located on the Big Island of Hawaii, they offer different experiences and attractions, making it worth visiting both destinations during your trip. Here are a few reasons you should explore both Kona and Hilo:Why should I visit both Kona and Hilo

  • Contrasting Landscapes: Kona and Hilo showcase the diverse landscapes of the Big Island. Kona is known for its sunny, dry climate, stunning beaches, and lava fields. On the other hand, Hilo is known for its lush rainforests, waterfalls, and botanical gardens. By visiting both, you can experience the contrasting natural beauty of the island.
  • History and Culture: Kona and Hilo also differ in terms of their history and cultural significance. In Kona, you can immerse yourself in the history of Hawaiian royalty at sites such as Hulihe’e Palace and explore the ancient petroglyphs at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Hilo, on the other hand, offers a chance to learn about the island’s rich heritage at the Lyman Museum and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Both Kona and Hilo are paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities to suit every interest. In Kona, you can hike to the summit of Mauna Kea, one of the world’s tallest mountains, and witness breathtaking views of the island and the night sky from its observatory. If you’re into water sports, try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding in Kona’s pristine waters.

Can I fly from Kona to Hilo?

Yes, you can fly from Kona to Hilo. Flying between the two cities is a convenient and efficient way to travel, especially if you’re short on time or prefer not to drive the approximately two-hour scenic route. Both Hawaiian Airlines andokulele Airlines offer daily flights between Kona International Airport (KOA) and Hilo International Airport (ITO).

The flight duration is usually around 30 minutes, providing you with magnificent aerial views of the island’s breathtaking landscapes, including lush rainforests, volcanic peaks, and stunning coastlines. The convenience and speed of flying allow you to maximize your time exploring both Kona and Hilo without having to spend hours on the road.

Upon arrival in Hilo, you can easily rent a car or arrange for transportation to explore the city’s vibrant culture, visit nearby waterfalls such as Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls, or even venture into the famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to witness the island’s active volcanoes firsthand.

Whether you choose to drive or fly, visiting both Kona and Hilo ensures that you get to experience the best of what the Big Island has to offer, from beautiful beaches to lush rainforests, historic sites, and outdoor adventures.

Is there a shuttle between Kona and Hilo?

Yes, there are shuttle services available between Kona and Hilo. These shuttle services provide a convenient and comfortable way to travel between the two cities, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic journey.

One popular shuttle service is Roberts Hawaii Airport Shuttle. They offer shared shuttle transportation between Kona International Airport and Hilo International Airport. The shuttle operates on a scheduled basis, so it’s advisable to make a reservation in advance to secure your seat.

The duration of the shuttle ride can vary depending on traffic conditions, but it typically takes around two to three hours to travel between Kona and Hilo. During the journey, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the stunning landscapes of the Big Island, from rolling hills to volcanic terrain.

Another shuttle service option is the SpeediShuttle. They offer private and shared shuttle transportation, allowing you to choose the option that suits your needs and preferences. With SpeediShuttle, you can enjoy a comfortable ride with professional drivers who are knowledgeable about the area.

Taking a shuttle between Kona and Hilo is not only convenient but also allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery without the hassle of driving. It’s a great option for those who prefer not to rent a car or worry about navigating unfamiliar roads. Plus, with a shuttle service, you don’t have to worry about finding parking or dealing with traffic, giving you more time to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of the Big Island.

Is it safe to drive from Kona to Hilo?

Driving from Kona to Hilo is generally safe, but there are a few things to consider before embarking on the journey. The highway that connects the two cities, known as the Hawaii Belt Road or Route 11, is well-maintained and offers beautiful views of the island’s landscapes. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards and plan accordingly.

Firstly, the drive can be long, taking approximately two to three hours, depending on traffic conditions. It’s to plan for breaks and rest stops along the way to ensure you stay alert and refreshed. Additionally, be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions, as the route traverses different microclimates. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before starting your journey and pack appropriate clothing and supplies for any possible weather changes.

Another aspect to consider is the high elevation of certain parts of the drive. As you travel through Saddle Road, you will encounter steep slopes and winding roads. It’s important to drive cautiously and be mindful of the changing road conditions. Additionally, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and properly equipped to handle the terrain.

Lastly, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and adhere to them while driving in Kona and Hilo. This includes speed limits, stop signs, and any specific regulations that may be unique to the area. By following these laws, you not only ensure your safety but also the safety of other drivers on the road.

Where to Stay in Kailua Kona on a Budget

If you’re visiting Kailua Kona on a budget, there are several affordable accommodation options to consider. Whether you prefer a hotel, an apartment, or a hostel, there’s something for every budget-conscious traveler. Here are a few recommendations:Where to Stay in Kailua Kona on a Budget

1. Kona Seaside Hotel:

The Kona Seaside Hotel is a great option for budget travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Located right in the heart of Kailua Kona, this hotel offers clean and spacious rooms at affordable prices. It also has amenities such as a pool, an on-site restaurant, and free Wi-Fi. Plus, you’ll be just a short walk away from popular attractions like the Kailua Pier and local shops and restaurants.

2. Kona Hawaii Guesthouse

For a more unique and local experience, consider staying at a guesthouse like the Kona Hawaii Guesthouse. This charming accommodation offers affordable rates and a cozy atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and even interact with friendly hosts who can provide insider tips on the best places to visit in Kailua Kona. The guesthouse provides comfortable rooms and common areas where you can relax and socialize with other guests. It’s a great option for budget travelers who value a sense of community while exploring the area.

3. Kona Tiki Hotel

Located near the Kona International Airport, the Kona Tiki Hotel offers affordable rates and convenient access to popular attractions. This budget-friendly hotel features comfortable rooms with ocean or garden views. You can enjoy the outdoor pool, barbecue facilities, and a tropical garden during your stay. The hotel is also within walking distance of the famous Kahaluu Bay where you can snorkel and swim with marine life. With its convenient location and reasonable prices, the Kona Tiki Hotel is an excellent choice for budget travelers.

4. Kona Seaside Hotel

As mentioned earlier, the Kona Seaside Hotel is a fantastic option for budget travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Located right in the heart of Kailua Kona, this hotel offers clean and spacious rooms at affordable prices. It also has amenities such as a pool, an on-site restaurant, and free Wi-Fi. Plus, you’ll be just a short walk away from popular attractions like the Kailua Pier and local shops and restaurants. The Kona Seaside Hotel is a great choice for those who want to be in the center of the action without breaking the bank.

The famous Mokuaikaua Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in Hawaii. This beautiful church is not only a historic but also a place for spiritual reflection and tranquility.


Kona, Hawaii offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the natural beauty of the island, immersing yourself in the local culture, or simply relaxing on the beaches, there is something for everyone in Kona. Kona is a destination that caters to all types of travelers. For nature enthusiasts, there are stunning beaches like Kua Bay andini’owali Beach where you can sunbathe, swim, and snorkel in crystal-clear waters. You can also explore the diverse marine life by taking a snorkeling or diving tour, or go on a boat excursion to spot dolphins and whales.

If you’re interested in learning about the rich history and culture of Kona, you can visit the fascinating Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. This sacred site was a place of refuge and a center for cultural and religious practices. You can take a self-guided tour and discover ancient temples, royal fishponds, and traditional huts that showcase the region’s rich heritage.

For adventure seekers, Kona offers thrilling activities such as zip-lining through lush forests, hiking to the summit of Mauna Kea for stargazing, or taking a helicopter tour to witness the breathtaking views of the volcanic landscapes.

Food lovers will also find plenty to indulge in. Kona is famous for its Kona coffee, which is grown in the nearby hills and offers a unique flavor. You can visit coffee farms and taste different varieties

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