Welcome to Kailua Kona
Located on the west coast of Hawaii island (the Big Island), Kailua-Kona offers small town charm, stunning sunsets and perfect weather year-round.
The tranquil, easygoing beach hamlet of Kailua-Kona is located on the Big Island’s western shore, at the base of majestic Hualalai mountain. The historic village downtown overlooks Kailua Bay is home to the Hulihe’e Palace, home to Hawaiian royalty. Offering an array of watersports, this bay also marks the start and finish of the Annual Ironman championship. On the south end of town is Keauhou Bay, known for the night Manta dives. The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport is a short drive north of town.
Kailua-Kona is home to 23,000 residents, dozens of businesses and restaurants, and several grocery shops and schools. It is widely renowned for its stunning sunsets, idyllic weather and charming small-town atmosphere. Holiday parades and farmers markets all contribute to Kailua's reputation as a close-knit community with a strong sense of independence.
Because of the pleasant weather and water, this area was considered the best place to live in ancient times. Many kings have lived here. Missionaries then built churches and dwellings, transforming this modest fishing community into a small harbor. Take a stroll down Ali'i Drive, and you'll come across numerous stores and eateries.
What to Love
- Set on beautiful Kailua Bay with beautiful sunsets
- Walkable downtown along Ali'i Drive
- Wide variety of housing options (condos, single-family homes, luxury homes, etc.)
- Strong sense of community
Kailua-Kona is a charming seaside town that provides residents with plenty of activity. There is a wide variety of things to do in this city, from parks in which to enjoy nature to excellent dining options to cultural events. Amazing parks and green areas can be found around the city, including Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, and Harold H Higashihara Park. Kailua Kona is home to numerous restaurants, including many well-regarded establishments, so don't pass up the opportunity to dine at one of the city's many excellent local eateries.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
In addition to the beach, shopping is a popular pastime in Kailua-Kona. Kona Inn Shopping Village has gift shops, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. It has several shops, so shopping can take time. After a long day of shopping, head to one of the onsite eateries to relax and enjoy a delicious meal. Ali'i Gardens Marketplace is an open-air market. However, it sells local arts and crafts, not farmers' produce. Many of the products at this market, including paintings, jewelry, sculptures, Hawaiian weapons, and fabric bags, are handmade, ensuring quality and authenticity. If you're looking for a healthy and delicious meal, stop by one of the many farmers' markets in and around Kona. The Kona Farmers' Market is the most frequented and is open from Wednesday through Sunday.
Kailua-Kona has some of the best eateries in Hawaii. Boat-to-bowl is the focus of Umekes Fish Market and Grill
. This is the place to go if you want to experience some of Kona's famous seafood, as they only serve the freshest seafood that has been caught that day by independent local fishermen. Huggo's
has it all: stunning sunset vistas, an energetic dance floor, and delicious, freshly prepared meals. While famed for its seafood and steak, there are also gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan alternatives. Lovers of Beer should swing by Kona Brewing Company
. They have a vast list of artisan beers, from IPAs to coffee porters and offer brewery tours daily and a wide variety of sandwiches, pizza and pupus. Other notable restaurants in the area include Kona Pasta Company
, A-Bay's on Ali'i
, Don's Mai Tai Bar & Restaurant
, Da Poke Shack
, and Beach Tree Bar
Things to Do
Historic downtown Kailua Village is the heart of Hawai'i Island. It offers a variety of dining, shopping, and leisure options. Several historic sites from the 1800s can be found in this village and are easily accessible on a self-guided walking tour of the area including the summer palace of the Hawaiian kings, Hulihe'e Palace, and the island's oldest Christian church, Mokuaikaua.
Kailua-Kona is home to the annual Ironman Championship
, one of the most grueling triathlons in the world and draws both world-class athletes and spectators from around the world. The start, transition and finish are all downtown next to the King Kamehameha Marriott on Kailua Bay.
The bays and waters off Kailua-Kona are world-renowned for sport fishing and charters are available for anglers of all skill levels. Closer to the coastline, water sports include snorkeling, paddle-boarding, surfing and boogie-boarding.
Every March, Kailua-Kona hosts the Kona Brewers Festival
to celebrate the Kona Brewing Company's anniversary. This festival features great brews from across the country and a homebrew competition for amateur brewers. In November, Kailua-Kona hosts the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, with local coffee farms vying for the coveted championship awards. If you love chocolate, ensure you don't miss the Big Island Chocolate Festival. This festival features seminars, demonstrations, a student chef competition, a cacao bean taste-off with professional judges, a colorful gala fundraising, and a silent auction.
Kailua-Kona falls under the Hawai'i Department of Education School District. Top schools in this town include:
- Innovations - Public Charter School, Grades K-8
- Kealakehe Elementary School, Grades PK-5
- Kealekehe Intermediate School, Grades 6-8
- West Hawaii Explorations Academy - Public Charter School, Grades 6-12 & ungraded
- Kealakehe High School, Grades 9-12 & ungraded