Because there are so many fun things to do in Kona, it's arguably the best place to base yourself on a Big Island vacation. Kona, which in Hawaiian means leeward side, enjoys some of the best weather on the Big Island, which is part of the reason it's such a great place to be. Add all the great attractions on the Kona Coast, and you have an ideal place for a getaway. Finding things to do in Kona during your visit won't be difficult, and you'll want to leave room on the itinerary for the following attractions and activities if possible.
Deep Sea Fishing
The deep sea fishing off the Kona Coast is about as good as deep sea fishing gets, so it's one of the Kona activities you will not want to miss even if you only remotely enjoy angling. The Kona Coast is hailed as the marlin capital of the world, so marlin fishing is what many anglers come to do. In addition to marlin, the Kona Coast also yields plenty of swordfish, ono, and mahi-mahi, among other species, which is part of the reason so many Big Island fishing charters base themselves in the Kona area.
Booking a whale watching tour is easily one of the top things to do in Kona, and you will have no problem finding companies in the area that offer such tours. Both the Kona and Kohala coasts are among the best places to go whale watching in the Hawaiian islands, which is largely due to the calm water conditions. December through March is the best time to go whale watching off the Kona and Kohala coasts, as these months are when the humpback whales arrive in large numbers.
When looking to add unforgettable Kona activities to your itinerary, you might consider a dolphin swim. The water conditions off the Kona Coast not only attract whales, but plenty of dolphins as well, and getting to actually swim with these wild creatures is quite a thrill. There are few animal encounters in the wild that are as enjoyable as a dolphin swim, which is one of the reasons why so many Kona visitors choose to try them.
There are many Kona activities that are associated with the water, and scuba diving is one of them. The Kona Coast offers easy access to some of the best diving spots on the Big Island, and you can see amazing sights while exploring the underwater realms. Should you book a scuba diving excursion in Kona, you'll have the chance to swim along pinnacles, arches, and other unique underwater formations. You'll also have the chance to spot some intriguing marine creatures, such as turtles, sharks, and rays.
While scuba diving off the Kona Coast is arguably the best way to explore the underwater world, snorkeling is something that can be more readily enjoyed. You don't have to get certified to go snorkeling in and around Kona, for example, and many Kona hotels offer snorkeling equipment for their guests to use at no extra cost. Snorkeling tours also are easy to book, and these tours will provide equipment as well, though you might bring your own mask and snorkel from home if you plan on doing a lot of snorkeling off the Kona Coast.
Some tantalizing, soft-sand beaches can be found up and down the Big Island's west coast, and Kona's central location offers ideal access to them. Up north on the nearby Kohala Coast, beaches like the ones at Spencer Beach Park and Anaehoomalu Bay are not to be missed, while south of Kona, Kahaluu Beach Park and Kealakekua Bay offer some sandy stretches that are also worth visiting. For those who want to combine hiking with a day at a beautiful beach, a trip to Makalawena Beach is in order. It takes twenty minutes to hike to this beach, which is due north of Kona Town, and it's definitely worth the trip.
The Kona region is known for the quality of its coffee, and coffee plantations figure among the top attractions on the Kona Coast. A coffee plantation tour will give you insight into the local coffee-making practices, and tasting the final product is among the highlights. Should you want to stay as close as possible to the Kona Coffee plantations when planning your visit, one of the Holualoa hotels might be ideal.
Of all the attractions on the Kona Coast, Alii Drive is the most diverse. This waterfront avenue not only boasts great shops and restaurants, but also a pier and some small beaches. For those who are interested in historic Kona Coast attractions, the Ahuena Heiau Temple and Hlihee Palace can be found along Alii Drive, as can the Mokuaikaua Church, which is oldest Christian church in the Hawaiian islands.