Kona, United States Vacations


The island of Hawaii, or Big Island, covers more then half of the area of the state of Hawaii. It is home to the most active volcano in the world which is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is also home of the largest mountain in the world in volume, Mauna Loa, and the tallest mountain in the world as measured from its base on the sea floor to its peak, Mauna Kea. Kailua-Kona is the center of commerce and of the tourist industry on West Hawaii.
Five volcanoes make up the island of Hawaii: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. The landscape created by the volcanoes is varied: from volcanic lavas flows, to dry forest, rainforest to rocky beach. Other nature sights and activities on the Big Island include caving, like the Kula Kai Caverns, spectacular waterfalls, like the Akaka and Hakuna Falls north of Hilo, dolphin and whale watching during the winter months, and the Waipi`o Valley, a large, verdant valley in the North of the islands.

Kona and the surrounding areas have some really spectacular beaches, some voted as the best in the world. Of course the later tend to be very crowded. There are still some quiet and untouched beaches a little further away as well. Here are a few favorites:
  • Kahalu'u Beach Park is the most popular beach on the Kona Coast
  • Kamakahonu Beach
  • White Sands Beach is a tiny pocket beach with, you guessed it, white sand. Locals refer to it also as Disappearing Beach because it does vanish at high tide or during storms.
  • Black sand beaches formed by volcanic sand are quite common too. The two best known are Kehena Beach in the Puna district and Punalu`u Beach in the Ka`u district.
  • Green Sand Beach at South Point is famous fort he unusual green colored sand. Located at the base of Puu o Mahana, an old cinder cone spilling into the sea, it is quite difficult to reach. After a rough ride up a cliff you must hike down. The open bay is often rough with howling winds. The sand is crushed olivine, a green semiprecious mineral found in eruptive rocks and meteorites.
  • Should you be in Hilo then check out the Leleiwi Beach Park.

Things to know about Kona, United States Vacations

Activities & Sports
The beaches on the island are often voted amongst the best beaches in the world. Some are packed and popular but one can find some beaches unencumbered by tourism. Many offer great swimming and the more developed beaches offer rental for activities such as surfing, kayaking, scuba and snorkeling, sailing or boating, fishing. If you are a surfer looking to buy a rad board, try the authentic surf shop Hilo Surfboard Company in Hilo.

Biking is a great way to see the island. Most of that is done on Highway 19 between Kona and Kawaihi. Mountain biking enthusiasts should head to the Waipi'o valley and in the Volcano Park. Horseback tours or hiking trails are best in the Volcanoes National Park. One can find easy walks or longer and arduous hikes. Most trails are well maintained and easy to follow. And with 20 magnificent golf courses to choose from, the Big Island is a paradise for golfers who enjoy scenic vistas.

Dining & Nightlife
Seafood is of the order on the Big Island. Of course you will find restaurants of all kinds if that is not to you liking. There are plenty of American and International restaurants to be found. Here is a listing of good Hawaiian bets:
  • The King Kameamea Luau in Kona is the only luau on the beach on the Big Island.
  • O's Bistro in Kona
  • Senor Billy's Cantina in Captain Cook
  • The Coffee Shack in Captain Cook
  • Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi
  • Tex Drive-In in Honokaa.
Kona is a quiet retreat with very little nightlife with many establishments closing relatively early. So head early to:
  • LuLu's
  • Huggo's on the Rocks
  • Kona Brewing Company
  • Quinn's Almost By The Sea
You will find a good number of shopping malls, streets and arcades as well as art galleries sprinkled across the Big Island:
  • Coconut Grove Market Place
  • Alii Sunset Plaza
  • King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
  • Kona Inn Shopping Village
  • Alii Gardens Marketplace
  • Alii Drive

Languages: English, and other commonly heard languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Chinese.

Currency: US dollar.
Climate: The average high in the winter is 27° C while the average low is 18° C. The average high in the summer is 29° C while the average low is 20° C, August being the warmest month. There is generally humidity, sometimes up to 80%. Vog (volcanic smog) can cover parts of the Kona coast from time to time depending on the activity of the Kilauea and the island winds.
Electricity: 110-120V, 60Hz.
Documents: A valid passport and a return or onward ticket required.
Note: Departure tax is usually included in your ticket price, inquire on booking.

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