Tag Archive for: things to do in Kona

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

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

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.


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


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?

Yes, it is possible to take a day trip from Kona to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, plan for a long day as the park is located on the eastern side of the Big Island, and Kona is on the western side. Many people fit VNP in midweek as the BIG DAY of driving in between beach and relaxing days. Depending on traffic and road conditions, the drive can take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours one way.

Alternatively, consider staying overnight in the Hilo area or near the national park if you have the flexibility. This would allow you more time to explore the park without the time constraints of a day trip.

Always check for any updates or advisories before embarking on your trip, as conditions and recommendations may change.

 Lava flowing down hillside

You can drive clockwise or counterclockwise around the island. I like to drive counterclockwise so the after-dark driving is through the middle on Saddle Road rather than the winding narrow Hwy 11/Mamalahoa Hwy. Fuel up with a quick breakfast at Kaya’s Coffee in Kealakekua before cruising southeast on Highway 11. The coffee is great and the food is delicious. Just in time for a bathroom break and a malasada, you’ll arrive at the famous Punulu’u Bake Shop.  

Be sure to pull over at the picturesque Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, where volcanic sand glistens against the turquoise ocean. There is a very good chance you’ll see some turtles feeding on the rocks or basking in the sun.

Upon arrival at Volcanoes National Park, your exploration begins at the Kilauea Visitor Center. Gather updates on volcanic activity and trail conditions, then embark on a scenic drive along Crater Rim Drive with stops at Steam Vents and Sulphur Banks.

Next, take a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, a formed lava tunnel offering a glimpse into the heart of a volcano. Refuel with a picnic lunch within the park, enjoying the fresh air and stunning surroundings.

In the afternoon, take a drive down Chain of Craters Road, a mesmerizing journey through volcanic landscapes. Stop at various points of interest, like the Kilauea Iki Overlook, and consider a hike into the Kīlauea Iki Crater. It is a steep beginning and ending but for the experience of walking through a solidified lava lake, it’s worth it. 

Check the National Park Service for lava activity. If there is activity it is worth it to stya overnight in the area and come back after dark.  Watch molten lava bubbling into the lava lake after sunset. Another sight you will never forget. 

If you’re waiting for sunset to see the lava or want to eat before heading back to Kona, The Rim restaurant in Volcano House is a lovely choice. Before you sit down check out views of the crater and park and the cozy chairs by the fireplace.

Remember to check for updates on volcanic activity or road closures before your trip, and pack snacks, lots of water, and sunscreen, as services within the park are limited. Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and don’t forget a light jacket for the cool evening air.

This itinerary is just a suggestion, and you can tailor it to your interests and available time. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a curious first-timer, a day trip to Volcanoes National Park from Kona promises an unforgettable experience filled with volcanic wonders and breathtaking beauty.

So, pack your bags, lace up your shoes, and get ready to embark on an adventure you’ll never forget!

Another stop on the Hilo side is Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden. Immerse yourself in the contrasts of the island by going from the lava lake to a tropical forest

Eco-Adventures in Kona and the Big Island beckon with the allure of volcanic landscapes, lush rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs. Beyond the postcard beauty, the region is increasingly embracing ecotourism, a transformative shift towards responsible exploration and the conservation of the islands’ natural splendor. This movement represents a recognition of the delicate balance between catering to the growing tourism industry and preserving the unique ecosystems that define the region. Travelers are drawn to Eco-Adventures in Kona and the Big Island, seeking to explore responsibly and contribute to the sustainability of these captivating environments.


Fourspot Butterflyfish

Ecotourism Activities:

  • KapohoKine Adventures:
    • This adventure company offers guided hikes, kayak tours, and cultural experiences led by native guides.
    • Actively involved in conservation efforts, KapohoKine Adventures educates visitors on protecting the island’s ecosystems.
    • Travelers can engage in activities that foster a deeper connection with the local environment.
  • Hawaii Forest & Trail:
    • Explore diverse landscapes with knowledgeable guides who prioritize responsible tourism practices.
    • The company offers waterfall hikes, volcano tours, and snorkeling adventures, all designed to minimize environmental impact.
    • Participants gain insights into the island’s ecology and conservation efforts.
  • Kona Coffee Tours:
    • Visit small, sustainable coffee farms that prioritize organic practices and fair trade.
    • Learn about the island’s rich coffee culture while supporting local farmers.
    • Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Kona coffee, experiencing the sustainable side of agriculture.


Malama Ka Aina painted on a lava rock wall

Responsible Tourist Tips:

  • Choose Reef-Safe Sunscreen:
    • When exploring the vibrant coral reefs surrounding the Big Island, it’s crucial to consider the impact of sunscreen on marine life. 
    • Opt for reef-safe sunscreen formulations to protect your skin without introducing harmful chemicals into the ocean. This small choice contributes to the well-being of the underwater ecosystems, ensuring that your visit leaves no trace and supports the ongoing efforts to maintain the health of the coral reefs.
    • Our Great Spots for Snorkeling in Hawai’i article has a link to great reef-safe sunscreens.
  • Minimize Waste:
    • Encourages travelers to use reusable water bottles, bags, and utensils to reduce single-use plastics.
    • Support businesses with recycling programs to contribute to waste reduction efforts.
  • Respect Cultural Sites:
    • Advises dressing modestly when visiting sacred places and seeking permission before taking photos.
    • Encourages learning basic Hawaiian phrases to show respect for the local culture.
  • Support Local Businesses:
    • Recommends opting for locally owned restaurants, shops, and tour operators to contribute directly to the community and preserve cultural traditions.
  • Leave No Trace:
    • Emphasizes the importance of packing out what you bring in and avoiding littering.
    • Encourages mindfulness towards wildlife and marine life, advocating against touching or removing coral.

Additional Tips:

  • Choose Direct Flights:
    • Suggests selecting direct flights to reduce carbon footprint compared to connecting flights.
  • Offset Carbon Emissions:
    • Recommends supporting renewable energy projects to offset travel emissions through various organizations.
  • Travel Slowly:
    • Encourages immersive exploration in each destination rather than rushing through multiple places.
    • This approach allows for a deeper appreciation of the local culture and environment.

Mālama ‘Āina

By following these ecotourism principles and embracing sustainable choices, travelers can enjoy an unforgettable and responsible vacation in Kona and the Big Island. The provided tips not only enhance the travel experience but also contribute to the preservation of the islands’ precious ecosystems. The Big Island’s shift towards ecotourism signifies a harmonious blend of exploration and conservation, where responsible tourism becomes a catalyst for the enduring beauty of this magical destination. 

Mahalo (thank you) for choosing responsible travel and helping to uphold the spirit of Aloha.

Holualoa is a charming town located on the slopes of Hualalai volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. While it is a small town, there are several activities and attractions that visitors can enjoy in and around Holualoa:

Here are a few of our favorite Holualoa Hawaii attractions:

Visit Art Galleries

 Holualoa is renowned for its vibrant arts community, and the town is home to several art galleries showcasing the work of local artists. Explore the numerous art galleries featuring local artists and their works. The town’s artistic atmosphere is a result of its rich coffee culture and the presence of talented residents.

Tropical plants taking over old home

  • Ipu Arts Plus: Specializing in gourd art, Ipu Arts Plus is a unique gallery that showcases the traditional Hawaiian art of crafting and decorating gourds. Visitors can find intricately designed pieces that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the islands.
  • Donkey Mill Art Center: While not a traditional gallery, the Donkey Mill Art Center is a community art space that often hosts exhibitions, workshops, and events. It’s a place where local artists and the community come together to celebrate and create art.
  • Holualoa Ukulele Gallery: This gallery combines art with music by featuring handmade ukuleles crafted by local artisans. Visitors can explore the gallery and appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into making these traditional Hawaiian instruments.

Game table at Puuhonua o Honaunau

Coffee Farm Tours

Holualoa is part of the Kona Coffee Belt, and you can find several coffee farms in the area. Consider taking a coffee farm tour to learn about the coffee-making process, from cultivation to roasting. Some farms offer tastings where you can sample different varieties of Kona coffee.

  • Greenwell Farms: Greenwell Farms is one of the well-known coffee farms in the Kona region, including Holualoa. They offer guided tours that take visitors through the coffee orchards, processing facilities, and roasting areas. You can learn about the history of Kona coffee and the various stages of production. Free samples in the coffee shack!
  • Holualoa Kona Coffee Company: This family-owned coffee farm in Holualoa provides guided tours that offer insights into the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of Kona coffee. Visitors may also have the opportunity to taste different coffee varieties. Check the website to be sure tours are available on your dates.
  • Hula Daddy Kona Coffee: While not in Holualoa itself but relatively close, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, located in Kailua-Kona, offers informative tours of their coffee farm. The tours cover the entire coffee-making process, from planting to roasting, and include tastings of their premium coffees.

More Holualoa Hawaii attractions in the area

Stroll through the historic Holualoa Village and enjoy its unique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The town has a laid-back atmosphere, and it’s a great place to explore on foot.

  • Hiking and Nature: While not directly in Holualoa, the surrounding areas offer opportunities for hiking and exploring nature. Hualalai volcano has hiking trails, and the Holualoa area provides scenic views of the coastline.
  • Attend Events and Festivals: Check if there are any local events or festivals taking place during your visit. Holualoa often hosts community events that showcase the town’s culture and creativity.
  • Keauhou Bay: While not far from Holualoa, Keauhou Bay offers opportunities for water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a picturesque spot with historical significance.
  • Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: Located a bit further south, this historical park is worth a visit. It was a place of refuge in ancient times and offers a glimpse into Hawaiian history and culture.

Remember to check for any specific events or activities happening during your visit, as the town’s atmosphere can be influenced by local festivals and gatherings. Holualoa is a great destination for those seeking a mix of art, culture, and outdoor exploration on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Looking for a place near Holualoa to stay? Check out this beautiful home with 180-degree views of the ocean!