Tag Archive for: things to do in Kona

Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii is an amazing destination known for its dynamic volcanic landscapes, lush rainforests, and stunning views. Whether you are an avid hiker seeking challenging trails or a casual explorer looking for a leisurely walk, the park offers a variety of hikes to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Even if you’re staying in Kona, a day trip to Volcanoes National Park is a must. With its dramatic scenery and unique geological features, a trip to this park is a highlight of any Hawaiian adventure. Here are some of the best hikes in Volcanoes National Park, categorized by difficulty.

Easy Hikes

1. Kilauea Iki Trail

Kilauea Iki Trail offers a relatively easy and highly rewarding hiking experience. The trail is approximately 4 miles round trip and typically takes around 2-3 hours to complete. Starting at the Kilauea Iki Overlook, the trail descends through a lush rainforest before reaching the crater floor. Here, you can walk across a solidified lava lake that was once a boiling cauldron of molten lava during the 1959 eruption. Steam vents and fascinating rock formations make this hike both educational and visually stunning.

2. Sulphur Banks Trail (Ha‘akulamanu)

For a gentle and informative hike, the Sulphur Banks Trail is ideal. This 1.2-mile round trip hike offers an easy walk with a fascinating look at the park’s volcanic activity. The trail includes a boardwalk section that is wheelchair accessible through a forest where you can observe steaming vents and colorful mineral deposits. Interpretive signs along the way provide insight into the geothermal processes and the unique ecology of the area. The combination of vibrant colors and geothermal phenomena makes this a must-see for any visitor.

Moderate Hikes

3. Devastation Trail

Devastation Trail offers a moderate hike through an otherworldly landscape shaped by volcanic activity. This 1-mile round trip trail is relatively short but provides a profound experience as you walk through an area that was buried by cinders during the 1959 eruption of Kilauea Iki. The stark contrast between the barren landscape and the regenerating forest is striking. Along the trail, you’ll find interpretive signs that explain the eruption’s impact and the area’s gradual recovery. This trail is fully accessible and features a paved path suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

4. Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku)

The Thurston Lava Tube trail combines a moderate hike with a fascinating geological wonder. The trail is about 1.5 miles round trip and takes you through a lush rainforest to the entrance of a large, naturally formed lava tube. Walking through this tunnel, you’ll get a sense of the power of volcanic activity that shaped the island. The lava tube is illuminated for easy navigation, making it a family-friendly hike with a unique twist.

Challenging Hikes

5. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Trail

For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Trail is a fantastic option. This trail is approximately 8 miles round trip and traverses varied kīpuka, areas of old-growth forest spared between lava flows, including forested areas, open lava fields, and volcanic craters. The trail leads to the site of the 1983 eruption, where you can see the effects of the lava flows and enjoy panoramic views of the volcanic landscape. The hike is strenuous due to the uneven terrain and exposure to the elements, but the breathtaking scenery and the sense of walking on recently formed land make it a truly rewarding experience. The trailhead is not technically in the park. 

View of Mauna Kea from Pu'u O'o Trail

Coming from either direction on the Saddle Road, Hwy. 200, find yellow traffic signs marked with “Puu Oo Trail” (in both directions) between the 22 and 23 mile markers. Pull off the road and park in the small gravel lot. (Big Island Hikes)

6. Mauna Ulu

Another challenging hike that offers an unparalleled volcanic experience is the Mauna Ulu trail. This 8-mile round trip hike leads to the summit of Mauna Ulu, an active volcanic vent. The trail passes through lava fields, with views of fissures, craters, and old lava flows. The landscape is surreal, with hardened lava formations and sparse vegetation. The climb to the summit is strenuous, but the reward is a spectacular view of the surrounding area, including Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the East Rift Zone. This hike provides a profound sense of the raw power and beauty of Hawaii’s volcanic landscape.

Tips for Hiking in Volcanoes National Park

  1. Prepare for Changing Weather: The weather in Volcanoes National Park can be unpredictable. Be prepared for rain, sun, and cooler temperatures, especially at higher elevations.
  2. Wear Appropriate Footwear: Trails can be rocky and uneven. Sturdy hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  3. Bring Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated and energized, especially on longer hikes.
  4. Stay on Marked Trails: For your safety and to protect the fragile environment, always stay on marked trails.
  5. Respect Wildlife and Plants: The park is home to unique flora and fauna. Observe wildlife from a distance and do not pick plants or disturb the natural landscape.

Volcanoes National Park offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore Hawaii’s volcanic heritage. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll, a moderate hike, or a challenging adventure, the park’s trails provide unforgettable experiences. Even from Kona, a day trip to Volcanoes National Park is well worth the journey, offering some of the best hiking opportunities in the world.

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Stunning Ocean Views Await at Kona Pacific Condo

Perched on the serene third floor of Kona Pacific Condo, an enchanting retreat awaits, offering unparalleled vistas of the ocean that are simply breathtaking. This impeccably upgraded sanctuary promises an unforgettable stay for every guest.

As you step onto the expansive lanai, accessible from every room including the living room, primary bedroom, and guest bedroom, you’re greeted by an idyllic setting. Whether you’re indulging in a cup of Kona Coffee, enjoying a leisurely lunch before exploring the town, or marveling at the renowned Kona sunsets during dinner, this is the perfect spot to soak it all in.

Thoughtfully curated with every convenience in mind, this 2-bedroom, 3 bathroom getaway is fully equipped with Wi-Fi, beach chairs, towels, and entertainment essentials such as smart TVs in the main bedroom and living area. The beautifully remodeled kitchen, boasting a spacious and inviting layout, ensures that you have all the comforts of home at your fingertips.

View of the living room at Kona Pacific condo

Each bedroom and the living room feature individually controlled air conditioning and ceiling fans, guaranteeing comfort even on the warmest tropical days. An overhead fan on the lanai adds to the pleasure of enjoying the mesmerizing Kona Coast view.

The primary bedroom offers a serene retreat with its spacious en suite and luxurious Cal King bed. Tucked away from the main living areas, it promises tranquility and a breathtaking ocean view from the love seat on the lanai.

Equally inviting, the guest bedroom features a comfortable queen bed and en suite, with doors that open to welcome in refreshing evening breezes or the cool comfort of the A/C. A third full bathroom adds convenience for guests.

Kona Pacific boasts a beautiful pool and outdoor amenities to enhance your stay, while covered parking and an elevator make accessing the third floor effortless. Situated close to Kona town, you’ll find restaurants, shopping, and the beach within easy walking distance, yet the condo offers a peaceful respite away from the bustling city noise. With ocean views from every room except the front hall and bathrooms, and direct ocean vistas due to its location in the last wing of Kona Pacific facing the ocean, this condo offers an unparalleled experience of luxury and tranquility on the Kona Coast.

Nearby Activities

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.

The free Kona Trolley stops are a short walk down the road. Click here for the schedule.

A quick trolley ride and you are at Coconut Grove Marketplace is the heart and hub of activity, food, drinks, and shopping in Kona. Relax on the grass in the evening to watch beach volleyball.

On Saturdays 8am -12pm, enjoy the Farmer’s Market at the Keauhou Shopping Center.

Contact Kona Rentals at 808-334-1199 or click here to check availability 

Rest assured that our friendly and professional staff is just a phone call away if you encounter any issues during your stay. 

 With a warm “Aloha,” Kona Vacation Rentals is excited to welcome you to your tropical getaway!

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This June, the Big Island of Hawai’i is bustling with popular events that attract both locals and tourists. Here are some highlights:

The King Kamehameha Day Celebration on June 11 honors King Kamehameha, the founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The celebration includes a floral parade in Kailua-Kona, featuring pa’u riders on horseback, hula performances, and a ho’olaule’a (festival) at Hulihe’e Palace. Another parade takes place in North Kohala​. Learn more

The Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on June 1 is a major athletic event where participants compete in a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run along the Kohala Coast. This triathlon tests the endurance and stamina of athletes from around the world​ (Ironman)​.

The Hawai’i Kuauli Pacific & Asia Cultural Festival, held from June 7-9 at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, celebrates the cultural diversity of the Pacific and Asia. It features food, fashion, cultural performances, hula, and a fireknife competition​ (Hikuauli)​.

The Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture (FestPAC) runs from June 6-16 and is a grand celebration of indigenous Pacific Islander culture. The festival includes performances, workshops, and exhibitions aimed at preserving and sharing traditional arts and practices​ (Pacific Arts Fest HI​).

The Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival takes place on June 13, at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. It brings Grammy Award-winning artists in jazz, blues, and rock to the island, providing a vibrant musical experience. Check here for tickets.

Lastly, the Hawaii Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade & Festival in Hilo celebrates LGBTQ+ communities with a parade followed by a festival featuring food, entertainment, and activities. The date for 2024 is to be announced​ (Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride​)

These events showcase the cultural richness and diversity of the Big Island, offering a variety of experiences for everyone to enjoy.

Ongoing Kailua-Kona Events

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll: June 9

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.

Food Truck Fridays

Every Friday 4-8pm you’ll find a mini food truck festival with tastes to satisfy every palate. In the Target Kona parking lot you can feed the whole family with choices of BBQ, Mexican food, Thai food, desserts, and, of course, great coffee! Check here for more information about Food Truck Fridays

Deli Sandwich and Chips

 

More to come in July!

4 of July Fireworks

From Kona to Waimea to Hilo, stay tuned for information about all the events and fireworks on July 4th!

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As you drive north from Kona International Airport, leave behind the bustling airport and the modern amenities of Kailua-Kona. The rugged lava fields dominate the scenery, their ancient, jet-black and rust-red hues contrasting starkly against the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean to the west. Although your gaze may be fixed on the road ahead, it’s worth knowing that hidden amidst these barren lava fields lies the Kohala Coast, where you’ll find some of the loveliest beaches on the island. 

Kohala Coast Beaches

Hāpuna Beach State Park

The Kohala Coast is a sun-drenched region that receives only about nine inches of rainfall annually. This low precipitation rate creates a near-perpetual summer atmosphere, making it ideal for sunbathing and beach activities year-round. Hāpuna Beach State Park, one of the island’s largest expanses of white sand, exemplifies this coastal paradise. Here, the sparkling sands stretch out beneath the relentless Hawaiian sun, inviting visitors to bask in its warmth and serenity.

As you approach Hāpuna Beach, the landscape gradually softens, giving way to rolling hills and swaying palms. The sight of this expansive white-sand beach, framed by the deep blue ocean and backed by lush greenery, is truly mesmerizing. It’s a reminder of the raw beauty and diversity that characterize the island of Hawaiʻi—the juxtaposition of rugged lava fields against the inviting allure of golden beaches.

At Hapuna Beach you’ll find visitors swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing, playing in the waves, and relaxing in the powder soft sand

Mauna Kea Beach

North of Hapuna beach you’ll find  Mauna Kea Beach on the Mauna Kea Beach Resort. Although this is a public beach, visitor parking is limited so arrive early to ensure a spot.  As you approach this renowned stretch of coastline, you’re greeted by a sight that epitomizes paradise—a wide expanse of soft, pristine white sands stretching out towards the glistening turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Venturing into the crystal-clear waters reveals another facet of Mauna Kea’s allure. The tranquil sea, gently lapping against the shore, invites swimmers and snorkelers alike to immerse themselves in its refreshing embrace. The gradual slope of the beach makes it an ideal spot for families and adventurers of all ages to dip into the sea safely.

Mauna Kea Beach offers a range of activities that cater to different interests and preferences, making it a popular destination for beachgoers seeking relaxation or adventure. This is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, whale watching and beach sports as well as relaxing and sunbathing

Beach in Kona Coast, Hawaii

Beach 69 / Waialea Beach 

Beach 69—also known as Waialea Beach—beckons those seeking a secluded and tranquil escape. Tucked away in a more remote area near Puako, this hidden gem offers a quieter alternative to the bustling tourist spots, making it ideal for those yearning for a more intimate beach experience. The beach’s nickname, “Beach 69,” is derived from the number 69 painted on a utility pole near the parking area, adding a touch of local charm to its secluded ambiance.

For those seeking relaxation amidst nature’s embrace, Beach 69 offers ample opportunities. Large trees along the shoreline, provide private, shaded areas ideal for setting up a picnic or simply lounging with a good book. On any day visitors will be able to find their own quiet spot to set up their own space.

Kiholo Bay

For more adventure, a hike into Kiholo Bay offers a rewarding expedition into the island’s natural wonders. Kiholo Bay is a pristine marine sanctuary known for its turquoise waters, lava rock formations, and resident wildlife. The hike to Kiholo Bay typically begins near the highway and leads through a rugged landscape dotted with ancient lava flows and coastal vegetation. There are no amenities at Kiholo Bay so remember to pack in water, reef-safe sunscreen and snacks.

Whichever direction you arrive from, you will be  rewarded with the chance to explore its scenic shoreline, relax on secluded beaches, or take a refreshing dip in the bay’s crystalline waters. The bay is also known for its large population of honu (green sea turtles) that can often be spotted basking on the shore or swimming gracefully in the bay’s clear waters.

To reach Kiholo Bay, there are two primary routes you can take. One option is to access the bay via a dirt road situated between the 82nd and 83rd mile markers on Highway 19. Follow this road towards the ocean for about a mile. As you approach a fork in the road, continue straight instead of veering left. At the road’s end, park your vehicle and proceed on foot straight ahead until you reach the shoreline. From there, head north (to your right) along the beach to reach Kiholo Bay.

Another approach is to take a shorter trail from Highway 19, located just south of the 81st mile marker. This trail leads directly to the northern end of Kiholo Bay. Begin your hike here and trek across approximately 20 minutes of barren and exposed pahoehoe lava flow. Despite the rugged terrain, this trail offers a more direct and scenic route to access the bay’s northern section.

All state parks charge park visitors $10 per vehicle 

So, as you explore the many beautiful Kohala Coast beaches, take a moment to appreciate this remarkable transformation—from desolate lava fields to a tropical paradise. Allow yourself to soak in the sun, unwind on the soft sands, and immerse yourself in the natural splendor that defines the Big Island’s west coast.

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Every year the North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of aloha and the reverence for Hawaiian monarch Kamehameha I, commemorated annually on his birthday, June 11.

Nestled in the very birthplace of Kamehameha I, this celebration draws thousands of attendees from across the Hawaiian Islands and beyond, creating a vibrant tapestry of culture, tradition, and community. As the sun rises over the tranquil landscape, the festivities unfurl, weaving together a full day of activities that pay homage to the revered king and his enduring legacy.

A Visionary Leader

At the heart of the celebration lies a deep sense of respect for Kamehameha I, the visionary leader who united the Hawaiian Islands under a single rule in the late 18th century. The day begins with a regal procession, a majestic display of Hawaiian culture and heritage, as participants adorned in traditional attire traverse the streets, accompanied by the rhythmic beat of drums and the melodious chants of oli. This solemn yet joyous march sets the tone for the day ahead, symbolizing unity, strength, and the indomitable spirit of the Hawaiian people.

Annual Parade

Following the procession, the town of Kapa‘au comes alive with the vibrant colors and sounds of the annual parade. Floats adorned with fragrant flowers and intricate designs glide through the streets, each one a testament to the rich tapestry of Hawaiian history and culture. From traditional hula dancers swaying gracefully to the beat of drums to lively performances showcasing the art of poi pounding and lauhala weaving, the parade encapsulates the essence of Hawaiian identity, inviting spectators to immerse themselves in the beauty and rhythm of the islands.

Central to the festivities is the lei-draping ceremony held at the foot of Kapa‘au town’s Kamehameha I statue. Here, amidst a sea of fragrant blossoms and lei adorned with vibrant hues, attendees gather to pay their respects to the great king. With reverence and solemnity, each lei is delicately placed upon the statue, a symbol of love, honor, and remembrance for Kamehameha I and his profound contributions to Hawaiian society. This poignant ceremony serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy of the monarch, whose vision and leadership continue to inspire generations.

Educational Exhibits

In addition to the ceremonial proceedings, the celebration offers an array of interactive educational exhibits, providing attendees with the opportunity to delve deeper into Hawaiian history, culture, and traditions. From demonstrations of traditional crafts such as kapa making and fishnet weaving to informative displays highlighting the significance of ancient Hawaiian landmarks, these exhibits offer a window into the rich tapestry of Hawaiian heritage, fostering a deeper appreciation for the land and its people.

Fun for Keiki

Beyond its cultural significance, the North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration serves as a beacon of community spirit and unity, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate a shared heritage and legacy. From the spirited chants of keiki to the wisdom of kupuna, the celebration embodies the spirit of aloha, fostering connections and forging bonds that transcend time and space.

As the sun sets on another day of celebration, the echoes of chants and laughter linger in the air, a testament to the enduring legacy of Kamehameha I and the vibrant spirit of the Hawaiian people. In the heart of North Kohala, amidst the lush beauty of the land, the annual Kamehameha Day Celebration stands as a living tribute to a king whose legacy continues to inspire and unite generations, ensuring that his memory remains forever etched in the fabric of Hawaiian culture and history.
For additional festival information click here.

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Relax with an unforgettable day at Anaehoomalu Bay Beach Park, or A-Bay, a captivating destination on the Big Island of Hawai’i. A-Bay is a beautiful oasis with a rich history, a long stretch of salt and pepper sand, and an array of activities that will leave an enduring imprint on your memory.

Unveiling the Allure of A-Bay Beach Park

Take a leisurely stroll along A-Bay’s crescent-shaped beach, where the turquoise waters glisten and invite you to reconnect with nature’s tranquility. Gaze out to the horizon and spot sea turtles gracefully basking on the shore, their ancient presence adding a touch of wonder to your surroundings. Walk along the Kalahuipua’a Fishponds to learn about their function and historical significance in Hawaiian history. As the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the bay, enjoy your dinner at Lava Lava Beach Club. Indulge in oceanfront dining with a laid-back vibe, creating an unforgettable culinary experience against the backdrop of A-Bay’s beautiful sunset.

Sea Turtle Resting on a Beach

 

Exploring the Depths of A-Bay’s Waters

Embrace the spirit of adventure by renting a stand-up paddleboard or kayak and venturing into the bay’s tranquil waters. Glide effortlessly across the surface, marveling at the underwater world teeming with vibrant marine life. The gentle currents and calm conditions make this activity suitable for all skill levels, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of A-Bay.

The calm waters and clear visibility make it a great spot for snorkeling. You can see a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins.

Here are some tips for snorkeling at A-bay beach park:

  • The best time to snorkel is during the summer months when the water is warmest.
  • The north end of the beach is usually the best area for snorkeling.
  • The water can be choppy at times which can reduce visibility, so be sure to check the conditions before you go.
  • There are no lifeguards on duty, so be sure to swim with a buddy.
  • Be respectful of marine life and do not touch or harass the animals.

Hawai’i Ocean Sports offers all the rentals you’ll need for a bay at the beach as well as snorkeling and whale watching tours. 

Unraveling the Secrets of Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve

Venture beyond A-Bay Beach Park to the nearby Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve. This sacred site boasts over 3,000 ancient petroglyphs intricately carved into lava rock. Step back in time as you explore these enigmatic symbols, offering a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the Hawaiian people.

Discovering the Legacy of Kalahuipua’a Fishponds

Enrich your understanding of Hawaiian aquaculture by visiting the Fishponds of Kalahuipua’a. These historic fishponds, once an integral part of the ancient Hawaiian sustenance system, served as a sustainable food source for Hawaiian royalty and communities. Learn about the ingenious design and traditional practices associated with these ponds, gaining insights into the cultural significance of aquaculture in Hawaiian history. Today, ongoing restoration efforts aim to preserve these fishponds as cultural and educational landmarks.

A Day Trip to Remember

Whether you choose to relax on the shore, explore the waters, or delve into the past, A-Bay offers a unique and unforgettable experience. As you watch the sunset, carry with you the memories of a day well spent, filled with moments that will continue to inspire and enrich you.

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A few great Options for Shave Ice

 

Hawaiian Ice Cone: If you’re pondering which ice cream flavor to compliment your shave ice, make a beeline for Hawaiian Ice Cones and opt for ube ice cream. This unassuming kiosk in the Kopiko Plaza near Long’s Drug is a fantastic spot to indulge in shave ice, ice cream, or bubble tea. Don’t be deterred by the line—it’s a testament to the delicious treats awaiting you! 

Scandinavian Shave Ice: Scandi’s has been located on Ali’i Drive  in the heart of Kailua Village since 1991, Scandinavian Shave Ice is renowned for its authentic Hawaiian-style shave ice. They use natural fruit syrups and offer unique flavors like lilikoi (passion fruit) and haupia (coconut cream). The ice is finely shaved, making for a delightful treat. Described as the best shave ice in Hawaii, they offer generous portions at reasonable prices.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: Located in the King Kamehameha Courtyard by Marriott, Ululani’s has expanded to Kona and offers delicious shave ice with a multitude of natural syrups and premium add-ons like mochi balls and ice cream. They’re known for their fluffy, finely shaved ice that melts in your mouth. For unique flavor try the Azuki bean for your ice cream

Original Big Island Shave Ice Company: If you’re in the Waikoloa Resort area try “OBISIC”. This place is located in the King’s Shops and offers a variety of shave ice options as well as amazing sundaes!. They have traditional Hawaiian flavors and also some unique combinations. Their ice cream on the bottom and snow cap on top makes for a perfect treat

Kat’s Kau Kau: If you’re having a beach day at Magic Sands Beach Park you can walk right across the street to the cute little food truck and enjoy Kat’s Kau Kau Shave Ice. The portions are shareable depending on how hungry you are! I’ve been hearing so much about their Lychee Cream that I’ll be trying that next time I go!

Colorful Hawaiian Shave Ice

Life is not just about Shave Ice

Gypsea Gelato is a popular gelato shop with three locations on the Big Island. Gypsea Gelato is known for its high-quality gelato made with many locally sourced ingredients. They offer a wide range of flavors made in small batches, including traditional favorites like chocolate and vanilla, as well as unique Hawaiian-inspired flavors such as lilikoi (passion fruit), macadamia nut, and Kona coffee. The local flavors give visitors a taste of Hawaii in every scoop. Gypsea Gelato is committed to supporting local farmers and producers by sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible, contributing to the island’s sustainable food ecosystem.

Pick from the list or commit to trying them all and enjoy your sweet adventures in Kona!

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Keep up on Kailua-Kona events

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i – May 1

May Day at Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa celebrates Lei Day, a significant cultural holiday in Hawaii honoring the tradition of lei-making and the spirit of aloha. Lei Day is a time when locals and visitors come together to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of Hawaiian lei.

At Queens’ MarketPlace, the Lei Day Entertainment includes a range of activities and performances. This may feature live music and hula performances, showcasing traditional Hawaiian songs and dances. Visitors can expect to see local artisans demonstrating lei-making techniques, creating beautiful floral and cultural lei designs.

Waikoloa Community Market – May 4

The Waikoloa Village now boasts its very own Community Market, a vibrant monthly event held on the first Saturday of each month from 8am to 12pm. With over 40 vendors participating year-round, this market offers a delightful array of goods including fresh produce, plants, eggs, fish, bakery items, artisan foods, artwork, jewelry, crafts, and live music. Residents and visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the sunny atmosphere of Waikoloa Village, supporting local businesses and connecting with the creative spirit of the community. This market promises a delightful opportunity to explore and engage with a diverse range of local offerings in a picturesque setting.

Kona Orchid Society Mother’s Day Show & Sale – May 11

The Kona Orchid Society Mother’s Day Show & Sale is the society’s most popular event. From 9am to 2pm at the Makaeo County Pavilion in the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area visitors can enjoy a showcase of blooming orchids displayed by club members and can purchase healthy plants from local growers. The sale extends beyond orchids to include cactus, succulents, air plants, bonsai, protea, fruit trees, exotic tropicals, water plants, herbs, vegetable starts, and bedding plants.

More Local vendors

Moreover, attendees can explore a range of additional offerings including jams, jellies, arts and crafts, and high-fire functional stoneware. Interact with growers and master gardeners on-site, for valuable growing tips and insights. An ideal event for Mother’s Day weekend. https://www.konaorchidsociety.org/

20th Annual Celebration of Life – May 26

This is the Big Island’s largest lantern floating event, Celebration of Life. It is free and open to the public at Reeds Bay in Hilo. Join us to be part of the uplifting, heart-moving event where we will honor our loved ones who have passed in remembrance and reflection of love. There will be live music, Bon Dance and Hula Halau performances, local food trucks and vendors, baked goods sales, and much more. 


Ongoing Kailua-Kona Events

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll: May 19

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.

Food Truck Fridays

Every Friday 4-8pm you’ll find a mini food truck festival with tastes to satisfy every palate. In the Target Kona parking lot you can feed the whole family with choices of BBQ, Mexican food, Thai food, desserts, and, of course, great coffee! Check here for more information about Food Truck Fridays

Deli Sandwich and Chips

Visit Queen’s Marketplace for more ongoing events 

Join ukulele lessons, Wednesday hula shows, and outdoor movies every month in the Coronation Pavilion.

Kanikapila Monthly Concert Series

Discover Hawai‘i Island’s best musical talents at Queens’ Marketplace’s Kanikapila Monthly Concert Series sponsored by KWXX, every third Saturday of the month. 

Every Third Saturday of the Month | 6 PM | Coronation Pavilion

 

More to come in June!

June 11: King Kamehameha Day, Island-Wide

State-wide celebrations honoring King Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaii. Celebrations include floral parades and performances. In Kona the Floral Parade goes from 9 am to 11:30 am, followed by a celebration at Huliheʻe Palace from 11:30 am to 3 pm.

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Calling all foodies! If you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to eat your way through Kona, look no further than Food Truck Fridays! This popular event is held in the mauka side of the Target parking lot, and features a wide variety of food trucks serving up everything from barbecue and pizza to Thai and Mexican food. There’s also local coffee, to-die-for desserts, seafood, and local grinds. Plus, there are vendors for more shopping to enjoy.

 

Food Truck Fridays is the perfect place to bring the whole family for a fun night out. With so many different food options to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Food Options Galore

One of the best things is the wide variety of food options available. Whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, there’s sure to be a food truck that has what you’re craving.

Some of the regular vendors at include:

  • Jillian’s Caribbean Fusion
  • Wilson’s Snack Shack
  • Sugar’s Hawaii BBQ & Desserts (Ube Cheesecake because I love anything ube!)
  • Big Island Provisions
  • Aloha de Nada Empanadas
  • Califas Mexican Food (Their fish tacos!!!)

These are just a few of the many food trucks that participate in Food Truck Fridays. With so many different options to choose from, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds.

Fun for the Whole Family

Food Truck Fridays isn’t just about the food. It’s also a great place to bring the whole family for a fun night out. In addition to all the great food, there are local  vendors selling a variety of goods. And with plenty of space to run around, kids are sure to have a blast.

So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars and come hungry!

Food Truck Fridays Logo

Don’t Miss Food Truck Fridays!

Food Truck Fridays is a weekly event that you don’t want to miss. With so many different food options to choose from, and local  vendors for shopping, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, come on down to the mauka side of the Target parking lot, 4-8pm every Friday  and experience it for yourself!

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

Finding The Big Island’s Top Attractions

Kailua-Kona beckons travelers with its captivating natural beauty, rich history, and diverse cultural offerings. This quick guide will help you find Kona’s top attractions, ensuring an unforgettable and enriching experience for every visitor.

Kona’s Natural Wonders

  • Hapuna Beach beckons travelers with its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters. This iconic beach is a haven for swimmers, snorkelers, and sunbathers alike. Bask in the warm Hawaiian sun, immerse yourself in the refreshing ocean, and marvel at the vibrant marine life that inhabits the nearby coral reefs. Hapuna Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Kona’s top attractions.
  • Make your way to Kahalu’u Bay, a picturesque haven for snorkeling and surfing enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world, teeming with colorful fish, graceful sea turtles, and the occasional eel. Snorkelers of all levels will delight in exploring the shallow reefs, while experienced and beginner surfers can tackle the challenging waves that break along the bay’s outer edge. Kahalu’u Bay offers a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure, making it a top destination for water sports enthusiasts visiting Kona.
  • Kua Bay, a secluded gem, is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the breathtaking Hawaiian sunsets. Wade in the crystal-clear waters or join the body surfers and boogie boarders catching a wave. As the sun begins its descent, Kua Bay transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors, casting a golden glow over the surrounding landscape. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, Kua Bay offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories.
  • Keauhou Bay: Bask in the tranquility of this stunning bay, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Marvel at the vibrant marine life, including colorful fish, graceful sea turtles, and playful dolphins.

View of Palm trees

Cultural Immersion in Kona

  • Huliheʻe Palace: Step back in time at this historic palace, once the summer residence of Hawaiian royalty. Admire its elegant architecture, explore its fascinating exhibits, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the past.
  • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: Discover the sacred refuge where ancient Hawaiians sought sanctuary. Explore ancient temples, learn about the kapu system, and witness the power of Hawaiian traditions.
  • Kona Historical Society Museum: Delve into Kona’s rich past at this captivating museum. Peruse historical artifacts, uncover intriguing stories, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural heritage.
  • Moku’aikaua Church: Admire the architectural beauty of this historic church, a testament to Kona’s missionary history. Immerse yourself in its serene atmosphere and learn about its role in shaping the community.

Outdoor Adventures in Kona

  • Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park: Journey through this coastal park, offering breathtaking views of the ocean, ancient Hawaiian fishponds, and diverse wildlife. Hike along scenic trails, explore archaeological sites, and uncover the secrets of Kona’s natural and cultural history.
  • Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary: Embark on a hike through this lush sanctuary, home to a diverse array of native plants and animals. Discover hidden waterfalls, navigate through dense vegetation, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Hawaiʻi’s unique ecosystem.
  • Mauna Kea: Venture to the summit of this majestic mountain, the tallest in the world when measured from its base on the ocean floor. Experience breathtaking views, witness a dazzling array of stars at night, and learn about the cultural significance of this sacred site.

Culinary Delights of Kona

  • Huggo’s on the Rocks: Savor exquisite seafood and Pacific Rim cuisine while enjoying breathtaking oceanfront views. Indulge in culinary creations that showcase the flavors of Hawaiʻi, paired with an extensive wine list.
  • Da Poke Shack: Embark on a culinary adventure at this renowned poke shack, offering a wide variety of fresh and flavorful poke bowls. Customize your bowl with a choice of bases, proteins, toppings, and sauces to create a dish that tantalizes your taste buds.
  • Pine Tree Cafe: Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at this local favorite, serving up classic dishes with a touch of Aloha spirit. Enjoy fluffy pancakes, savory omelets, and aromatic Kona coffee to fuel your Kona explorations.
  • Kona Coffee Living History Farm: Embark on a journey through the history of Kona’s renowned coffee industry. Stroll through lush coffee fields, witness traditional farming techniques, and savor the aroma of freshly roasted beans.

Plan Your Kona Adventure

Exploring the Big Island is a journey filled with natural wonders, cultural immersion, and culinary delights. From ancient Hawaiian history to breathtaking outdoor adventures, Kona offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

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