Kailua-Kona Region Sights, Tours, & Information
Things to Do & Visitor Tips for Kailua-Kona on Big Island Hawaii
If you're heading to the Big Island there's certainly one area you cannot miss... the Kona (West) Coast. This warm and sunny leeward area has become the resort area of the island.
You'll find a vast array of ocean-side restaurants, grocery stores, shops, and activity huts promoting various water activities in the nearby Kailua Bay. Accommodations in Kailua-Kona are generally less expensive than along the Kohala gold coast (Waikoloa), and many resorts/condos are located along Ali'i Drive.
In total, the Kona Coast stretches some 40 miles along the rugged west coast of the Big Island. Many historical sites, beautiful beaches (some well-hidden), pristine bays, and lava fields (with prominent petroglyphs) criss-cross and line the coast of this area. North Kona has some of the most gorgeous white sand beaches on the island, like Makalawena Beach and Mahai'ula Beach located at Kekaha Kai / Kona Coast State Park. Accessing them is a bit tricky; however, see the individual pages for details.
Inland (mauka) of the coast are the slopes of Hualalai, and upon these hills, the famous Kona coffee plants and macadamia nuts are grown, harvested, and processed.
Each fall, generally around October, Kailua Bay serves as the starting point for the Iron Man Triathlon (the swimming portion). Heading towards south Kona, you'll find Kealakekua Bay is where Captain Cook was killed. Today the bay offers some of the best islands snorkeling via permitted tours. Further south you'll discover Pu'uhonua o Honaunau. This ancient Place of Refuge is probably the most visited site on the west side of the island, and it's one of two major national parks on the island, Hawai'i Volcanoes being the other on the eastern coast.
This section of our site contains some sights and beaches that are classified as within our Kohala region. We've decided to additionally include many of these attractions within our Kailua-Kona sections due to the geographic proximity of these locations to the downtown Kailua-Kona area.