Explore the Kailua-Kona Area in a Day

Kailua-Kona 1-Day Itinerary Suggestions

Kailua Kona also referred to as "Kona" for short is located in the western region of Hawaii. It's warm and sunny weather has made it one of the most exciting and lively places on the western side of the island. It is usually dry and receives minimal rain. As the center of attraction, Kailua Kona is bursting with tourists and an abundance of activities you can experience. In this article, we give you a list of things you can enjoy in Kailua Kona if you only have a day.

Victoria Derrick
Published by: Victoria C. Derrick
Publisher / President

Must See Kailua-Kona Sights & Attractions

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau - Place of Refuge

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, also called a "Place of Refuge", holds historical significance. Dating back in history, this was a place of forgiveness. Those who had broken ancient laws or stepped foot in forbidden sacred places came here seeking reconciliation. Here, they would be pardoned by a priest and excused for their wrongdoings. Today, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is a national historical park, but it is still viewed as a sacred space that is tranquil and calm. To arrive here, it is a 45-minute scenic drive from Kona.

Saddle Road

Saddle Road is a highway that offers a scenic drive from Hilo to Kona. Along the way, you will witness a beautiful contrast in ecosystems and landscapes ranging from foggy deserts to tropical forests. The driving duration may vary for some, but the stunning views, such as the picturesque snow tops of the volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa make the ride quite pleasurable.

Ahuena Heiau

Ahuena Heiau is an ancient temple recognized for peace, prayer, and its divine position to the sun. It is a "chosen place" that rests prominently behind the King Kamehameha Hotel. Like any other historical edifice, it has survived various circumstances over the years. However, it has been restored to ensure that its true essence remains intact. At Ahuena Heiau, you will enjoy the warmth of the sun, the energy it brings, and the beauty that flows both in and out of this beautiful temple.

Mokuaikaua Church

The Christian faith was initially brought to Hawaii by missionaries in the 1820s. It is also during this time that Mokuaikaua Church’s first congregation was formed. Following this in 1838, Mokuaikaua Church was erected. It is recognized as the first Christian church in Hawaii.

Mokuaikaua Church is in the Kailua Village on Ali’l Drive, surrounded by touches of greenery. This building has withstood fires and the trials of time, but its construction remains reminiscent of its deep-rooted historical past.

Its congregation is still active and is welcoming and friendly to visitors. So, if you wish to attend a service after observing the building’s composition, you are welcome to do so on a Sunday during its service hours.

Must See Kailua-Kona Beaches

Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay)

Manini’owali Beach also known as Kua Bay is in Kailua Kona just off of the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway near mile marker 88. This beach is very accessible due to its paved roads, and it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kona. It has clean, transparent blue waters and a surrounding view that is magnificent. Here, you can sunbathe on white sands, relish in the splendor of its turquoise waters, or snorkel below the water to observe life undersea.

Makalawena/Pu’u Ali’i Beach

Makalawena/Pu’u Ali’i Beach is another prominent place in Kailua Kona located off the hiking trail near Kona Coast State Park. It has been called a place of nirvana. Although a bit challenging to get to, the reward far exceeds its strains. Here, you will enjoy pleasant moments while witnessing stunning views as well as the beautiful turquoise waters that are always breathtaking in Hawaii. Along with its marvelous wonders, you will also observe sea turtles lounging on rocks and welcoming the sun's rays.

Why You Should Visit the Kailua Kona Area

The Big Island has so much to explore, and Kailua Kona is at its heart. In Kona, there is never a dull moment as it is always bursting with liveliness. Its warm weather continually provides the perfect weather for adventures. Tourists and individuals alike will find its surge of activities to be exciting and unquestionably thrilling. Every memory made here is remarkable as Kona's exceptional views, and powerful energy makes it the perfect hub for vacationers.

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