Kailua-Kona a Great Hawaiian Vacation

Categorized as Big Island Vacation Information

Last month I had a wonderful visit to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii and saw many interesting attractions. This wonderful town has so much to offer to the curious visitor who loves Hawaii’s culture and history and natural beauty.

Kailua-Kona is located at the base of Hualalai Volcano which is more than 8,000 feet tall. King Kamehameha ran his kingdom from Kailua from 1812 until his death in 1819.

Today the Kona Coast is well known for its great fishing as well as diving and snorkeling. Many boat charters depart from Kailua Pier as well as Honokohau Harbor. I rented a beautiful Kailua-Kona Condominium very close to the harbor so I could enjoy the area as much as possible.

Sport-fishing in the Kailua-Kona region is world renown, including ahi (yellowfin tuna) as well as au – spearfish, swordfish, and marlin. The most prized catch of all is the Pacific blue marlin, which may top 1,000 pounds. An annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament takes place every August.

In October the Ironman Triathlon is held in Kailua-Kona. This is a very popular event that draws competitors from all around the world. It starts at Kailua Pier and requires an ocean swim of 2.4 miles, a 112-mile bike ride, and then a 26 mile run.

Fishermen frequent the seawall between Kailua Pier and Hulihee Palace. Alii Drive is the main street of Kailua-Kona and it runs for 2 miles along the coast.

North Kona is known for its macadamia nuts while South Kona is known for its coffee production including the world famous Kona Coffee.

Ahuena Heiau on the north end of Kailua Bay was restored by King Kamehameha I. It is located near his former royal residence, called Kamakahonu (The Turtle Eye) where he lived out the last years of his life.

Mokuaikaua Church is located along the waterfront and has a steeple that rises to 112 feet. The church was dedicated in 1823 with Queen Kaahumanu in attendance.

Just across Alii Drive from Mokuaikaua Church is Hulihee Palace, which was built in 1838 and is now restored as a museum.

On display at Hulihee Palace are many Hawaiian artifacts including war spears of King Kamehameha the Great. You can buy books and gifts at the museum’s Palace Gift Shop.

South of Kailua-Kona are numerous small towns including Keauhou, Honalo, Kainaliu, Kealakekua, Captain Cook, and Honaunau as well as Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Even farther south is the southernmost point in all of the Hawaiian Islands called Ka Lae (South Point).

Kealakekua Bay is a marine life preserve and also the place where Captain Cook was killed in 1779. The spot is now marked by the Captain Cook Monument, a white obelisk monument that stands 27 feet tall.

Nearby is the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens that showcases native and Polynesian-introduced plants and focuses on the ethnobotany of the Hawaiian people

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park encompasses 180 acres along the South Kona coastline on Honaunau Bay. The Park includes the royal grounds as well as a heiau (Hawaiian sacred place of worship). On the west end of the site is a puuhonua (place of refuge). The puuhonua has been reconstructed along with the heiau, and there are also kii, carved images of ancient gods.

All of these wonderful attractions have really enriched my visit to Hawaii and allowed me to see the Islands in a new way. I am enjoying my visit so much that I am going to extend my stay in my wonderful Kailua-Kona Condominium that has been such a pleasant place to stay as I explore the Big Island.

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