15 Best Things To Do in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua Kona is a seaside town and at the heart of the Kona coast. Located just a few minutes away from the Kona International airport, this town has become a very popular destination for tourists for a relaxing environment and good food and drinks. If you want to experience true Hawaiian culture, then this town will let you do just that. In the evening this town comes alive, and you can enjoy the amazing and fun nightlife, all in true Hawaii style. This list of best places to visit in Kailua Kona will help you plan your tour and give you an idea of must-see tourist attractions in Kailua Kona.

Let's explore Kailua Kona points of interest and 15 best things to do in Kailua Kona:

1. Mauna Kea Summit

If you like watching the stars and the sky then the Mauna Kea Summit is the perfect place for you to visit. The summit is at a height of about four thousand meters. There is an observatory which lets you gaze at the stars and learn about that. The summit is located on the top of a dormant volcano and is the highest point in all of Hawaii. This gives you the best spot to witness some of the most amazing views. Do not forget to take your camera to capture all those breathtaking views from the top. A trip to this summit is completely family friendly and will surely be informative as well as fun. 

2. Saddle Road

There are roads everywhere, so a road is not that interesting. But the Saddle Road in Kailua Kona is one of the most beautiful roads in Hawaii, and if you want to go on a road trip with your family, then this is the perfect place. While driving through this road, you will be able to see a lot of beautiful sceneries all throughout. So fill up your tank since there are no fuel stations on this stretch of road and get ready to experience the best road trip in Hawaii. 

3. Kona Brewing Company

Kona brewing companyImage Source: wikimedia.org

If you are a beer fan then a tour of this environment-friendly brewing company is a must. The Kona Brewing Company is only open to adults and children above fifteen years of age. The tour lets you see their company, and at the end of the tour, you can have four of their beers. You can also inquire about any seasonal beers that they have. The cafeteria at the company serves some of the most delicious pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers and should not be missed. After a tour, if you are exhausted, then you can relax at the Growler shack just outside the brewery.

4. Kua Bay

The Kua Bay is remotely located beach which is popular tourist attractions and even locals flock to this beach during summer or winters. This beach has white sand and clear water which makes it so beautiful. There are a lot of lookout points, and you can also try trekking. If you visit Kailua Kona during the summers, then this beach will offer you a place to relax and enjoy snorkeling. If you are lucky enough you will be able to see dolphins and several turtles. This is one of the main attractions of this beach. Getting to the beach might be a bit difficult due to the rough roads, but the trouble would be worth it once you reach.

5. Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

If you are a coffee lover then this will be a paradise for you. The Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation lets you observe and experience the process of growing coffee, processing it and then packing. Also if you choose to learn the art of coffee making and you can roast the coffees beans yourself and then keep them as souvenirs. An interesting place to visit with your family and friends and appreciate the hard work that goes behind producing coffee. 

6. Honokohau Settlement

Kailua Kona AttractionsImage Source: wikimedia.org

The Honokohau Settlement is a spot that every tourist visits due to its interesting nature. Here you can see four different types of the sea to mountain land divisions which are known as ahupuaa, petroglyphs known as kii pohaku and a number of sacred temples which are known as heiau. After seeing them, you can spend some quality time on the pristine beach and explore the Hawaiian fish ponds. The marine life at the shore is quite varied, and you will surely enjoy witnessing them. 

7. Magic Sands

As the name suggests the Magic Sands beach is truly a magical beach which makes it one of the unique beaches in the entire world. If you plan to visit Kailua Kona then visiting this beach is a must. The reason for this name is that the beach is sometimes rocky and sometimes it is covered with beautiful white sand. The waves are bigger than other beaches, and the beach has a charm of its own. Either relax under the sun or jump into the water and enjoy the waves. 

8. Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church

Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church, Kailua KonaImage Source: wikimedia.org

The Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church is also known as the “Painted Church” since the interiors are beautifully painted with teachings of the Bible and other saints. In the older times, these paintings served an alternative to those who could not read. Thus, the paintings, though beautiful, served a greater purpose. This church is an important historic structure in this town and is respected by locals. The church also has programmes to serve the community by reaching out to those in need. 

9. Honokohau Marina

The Honokohau Marina is carved out of lava and is stunning. The beautiful marina has a lot of options if you wish to go on a fishing tour or whale watching. Or you can simply take a peaceful walk by the beach and witness the beautiful scenery around the area. There are also a number of restaurants and places which serve chilled beer. The road might be a bit difficult, but the trip is worth all the difficulty. 

10. H.N Greenwell Store Museum

It is not very often that you get to visit a store from the 1800s, complete with authentic ancient furniture. This store was owned by the Greenwell family and was run by Mrs. Greenwell until her death. The store has remained unchanged over the years and still sells the same items that it sold during its earlier years. You can bake bread with the volunteers or visit the coffee plantation and taste some delicious freshly brewed coffee. The stories of the stores will keep you entertained for quite some time. A trip to this store will surely give you an opportunity to go back in time. 

11. Dons Mai Tai Bar

If you are a foodie, then Dons Mai tai Bar will satisfy your urge for some good food. They serve some of the best mai-tais in the entire city, and it attracts locals as well as tourists. The bar is strategically located so that you get a beautiful view of the Bay and the cool breeze will destress you completely. You can also pamper yourself with some cool cocktails. Enjoy the ambiance and the live music, a perfect place to unwind and relax. 

12. Ali’l Gardens Marketplace

An open-air market where you can find everything locally made and produced. From handmade jewelry to soaps and merchandise, this market embodies the very spirit of Hawaii. You can also get the freshest produce of the day including fresh fruits and vegetables. Throughout the market, you will find numerous cafes and restaurants where you can have local food made with the best ingredients. It is the best place to get your hands on some local crafts and handmade items. A suitable place to get some souvenirs for your friends and family back home. 

13. Volcanoes National Park Twilight Tour

If you wish to see a live volcano then this is the place to be at. The Volcanoes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a popular tourist spot for its unique feature, a live volcano. You need to simply meet up with your guide who will lead you to the spot after some hiking, and if you are lucky, then you will be able to see the orange lava flowing down the hill. The tour also consists of lunch and dinner in a picnic style so you can enjoy some together time with your fellow trekkers. 

14. Kona Submarine Adventure

True to its name, this tour package consists of underwater exploration in a submarine. You get to go on a tour of two islands and view the underwater scenery from the windows of the submarine. The beautiful sea creatures and the corals are astonishing, and this is one tour which you will surely remember. After the submarine ride, you can enjoy some delicious Hawaiian food and music at the Royal Kona Resort. 

15. Sunset Manta Ray Snorkel

This tour lets you snorkel and swim near the manta rays and enjoy the cool blue waters of the bay. Watching the massive manta rays in their natural habitat is mesmerizing and getting to be so close to them is an unforgettable experience. After the amazing snorkeling session get back on the boat and enjoy snacks and drinks already prepared for the guests. 

These are some of the best things to do in Kailua Kona, and this list will help you plan your holiday. There are various other interesting things to do here, and you can be sure that you will never get bored here.

Author: Revati Tamboli
Raised in an unconventional and feminist family, Revati believes in hope and love more than anything else in the world. She was still waiting for her Hogwarts letter or a spider to bite her while pursuing engineering, so that she could become a wizar...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kailua-kona, Hawaii

Must see places in Kailua-kona ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Kailua-kona tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 1109 times in trip plans
    Mauna Kea Summit

    Tags: Outdoors, Entertainment

    Address: Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI

    Timings: 09:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    If you love astronomy, then the Mauna Kea Summit is your dream come true! The perfect place to see meteors, stars and simple take in the beauty from more than 4000 metres! The summit lies on top of a ...Read more

  2. # 2 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 991 times in trip plans
    Saddle Road

    Tags: Outdoors, Entertainment

    Address: Hawaii, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    If you love long drives, then the Saddle road is a must on your ‘to do list’ while you visit Hawaii. Connecting the east to the west of Hawaii, the road is a popular stretch with breath-ta...Read more

  3. # 3 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 1070 times in trip plans
    Kona Brewing Company

    Tags: Outdoors, Food And Drinks, Brewery, Cafe

    Address: 74-5612 Pawai Place, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Get the best of both worlds – Food and Beer! Take a tour of this environmentally conscious brewery and taste four of their beers at the end of the tour. Also, don’t miss eating the cafe af...Read more

  4. # 4 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 922 times in trip plans
    Kua Bay Or Manini'owali Beach

    Tags: Outdoors, Beach, Entertainment

    Address: Kekaha Kai State Park, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Part of Kekaha Kai State Park, Kua Bay is a secluded beach with sugar white sand and some of the best look out points and hiking opportunities. One of the popular attractions in town during summer as ...Read more

  5. # 5 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 712 times in trip plans
    Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

    Tags: Landmark, Tour, Cafe

    Address: 73-1944 Hao St, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Perfect place for all the Coffee lovers! Mountain Thunder is the largest organic coffee farm in the Country and educates its visitors about the whole process of obtaining coffee – from compostin...Read more

  6. # 6 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 575 times in trip plans
    Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

    Tags: Outdoors, Wildlife Sanctuary

    Address: 73-4388 Ilikai Place, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 09:30 am - 03:30 pm Details

    A one of its kind farm in Kailua Kona that is dedicated to care for seahorses - and it shows in the way they conduct tours! Learn everything you need to know about the seahorses and then some more. Hi...Read more

  7. # 7 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 685 times in trip plans
    Hulihee Palace

    Tags: Outdoors, Landmark, Historical Site, Palace

    Address: 75 - 5718 Alii Drive, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Situated on Ali`i Drive, Hulihe`e Palace was the vacation residence of Hawaiian royalty and now is a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawai`i and has on display pretty furniture and some of the mos...Read more

  8. # 8 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 603 times in trip plans
    Honokohau Settlement And Kaloko-honokohau National Historical Park

    Tags: Outdoors, National Park, Historical Site, Archaeological Site

    Address: Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Home to historically and archaeologically important site - Honokohau Settlement – it is a site not to be missed while in Kailua Kona. Get a chance to see four different ahupuaa (traditional sea ...Read more

  9. # 9 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 804 times in trip plans
    Magic Sands

    Tags: Beach, Leisure, Nature

    Address: Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI96740

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Perhaps the most unique beach in the world, the Magic Sands beach is named after the mysterious phenomena of its disappearing and re-appearing sand! There are days when the beach is rocky and on other...Read more

  10. # 10 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 650 times in trip plans
    Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Landmark, Historical Site

    Address: 84-5140 Painted Church Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, United States

    Timings: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Also known as “Painted Church” as the interiors of the Church are painted with Bible teachings and various Saints – around a time when not many could read or write and this was consi...Read more

  11. # 11 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 540 times in trip plans
    Honokohau Marina

    Tags: Outdoors, Beach, Tour, Entertainment

    Address: 74-380 Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Head out to the Marina for a delightful experience. This stunning Marina has been carved out of Lava and has various options for the visitors to choose from when it comes to go on a charter for fishin...Read more

  12. # 12 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 658 times in trip plans
    Kiholo Bay

    Tags: Outdoors, Beach, Entertainment, Leisure

    Address: Mile Marker 81 on Hwy. 19, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Kiholo Bay is a one of a kind experience. If you love turtles and pristine blue waters to snorkel in, then the place will be a story you will keep telling for years to come. The bay is a marvel- m...Read more

  13. # 13 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 141 times in trip plans
    H.n Greenwell Store Museum

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: Kealakekua, HI 96750, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 02:00 pm Details

    The H.N Greenwell Store Museum maintains a store from the 1870s- products, ambience and all! Known for its authentic story of the Greenwell Family which owned almost 1000 acres in Hawaii, the store it...Read more

  14. # 14 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 562 times in trip plans
    Dons Mai Tai Bar

    Tags: Bar, Food And Drinks, Entertainment, Performance

    Address: 75-5852 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

    Don’s Mai Tai Bar is popular for serving the best mai-tais in the city over a spectacular view of the Bay! The cool breeze is sure to ease out stressful days and the lip-smacking cocktails only ...Read more

  15. # 15 of 385 Things To Do in Kailua-kona | Added 546 times in trip plans
    Keauhou Shopping Centre

    Tags: Outdoors, Restaurant, Entertainment, Performance

    Address: 78-6831 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, United States

    Timings: 07:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    If you want to experience the dynamic pulse of city, then the Keauhou Shopping centre is your place! Offering a complete authentic shopping experience, shops are open from morning to midnight- making ...Read more