Kailua Kona is the Big Island capital if it comes to outdoor activities. It is almost always sunny and access to activities is nowhere on the island as easy as in Kona.
- The more general outdoor activities that you can enjoy around Kona, but also at other places on the Big Island
- Activities and attraction that are specific to Kona. Think of Kona coffee tours, farmers markets and the local brewhouse.
Activities and Attractions in Kona
There are also plenty of activities to be found in and around Kailua Kona. You can use your time in Kona for Kona coffee tasting, to visit the farmers market or to tast the local beers from the Kona brewing company. Worthwhile activities that take a bit more traveling are half day trips to the historic Waikoloa petroglyh field or Puako petroglyh field.
The Kona Brewing Company is a small, independent traditional brewery in Kona, which also runs the great Kona Brewpub. This is a not-to-miss place for dinner and beers if you are in Kona. Read more about the Kona Brewpub.
Kona Coffee Tasting
Kona lies in the heart of “Coffee Country”, and coffee can only be called “Kona Coffee” if it grows on the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes in the north and south Kona district. If you liek coffee you have to try Kona coffee! Read more about Kona coffee tasting.
Kona Farmers markets
There are many farmers markets in and near Kona that you can visit. The two most popular is the Kona farmers market in central Kona which is open Wednesday through Sunday. Read about all Farmers Markets around Kona.
Petroglyphs are images carved in stone, and offer a unique view into the history of Hawaii. Some petroglyphs date back to the 16th century – only one century after Columbus first landed on American soil! There are two petroglyph fields close to Kona: the Waikoloa Petroglyps and the Pukao Petroglyph field.
Outdoor Activities in and around Kona
Kailua Kona is outdoor-paradise. Perfect weather and a stunningly beautiful natural surrounding make this a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike.
Some people even take day-trips from Kona to the Volcanoes National park for a quick look. Because of the long (2+ hr one-way) drive we do not recommend this. In stead, choose to spend at least one night in Volcano village.
Browse around below for your favorite activities. We especially recommend all the ocean-related activities such as the manta-ray night dive, snorkeling and just chilling out on the black- or white-sand beaches. If you are a coffee nut (bean), exploring the Kona coffee lands and taking having a look around a coffee farm is a must-do.
If you are spending time in Kona you simply cannot miss going to a beach at least one time. Many of Hawaii’s nicest beaches are just around the corner. Here you can find world-class white sand beaches, but also black sand beaches and even a green sand beach! Read more about the Beaches around Kona.
You can rent a bike in Kona to explore the coast on your own leisure. If you want drive your bike up (by car) up to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that is also possible. Read more about Biking on the Big Island.
There are a few campsites and beach parks in and around Kona where you can pitch your tent and “really” be outdoors. Read more about Camping on the Big Island.
The Big Island is known as the golf capital of the state, and Kona is in the heart of it. Some of the biggest names in course design have carved championship golf courses into the island that will call you back to the green – again and again. Read more about Golfing on the Big Island.
The Big Island hides many of its awe-inspiring wonders behind obstacles that are impassable and are impossible to see – except through the air! Think about the hidden waterfalls or fresh lava flows, and what about the lava lakes in the Halema’uma’u and Pu’u O’o craters the Kilauea volcano? Read more about taking a helicopter tour on the Big Island.
You can find the best hikes north of Kona, on the Kohala coast and in Waimea (think Waipi’o valley and Pololu valley). Read more about Hiking in Kona.
Several ranches around Waimea north of Kona offer the opportunity to explore their (often very large) range as part of a guided tour of the pastures with spectacular views of the coastline and peaks. It is also possible to make it of the range and explore other spectacular parts of the island, such as Waipi’o valley. Learn more about horseback riding on the Big Island.
Manta-Ray Night Dive
The famous Kona Manta Ray Night Dive is one of the most memorable dives around the planet, and is one of the activities on Hawaii that you shouldn’t miss. Read more about the Manta Ray night dive.
Scuba diving on Hawaii is a great way to get away from the crowds and enjoy the Big Island underwater paradise on your own. The underwater world around all Hawaiian Islands is a #1 destination for Scuba divers world wide. Read more about Big Island Scuba Diving.
Snorkeling in the waters around Kona is great! Warm, clear water, plenty of fish and coral reefs mixed in between the lava rocks make for a stunning snorkel. Read more about Snorkeling around Kona.
Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)
Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he’e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. Kona is a great place to try it out. Read more about SUP.
Swim with Dolphins
Swimming with the dolphins on the Big Island can be done by people of all ages and swimming skills. Those that have done it describe it as an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories for a lifetime. Do not forget to take your (waterproof) camera. Read more about swimming with dolphins on the Big Island.
Hawaii is literally the birth-place of surfing and the Big Island offers surfing for all levels. If you have never experienced the thrill of riding a wave, why not sign up for a surfing class at a local surf school? Read more about surfing on the Big Island.
One way to have fun AND do good at the same time, is to become an volunteer on Hawaii! Giving something back to mother nature is guaranteed to be a memorable experience and, besides, it will take you to wilderness that few other visitors (and locals for that matter) will ever experience! Read more about the volunteering opportunities on the Big Island.
Hawaii is a great place to go whale watching during in the period between December and May, and the Big Island is one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands for Whale watching. Read more about whale watching on the Big Island.
Ziplining is an activity where you are attached with a harness to a rope that is strung between a high and a low point. The ziplines are built high above scenic areas and features such ravines, jungles, meadows, and forests, and there are plenty of those north of Kona. Read more about Ziplining in Kona.