Things to do in Kailua-Kona

This place on the Island of Hawaii is the center of commerce and tourism in West Hawaii. As soon as you fly into Kona International Airport, you’ll know why instantly. You may know Kailua-Kona as the start and finish of the annual Ironman World Championship triathlon, but this island community has even more to offer.

Here are Vinnie Van GO's favorite spots in Hawaii!

Kona Annual Events

Waikoloa Village Christmas Parade and Keiki Fest

The Waikoloa Christmas parade is an null event in Kailua-Kona. Starting at 10 am, join the crowds for hours of parade fun, and children’s activities including photos with Santa, face-painting, and balloon animals.

Bamboo Festival

This September, the 18th annual Bamboo Festival in Hilo, just a short shuttle ride from Kailua-Kona’s main hotels. This unique event teaches visitors all about the plant in beautiful Nani Mau Gardens. The day also holds vendors selling bamboo crafts and a silent auction. Reserve a festival shuttle in Kailua-Kona today!

Ironman World Championship Triathlon

Every October, one of the world’s most well-known athletic competitions takes place in this island community. With a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, thousands of the world’s best athletes come to Kailua-Kona take part in this ultimate endurance event. You won’t want to miss it!

Kona Stadiums
More to come on Kailua-Kona arenas and concert venues.
Kona Landmarks

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

This United States National Historical Park located in Kailua-Kona contains the National Historic landmarked archaeological site Honokōhau Settlement. It is an important local symbol for native Hawaiian heritage and culture – don’t miss it during your trip!

Huliheʻe Palace

This former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty is now a beautifully preserved museum, housing furniture and artifacts from the 19th century. Originally built in 1838 out of lava rock, this historic institution is one of the area’s most visited sites.


It wouldn’t be a trip to Kailua-Kona without a visit to an active volcano. Hualālai, which stands at more than 8,200 feet tall, last erupted in 1801. Today it stands tall over land that has been inhabited by native Hawaiians for centuries – even before recorded history – making it a site of pilgrimage to history buffs.

Kona Neighborhoods and City

For your next trip to Kailua-Kona, book a tour experience with Wasabi Tours Hawaii, who offer history and nature tours around the island. With their friendly and well-informed guides, you’ll see the best of the island and travel off the beaten path, from waterfalls to lush rainforest valleys. For an underwater adventure, look no further than Atlantis Submarines Kona, who offer several snorkeling expeditions or trips on their submarine daily. For a guided taste of local culture, check out Lava Legends and Legacies Luau on the Big Island, where you’ll travel through the island’s history and legends.

Kona Restaurant

Umekes Ali’i Plaza

For a cheap spot that also happens to have some of the best seafood in town, look no further than Umekes. This Polynesian hidden gem is a local favorite, so you’re sure to dine the way the Hawaiians do at this down-to-earth spot.

75-143 Hualalai Road
Suite #105
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740

Kona Coffee Cafe

For the best coffee around, Kona Coffee Cafe is the place to go. Take a rest stop here as you’re walking around town for some of the greatest coffee of your life – made with locally grown beans!

75-5744 Alii Dr Ste 123
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740

Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, check out Ulu Ocean Grill. Located in the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, this fine dining restaurant has some of the best seafood and sushi around, and a gorgeous atmosphere to boot.

72-100 Kaupulehu Dr #0
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, 96740

For more travel tips and recommendations
visit Vinnie’s blog “Going Places".

For ground transportation two/from more than
90 airports worldwide, click here.