Explorer Captain James Cook set foot on the island in 1778
Popular King Kamehameha lived his final years in beautiful Kailua-Kona. Lovely Kailua Village, AKA Kailua-Kona, is a vibrant, colourful place and it's Kona's warm beating heart, just 15 minutes south of Kona International Airport by car. It's a historic settlement stuffed with excellent shops, restaurants and entertainment, lively at night and full of fascinating old attractions: the Hulihee Palace, Mokuaikaua Church and Ahuena Heiau to name just three.
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park delivers a brilliant glimpse into the island's thrilling past.
Captain James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, which makes it a tourist attraction in itself.
The nearby Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is absolutely gorgeous
You'll find the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park to the north of the region, a vast area of 1,160 acres full of ancient temples, traditional fishponds and petroglyphs
Shielded from winds by Maunaloa, Kona’s seas are calm and clear, ideal if you love snorkelling and diving
Dolphins and Hawaiian green sea turtles love it here - with luck you'll spot them doing their thing. For real undersea drama, take a manta ray boat tour and meet huge, gentle mantas in person.
Golden Cities and Hawaii From £1669.00 (inc flights and hotels)
Start your holiday in lively San Francisco where creativity and entertainment is found around every corner, then, head to stunning Oahu for a tropical escape on Hawaii’s third largest island. Top off your trip with a few nights in Los Angeles soaking up that gorgeous Ca...
Kona's deep sea fishing is world famous. But if the coast gets too hot, wend your way to the cool uplands to the little town of Holualoa, home of Kona coffee.
Check out the Hulihee Palace on Alii Drive, once the royals' summer home and now a museum showcasing the lives of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani
This land is world-famous for fabulous coffee. There are around 600 coffee farms in the Kona area, many open to the public
Visit Holualoa, the perfect place to buy unusual and interesting souvenirs: paintings, ceramics, sculpture and fab carved wood
The Keauhou Hōlua Slide at Keauhou is the biggest and best-preserved hōlua course. Holua is a horribly dangerous sport involving sledge-like races down ridiculously steep slopes, an activity only the nobility of ancient Hawaii were allowed to take part in.
Visit in November for the yearly Holualoa Village Coffee and Art Stroll. You'll find the finest local coffee blends, handcrafted goods and the chance to chat with local farmers and artists.
Take a dramatic volcano night tour. Or see the 1,100 foot high Honokohau Fall, a breathtaking sight when there's water in it – which isn't all of the time – only accessible via helicopter. Head to West Maui for the famous Nakalele Blowhole. In winter, drive to the summit of Mauna Kea if there's snow up there. The views are incredible. The Bite Me Bar and Grill in Honokohau harbor is an extremely popular eatery, highly recommended by locals and visitors. Lovely Honokohau Beach on the west shore is long and sandy, brilliant for snorkelling. And Queen’s Bath is a natural spring-fed lava pool, beautifully clean and fresh, perfect for rinsing off the salt when you've been swimming.
The Holualoa Stone Church Ruins and the Meeting House at Holualoa lies over the water from Kamoa Point, built of lava stone and coral mortar with walls twenty six inches thick. The site of an early Congregationalist mission, it's an excellent example of mid-1800s coral lime and lava buildings. Hualālai is the third most active volcano on the island, and has errupted several times since the late 1700s. The Keahole Airport, eleven kilometres up the coast, is built on top of one of its old lava flows. If you value solitude try the chilled Old Kona Airport State Beach Park, less crowded than many.
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