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Guidebook for Kailua-Kona

Ailin

Guidebook for Kailua-Kona

Food Scene
This is our favorite place for dinner. We're never disappointed! Everything on the menu is delicious but a personal favorite is the Seafood Trio.
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Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill Kona
75-5995 Kuakini Highway
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This is our favorite place for dinner. We're never disappointed! Everything on the menu is delicious but a personal favorite is the Seafood Trio.
It's a bit of a drive (25-30 minutes) but worth it! The view as you sit at breakfast is absolutely stunning. If you go early, there shouldn't be a wait but it does tend to get busy around 10am on. Have the delicious banana bread! Try to get one of the balcony-side tables - besides scoring a pretty amazing view, you may have a bright green gekko or two stop by your table. Set out a jam pack - that usually lures them.
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The Coffee Shack
83-5799 Mamalahoa Highway
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It's a bit of a drive (25-30 minutes) but worth it! The view as you sit at breakfast is absolutely stunning. If you go early, there shouldn't be a wait but it does tend to get busy around 10am on. Have the delicious banana bread! Try to get one of the balcony-side tables - besides scoring a pretty amazing view, you may have a bright green gekko or two stop by your table. Set out a jam pack - that usually lures them.
Best poke bowls! Lots of locals come here. The seafood tacos are pretty amazing too. There are two locations and both of them are great.
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Umeke's Poke Bowls And Local Style Lunch Plates
75-143 Hualalai Road
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Best poke bowls! Lots of locals come here. The seafood tacos are pretty amazing too. There are two locations and both of them are great.
Drinks & Nightlife
It's actually Huggo's on the Rocks, the less expensive venue right next door, which has a fun nightlife scene - with a bar, sand-covered floor, live music nightly, and the best location in Kona: right on Hailau Bay. The food is pretty good too.
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Huggo's
75-5828 Kahakai Rd
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It's actually Huggo's on the Rocks, the less expensive venue right next door, which has a fun nightlife scene - with a bar, sand-covered floor, live music nightly, and the best location in Kona: right on Hailau Bay. The food is pretty good too.
Sightseeing
If you're looking for a beach practically all to yourself, take a drive down Puako Beach Drive. Look for the blue signs that say "Public Beach Access" on your right. Some of them have small enclaves where you can park. Otherwise, you can park on the side of the main road. Walk down toward the water and chances are good that you'll be able to score your own private part of the beach for the day. If you're lucky, you'll spot the honu (sea turtles) that swim in to shore. Remember to give them plenty of space - it is strictly prohibited to touch them or frighten them!
Puako Beach Drive
If you're looking for a beach practically all to yourself, take a drive down Puako Beach Drive. Look for the blue signs that say "Public Beach Access" on your right. Some of them have small enclaves where you can park. Otherwise, you can park on the side of the main road. Walk down toward the water and chances are good that you'll be able to score your own private part of the beach for the day. If you're lucky, you'll spot the honu (sea turtles) that swim in to shore. Remember to give them plenty of space - it is strictly prohibited to touch them or frighten them!
Parks & Nature
If you're up for a more adventurous outing, Papakolea Green Sand Beach is pretty special. It's a bit of a drive from Kona but well worth it. Getting to the beach is a 2.25-mile walk (each way), or you can attempt to 4-wheel it. You can also opt to pay to ride in the back of one of the local entrepreneurs' 4-wheel drive trucks that offer you a ride there and back. It's a rough ride so hang on tight! Once there, you will also have to negotiate a steep climb down to the actual beach. The reward is a picture-perfect beach with yes, actual green sand. Be warned - the water can be rough, there is no shade, and the winds can be pretty strong. But hey, that's Nature!
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Papakōlea Green Sand Beach
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If you're up for a more adventurous outing, Papakolea Green Sand Beach is pretty special. It's a bit of a drive from Kona but well worth it. Getting to the beach is a 2.25-mile walk (each way), or you can attempt to 4-wheel it. You can also opt to pay to ride in the back of one of the local entrepreneurs' 4-wheel drive trucks that offer you a ride there and back. It's a rough ride so hang on tight! Once there, you will also have to negotiate a steep climb down to the actual beach. The reward is a picture-perfect beach with yes, actual green sand. Be warned - the water can be rough, there is no shade, and the winds can be pretty strong. But hey, that's Nature!
Right there at Kona Reef Resort, there is a little beach that is the birthplace of boogie boarding. You'll see the boogie boarders ride the waves in at sunset, and if you ask, they'll point out where to avoid the rocks. It's also a cute little beach for snorkeling. And it's just a few feet from our condo!
Honl’s Beach
Right there at Kona Reef Resort, there is a little beach that is the birthplace of boogie boarding. You'll see the boogie boarders ride the waves in at sunset, and if you ask, they'll point out where to avoid the rocks. It's also a cute little beach for snorkeling. And it's just a few feet from our condo!
If you haven't been able to spot any honu (sea turtles) from the condo lanai, or anywhere else, it's an almost sure thing that you'll see them at Punal'u Black Sand Beach. It's a bit of a drive but you get black sand AND honu here. In fact, it's almost crowded with them!
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Punaluu Black Sand Beach
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If you haven't been able to spot any honu (sea turtles) from the condo lanai, or anywhere else, it's an almost sure thing that you'll see them at Punal'u Black Sand Beach. It's a bit of a drive but you get black sand AND honu here. In fact, it's almost crowded with them!
Take Kukio Nui Road off Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway and drive up to the guard station to get a parking permit. The beach is in a protected cove so it's great for swimming and wading.
Kikaua Point Park
Take Kukio Nui Road off Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway and drive up to the guard station to get a parking permit. The beach is in a protected cove so it's great for swimming and wading.
In an area known as Kaloko Mauka, is the 70-acre Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary. Call ahead or email to book a 3-hour group tour led by a guide: 808-325-6440 bezona@hawaii.edu and discover a huge array of local and non-local plants, trees, and wildlife. It is a model of eco-tourism and offers a fascinating look inside one of the few cloud forests left in the world.
Kona Cloud Forest Guided Walking Tours
73-1865 Hao St
In an area known as Kaloko Mauka, is the 70-acre Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary. Call ahead or email to book a 3-hour group tour led by a guide: 808-325-6440 bezona@hawaii.edu and discover a huge array of local and non-local plants, trees, and wildlife. It is a model of eco-tourism and offers a fascinating look inside one of the few cloud forests left in the world.
Our island favorites
There are so many places to discover on the Kona side of the Big Island...I highly recommend a guide book: Hawaii The Big Island Revealed in order to start a list of places you’d like to visit. We provide a copy in the condo but you might want to start with your own copy ahead of time.
It's worth the 30-minute drive to Captain Cook to have this island breakfast experience. Try to get there early to avoid waiting for a view-side table - you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view while eating a delicious breakfast. A bright green island iguana may come and join you at your table - coax him down by opening a packet of jam. And don't forget to order the banana bread!
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The Coffee Shack
83-5799 Mamalahoa Highway
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It's worth the 30-minute drive to Captain Cook to have this island breakfast experience. Try to get there early to avoid waiting for a view-side table - you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking view while eating a delicious breakfast. A bright green island iguana may come and join you at your table - coax him down by opening a packet of jam. And don't forget to order the banana bread!
On the short 5-minute walk into Kona town from our condo, there is Huggos On The Rocks (not to be confused with the more formal Huggos). The former features sand floors and water-side seating, live music in the evenings, and delicious food in an informal, beachy atmosphere. The other one is great for meals too (breakfast is delicious) but the dinner menu is more pricey.
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On the Rocks
75-5824 Kahakai Road
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On the short 5-minute walk into Kona town from our condo, there is Huggos On The Rocks (not to be confused with the more formal Huggos). The former features sand floors and water-side seating, live music in the evenings, and delicious food in an informal, beachy atmosphere. The other one is great for meals too (breakfast is delicious) but the dinner menu is more pricey.
Take a private walking tour to explore the magical nature side of Kona. You can book a tour at paintedtreesofhawaii.org/ or call 808-640-3888. It's a magical look at the flora and fauna of one of the few cloud forests left in the world.
Kona Cloud Forest Guided Walking Tours
73-1865 Hao St
Take a private walking tour to explore the magical nature side of Kona. You can book a tour at paintedtreesofhawaii.org/ or call 808-640-3888. It's a magical look at the flora and fauna of one of the few cloud forests left in the world.
The island offers many lovely beaches such as this one - relatively uncrowded - it’s not unusual to have the beach practically to yourselves for an entire day.
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Hapuna Beach
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The island offers many lovely beaches such as this one - relatively uncrowded - it’s not unusual to have the beach practically to yourselves for an entire day.
Another uncrowded beach where it’s not unusual to have the place practically to yourselves for an entire day.
Kekaha Kai Beach Park
Another uncrowded beach where it’s not unusual to have the place practically to yourselves for an entire day.
Another of the island's relatively uncrowded beaches - it’s not unusual to have the beach practically to yourselves for an entire day.
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Hapuna Beach
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Another of the island's relatively uncrowded beaches - it’s not unusual to have the beach practically to yourselves for an entire day.
Nestled between all the multi-million dollar homes lining Puako Road, there are little signs that indicate public beach access. If you go early enough, you’ll be able to snag a piece of complete beach privacy to hang out in all day, and, if you’re lucky, a honu (sea turtle) may come and hang out with you just feet away.
Puako
Nestled between all the multi-million dollar homes lining Puako Road, there are little signs that indicate public beach access. If you go early enough, you’ll be able to snag a piece of complete beach privacy to hang out in all day, and, if you’re lucky, a honu (sea turtle) may come and hang out with you just feet away.
If you drive farther afield to South Point, don’t miss Green Sands Beach/ Papakolea which is worth the complicated access once you reach it. It’s a good hourlong walk to get there from where you park, or you can opt to pay for a ride in the local “shuttle” trucks which can be hair-raising and not recommended for bad backs (!) but the beach itself is worth it and yes, it has green sand and an amazing view.
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Papakōlea Green Sand Beach
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If you drive farther afield to South Point, don’t miss Green Sands Beach/ Papakolea which is worth the complicated access once you reach it. It’s a good hourlong walk to get there from where you park, or you can opt to pay for a ride in the local “shuttle” trucks which can be hair-raising and not recommended for bad backs (!) but the beach itself is worth it and yes, it has green sand and an amazing view.
Also in South Point, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is where you’re sure to see at least a half dozen or more turtles resting on shore.
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Punaluu Black Sand Beach
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Also in South Point, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is where you’re sure to see at least a half dozen or more turtles resting on shore.