The ten Greatest Issues to Do in Kona, Hawaii

February 15, 2022

It’s no secret that the Huge Island of Hawaii stole my coronary heart. I’ve turn out to be such a fan, so I wish to make it easier to discover each nook and cranny. Since most individuals start their Huge Island journey in Kona, I figured you is likely to be questioning how you can maximize your time there.

From actions to locations to eat, these are the very best issues to do in Kona, Hawaii. Pick up a rental car and prepare for an journey:

1. Manta Swims

This was superb, but it surely’s now unlawful to swim with dolphins in Kona.

By far top-of-the-line issues to do in Kona — or anyplace in Hawaii for that matter — is to swim with among the superb sea creatures! I swam with wild dolphins and it was an unimaginable expertise, though it’s unlawful to take action now. As a beautiful different, you possibly can add on this nighttime manta ray adventure to your itinerary. You’ll cruise the ocean at sundown and watch manta rays glide by on their quest for plankton. I can’t consider a greater strategy to spend a night in Hawaii.

2. Hapuna Seashore

Each evening in Hawaii brings a stunning sundown

Hapuna Seashore is the most important white sand seaside on the massive island, and by chance it’s solely a couple of 45-minute drive north of Kona. This half-mile stretch of sentimental sand was even named one of the top ten beaches in the U.S. in 2019. Parking is $5 and each bogs and out of doors showers are supplied. This an incredible spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunsets!

3. Two Step

Hey there, little buddy!

See colourful little fish like this man in addition to dolphins, turtles, and monk seals at Two Step! It’s an superior snorkeling spot on Honaunau Bay, 30 miles south of Kona. It’s acclaimed as probably the most stunning spots on the island, with clear blue waters, a vibrant reef, and dozens of marine species. Right here’s just a few useful ideas: Park within the close by $5 lot, be careful for harmful currents, and you should definitely use reef-safe sunscreen! The very best factor about Two Step is it’s straightforward to entry. Make sure to deliver your individual gear.

4. Mountain Thunder Espresso Plantation

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii
Kona espresso fruit earlier than the beans are separated and roasted

Volcanic soil and frequent cloud cowl make for the right coffee-growing circumstances; because of this, Kona espresso is world-renowned for each taste and aroma. Take the chance to embrace Kona espresso tradition with a free tour on the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, which is a 15-minute drive from downtown Kona. Excursions run each hour on the hour from 10am to 4pm, seven days every week. Make sure to take dwelling a memento of espresso beans or grounds when you’re there!

4. Whale Watching

Alongside the Waikoloa shoreline close to Kona, you possibly can study humpback whales with an skilled information who provides you with the news on these unimaginable animals’ mating and migratory habits. Humpback whales are actually exceptional to see in individual, particularly as they breach out of the water.

Take a look at this eco-certified 1.5 hour whale watching tour.

5. Kealakekua Bay

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii
Have you ever ever seen such teal waters?

About 20 miles south of downtown Kona is Kealakekua Bay, the place the notorious Captain Cook dinner landed in 1779. The bay is extensively believed to be the location of the very best snorkeling in all of Hawaii — how might it not be when it seems to be like this? Nonetheless, this treasure is nicely guarded, because the snorkeling spots can actually solely be reached by a strenuous hike. A greater choice is to hitch a guided snorkeling or kayaking tour which can be sure to get precisely the place it’s good to be with no bother in any respect.

6. Zipline Over Waterfalls

If you’d like a bit of increase of adrenaline when you go to Kona, that is the exercise for you. Zipline over lush inexperienced treetops and waterfalls in a personal nature reserve on this epic ziplining adventure. You’ll additionally get to go for a swim in a swimming gap and take a look at hidden waterfalls within the forest.

7. Anaeho’omalu Seashore

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii
Which is bluer, the sky or the ocean?

Drive 30 miles north of Kona to get to Anaeho’omalu Seashore. The seaside is protected by an offshore reef, conserving the water calm and offering excellent circumstances for snorkeling, swimming, and diving. You even have the choice of renting out of doors gear to play with for the day, like kayaks, hydrobikes, and bodyboards. And, after all, everybody loves a superb sundown, and this seaside is the right place to observe one.

8. Previous Hawaiian Chocolate Manufacturing unit

The Kona area of the Huge Island produces some unimaginable chocolate from 100% Hawai’i-grown cacao pods. The Previous Hawaiian Chocolate Manufacturing unit was the primary to start out producing chocolate within the area and is the very best place to not solely purchase Kona chocolate but additionally study the way it’s made.

There are excursions obtainable of the chocolate manufacturing facility and plantation, which you’ll be able to book here.

9. Kona Farmers Market

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii
Contemporary native produce is all the time a good suggestion

Get into the native really feel with the Kona Farmers Market, open Wednesday by Sunday from 7am to 4pm. The market is situated within the coronary heart of Kona, and greater than 40 distributors provide every thing from all kinds of recent native produce and flowers to Kona espresso and humanities & crafts. Whether or not or not you find yourself buying a lot, it’s an incredible alternative to discover a wholesome snack and chat with locals!

10. Fly in a Helicopter

If seeing Kona and the Huge Island’s magnificence from the bottom is gorgeous, think about attending to see all of it from above! Get jaw-dropping views of hidden black and white sand seashores, 5 towering volcanoes, big waterfalls, and a lot extra on this 1.5-2 hour helicopter tour that takes off in Kona.

A particular communication system means that you can ask your pilot questions on what you’ll see under, supplying you with a rundown of the island’s distinctive geology and historical past when you fly.

11. Historic Kailua-Kona City

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii
This outdated church is a big piece of Kona historical past

Take a look at the historic downtown space of Kailua-Kona, which is dwelling to a number of well-known landmarks. Two of essentially the most notable are Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church (pictured above), each on the principle highway operating by downtown. The realm was as soon as a spot the place Hawaiian royals like King Kamehameha preferred to reside and the place fishing was the principle occupation of those that lived there. Right this moment, its roots are nonetheless clearly evident however exist alongside a contemporary spirit marked by vibrant meals, music, and folks.

12. Go {Golfing}

Expert golfers discover Kona to be a beautiful place to get out for 18 holes as a result of the excessive elevation gives an added problem. Not solely that, however the lush inexperienced surroundings makes for a good looking {golfing} expertise for anybody who enjoys the game. Plus, you may get an incredible view of Mount Haleakalâ on Maui from the course at Makalei Golf Club in Kona.

13. Kua Bay (Manini’owali Seashore)

The Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii

This secluded white sand seaside is simply so fairly! The seaside is a part of Kekaha Kai State Park, about 15 miles northwest of Kona. The clear, calm waters right here are perfect for snorkeling and swimming, and the seaside is well accessible by paved highway. Different useful facilities right here embrace bogs, showers, barbecues, and picnic tables. Total, Kua Bay is a superb spot to spend a day, however remember the fact that it may well get busy on the weekends, so possibly save this one for the center of the week.

14. Luau with Buffet

Get a style of Polynesian tradition with this luau with buffet experience. You’ll be captivated by the performances of conventional Hawaiian songs and Samoan fireplace knife dances when you get pleasure from a heavenly conventional Hawaiian meal. This is among the quintessential experiences that guests to Hawai’i really like.

15. Stargazing at Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park

That is extra than simply any ol’ stargazing you’ll discover anyplace else. This twilight stargazing tour gives an in depth depiction of the distinctive historical past, geology, and tradition of Kona and the Huge Island. The tour packs in a go to to a Kona espresso farm, a scenic view of the Kealakekua Bay, a go to to Punalu’u Black Sand Seashore, stargazing in Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park, and extra.

I can’t consider a greater strategy to spend a day in Kona than this tour, which is ideal you probably have little time and wish to see as a lot as attainable.

16. SUP at Kahalu’u Bay

Get up paddleboarding (SUP) is well considered one of my favourite issues to do at a relaxed seaside like Kahalu’u Bay. It’s a enjoyable strategy to get out on the water, plus it’s an incredible exercise! Since there are usually solely mild waves at Kahalu’u Bay, it’s a really perfect spot to SUP and you may hire a board at Kahalu’u Surf & Sea. When you’re a newbie, additionally they provide SUP courses!

17. Take a Surf Lesson

When you’re at Kahalu’u Bay and wish to take your board abilities to the subsequent degree, take a surf lesson! The calm waters are good for newbie surfers, so that you’ll have the ability to study at your individual tempo in a relaxed atmosphere. This small group surf lesson is a superb choice for all ability ranges.

18. Get pleasure from Nice Native Meals


Half the enjoyable of occurring a visit is attending to expertise the native delicacies, and Hawaii is an particularly superior place for nice meals. With a concentrate on recent, native components, the meals scene in Kona has lots to supply. Listed below are some scrumptious spots to take a look at:

Huggo’s on the Rocks: Huggo’s gives a enjoyable and laid-back ambiance and a recent menu of burgers, salads, sandwiches, fish, and extra. Plus, completely happy hour from 3 to 5pm each afternoon and dwell music each evening imply that that is the right place to wrap up a busy day in Kona. When you’re on the lookout for a sundown dinner on the water that isn’t too fancy, this can be a good spot!

Umekes: Umeke’s is thought each close to and much (they’ve greater than 10,000 followers on Instagram) for scrumptious poke and seafood made with solely top quality, native components. Umekes has two areas in Kona: one at Ali’i Plaza and one on Kaiwi Avenue (as a fish market bar and grill), every of which has its personal menu and ambiance.

Island Ono Loa Grill: Some say that Island Ono Loa Grill makes the very best burgers in Kona, and with good purpose: they fire-grill them over lava rocks and serve them on Hawaiian candy buns! What’s extra, their components are regionally sourced, and it’s each a fast and cheap cease. Apart from the mouth-watering burgers, there are additionally cool sizzling canine, specialty sandwiches, and native plates on the menu.

Papa Kona Restaurant and Bar: Papa Kona options native musicians nearly each evening of the week, and their pub-style lounge menu of appetizers, burgers, tacos, and extra makes for a laid-back ambiance. This appears to be an incredible spot for a chunk, a drink, and a few music. Additionally they have an superior brunch!

Broke da Mouth Grindz: This spot has been featured on Man Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and is beloved by vacationers and locals alike. The menu is filled with conventional Filipino staples with a recent Hawaiian spin on them. It appears to be top-of-the-line locations to eat on the Huge Island, fingers down!

Hayashi’s Sushi (You Make The Roll): This small, family-run sushi place is vastly in style amongst locals. In actual fact, if you happen to go at lunch hour, you’ll possible have to attend an hour or extra in your sushi! Nonetheless, for scrumptious, reasonably priced, and high-quality sushi, it appears to be value it. Possibly simply attempt to go at an off-time so that you gained’t spend so lengthy in line.

Basik Açaí Cafe: You’ll be able to’t go to Hawaii and not have an açaí bowl! Basik Cafe is a superb place to get one, with quite a lot of recent, colourful bowls and smoothies that are all dairy-free and plant-based. Plus, they’re simply beautiful!

Herbivores: This drive-through and walk-up spot makes use of the phrase, “wholesome quick meals” as its declare to fame. I don’t even know what class to place this cool little place below, as a result of they provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, and smoothies, all of which look scrumptious! Its menu is basically plant-based and gluten-free, and has a laid-back ambiance.

Kalikala Delicacies: Kalikala Delicacies is a family-owned oceanfront lanai on a picturesque avenue. Sit within the shaded patio and order considered one of their stunning breakfast or lunch plates when you benefit from the seaside views. The ambiance isn’t the one good half, although; the meals is meant to be glorious!

808 Grindz Cafe: Some say that 808 Grindz has a hole-in-the-wall vibe, however in one of the best ways: massive parts, pleasant employees, and affordable costs. Total, it’s an incredible spot for an off-the-cuff and genuine Hawaiian breakfast, and its largely frequented by locals. Simply remember the fact that it’s cash-only!

Barefoot Zone: Barefoot Zone is a wholesome choice which focuses on recent, entire meals in a enjoyable manner. Attempt considered one of their colourful bowls packed to the brim with recent fruit, or indulge your candy facet with a gluten-free, dairy-free crêpe. Additionally they have tons of different plant-based choices, together with veggie sushi!

Island Lava Java: The oceanside Island Lava Java restaurant has an enormous menu which covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all made with recent, regionally sourced components. The restaurant itself has a vibrant, cheery ambiance, plus there’s an on-site bakery if you wish to take considered one of their scrumptious breakfast pastries with you on the go!

Holy Donuts: Head to Holy Donuts for quirky, enjoyable donuts freshly made each morning. It’s mentioned to have the very best donuts on the Huge Island, and with good purpose! They appear each beautiful and scrumptious, because of distinctive flavors like pineapple fritter and creme brûlée.

Kona Wave Espresso: Kona Wave Espresso is a cute little place with a full espresso bar, açaí bowls, and all pure shave ice. This isn’t your typical cup of shave ice, both: it’s a saucer stuffed with it with add-ins like ice cream, pure fruit syrups, boba, mochi, recent fruit, and the rest you wish to throw in there!

I hope this publish lets you uncover the superb seaside and aquatic adventures that Kona has to supply, together with the scrumptious facet! For extra in regards to the Huge Island as an entire, take a look at my 25 top things to do on the Big Island starting in Kona.

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