A rocky beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Park

Cruise to Hawai'i (Kailua Kona), Hawaii

Located on Hawaii Island's beautiful western shore, Kailua Kona is known for its calm, clear waters that offer the perfect playground for ocean adventure. Take the 25-minute drive north to Manini'owali Beach to swim or snorkel in the ultra-blue waves alongside dolphins and sea turtles. Often referred to simply as Kona, the area is also a place of deep historical significance. Cruise to Kailua Kona and check out Kaloko-Honokahau National Historical Park, a Hawaiian Heritage Site where you'll encounter early temples, ancient petroglyphs and traditional fishponds. See where your morning cup comes from at one of the coffee plantations on the slopes of Hualalai volcano — if you're daring, you can even hike to the summit.
National Language English
Currency Accepted U.S. Dollar (USD)

Things To Do in Hawai'i (Kailua Kona)

Ancient polynesian tiki wooden craving statues in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua Kona, Hawaii Ancient Polynesian Tiki

Ancient Sanctuary

Ancient Sanctuary

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, considered one of Hawaii's most sacred sites, is a 40-minute drive south from Kailua Kona. The site was formerly royal grounds and a "place of refuge" for ancient lawbreakers. Take a self-guided walking tour amidst the restored, centuries-old temple and fishponds alongside the ocean and soak up the history.

Petroglpyhs found in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua Kona, Hawaii Rocks

Read the Rocks

Read the Rocks

Visit the 223-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve and see more than 3,000 ancient kii pohaku, Hawaiian petroglyphs. Some of these images carved into lava rock date back to 1200 AD. It's thought the carvings of people, canoes, turtles and various symbols represent births and other important events.

The Hulihee Palace, a former vacation home for the royal family in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua Kona, Hawaii Hulihee Palace

Vacation Like Royalty

Hulihee Palace, built in 1838 as a summer vacation getaway home for Hawaiian royalty, stands right in the heart of Kailua-Kona. You can wander through the restored palace, which now operates as a museum with beautiful koa furniture and other ornaments and artifacts from the late 19th century, when King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani ruled.

Poke bowl filled with rice, avocado, seaweed salad, veggies, and raw salmon

Kailua Kona, Hawaii Poke Bowl

Local Cuisine

Kona cuisine is all about fresh fish — try the poke (pronounced po-kay), a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Traditional forms include aku (an oily tuna) and he'e (octopus). You can also find modern takes on the traditional flavors and products with your Hawaii cruise, like wok-charred local ahi tuna with wasabi soy sauce or roasted lamb from nearby Kahua Ranch.

Handmade bowls made out of palm leaves in Hawaii

Kailua Kona, Hawaii Leaf Bowls


Walkable downtown Kailua-Kona has many boutiques and galleries where you'll find unique jewelry, Hawaiian quilts, carved koa wood bowls and other unique and handcrafted items by Hawaii artisans. At the Kona Farmers Market (Wednesdays through Sundays), you can find macadamia nuts, local honeys and jams, Hawaiian crafts and Kona coffee.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 It's almost always sunny and dry in Kona, so pack plenty of sunscreen, even on overcast days, and carry water, too.
2 As you depart, make sure you stop and watch the sunset over the ocean — a Kona sunset is not to be missed.

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