What to Do in Kailua-Kona?

Updated: 4 days ago

As a bartender in a tourist destination I find my self frequently answering the same questions, like where to go and what to do?

I put together this list and the Hawai'i Spirit & Brew Map (below) to help travelers and locals find all the best spots! It should be noted that these spots are the best of and good places for tourists and locals to mingle, these are not secret spots which should. in my opinion be left secret spots😏

Remember to drive safe and be patient we are on island time so enjoy it! Aloha G

What to Do on your Trip To Kona

Kona Side

Down South:

Coffee at Kona Joes in Holualoa for epic coffee and the best view! Some great vintage shops on that drive too https://www.konajoe.com

Cultivate good food stand has some great juices and healthy wraps https://www.cultivategoodfood.com

Captain Cook Monument - pick up a kayak or just take the lazy drive down,

Big Island Bees has a cute little bee hive Community & shop set up down there so grab some honey https://bigislandbees.com/

Check out Painted Church

All the vintage stores are along this route and you can find some great scores

Green Sand Beach but you gotta have 4 wheel

South Point, The southern most part of the island chain and you can jump off the cliff

In Kona Town:

Stop by Alii Market for great local goods to take home with you! Art work, local tea and honey plus check Shaka Tacos Kona Location https://shakatacoz.com or have a fresh Ahi Poke Bowl on instagram at @aliipoke808

Stop by the So Juicy Hawaii kiosk in Lanikai Center for fresh cold press juice! https://www.sojuicyhawaii.com/

Umekes for a real local plate lunch and epic poke https://www.umekesrestaurants.com/

Hico for a more trendy in town coffee -that whole area is really growing with the new kona brew facilities going in https://hicohawaiiancoffee.com

Stop by and see Dave at 12th Hawaii Distillery (try the honey shine) https://12thhawaiidistiller.com

Ola brewing company for the worlds best seltzers (try the lemongrass), and some great ciders and beers all made locallyhttps://www.olabrewco.com/

Book a Kona Cocktail Academy cocktail class https://www.konacocktailacademy.com/

Dolphin spit best dive bar

Watch the body boarders at Magic Sands

If you are a surfer you can rent a board and paddle out at Kahalu'u

Must do is a night dive with the Manta Rey’s

Music at night you can check Gertrudes jazz bar https://www.gertrudesjazzbar.com/ or Willies hot chicken https://willieshotchicken.com/(and the chicken is excellent)

Jackie Reys Happy Hour https://www.jackiereys.com/

Good Clam Chowder & Seafood at Fishhopper https://www.fishhopperkona.com/

Football at Lavernes w Max https://laverneskona.com

Kona Inn for Sunset, Sashimi & a Mai Tai https://konainnrestaurant.com/

Heading north

Best beach is Hapuna beach or Kua bay is also stunning

Kuleana rum shack in Waikoloa is a must visit, they make our local agricole https://kuleanarum.com

If your feeling up for it the four seasons has a stunning beach bar I like to stop by for a glass of wine now and again

Swing by King Kamehameha’s Heiau to walk in the footsteps of a very tall King https://www.nps.gov/puhe/index.htm


Fish and hog best bbq https://www.fishandthehog.com

Waimea butcher shop is pretty amazing http://www.waimeabutchershop.com

Big Island Brewhouse for epic brews https://bigislandbrewhaus.com/

Great farmers market Wednesday and Sunday am https://waimeatownmarket.com/

Cutest little coffee shop Waimea Coffee Co http://www.waimeacoffeecompany.com/

Hamakua coast drive is stunning and there is the train museum in Lapahoehoe on the way to Hilo https://www.thetrainmuseum.com/

Hilo Side-

Hilo brew make some great beers, their lager is excellent and red ale is great too swing by the brewery https://hilobrewingco.com

Cruise Banyan Drive

Visit the King Kamehameha Statue https://www.hvcb.org/listing/king-kamehameha-statue-(hilo)/109425/

Visit Akaka Falls & Rainbow Falls https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/hawaii/akaka-falls-state-park/

Walk the Hilo Waterfront Shops

Visit the Hilo Farmers Market http://hilofarmersmarket.com/

Temple Bar https://thetemple.bar/

Ok Farms Tour, Sign up for the tour, they are above the water falls and are just really amazing people, I use all their spices for my cocktails big island cinnamon, nutmeg, clove allspice. And they have a farm store w tons of other local good stuff https://www.okfarmshawaii.com/

Kuhio Grill has the best laulau so good 😊 https://www.kuhiogrille.com/

On Hilo side Carl-smith beach park is where all the turtles are it’s really lovely gotta stop by there

Big Island is known for the observatory at Mauna Kea, you must have 4 wheel drive and remember its freezing up there! Definitely worth the trip. https://about.ifa.hawaii.edu/facility/mauna-kea-observatories/

Volcano National Park, I mean yeah you should check it out, there is also a winery there! https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Don't forget to check out the Hawai'i Spirit & Brew map page for a list of all of the craft distilleries & breweries in the Islands!

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