Kealakekua Bay is actually a Marine Life Conservation District, making it a popular place for ocean creatures to hang out. Read on for our list of the 15 things to do in Kona, Hawaii that you can’t miss! Things to Do in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii: See Tripadvisor's 98,885 traveler reviews and photos of Kailua-Kona attractions. They can enjoy their beautiful natural home, and you can watch them enjoy it! Kailua-Kona Beaches - Play catch with the young ones or kick back and soak up the sun at this delightful coastal spot. If you happen to be lucky enough (in other words, if it has rained enough recently), Kaluahine Falls might be flowing in Waipio Valley. Time and time again, I’ve written about how Ululani’s has the best shave ice in the Hawaiian Islands. The palace is constructed from lava rock, and it’s easy to … Be sure to reserve your tour in advance! Honaunau Bay is known to locals to have some of the best snorkeling on the islands. If you prefer your Kona activities to include a healthy mix of outdoors and ancient Hawaiian culture, then this national park is the ideal spot for that. Yes, there is a 35-foot waterslide in the middle of the Big Island forest. Between its sunny weather, prime snorkeling, and glowing white sand, what’s not to love? Today, it’s a museum full of Victorian-era artifacts from the time of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. If you’re looking to learn, Kahaluu Bay Surf & Sea, Kona Town Surf Adventures, and Hawaii Lifeguard Surf Instructors are all fantastic options. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. You’ll also be able to view models of the twin 10-meter Keck Observatory telescopes and even learn about their most recent discoveries! Kona may not be the biggest city, but there are plenty of things to do in Kona or nearby the area. Just north of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island is a bay where manta rays come nightly to feed. It can be best to have a car to go to most of these places. Fun things to do in Kona. Hawaii Island's Kona District is home to Kailua Town, the tourism hub and popular weekend getaway destination for windward side locals of Hawaii Island. North Shore Beach Tour • Oahu. Take a tour, learn about the history of the ranch, and wander around the paniolo museum at the ranch. The path to get there requires following an unclear path, navigating on the side of a very steep cliff, and even marching through a tunnel filled with water. Once you get to the top, there are NO telescopes available for public use, and you will not be able to enter the buildings. Ali’i Drive is the Kona shopping district – the hot spot for restaurants, nightlife, clothes shopping, and more. Many visitors come to Hawaii and get caught up with the relaxing beaches, stunning hikes, and delicious food. more, Things to Do in Kailua-Kona, HI - Kailua-Kona Attractions. Top Things To Do in Kona – Big Island of Hawaii. While much of this list of things to do on Hawaii’s Big Island is focused on nature exploration and immersing yourself in island culture, every now and then you might just want some creature comforts and a more laid back, slower-paced day. Today we are traveling through Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's a cinch to occupy yourself in Kona Coast without spending a cent. Fly over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on a scenic helicopter flight from Hilo. After that, we’ll cover some more low cost things to do in Kona on a budget. Petroglyphs were the Native Hawaiians’ pictorial form of writing. *Note: many reports have made it clear that trying to find this secret waterslide is not wise. It now a museum that showcases Victorian artifacts from the time period of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. Kona’s rich volcanic soil helps produce smooth coffee with low acidity. The Best of Kona, Hawaii + the Kohala Coast . *Note: If you would like to visit the Kona Brewing Co. factory, children under 15 years old are not permitted. Until the mid-1980s, The Coffee Shack roasted coffee for the many local coffee farms in the area. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Tripadvisor: See 216,553 traveller reviews and photos of Kailua-Kona tourist attractions. Visiting a farmer’s market is just a part of getting the true feel for Hawaii. In celebration of this declaration, King Kamehameha II planned a huge feast with both men and women. If you love astronomy, you definitely should add the W. M. Keck Observatory to your list of things to do (along with stargazing on Mauna Kea). If you’re feeling inspired by the pros at Banyans, you can learn how to surf at Kahaluu. Now the beautiful Kealakekua Bay hosts a monument of the famous explorer. If you love seahorses, the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm will be a dream for you! If you get inspired by the view at Pololu Valley Lookout and want a closer look, why not hike through Pololu Valley? Historically King Kamehameha spent his final years in Kailua-Kona. Kona Brewing Co. is one of the most popular beers brewed in the Hawaiian Islands. Try locally-produced honey and meat. It’s so good that I included it in Part 2 of the Hawaii Food Bucket List! To get a healthy dose, head to Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona. If you prefer to try to go to the summit for your stargazing experience, there are a few things you should know. What to do in Kona for free. Best Snorkeling in Kona. If you plan on visiting the Kanaloa Octopus Farm, do note that the tours are only offered twice a day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In order to attend the event, you must purchase a souvenir festival button for $3. The resort has the several pools, the Legends of Hawaii Luau, a fantastic spa, and a lagoon for kayaking and other boat-related activities. Snorkeling & SCUBA Diving. The top attractions to visit in Kailua-Kona are: What are the best outdoor activities in Kailua-Kona? Even if you’ve never tried it, many of the beaches on the Big Island are a perfect place to learn, with everything from gentle surf to big waves. From algae growing to ocean conservation, the community is doing what they can to keep the Hawaiian Islands – and the world – as beautiful as possible. It’s important to give back to the places that bring you so much joy. Also, remember to dress warmly! In order to get to Waipio Valley, you must either hike or drive a 4WD down one of the steepest roads in the U.S. – and this road is unpaved. Do you have any other recommendations for things to do in Kona that should be on this list? Think of them as like the hieroglyphics of the Native Hawaiian people. Abalone, a type of edible mollusk, is considered to be a delicacy in some parts of the world. While this hike is just over half a mile, you’ll go down 500 feet in altitude! Not only does this activity have the potential to be a fun, fulfilling experience, but if you spend so much time on your vacation enjoying this beautiful trash-free environment, why not help the islands stay that way? We are always eager to learn about the history of the places we visit, and there’s a lot of it to explore in Kona. 2. Luaus first came about in 1819, when King Kamehameha II decided to abolish the practice of men and women eating separately. This spectacular state is considered as one of most sought after tourist destinations for the tourists of all around the globe. There are two options for stargazing at Mauna Kea: at the visitor center or at the summit. It’s not uncommon to see not only turtles, but even dolphins in Honaunau Bay! If you’re looking for a coffee farm with both tastings and tours, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, Kona Coffee Living History Farm, Greenwell Farms, and Hula Daddy Coffee are all great options. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. Stock up on new fruits like rambutan, yellow dragon fruit, lilikoi (passion fruit), mountain apples, and guava. In addition to the colorful coral and fish, you may also see some dolphins hanging out! Hawaii is one of the most fascinating and exotic states in the United States. Or if you’re more of an early bird than a night owl, there are Mauna Kea sunrise tours as well. *Note: For the safety and health of the animals, you are only allowed to visit one sea creature farm per day. If you’re wondering what to do in Hawaii, look no further than this activity on the Big Island: Snorkel or scuba dive with manta rays at night. The Kona District stretches over two-thirds of the West side of the Island of Hawaii nestled just south of Anaehoomalu Bay (Waikoloa Beach Resort) to Manuka Park (Kau). This ranks number one on our list of the top ten things to do in Kona Hawaii. If you fall in love with the seahorses from your visit, you can actually purchase a seahorse for your home! (Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm does NOT sell seahorses to residents of the Hawaiian Islands.). When you visit their facility in Kona, you’ll be able to take a beekeeping tour, sample different types of honey, and visit their honey museum. If you’re looking for a luau in Kona, check out either the Mauna Kea Luau at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or the Legends of Hawaii Luau at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. 2. Are you up for trying to find it? As a Hawaii local, Kua Bay has made it into my top three favorite beaches across the Hawaiian Islands. Here are 45 spectacular things to do in Kona, Hawaii. Dolphin & Manta Swims How cool is this? These seahorses can cost anywhere from $75 to $400 each. Located just above Kealakekua Bay, The Coffee Shack has stunning views, in addition to fantastic food, coffee, and service. There are several different areas at Kahaluu where you can catch a wave, making the beach perfect for both locals and beginners alike. Check out petroglyphs (the ancient Hawaiian form of pictorial writing), learn about the engineering feats of the ancient fishponds, and even catch a glimpse of some of Hawaii’s wildlife. If you happen to be in Kona in November, you can pump even more caffeine into your bloodstream at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Discover all the best things to do in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, where to stay, and the best Kona beaches by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids! The fresh, real flavors and the soft ice texture of Ululani’s makes it undoubtedly the one you should try. On the whole, humans have a difficult time preserving sea creatures that they also consume, including octopi. Kona’s climate stays relatively warm year-round, with temperatures rarely lower than 60 or higher than 90. Helicopter ride over active volcanoes . What are the top attractions to visit in Kailua-Kona? Choose coffee from over 30 different Kona Coffee farms, learn about the history of Kona Coffee, watch an international panel of judges pick the best cup of Kona Coffee, and even take part in a Kona Coffee Lantern Parade. The wonderful North Shore Beach Tour breaks travelers out of Waikiki and up to Hale’iwa on the north coast of Oahu for an all-day sun and surf adventure. Although the Hilo side of the Big Island is known for its waterfalls, Kona has a few that are worth your time. The Kohala Zip & Dip includes a bit of ziplining, views of three waterfalls, and even a quick dip in one of those waterfalls! The best day trips from Kailua-Kona according to Tripadvisor travelers are: What are the most popular things to do in Kailua-Kona with kids? Banyans is one of the best places to surf in Kona. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. For years, it was estimated to be 1,400 feet high! “You Make the Roll,” locally known as Hayashi’s, is the place to get hand rolls! Things to do in Kona, Hawaii. The Best Things to Do in Kona 1. Explore tourist attractions and things to do in Kailua-Kona HI today, this week or weekend. Why not add lobster to your list of sea creatures to see in Kona at Kona Cold Lobsters! Located on the northern tip of the Big Island, the Pololu Valley Lookout provides some of the most stunning views of the island. From activities to places to eat, these are the best things to do in Kona, Hawaii: 1. In the case of the manta ray snorkel tours, the tours have a floating device that creates this light. Murals of biblical stories painted in bright colors fill the walls and the ceiling of this quaint church just a few miles outside of Kona. So grab a kayak (or a snorkel mask) and explore Kealakekua Bay! Kona coffee is a thing, and there are lots of coffee plantations around that you can visit to have a sampling of Kona coffee. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park encourages visitors to take a break from that to learn about Hawaiian history and culture. Activities and attraction that are specific to the Kona region. Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary - Be treated to views that'll leave you amazed at this natural marvel. We split our list of things to do in Kona into two parts for clarity: The more general outdoor activities that you can enjoy outside Kona. There are a million things to do. Generally, Hawaii Island is broken down by the “Kona side” and “Hilo side.” You can consider this post what to do on the West Side of the Big Island, or what to do on the Kona side of the Big Island. For 31 years, Sea Quest Hawaii has been exploring the unseen Hawaii. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a quick bite or groceries or whatever, there are plenty of stores all around. Oahu Circle Island. The most popular things to do in Kailua-Kona with kids according to Tripadvisor travelers are: Hotels with Complimentary Breakfast in Kailua-Kona, Hotels near Mauna Loa Helicopters Kailua Kona, HI, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park: Tickets & Tours‎, Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm: Tickets & Tours‎, Honokohau Marina & Small Boat Harbor: Tickets & Tours‎, Things to do near Kona Historical Walking Food Tour, Things to do near Lealao Ocean Adventures, Things to do near Discount Fabric Warehouse, Things to do near Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Things to do near Club Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort, Things to do near Club Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff, Things to do near Club Wyndham Mauna Loa Village, Things to do near Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, Things to do near Outrigger Royal Sea Cliff, Things to do near Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, See all attractions in Kailua-Kona on Tripadvisor, See all outdoor activities in Kailua-Kona on Tripadvisor, Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History, Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour, Small Group Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour, See all day trips from Kailua-Kona on Tripadvisor, See all kid friendly things to do in Kailua-Kona on Tripadvisor. Between the 4WD, extremely steep roads, hikes, and rainy weather, there are a lot of factors that may not work in your favor. Find tickets … Check out the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve or the Puako Petroglyph Park. Thank you for your help in advance! Think of Kona coffee tours, farmers markets, and the local brew pub. Parker Ranch is the largest community of paniolos in the islands. 21 Best Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii Kailua Village , Photo: Courtesy of Vacclav - Fotolia.com Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park , Photo: Courtesy of NoraDoa - Fotolia.com Deep sea fishing is simply a type of fishing that occurs in extremely deep waters (at least 30 meters). AND it’ll be flowing right into the ocean directly next to a black sand beach and bright green cliffs. Skip the line and book fun activities and tours with Expedia. Book Here: Kealakekua Bay Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour, Book Here: Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour on a Catamaran. Personally, I recommend the visitor center. After surfing, hiking, relaxing, and eating your heart out, consider doing a hike or beach clean-up to help out the nature in Kona. This guide from a Hawaii local has everything you need to know about the wonderful west side of the Big Island. Today, it serves a place to learn about the Puuhonua as well as Hawaiian culture. The 25 Best Things To Do in Hawaii 1. Do note that getting to Waipio Valley can be quite the challenge. There are so many amazing things to do in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Phone: +1-808-345-2547 Address: 74 Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA Website: www.mantaadventures.com . The best place to see petroglyphs is on the Big Island of Hawaii, as many of these images have been carved into lava rock. Hey Must Do Travelers! That said, watching the surfers at Banyans can be almost as awe-inspiring at experiencing the waves yourself! Book Here: Night Manta Ray Adventure Tour. So you’ll still be able to see the snow in Hawaii before it gets dark! This section of land on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast is one of the most isolated parts of the island, making it a remote paradise. From animal encounters to black sand beaches to delicious food, there’s no shortage of activities to do there! It would be safe to say that the Bay is without a shadow of a … This charming seaside town dates back to the early 1800s. Kona’s waters are home to some of the most robust and approachable populations of manta rays in the world, and you won’t want to miss seeing these amazing creatures up close. Read my full post on renting a car in Hawaii. We are moving out of the direct area of town. If Kona is famous for one thing, it’s Kona Coffee. We have reviews of the best places to see in Kailua-Kona. Each August, Kona hosts the International Billfish Tournament, a deep-sea fishing competition. Kona coffee plantation . If kayaking isn’t quite your think, but you still want to see the dolphins in Kealakekua Bay, you can always take a snorkeling tour on a catamaran. In other words, each of their jars of honey is made from the pollen of just one rare Hawaiian flower. 2,535 talking about this. From the picturesque water to the made-for-bodyboarding waves to prime snorkeling to seashell hunting, Kua Bay is an ocean lovers dream! If you’re looking for a beach on the Kona coast with amazing swimming and snorkeling conditions, Mahaiula Beach is the beach for you! One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii, boogie boarding is a fun and exhilarating way to enjoy the waves, and considerably easier to learn than surfing. The plankton that the manta rays eat is attracted to light, so at night the plankton grows in the pockets of light provided by hotels and other buildings. Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park was a place of refuge for the ancient Hawaiians. As mentioned previously, Harper Car and Truck Rental is the only car rental company that allows you to summit Mauna Kea. In 1779, Captain James Cook became the first westerner to land in the Hawaiian Islands – and that just happened to be at Kealakekua Bay. The best outdoor activities in Kailua-Kona according to Tripadvisor travelers are: What are the best day trips from Kailua-Kona? Visit the world’s first octopus farm. You can also take a one-hour tour of their brewery in Kailua-Kona (which includes four 4-ounce beer samples for those 21+). Check out my ULTIMATE Hawaii packing list of everything you do not want to forget!. Join us for a unique and personal snorkeling excursion along the South Kona Coast at pristine and remote locations. However, you can go all the way to the visitor center. The following is a list of fun things to do in Kona Hawaii for free. Currently, there are over 6,000 acres of Kona coffee in Kona. You’ll also be able to purchase their special local honey! The waters of Kona are shielded from the winds by Maunaloa, making it a perfect place to snorkel, scuba dive or dive with the manta rays at night. 45 Spectacular Things to do in Kona, Hawaii, Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour on a Catamaran. It’s one of the most picturesque scenes in the world! Although travel is such a big part of my life now, like many of us, I didn’t grow up traveling often. Coffee Trees Growing in Kona You can’t leave the Big Island of Hawaii without getting your caffeine fix at one of the world’s most famous coffee towns. Patrons rave of the ‘good times’ provided by this tour company. Wander around Kailua Village So let’s talk shopping. Kealakekua Bay houses some of the most stunning coral reefs, sea turtles, and endless schools of colorful tropical fish. It’s located at the north of Kona and is very close by. If you disturb them when they’re resting, they might act in more aggressive ways then they usually would, because their brains are actually half shut off when they rest! Typically, the big island is split into the Hilo and Kona sides. Enjoy historical places, including the Ahuena Heiau, Mokuaikaua Church, and Hulihee Palace. If you’ve done a bit of diving in the past, consider adding diving to see the shipwreck at Mahukona Harbor. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. This particular company puts in huge efforts to be sustainable and to encourage people to go outside and experience nature! What’s even better is that the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm’s main priority is to help prevent seahorses from becoming extinct through both education and propagation. Here are a few tips on how to respect the turtles and keep them healthy. Let me know in the comments! The plankton that the manta rays eat is attracted to light, so at night the plankton grows in the pockets of light provided by hotels and other buildings. Hillawe Falls is the most famous waterfall in the Waipio Valley. Despite this wait time, customers consistently say that Hayashi’s is worth it. The Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii consists of a few different regions, including North Kohala, South Kohala, Kailua-Kona, South Kona, and Parts of Hamakua. Every Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers are available to explain the ins-and-outs of the W. M. Keck Observatory, as well as the other observatories on Mauna Kea. Because the summit is nearly 14,000 feet high, the altitude makes the Hawaii weather cool enough for snow! Maybe even purchase locally-created jewelry made of flowers or shells. Kona Hawaii has more miles of coastline than any of the other Hawaiian islands which makes the things to do in Kona on the water endless. If you do choose to swim with dolphins in the wild, please give them their space. Just grab a trash bag (and perhaps some gloves) and pick up anything that doesn’t belong. When you see them, it’ll most likely be during daylight hours, when they’re resting. With experienced guides and horses, a horseback riding tour may actually be the safest way to get into Waipio Valley. That’s right: the resort is so large there are trams and boats that are used to transport the guests from one point to another for free. For Mauna Kea stargazing tours, please refer to the next point. If you had broken the laws or if there was simply a war in progress, no one could be hurt within the boundaries of Puuhonua O Honaunau. Hawaii was the one place I returned to repeatedly as a child. These tours, which average around $225 – $250 per person, typically last around seven to eight hours. Read on for the top experiences and my tips for the “Kona side” of the island . December 22, 2019 City Guides, Travel. This list of all of the Kona farmers markets, their locations, and their hours should be helpful. Here are all of the other stunning black sand beaches in Hawaii. In addition, for accurate directions, use the farm’s website, rather than Google Maps or Apple Maps. Personally, I highly recommend the Ohia Lehua honey. In the case of the manta ray snorkel tours, the tours have a floating device that creates this light. Are you looking for a list of the best things to do in Kona? Posted Sep 18, 2019 . Pin this post for later! We have reviews of the best places to see in Kailua-Kona. If you are set on stargazing from the summit of Mauna Kea, your only option is to take a tour. Most car rental companies do not allow you to go to the summit of Mauna Kea, according to the rental car contracts. Take time to journey into this beautiful island in a high-roof and climate-controlled tour van. 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