Known as Kona to the locals, the western hub of Hawaii’s Big Island is as important today as it was to the ancient Hawaiians. Once the home of the kings and royalty of the island, today Kailua-Kona is a popular destination for history lovers, sport fishermen and those who just come to enjoy the sun.
Kailua-Kona’s western location means it is protected from the trade winds that bring rain to much of the island, and instead enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year. Spend the day on the water with a fishing rod in your hand. Chartered fishing trips are available and the Kailua Pier is a favorite spot among locals.
Take in the beautiful sunset from the pier while you wait for the fish to bite. Like much of the island, Kailua-Kona offers great spots to dive, swim and surf. You can rent equipment from a number of operators within the town.
Kailua-Kona was a trade hub for the ancient Hawaiians, and there is much history to discover. Visit the former home of Hawaiian royals at the Hulihe’e Palace. Walk along the town’s main thoroughfare, Ali’i Drive, to reach the oldest Christian church in the state, the Mokuaikaua Church. The historic village can be explored with a guided tour, available from within town.
Try the local cuisine at one of the town’s many popular restaurants before you venture out to enjoy Kailua-Kona’s thriving nightlife. There are many bars lining the beach, creating a relaxed atmosphere to meet the locals.
Transportation in Kailua-Kona is limited and most visitors rent a car. There are a number of rental companies both in town and at the Kona International Airport.