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 Kona, Hawaii

Kona Coast, Hawaii Sunset

Kona, Hawaii Information
By Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Kona, Hawaii Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Kona, Hawaii Port Reviews

Language and Currency

The official language in Kona is English and the currency is the U.S. dollar.

What is Kona, Hawaii like?

The Kona Coast is really very distinctive. It has been created by lava flows from volcano eruptions that have happened in the recent past. The older flows have been taken over by lush vegetation so it is not unusual to turn a corner and go from lush tropical vegetation to barren lava. The Kona Coast is a unique place that everyone loves. The town of Kailua, Kona is quaint and visitors love its feel. You will too. It is the main town on Hawaii's west side and serves as the commercial and shopping center for the local population and tourist centers to the north and south of town.

What is the weather like?

Kailua, Kona is blessed with excellent weather. Trade winds keep it cool in the summer months and the temperature is in the mid 70s to the low 80s year around. Being on the leeward side of the island Kona gets quite a bit of sunshine but still receives about 25" of rain each year (usually in the wintertime) Since Kilauea volcano has been erupting to the south, the trade winds have brought with it the volcanic debris that has imbedded itself into the air known as "vog". Vog is similar to smog and can be heavy in Kailua and points south depending on the winds and rain.

Where does the ship dock?

Kailua, Kona is a tender port. Sometimes the ships will use a local party boat (Captain Bean's) as a tender and since the barge carries hundreds of people, it really speeds up the process. The tender wharf is right in the heart of downtown Kailua and you can walk everywhere from the wharf.

Where is the shopping?

You can start shopping the second you get off the tender in Kailua. The main oceanfront street in Kailua is loaded with galleries, boutiques, stores, restaurants, bars and other opportunities to spend money. The local Wal Mart in Kailua offers a free shuttle from the pier to their store a few blocks away and there is also a Costco in Kailua. There is a small shopping mall that resides at historic Kona Inn on the south side of town that is quite interesting and features some unique shops.

What is there to buy?

Everything Hawaiian that you can imagine. Local art, wood carvings, tee shirts aloha wear, food items, jewelry (especially black and pink coral jewelry) clothing, macadamia nut everything and much, mich more.

What is there to do?

Besides shopping and exploring the town itself, Kailua, Kona is world famous for its fishing. The ocean drops off immediately from the coastline and you can be fishing for Ahi (Yellow Fin Tuna) Ono (wahoo) Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and billfish within minutes of leaving the dock.

Just one of the Kohala Coast White Sand Beaches

If you have a rental car pre arranged here are a couple of ideas. To the north of Kailua lies the Kohala Coast and lots of sunshine and Hawaii's best beach for sunbathing and snorkeling. Go north from Kailua all the way to Hapuna State Beach (just before the Hawaii Prince Hotel). Enter the parking lot and enjoy the white sandy beach and excellent snorkeling. Another great beach (Kaunaoa) is right next door. When you are sunned out or ready to move on, head back towards Kailua and turn off at Anaehoomalu Bay (Waikoloa Resorts). Make your way to the Hilton Waikoloa Village and walk through the registration lobby like you own the place. Once inside explore the resorts fabulous setting surrounding "A" Bay. You can snorkel in the inner bay to see thousands of fish, turtles and other friendly aquatic creatures, explore the resorts many pools, waterfalls, water features and make your way through the various gardens. You will love this property. You can get back to Kailua in time to do some shopping before making your way back to your ship. To view ancient fish ponds and the "A" Bay surfing spot, walk to the end of the point on the west side of the hotel and pick up the trail that runs between the Hilton and the Outrigger Hotel (Royal Waikoloan) to the west. About half way between the two you will find the fish ponds and inland pools. "A" Bay is one of the better surfing spots on the Big Island.

For a visit to spots that offer a glimpse of Hawaii's past, head south from Kailua along the beach side road all the way to Keauhou Bay. Right before Kaouhoou Bay you will find Kakaluu Beach that offers excellent snorkeling. In the bay itself there are some boats offering snorkeling trips that you can take. Head south through the country side and many coffee plantations (many have shops open to tourists) into Captain Cook. Follow the road down to Pu`uhonua Honaunau National Historical Park (the City of Refuge) on Kealakekua Bay. The City of Refuge is where ancient Hawaiians would try to come if they had broken the laws of the any of the Hawaiian islands. If they could make it to the City of Refuge and repent, then they were forgiven for all of their sins. The park is extremely interesting and offers much of Hawaii's history in its 22 acres. Many of the snorkeling trips that operate from Keauhou Bay come here to snorkel, so be sure to bring your equipment if you are interested as the sea life is plentiful and very friendly.

Renting bicycles in Kailua and riding south along the beach is also very fun. There are two beaches that offer a small sand beach area for sunning and the snorkeling is excellent. There area also many tours available both on the ship and by local tour operators on shore that may be of interest to you.

Is there anything of “Don’t Miss” quality?

Hmmmmm, If I was going to assign it to anything in the area, a visit to the Hilton Waikoloa Village would be it.

Are there any great restaurants or bars?

None that stand out in Kailua that I can think of but having a cocktail at sunset at the bar in the Kona Inn is pretty spectacular.

Discount Hotels in Kona

 Port Reviews

  • Kimberly Harding,

    We had no set plans for Kona, just that we wanted to see Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge). Herb & Trish had rented a car and said that we could go more

    86 users found this review helpful.
  • Philip M. Haggerty,

    We drove our rental car clear across the Big Island, through the delightful town of Waimea and into Hilo, which we explored on foot. We saw that the waves were more

    23 users found this review helpful.
  • (1-2 of 2)

     Kona, Hawaii Shore Excursions


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