Welcome to Kailua-Kona
As the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii when unification occurred under King Kamehameha I, Kailua-Kona is historically significant. Today, you can still visit his private temple Ahuena Heiau. This is a busy area on the Kona side of the big island of Hawaii and has tons of shops, bars, and restaurants. The Kona side of the island is not as lush as the Hilo side and features plenty of sunny beaches and a drier climate because it is protected from the rain carrying trade winds.
What to Love
- Drier weather, with around 32” of rainfall a year
- Access to several beaches and stunning views
- Small town vibe with plenty of restaurants and shops
Kailua-Kona is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with nearby beaches featuring a variety of water activities from surfing to snorkeling. There are also many golf courses and hiking opportunities. Kailua-Kona is also a popular tourist attraction, offering all the amenities tourists love such as boutiques and bars.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
There are so many delicious eateries and shopping opportunities within Kailua-Kona.
A casual dining favorite of the locals is Huggo’s, opened in 1969 with the motto of “good food and good fun”. Huggo’s offers fresh seafood and a relaxing atmosphere in a stunning seaside location. The seafood at Huggo’s is so fresh, the fish you have for dinner was most likely caught earlier that same day.
Another Kailua-Kona staple is the Kona Brewing Company, home to one of the best-selling craft beer brands in the world. The original brewery location is right next to the original brewpub which serves classic pub food with a Hawaiian twist. Brewery tours are also coming soon!
Established in 1928, the Kona Inn Shopping Village offers 50 retail shops and waterfront restaurants. You’re sure to find a unique Hawaiian treasure as you stroll the quaint oceanfront village-style setting.
There are many farmer’s markets in this area but one of the best is the Kona Farmers Market. Featuring fresh fruit, like juicy mangos, and vegetables grown on the island along with other local prepared food and merchandise vendors. A trip to this market is a can’t miss event.
Things to Do
There are so many fun activities and natural wonders in Kailua-Kona, you’ll be busy every day of the week trying to see and do everything.
As a tight-knit community, Kailua-Kona has many social events to help bring the neighbors together and sometimes benefit a good cause in the process. One such event is the Kona Brewers Festival, sponsored by the Ke Kai Ala Foundation. This foundation works to support environmental conservation along with the well-being of Hawaii’s youth and the brewers festival helps raise money for these causes by offering a fun atmosphere along with handcrafted brews and local cuisine.
Another great local festival is the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Around for more than 50 years, this festival celebrates Kona’s unique coffee heritage. Enjoy the sights and spectacular smells as you peruse the cultural displays and product demos.
For nature lovers, one of Kailua-Kona’s finest beaches is the Kua Bay white sand beach. This beach is part of Kekaha Kai State Park and is sometimes called Manini'owali beach, but is usually known by the much easier to pronounce Kua name. The beach is a study in beautiful contrasts with the white sand against black lava rocks and the clear blue Hawaii sky and sea.
Kailua-Kona has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Hawaii.