The sunny Kona district is located on the western coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. This region includes wonderful beaches, scenic hikes and many historic sites. The mountain foothills in this area are known as Kona Coffee Country and home to coffee farms growing what many consider to be the world's best coffee beans. The main town in the Kona district is Kailua-Kona and its Historic Kailua Village. This was the final home of the renown Hawaiian monarch King Kamehameha. Today the Kona region is a world-class vacation destination.
Things To Do
Ocean lovers enjoy a variety of activities in Kona including snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. Kona is also one of the world's premier deep-sea fishing areas where big game fish including huge marlin and swordfish can provide the catch of a lifetime. Visit the sacred Hawaiian site called Puuhonua o Honaunau to see ruins of Hawaiian temples, fishponds and sacred burial areas as well as petroglyphs carvings in the rocks. Mokuaikaua Church provides a glimpse into the Big Island's missionary history including a model of the brig Thaddeus which brought missionaries to the island. The historic church was built of lava rock in 1836 and has been preserved and restored. The oceanfront Hulihee Palace is also an interesting place to visit. You can see how Hawaiian royalty lived in the 1800s including displays of Hawaiian featherwork, weavings, quilts, vintage furniture, portraits and other treasures of the past. The lava rock palace was built in 1838, and in the 1880s it served as the summer home of King David Kalakaua.
There are many nice beaches in the Kona region, each with its own special charm. Kahaluu Beach is protected by a fringing coral reef making it popular for snorkeling and swimming. Hawaiian greens sea turtles are often seen here, and outside the reef is a good surfing break. Kamakahonu Beach is a lovely crescent of sand near Kailua Pier and also the site of the restored Ahuena Heiau which sits on a platform across from the beach. The water at Kamakahonu is typically very calm making this a good beach for children. It's also popular for outrigger canoe padding and stand up paddle boarding, and just north of Kamakahonu Beach is a good snorkeling area. At the south end of the Kona region is Kealakekua Bay which is a great place to see spinner dolphins. A guided kayaking tour is a great way to see Kealakekua including the monument to Captain Cook along its shoreline.
Kailua-Kona town is home to more than 100 restaurants ensuring there is something for everyone's tastes. Check out the Harbor House Restaurant on the docks at Kona's harbor for fresh fish and a cold beer. This isn't a fancy venue but it's a local favorite and they serve their beer in chilled schooners. The Kona Pub & Brewery serves up their distinct microbrews and gourmet food including hand spun pizzas and local organic salads with live entertainment on Sunday evenings.
The Keauhou Farmers Market is held ever Saturday morning at the Keauhou Shopping Center and offers an abundance of local farm products as well as fresh-baked pastries.
Visit historic Kailua Village to browse through many interesting shops selling everything from art to unique Hawaiian gifts. The Kona Inn Shopping Village is a low-rise mall in the old Kona Inn which was built in 1928 and now houses boutique shops, art galleries and island-style dining. The Coconut Grove Marketplace in an oceanfront shopping and dining area in downtown Kailua-Kona with many shops, art galleries and restaurants. This is a good place to see live music, and the sand volleyball games held in the center's courtyard make it a popular gathering place. About 50 outdoor stalls at the Alii Gardens Marketplace sell everything from local coffee to tropical flowers. More great shopping can be found throughout this region including the small towns of Kona Coffee Country on the slopes of the mountain.
A rental car is recommended when visiting Kona so you can explore the region's great beaches and historic sites and enjoy day trips to other areas of the Big Island from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Hilo and the Hamakua Coast. Kona is about a 15-minute drive south from Keahole International Airport.
Weather and Ocean Conditions
The Big Island of Hawaii's Kona Coast, located on the western (leeward) side of the island, is known for its sunny and dry weather compared to the eastern (windward) side which sees more rain. Average temperatures are around 74 degrees F with winter lows sometimes dipping into the 60s and summer highs rising to the high 80s. Clouds often form over the mountains slopes in the afternoons with annual rainfall averaging about ten inches. Ocean conditions off the Kona coast are typically calm though conditions vary each day. For swimming and ocean activities visit the Big Island's lifeguarded beaches, obey all posted warnings and ask about the conditions on that day for the activities you choose.
Kona vacation homes provide the optimal way to enjoy your Hawaii vacation with all the luxuries of resort living and all the comforts of home including nearby shopping, dining and entertainment. Browse through our Kona vacation rental listings to get an understanding of the different amenities and property features we offer in prestigious Kona neighborhoods. Our goal is to provide you with a with an unforgettable Kona accommodation for your dream Hawaii vacation. We take pride not just in having the largest selection of high-quality vacation rentals in Kona, but also in the fact that we stand behind our product and make sure only the best of the best Kona properties are listed on our site. If you have questions about our Kona rentals or which destination is best for your vacation needs, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
After humble beginnings as a small fishing village, Kailua became the political and commercial center of the Big Island in the 19th century. King Kamehameha chose it as his final home, and some of the first missionaries to come to the Islands also built churches and homes here. Reminders of Hawaiian royalty and missionaries can still be seen throughout the town including Hulihee Palace, Mokuaikaua Church and Ahuena Heiau. South of Kailua-Kona is Kealakekua Bay where the British explorer Captain Cook first arrived on the Big Island in 1778 and where he was later killed in a skirmish with Hawaiians. A monument on the shoreline of the bay marks the spot where Cook died. Not far from Kealakekua Bay is Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and to the north is Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park. These important Hawaiian cultural sites provide an opportunity to explore and learn about the culture of the early Hawaiians including ancient fishponds and petroglyph carvings in rocks.
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