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what to do in kailua kona

The Big Island is not only the largest isle within the Hawaiian chain, but the youngest. Still home to a rich cultural history– the Big Island has risen in popularity over the years making it a popular destination for tourists and new island residents alike. Kailua-Kona especially has made a name for itself over the years as being an enthralling place to visit. Aside from the active town center and rich cultural history which lines the old royal palaces and houses in the center– the NorthWest side of the island is home to some incredible wildlife.

If you are in the midst of planning your tropical getaway and are looking for what to do in Kailua-Kona, then keep reading! We’ll run you through our favorite activities as locals and how you can secure your spot aboard.

Embark on a Snorkel Adventure Along Kailua-Kona’s Coast

One of the most popular things to do in Kailua-Kona, by far, is embarking on a guided snorkeling tour of the Kona coast. The best tours offered, leaving from Kona’s town center, tend to go to either Kealakekua Bay or the Place of Refuge; some even go to both! There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when embarking on a snorkel tour of Kailua-Kona, which we have laid out in our previous article, most important is to book a snorkel tour that aligns with your comfort and experience level.

If you are someone new to snorkeling, maybe having only practiced breathing with the mask and snorkel– as well as swimming– in a pool, then we highly recommend that you choose a shorter tour with only one destination, which is likely one that is in a sheltered bay. Alternatively, if you are nowhere new to snorkeling, and are game for a day of jumping in and out of the water exploring the various marine life and sea caves, then we recommend you choose an excursion that is longer and takes you to as many spots as possible!

Explore Kailua-Kona’s Historic Town Center

Kona town is an incredible, small city. There is so much to uncover as it relates to Hawaiian history, as well as to have a great time with friends and family of all ages! There are so many great restaurants who serve everything from local grinds to your back home favorites. There is so much to explore by foot, car, or even rental-bike. We highly recommend that you spend at least one day of your vacation seeing all there is to do in Kailua-Kona’s town center.

Set Off on a Night Time Snorkeling Adventure with Kona’s Manta Rays

One of the most popular tours nowadays, just outside of Kona town, is a night time snorkel with manta rays! This is one of the last remaining facilitated close encounters with the island’s marine life. What’s greater is that you are only able to embark on this tour with one of Kona’s trusted tour boats, meaning that you can be assured the experience is adhering to environmentally responsible and safe practices– ensuring that if you listen to the experts aboard, you will have an amazing time.

You can’t go wrong with a trip to Kailua-Kona, there is so much to do, all you have to figure out is where to start!