About Kailua Kona
Information About Kona by People Who Live in Kona
Really, you need to make the decision if you are going to stay out in Waikoloa or if you are going to stay in Kona. You will find that you really don’t need to leave Waikoloa too much to get your needs taken care of unless you want to see the Island of Hawaii. Of course, if you want to get to our coffee farm, you are going to need to leave Waikoloa. We recommend the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai as your best choices for fun, sun and food. These resorts will give you an experience you will never forget.
If you are looking for access to a more “local” experience, closer to things such as Blockbuster, supermarkets, and mom-and-pop shops, then Kona will be a better choice for you. Also, you might enjoy spending more time out in the thick of Hawaii exploring the different places rather than spending time hanging out around pools. It all depends why you were taking your vacation. Simply for relaxation or more for adventure?
If you are looking for food, look no further. There are all kinds of restaurants on the Kona side of the Island, and surprisingly enough there are many high quality restaurants.
For simple sushi, we recommend Hyashi’s Make your own roll, which is in the heart of downtown Kona behind Pancho and Lefty’s.
For lunch or just to get a bunch of good fish sandwiches, the best place is the Kona Inn Restaurant. They have fish sandwiches, chips and potato salad and you get to eat right on the water in an open-air environment.
For an elegant dinner, we recommend:
You will have to drive a little bit, but you will soon be eating some of the best dinners on the island.
Four Seasons resort Hualalai. There are several restaurants on the property, but the one that we like is the restaurant on the beach as you walk through the resort. Just ask for the restaurant by the pool and the beach. Very peaceful, and boasts some great entrees such as specially prepared meats, seafood and others.
The Kona Village Luau is a great place to experience one of the best and most remote Luaus on the island. You get to watch the ceremony to remove the pig from the Imu, and there is a ton of good food, with dancing, entertainment and drinks. Highly recommended if you wanted to catch the best Luau
Kona Choice for good food is Peter Merriman’s restaurant or Daniel Thiebaut’s restaurant in Waimea are a food critic’s must. It is a 30 minute drive from Kona, but the food is well worth it.
They are divided into accessible and in-accessible beaches. Either four wheel drive beaches or two wheel drive beaches. Before you get to Kona, you should make your decision if you want to visit a four wheel drive beach or recreational area like Waipio Valley. If you decide you want to go that way, you need to rent a four wheel drive vehicle for your stay on the Big Island. Four wheel drive vehicles are the vehicle of choice on the big island for these reasons.
You have to see Hapuna Beach. This beach is a two wheel drive beach and has a parking lot. It is a lot like a beach on the mainland and is main-stream with bathrooms, lifeguards and lots of people. White sand beach with turquoise waters.
Makalawena Beach is a four wheel drive beach that has three coves which are white sand. This beach boasts a brackish water cleansing pond which is fed by natural springs. Because of this remote location, you may find people hanging out on the beach partially or fully nude. Expect no fresh water, no parking lots, a few people, sea turtles, and good snorkeling. There are no lifeguards, so you are on your own if you get into trouble. You will also need to pack a lunch, because there are no snack stands.
Must See While on Hawaii
The must-see list is simple. It consists of Volcano’s National Park, where you can see an active lava flow.
The other must-see is the Summit of Mauna Kea. If you don’t have a four wheel drive vehicle, there are many tour companies that can take you to the top of the mountain. We recommend either a sunset visit, or a hiking adventure.
The other must-see is also a four wheel drive location, which we call Waipio Valley. If you do make it into the valley, you can camp there on the black sand beach, but you need a permit. The roads are often rivers, and you need to be careful when you cross so you don’t lose your vehicle in a river.