In Kona, the spectrum of activities stretches as far as the eye can see, from the sun-soaked beaches to the towering mountains. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking thrilling adventures or a soul in search of serene landscapes, Kona ensures an unforgettable experience in every corner of its tropical embrace.

Nestled on the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, Kona stands as a captivating haven for adventure enthusiasts and relaxation seekers alike. Renowned as one of the top travel destinations in the United States, this tropical paradise boasts an abundance of activities that cater to diverse interests.

Whether you love basking in the sun on a beach, snorkeling, surfing, whale watching, hiking, exploring local festivals or just enjoying a delicious cup of Kona coffee we will let you know all there is to enjoy on our beautiful island.

Honokohau Beach, Hawaii

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park on Hawaii’s Kona coast offers a unique blend of nature and history along its scenic coastal trails. Spend a day immersed in native Hawaiian culture while exploring this rugged lava landscape from various trailhead options.

Three Trailheads Lead to Discovery

The first trailhead starts at the Ho’okipa Welcome Center, the park’s main visitor center. From here, connect to the shoreline trail that winds along the coast, leading you past fishponds and Honokōhau Harbor. Scan the winter horizon for humpback whales!

Another trailhead is located off Kaloko Road, allowing you to explore the large Kaloko fishpond and view remnants of an ancient Hawaiian settlement. Follow the uneven path, visualizing life for the early Hawaiians.

The third trailhead option begins the adventure at Honokōhau Harbor. Take a short walk to the coastal trail that opens up to secluded coves and wide views of Kealakekua Bay. Time the tides to discover small beaches for swimming and picnicking below the cliffs.

Discover Hawaii’s Past and Present

No matter where your journey begins, you’ll encounter vestiges of both old and new Hawaii. Massive fishponds built by Hawaiians hundreds of years ago remain intact, demonstrating advanced engineering capabilities. Spot remnants of sluice gates used to control water flow.

The trails also connect fishing communities past and present, from the quaint village of Miloli’i to the modern Honokōhau Harbor. Compare grass shacks to houseboats and throw nets to pole fishing while listening to tales from today’s fishermen.

Rugged Lava Contrasts with Beach Oases

Hawaii’s natural diversity shines along the trails, shifting from rough lava flows to smooth kiawe forests to picturesque beaches. Watch your step on uneven terrain while enjoying sweeping coastal views. Remember sun protection as you traverse exposed lava!

The beach, like many Big Island beaches, can be rocky and rugged.  This makes entering the water tricky in most spots. Along the south end, there is a sandier area that is a little softer on the feet. The water doesn’t get very deep within the area between the beach and the fishponds.

Linger at Sunset

Time your hike so you end at Honokōhau Harbor in time to watch the sunset over the Kona coastline. As you walk north along the coast you will lose count of the number of sea turtles that are snacking on in the waves. Relax as you watch them peacefully making their way to shore for the night.

Honokohau beach honu

Return Again and Again

One day is not enough to soak up all that Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park has to share. Come back at different times of day and seasons of the year to experience the contrasts. Wander different trail combinations to uncover new gems hidden along this special coastline steeped in Hawaiian cultural heritage.

The Adventure Continues at Honokōhau

As you wander along the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park coast, you’ll walk past beaches, boat harbors, fishponds, lava fields, and scenic lookouts. If you love history and hiking as much as we do, you’ll want to plan a walk back in time along the unique 4-mile trail found within this park.

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian history while also enjoying the island’s perfect weather and picturesque setting. 

So what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking shoes, pack a big picnic, and head out to create your own adventure through history and nature at Honokōhau!

Looking for accommodations in the area? Check availability here

Experience the ideal “in-town” setting for your Kailua-Kona visit, your gateway to Hawaii’s Big Island adventures!

Recharge in this well-appointed studio within walking distance of town, offering access to restaurants, beaches, and local shops. Guests can unwind by the shared pool, BBQ, and hot tub, fostering a tranquil atmosphere. Delight in garden views from the private top-floor screened lanai, amplified by tropical breezes and natural sounds. The studio boasts a cozy king-sized bed, a smart flat-screen TV, an AC unit, and a ceiling fan.

The studio-style kitchen is fully equipped with a large refrigerator, microwave, and stove. Coin-operated laundry facilities are conveniently available on-site. Kailua Kona Getaway’s strategic location is near Kona International Airport and Kona Community Hospital.

Kailua Kona Getaway

Nearby Activities

For a dining gem away from the bustling Ali’i Drive try Jackie Rey’s

 

Looking for unique shops found only in Kona? Take a look at these boutiques.

Just a quarter-mile north of the resort lies Kahalu’u Beach Park, a snorkeler’s paradise with sea turtles and a vibrant coral reef, while Magic Sands Beach, a mere 2 miles away, beckons with its inviting surf.

Golf enthusiasts will relish the allure of the magnificent 18-hole golf course encircling the resort, blessed with captivating ocean views.

Boasting a prime location near beaches, snorkeling spots, scuba diving, parasailing, dolphin and whale watching tours, fishing opportunities, hiking trails, shopping venues, restaurants, and volcano tours, the Kona Coast Resort stands as the idyllic destination for your next Hawaiian adventure.

Additional condo amenities encompass free WiFi, an in-unit washer and dryer, complimentary reserved parking, a spacious lanai with lounge chairs and an outdoor table for four, and much more. Start planning your dream Hawaiian vacation today!

Kailua Kona Getaway

 

Check out more places that are available for your dates.

 

 

The Big Island of Hawaii is a true food lover’s paradise. From the island’s bountiful farms and orchards to its talented chefs putting creative twists on traditional Hawaiian cuisine, there is something to tantalize every palate. Here are a few of our Big Island Restaurant Picks, and markets that visitors must experience to truly appreciate the diverse flavors of the Big Island.

A few of our Big Island Restaurant Picks

Dining with a view of majestic volcanoes or crashing waves is easy to find on the Big Island. Some restaurants not to miss include:

Ocean view with the Coffee Shack restaurant

The Coffee Shack 

Known as one of the best places for breakfast south of Kona, this roadside cafe impresses foodies with its menu of breakfast bowls, acai smoothies, avocado toast and more. Sip an iced latte on the deck overlooking the lush Kona coast. Line up early. It’s worth the wait!

Sunset Kai Lanai

This newly renovated (and new ownership) open-air restaurant is perched just steps from a picturesque west Hawaii sunset viewpoint. Visitors rave about the fresh poke, seared ahi and killer mai tais while taking in the dramatic coastal views. Save room for the Key Lime Pie.

Merriman’s

Top chef Peter Merriman sources over 90% of his ingredients from local Hawaiian farms. His signature wok charred Ahi tuna and Molokai sweet potato gnocchi are standouts at his Waimea restaurant. Eat inside or outside under the stars.

 

Markets Bursting with Tropical Flavors

From colorful farmers markets to food trucks dishing out local specialties, the Big Island offers plenty of tasty and affordable options for trying authentic Hawaiian foods.

Pure Kona Green Markets

Every Sunday, local farmers and food artisans sell fresh produce, baked goods, coffee, chocolate and prepared foods. Look for lilikoi butter, guava jam, tropical fruit popsicles, live music, and more. 

Cook’s Bounty Fruitstand

Any day of the week you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee, honey, coconuts, juices and more. Since the big farmer’s markets are typically only open one day a week, this fruit stand in Captain Cook has saved the day many, many times. They don’t have a website but they have an address!

Check here for more great food spots

 

A Celebration of Craft Beer and Island Culture

Nestled against the backdrop of Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty, the 29th Annual Kona Brewers Festival on March 9, 2024 stands as a testament to the vibrant culture of the Big Island and the spirit of Aloha that permeates its society. This event, much anticipated by locals and tourists alike, is not just a celebration of craft beer but a gathering that honors the unique blend of environmental stewardship, community support, and the rich tapestry of Hawaiian culture.

The Kona Brewers Festival, since its inception almost three decades ago, has grown from a modest gathering to a multifaceted event that attracts thousands of attendees each year. The festival is typically held in March, offering a reprieve from the winter chill for those hailing from colder climates and providing an excellent reason for everyone to enjoy the warm embrace of the Hawaiian sun.

Live Performances and Art

The festival also celebrates Hawaiian culture through music, dance, and art. Live performances by local musicians and hula dancers add to the festive atmosphere, while artisans and craftspeople display their work, providing a glimpse into the creativity and traditions of the Hawaiian people. These cultural elements are integral to the festival, creating a sense of place and community that is uniquely Hawaiian.

The Kona Brewers Festival is not just an event; it’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of Hawaii. It’s a place where beer enthusiasts, foodies, environmentalists, and lovers of Hawaiian culture come together to celebrate, learn, and enjoy. The festival offers a moment to pause and appreciate the beauty of the island, the richness of its culture, and the importance of community and environmental responsibility.

Local Restaurants and chefs

At its core, the festival is a celebration of craft beer, with over 40 breweries from across Hawaii and the mainland United States participating each year. These breweries showcase more than 100 different types of beer, offering festival-goers a broad spectrum of flavors ranging from the traditional to the exotic. The diversity of the beer selection is matched only by the variety of the food, with local restaurants and chefs bringing their best dishes to pair with the craft brews. This culinary showcase emphasizes local ingredients and Hawaiian cuisine.

However, the Kona Brewers Festival is much more than just beer and food. It is a community event that embodies the principle of “malama ‘aina,” or caring for the land. The festival organizers are deeply committed to environmental sustainability, implementing practices such as waste reduction, recycling, and the use of compostable materials. These efforts ensure that the festival not only leaves a minimal environmental footprint but also educates and inspires attendees to adopt more sustainable practices in their daily lives.

Supporting Local Nonprofit Organizations

A significant portion of the proceeds from the event is donated to local nonprofit organizations that work in areas such as environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and education. Over the years, the Kona Brewers Festival has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, making a tangible difference in the lives of the Big Island’s residents and the health of its natural ecosystems. You can see the list of beneficiaries here.

Always Looking to the Future

As the festival looks to the future, it remains committed to its founding principles while seeking to grow and evolve. The organizers continue to explore new ways to reduce the festival’s environmental impact, support more local nonprofits, and enhance the attendee experience. The goal is to ensure that the Kona Brewers Festival remains a vibrant, meaningful, and sustainable event for years to come.

Visit the Festival website for tickets.

The Kona Brewers Festival is a celebration of all that makes the Big Island special. Through its focus on craft beer, Hawaiian culture, environmental sustainability, and community support, the festival embodies the spirit of Aloha. It brings people together from all walks of life to share in the joy of discovery, the warmth of community, and the beauty of Hawaii. Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado, a food lover, an environmentalist, or simply someone who appreciates the richness of Hawaiian culture, the Kona Brewers Festival is an event that offers something for everyone. It is a testament to the power of community, the importance of sustainability, and the enduring appeal of the Hawaiian Islands.

Looking for accommodations for the Festival? Check availability here

A walk along Ali’i Drive brings you into a vibrant Kailua-Kona shopping scene where local boutiques offer a unique glimpse into the essence of Hawaiian living. From charming home decor to stylish fashion and athletic gear, these four businesses stand out as must-visit destinations for locals and visitors alike.

Pilikana Boutique: 

Pilikana Boutique is a charming shop that specializes in Hawaiian-inspired home decor, artisanal crafts, and gifts. Visitors can browse through a curated collection of handmade treasures, including colorful textiles, ceramic pottery, and tropical-themed artwork, perfect for adding a touch of aloha to any living space.Inside image of Pueo Boutique

Pueo Boutique: 

Pueo Boutique offers a unique selection of clothing, accessories, and gifts that capture the essence of Hawaii’s island lifestyle. From stylish resort wear to Coco Moon baby and children’s clothing to locally-made jewelry, customers can find one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect the beauty and spirit of the Big Island at three locations in Kailua-Kona.

Big Island Running: 

Big Island Running is a must-visit destination for fitness enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. With an extensive selection of athletic apparel, footwear, and accessories catered specifically to runners and active individuals, it’s the ultimate hub for those seeking gear that matches their passion. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon or embarking on a journey through Hawaii’s breathtaking trails, their expert staff is dedicated to assisting you in finding the perfect equipment for your next expedition.

Big Island Baby Gear:

Big Island Baby Gear is a family-owned shop in Kailua-Kona catering to traveling families and local parents. Conveniently located in the Aliʻi Gardens Marketplace, the store offers baby equipment rentals and sales for adventurous parents exploring the island with little ones in tow. Their inventory focuses on must-have travel gear to cover all lodging types and expeditions, ranging from hiking carriers to portable cribs, beach tents, toys, high chairs and more. They offer customizable rental packages tailored to any itinerary, while sales inventory rotates frequently to provide the latest safe and convenient gear options. With reasonable rates and delivery services 7 days a week!

 

Whether you’re seeking to adorn your home with island-inspired decor, update your wardrobe with stylish fashion, gear up for outdoor adventures, or ensure a comfortable journey with little ones in tow, these local businesses stand ready to exceed your expectations. 

Embrace the warmth of Hawaiian hospitality and craftsmanship as you explore these treasures, and carry with you the essence of aloha wherever your journey may lead. 

See more uniques experiences here.

Learning to Surf in the Birthplace of the Sport

Imagine this: you’re paddling out into the crystal-clear waters of Kona, Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing. The sun warms your skin, the salty breeze whips through your hair, and the rhythmic roar of the waves crashes against the volcanic cliffs. You pop up on your surfboard, feeling the ocean’s power beneath your feet, and for a fleeting moment, you’re dancing with the very spirit of aloha.

 

Learning to surf in Kona is more than just a vacation activity; it’s a cultural immersion. Hawaiians have been riding waves for centuries, perfecting the art of bodysurfing and longboarding generations before the sport spread across the globe. Their deep connection to the ocean and respect for its power infuse every aspect of surfing here.

That’s why, when learning to surf in Kona, it’s always best to go local. Local instructors not only possess a wealth of experience and knowledge about the island’s diverse surf breaks, but they also carry the aloha spirit in their hearts. They’ll teach you with patience, understanding, and a genuine desire to share their passion for the sport.

Kona Hawaii surf lessons

One such place that embodies this local spirit is Kahalu’u Bay Surf & Sea. Nestled alongside the picturesque Kahalu’u Bay, a protected marine sanctuary known for its gentle waves and abundant marine life, Kahalu’u Bay Surf & Sea offers lessons for surfers of all levels.

View of surfing area in Kahalu'u Bay

Their team of certified instructors, many of whom are kama’aina, are passionate about sharing their love of surfing and the ocean. They’ll guide you through the fundamentals, from paddling and popping up to riding and maneuvering your board. They’ll also instill in you respect for the ocean’s power and the importance of protecting its delicate ecosystem.

Kahalu’u Bay Surf & Sea, Kona Hawaii

Learning to surf in Kona isn’t just about catching waves; it’s about becoming part of a vibrant community. You’ll share smiles and high fives with fellow surfers, swap stories with friendly locals, and soak up the laid-back island vibe. By the end of your experience, you’ll leave with not only newfound skills but also a deep appreciation for Hawaiian culture and the magic of riding the waves.

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, ditch the guidebooks and head to Kona. Let the local instructors of Kahalu’u Bay Surf & Sea be your guides, and prepare to experience the thrill of catching your first wave in the birthplace of surfing. Mahalo!

Here are some additional tips for learning to surf in Kona:

  • Choose the right time of year. The summer months (May to September) tend to have calmer waves, making them ideal for beginners. However, the winter months (October to April) offer bigger waves for experienced surfers.
  • Be patient. Learning to surf takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch a wave right away. Just keep paddling and practicing, and eventually, you’ll find your rhythm.
  • Respect the ocean. The ocean is a powerful force. Always be aware of your surroundings and your limitations. Never surf alone, and be sure to follow the instructions of your instructor.
  • Be sure to wear reef-safe sunscreen. Check this list of reef-safe sunscreens and consider buying a Hawaiian-made brand online or when you arrive. Kokua Sun Care and Little Hands Hawai’i are two personal favorites.
  • Have fun! Surfing is a blast. So relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the ride.

With a little preparation and the right guidance, your Kona surfing experience will be one you’ll never forget. So grab your board, hit the waves, and aloha from Kona!

When you a ready to kick back and relax check out these great beaches!

We love our keiki but sometimes we need a little break before they do. Taking a family vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii is a dream come true, but even in paradise, it’s ok for parents to take a break. Fortunately, the island offers a plethora of adventures for kids beyond its beautiful beaches. Explore the educational and entertaining options for your keiki with these Big Island family activities:

Big Island family activities for when you need a break!

Children’s Museums:

Hawai’i Keiki Museum (Kailua-Kona):

Alice Birnbaum Mural at Hawai'i Keiki Museum made from collected seaglass

Nestled in the heart of Kailua-Kona, the Hawai’i Keiki Museum is a haven for young minds eager to delve into the realms of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Through interactive exhibits, kids can embark on a journey exploring the wonders of the island’s volcanoes, constructing their own coral reefs, and even climbing into a replica canoe. What makes this museum truly unique is its collaboration with local organizations and artists, including the Society For Kona’s Education & Art, resulting in one-of-a-kind murals that add an artistic touch to the learning experience.

Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center (Hilo):

Situated in Hilo, the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is a vibrant hub of creativity and exploration. With exhibits ranging from a replica supermarket and a construction zone to a captivating water play area, this center offers a dynamic learning environment for children. In addition to the exhibits, families can enjoy regular storytimes, engage in craft workshops, and participate in cultural programs that add a touch of local flavor to the experience.

Sip Your Coffee While Your Keiki Play

Indoor Playground:

Keiki & Kope Indoor Playground and Coffee Shop:

Keiki & Kope Indoor Playground and Coffee Shop in Kealalekua provides a delightful escape for both kids and parents. While keiki immerse themselves in play, parents can unwind with a cup of coffee, taking a well-deserved break. The establishment also offers playgroups, classes for adults, and party packages, making it a versatile destination for families.

Bonus Attraction in Hilo:

Imiloa Astronomy Center

Imiloa Astronomy Center (Hilo):

Although not strictly a children’s museum, the Imiloa Astronomy Center is a must-visit for families with curious minds. Located in Hilo, this world-class astronomy center offers interactive exhibits, captivating planetarium shows, and stargazing opportunities. It’s an enriching experience for kids of all ages to learn about the wonders of space in a fascinating and engaging manner.

 

Remember to check the websites or call ahead to confirm current hours, admission fees, and any special events happening during your visit. We hope these recommendations add an extra layer of excitement to your family trip to the Big Island, creating lasting memories for both parents and keiki alike!

When you’re ready to go after a nice break, check out more activities to do with kids on the Big Island

Experience the vibrant pulse of Kona in February with an array of exciting events that promise to captivate your senses. From the enchanting Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations to the thrilling Panaewa Stampede Rodeo and the creative haven of SOKO’s Artists Studio Tour, Kona is a hub of cultural richness and diverse experiences. Get inspired at the Living & Design Expo, take a leisurely stroll through the Kokua Kailua Village Stroll, and embrace the weekly Hawaiian music and hula shows. Join us on a journey through the heart of Kona’s February festivities, where tradition meets contemporary allure.

Kona February Events

February 3: Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Experience Japanese performing arts, a traditional tea ceremony, bonsai demonstrations, and food from local vendors at Parker Ranch Center. Waimea is always a beautiful day trip from Kona. For more information click here.

Chinese New Year Celebrations: Celebrate the Year of the Dragon!

February 10 in Honoka’a

Enjoy food trucks, local vendors, and paper lantern making, and don’t miss the Professional Lion Dance by Yau Gong Lion Dancers

February 17, 2024, at Queen’s Marketplace, Waikoloa Beach Resort

Enjoy live entertainment and food around the shops and take the opportunity to feed the Chinese Lion for good fortune

February 17-18: Panaewa Stampede Rodeo  

Panaewa Stampede Rodeo in Hilo brings together the ranching community and spectators for an exciting two day event!

February 24-25: SOKO 9th Annual Artists Studio Tour

Don’t miss the 9th Annual Artists Studio Tour of the South Kona Artists Collective. On Saturday, Feb 24th, and Sunday, Feb 25th 21 artists at 13 locations are participating. See demonstrations and purchase art directly from the artists and stop along the way for Kona coffee and lunch. Take a look at a preview of the beautiful art to be enjoyed here

February 24-25: 17th Annual Living & Design Expo

Feb 24, 9-5 and Feb 25 9-2 at the Outrigger Kona Resort, Keauhou. Join us for Hawai’i Island’s finest home expo. Exhibitors will include Cabinetry and Kitchen, HVAC, Home Office, General Contracting and more.

Dragon at a Chinese New Year Celebration

Ongoing Events

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll: Feb 18

Once a month, on Alii Drive near the Pier, the street is closed for the Kokua Kailua Village Stroll. From 1-6 pm, the street transforms into a bustling market with local vendors and artists’ booths. Explore the vibrant stalls, shop for unique crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Leashed dogs are also welcome, so feel free to bring your furry friends along for the stroll. This event is a perfect opportunity to support local businesses and artists while immersing yourself in the lively spirit of Kailua-Kona.

Free Hawaiian Music and Hula Show

Every Friday at Keauhou Shopping Center, you can enjoy a free Hawaiian music and hula show in the center courtyard from 6-7pm. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Hawai’i as talented musicians and graceful hula dancers take the stage. This weekly event is a fantastic opportunity to experience the beauty and artistry of traditional Hawaiian music and dance.

First Friday After Dark in Holualoa

On the first Friday of every month, the quaint village of Holualoa comes alive with a block party. From 5:30-8:30pm, locals and visitors gather to explore the town’s art galleries and boutiques, listen to live music, and indulge in gourmet “grab and go” food. This festive event is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local art and culture scene while enjoying the warm hospitality of the community.

 

Visit Queen’s Marketplace for more ongoing events 

Join ukulele lessons, Wednesday hula shows, and outdoor movies every month.
February 10, 2024 is the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus in the Coronation Pavilion.

 

More to come in March!

The 29th Annual Kona Brewers Festival will be held Saturday, March 9, 2024, from 3 pm – 7 pm.  Buy your tickets here

 

Looking for a place to stay? Check out what we have available for your dates.

If you’re looking to have a little fun on the Big Island make sure to check out the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival on February 3rd. The event runs from 9:00-3:00 and celebrates the annual blooming of its historic cherry trees. The event is free and open to the public.

Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the blooming of cherry blossoms and features lots of fun events and demonstrations throughout the day including various cultural performances, art exhibits, food vendors, and more. It provides an opportunity for the community and visitors to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms and experience Hawaiian culture. The Festival is produced by the Hawai‘i County Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Section and led by a dedicated team of volunteers.

 

Waimea Arts Council Cherry Branch cherry blossom festivalThis year some of the highlights include Taiko drums, Japanese cooking by local chefs, a traditional

Japanese tea ceremony, and a cherry blossom art show at Firehouse Gallery

The entertainment schedule is available here as it is finalized.

Parking

Roberts Hawai’i will provide free shuttles from Church Row Park to Parker Ranch Center but walking is also encouraged.

Lodging

Looking for a place to stay? Check our listings to see what’s available for your dates.

Just outside the beating heart of downtown Kona, tucked away where the island whispers its secrets to the palm trees, lies a dining gem waiting to be discovered: Jackie Rey’s Kailua-Kona. Imagine this: you escape the bustling Ali’i Drive, leaving the souvenir shops and luau flyers behind. The trade winds brush your face, carrying the scent of plumeria and the distant tang of the sea. Then, nestled amidst vibrant flora, a splash of island color catches your eye.

Hawaii Sunset glowing through a surfboard

That’s Jackie Rey’s. A vibrant mosaic of turquoise and coral invites you in, promising a taste of the authentic Kona. Inside, the air hums with laughter and the aroma of garlic butter mingles with the sweet, smoky kiss of mesquite. Friendly faces, both local and traveler, gather around worn wooden tables, sharing stories and platters piled high with island bounty.

Culinary Paradise

Jackie Rey’s is no ordinary restaurant. It’s a celebration of the sea, where the freshest catch of the day meets the island’s culinary traditions in a delicious dance. Picture plates overflowing with succulent prawns bathed in coconut cream, their tails curled like tiny question marks. Or imagine tender kalua pork, slow-cooked in an underground imu oven, its smoky richness melting on your tongue. And don’t forget the pupu platters, bursting with an array of island flavors: poke glistening with sesame oil, crispy coconut shrimp, and sweet Maui onions glazed in teriyaki. I’ll just give one more shoutout about the food: Molokai Purple Mashed Potatoes. Delicious!

Hilo Location

If you find yourself in Hilo, stop at Jackie Rey’s Hilo location. Hilo takes a different culinary approach than its Kona counterpart, specializing in what they call “Island Fusion Cuisine.” This means you can expect a delightful blend of Hawaiian, Asian, and mainland American influences, all bursting with fresh, local ingredients.

Start your meal with a Hilo favorite, the Ahi Poke Nachos. Imagine crispy wonton chips piled high with chunks of ahi tuna marinated in a lip-tingling soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger dressing. Avocado, pickled onions, and a dollop of creamy wasabi add textural and flavor contrasts that will have you reaching for another chip.

But Jackie Rey’s is more than just food. It’s an experience. The clinking of glasses as locals raise a toast to the setting sun, painting the sky in fiery hues. The strum of a ukulele in the corner, weaving tales of ancient voyagers and island spirits. It’s the infectious laughter ringing out, fueled by good food, good company, and the aloha spirit that permeates the very air.

So, if you find yourself in Kona, don’t just walk the well-trodden path. Seek out the hidden gem beyond the crowds. Let Jackie Rey’s Kailua-Kona introduce you to the true taste of the island, where every bite is a story, every laugh a shared aloha, and every meal an unforgettable memory.

Looking for more local food?