Highlights of Kailua-Kona on the Hawaiian Island, Big Island


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Published: May 12th 2022
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Beach at Courtyard Kim KamBeach at Courtyard Kim KamBeach at Courtyard Kim Kam

View of Beach at Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel
Highlights of Kailua-Kona on the Hawaiian Island, Big Island

by Duchess DJ Love, Gallivanting Like a Royal

Looking for a peaceful beach to unwind, heal spiritually, and soak up some sun, ushered me to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island Hawaii. Kona pleasantly surprised me. The island vibe captured my heart immediately. Now, it is my favorite destination. Royal Kona Resort became my home away from home on my first trip. I chose this hotel because it had all the amenities I sought. This way I would not have to leave the resort. However, the charming, historical mile long stretch of Ali’i Drive drew me out. Strolling the coastline, smelling the ocean breeze, listening to the waves, bird watching, and taking in the shops kept me on the go. The evenings gave way to downtime to enjoy the beach, pool, lagoon, and amazing sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Most restaurants close before 9pm, so plan your dinner accordingly.

Unfortunately, some stores are going out of business. Still when in Kailua, walk Ali’i Drive. There are historical spots, enchanting trees, and beautiful views of Kailua Bay. Kailua Pier is the hub for most tours and water activities. The Courtyard King
Waiting on my Lava TubeWaiting on my Lava TubeWaiting on my Lava Tube

At Don's Mai Tai Bar, order a Lava Tube concoction, my favorite blended cocktail.
Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel located adjacent to the pier holds a traditional luau several nights a week. Inside the hotel, a huge open area museum displays Hawaiian Royal Family Portraits, Artifacts, Paintings, Murals, a wooden canoe, and more. On the Ali’i Drive stretch from the Royal Kona to the Courtyard King Kamehameha, you will find Oceanview, open air restaurants serving tasty fresh dishes, shops of all sorts, places to sit for a spell, public beaches, and a farmer’s market.

The stroll takes you by several historical sites. One is the Hulihe'e Palace, a former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty. Another is the Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in the Hawaiian Islands dating back to the 1820s. Kona Inn built in 1928, by the Inter-Island Steamship Navigation Company, led the foundation for tourism in Kona. The Inn now serves as a shopping village with two waterfront restaurants. Farther down the drive, you will find Hale Halawai Park. It is a simple, waterfront park with a rocky beach, pavilion, grassy areas, and community events space.

Everything you need is nearby. From pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, fast food, post office, Walmart and even a Macy’s. My three requirements for a good place to reside must include an international airport, Walmart, and Macy’s. So Big Island, I might be calling you home soon! The local area provides a hop-on/off trolley. Check the Kona Trolley for routes and schedules. There are other hotel choices, condos, and apartment rentals along the Ali’i Drive area.

For fun activities, try the Island Breeze Lū‘au - He 'Ohana Kakou, Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, Dolphin snorkeling, Captain Cook Monument Trail, Whale watching, Manta ray night swim, Paddleboard and Kayak rentals, Luau dinner show, Parasailing, Kona Glassbottom Boat, Captain Cook Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay and so much more. Do not end your island stay without a little ghostly history. Take the Kona Haunted Hele by Big Island Ghost Tours to learn some spooky, local mystery. There is so much to do in such a small, quaint location.

For dining, I can highly recommend, Fish Hopper: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Huggo’s, A-bays on Ali’i, and Billfish for bar food. Lastly, head to Kailua-Kona's largest open-air, oceanfront bar, Don's Mai Tai Bar. Order a Lava Tube concoction; my favorite blended cocktail. Do not confuse this wonderful tropical beverage with the Lava Flow. It is
Lagoon at Royal Kona ResortLagoon at Royal Kona ResortLagoon at Royal Kona Resort

You can swim with the fish
good, but not as great as the Lava Tube.

Tip. Two ABC stores: one by the Royal Kona and another at the Courtyard King Kam. The latter usually has better prices. Both have fountain drinks and souvenirs. Kailua-Kona is about a 15-minute drive from KOA. Taxi fares run around $30. The post office, Long’s Drugs (CVS) Pharmacy, Safeway, and a couple fuel stations are very close to the Courtyard King Kam, where I stayed on another trip. The area is a safe, walkable environment. You will see numerous homeless folks there, but it still looks clean and pretty. Stop by Kona Gear for Aloha and Hangloose Hawaiian styles. Tell them Duchess DJ Love was sharing some love with a mention!

Thank you for reading my blog. I have another blog on my adventures covering the entire Big Island coming out soon. Be on the lookout for it. Follow me on Instagram DuchessDJLove and Friend me on Facebook: DuchessDj Love. I post my travel reviews on TripAdvisor.com. You can find me, @DuchessDJtravels, and see my photos and comments: Tripadvisor.com/Profile/DuchessDJtravels

Stay tuned in… xoxo Duchess DJ Love



#konagear #royalkonaresort #kingkamehamehahotelmarriot #kingkamehamehahotel #bigislandghosttours #konahauntedhele #lavatube #fishhopperkona #huggos
Sea wall near the Kailau PierSea wall near the Kailau PierSea wall near the Kailau Pier

Body Glove Dinner Cruise in background
#huggosontherocks #donsmaitaibar #bodyglovekona #konainnshoppingvillage #mokuaikauachurch #kailuapier


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Murals in the Courtyard King Kam HotelMurals in the Courtyard King Kam Hotel
Murals in the Courtyard King Kam Hotel

Inside Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel
Hulihe'e Palace,Hulihe'e Palace,
Hulihe'e Palace,

Hulihe'e Palace, a former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty
A-Bay's RestaurantA-Bay's Restaurant
A-Bay's Restaurant

Shout out to my NC friends
Fish HopperFish Hopper
Fish Hopper

Oceanview, open air restaurant


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