10 Greatest Things to do in Kona, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are the most beautiful vacation places with Kona Hawaii as one of the stunning places that offer the best experiences.

Kona is a tourist hotspot on the Big Island of Hawaii with astonishing natural wonders and year-round sunny weather that will make your Hawaii vacation full of fantastic water activities and fun filled-adventures.

The Kona coast is also a place to behold with the soft white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

So, if you’re ready for your next trip, here are the best things to do in Kona, Hawaii, that you should not miss out on:

10. Join a Luau and Witness a Fire Show

Join a Luau and Witness a Fire show

Joining a luau and witnessing a fire show is a must-experience for you to have a total feel of the island vibe. You will be greeted by live songs, delectable food choices, and entertaining Hawaiian dances, talking about feeling like Hawaiian royalty.

The live songs and ancient Hawaiian hula dances offer a great glimpse into the rich Hawaiian culture. The entertainment is even beachfront with a marvelous sunset to heighten the island experience.

Within the luau, you will even get the chance to learn how to do the floral leis, dance the hula, or watch a tattoo demonstration.

After dinner, the luau extends to a marvelous fire show that you rarely see. The amazing performances of the dancers will make you appreciate the preserved tradition and Hawaiian history.

Among the best luaus that you can experience are Island Breeze Luau and Oceanfront Royal Luau.

9. Rent a Convertible Buggy for a Day of Sightseeing

Rent a Convertible Buggy for a Day of Sightseeing

One of the memorable things to do in the Kona region is to rent a convertible buggy to tour the Big Island at your own pace and places of choice.

The stylish convertible Big Island beach buggy has half-day, full-day, and even multi-day rentals available.

If you want an intimate free tour with your loved one, you can choose to rent the 2-seater buggy or if you want to share with several friends there are also 4-seater buggies to accommodate your group.

The most notable places that you might want to check out in Kona include Old Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, the downtown Kona, Kailua Kona Farmers Market, Kailua Kona Town, Kailua Village, Kailua Kona Coffee Plantation, Kailua Kona Brewing Company Kua Bay, Black Sand Beach, South Kona, Kailua Bay, and Kealakekua Bay.

If you aim to do more water activities you can even stopover to try sports fishing and diving from Kailua Bay.

Head out to the gorgeous Manini’owali Beach also known as Kua Bay, a secluded white sand beach, and also the Honokohau National Historical Park that promotes the protection and preservation of Hawaiian cultures and activities.

The Big Island buggy will be delivered to the resort or place where you are staying and even has free gear inclusion depending on your request.

You don’t have to worry about getting a low battery after a day full of pictures as the buggy is equipped with USB charging ports to support your lengthy visit to Kona attractions.

There might be additional delivery fees if you’re staying north of the Kona Airport.

8. Kona Submarine Tour

Kona Submarine Tour

With so much to do just on this island, you won’t have any time to explore the other Hawaiian islands. The Kona submarine tour is a splendid underwater experience that will fill your day with breathtaking views of the coral reefs and colorful fishes.

You will be inside a 48-passenger high-tech Atlantis submarine that will descend to 100 feet of the Kona waters. The tour usually takes 60 minutes.

To reach the submarine, you will take a scenic boat ride to the dive site where the submarine crew will assist you in boarding.

Inside the submarine, you will be able to peer out through the vessel windows and see the phenomenal 25-acre coral reefs and other marine life like sea turtles, eels, and sharks.

Aside from the marine life, you will also get to see incredible sunken ships and remnants of airliners.

After the tour, you will cruise back to the port aboard a ferry.

Please note that only at least 16 years old are allowed to join without an adult and for children, the height must be at least 36 inches tall to participate.

7. Kona Glass Bottom Coral Reef Cruise

Kona Glass Bottom Coral Reef Cruise

One of the best things to do in Kona is to join a glass-bottom coral reef cruise at Kailua Kona Bay. As the name suggests, the 36-feet wooden GlassBottom vessel has glass bottoms that will allow you to see the rich under the sea world of Kailua Kona.

Expert marine naturalists will join the Kailua Kona cruise making it not only a fun experience but also an adventure full of new learning. You can ask questions if something under the sea interests you.

This Kailua Kona cruise also offers a comfortable ride with its wide beam construction design and can accommodate up to 24 passengers.

The cruise, as one of the best things to do in Kona, usually takes an hour and is great for families and large groups.

6. Go on a Whale Watching Cruise

Go on a Whale Watching Cruise

Your stay in the Kona District will not be complete without experiencing a Big Island whale-watching cruise. There will even be an onboard naturalist to answer our questions and provide interesting facts about the whales.

The Big Island tour has a whale-watch guarantee which means that if you don’t get to see a whale during the tour, you can join the sail again for free. You will not end the day without seeing a marvelous humpback whale.

Please note that as the boat approaches the whales, the boat captain will turn off the engine to avoid disturbing the whales in their natural habitat.

The tour usually departs from Anaehoomalu Bay and lasts for 90 minutes.

Don’t forget to bring your hat and sunscreen You can also bring motion-sickness meds if you’re prone to motion sickness.

5. See the incredible sights through a helicopter tour or airplane tour

Another one of the best breathtaking things to do in Kona is a Big Island helicopter tour or a Big Island airplane tour.

Airplane Tour

See the incredible sights through a airplane tour

You will be aboard an airplane that will take you to the most scenic spots in Hawaii. This Big Island Airplane tour offers a stable flight as you view the amazing valleys, black sand beaches, volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, and hidden white sand beaches on the Kona Coast with guaranteed window seating.

The marvelous sights on the Kona coast will make your trip unforgettable for sure. Aside from the Kona coast, the crater views of Kilauea Volcano, a volcano that is part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the summit of Mauna Kea will make you marvel at the finest beauty of nature.

The trip usually requires a minimum booking of 3 people and a maximum of 4.

Helicopter Tour

See the incredible sights through a helicopter tour

If you prefer a helicopter tour over an airplane tour, you can then join a Big Island Helicopter Tour where you will fly on a Paradise helicopter to view the best of the Big Island.

Aboard the helicopter, you will see waterfalls, vibrant valleys, incredible 5 volcanoes, hidden white and black sand beaches, and many other natural wonders to see.

If you plan to take pictures, it is advisable to wear dark clothing for reduced chances of poor reflections in your photos.

4. Attend a Historic Kona, Sacred Hawaiian Temples & Farm Tour

Attend a Historic Kona, Sacred Hawaiian Temples & Farm Tour

Your list of things to do in Kona will not be complete without a historic tour of scared Hawaiian Temples and Amazing Bees and Coffee Farm.

On this tour, you will get to see the amazing Hauola Stone, a sacred place for Hawaiian spiritual practices. You will also visit the Puhina o Hula Heiau Temple which is considered one of the most significant temples in Hawaii.

The Kealakekua Bay is another place you will visit on the tour. The Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful destination for snorkeling and swimming.

After the temple visits, you will then proceed to the Kona coffee farm in a Kailua Kona town where you can learn about how Kona coffee is grown and harvested. You will also get to sample different kinds of coffee.

3. Hike the Hawaiian Forest and Kona Volcano Crater

Hike the Hawaiian Forest and Kona Volcano Crater

If you want to add thrilling hiking adventures to your things to do in Kona then you should not miss the chance to hike the Hawaiian Forest and view incredible volcanic craters

The hike will take you through the beautiful hiking trails of Hawaii’s rainforest and private nature reserve where you will see different kinds of flora and fauna.

You will also get to see the lava fields of the Hualalai Volcano. The hike is a bit challenging but it is worth it because of the amazing views that await you at the top.

Experience the exhilarating feeling of standing on the edge of several volcanic craters and being inside lava tubes on this activity that is one of the best things to do in Kona.

The hike is around 3-4 miles so don’t forget to put sunscreen in your bag and wear comfortable hiking shoes.

2. Experience a Kona Sunset Sail on a Catamaran

Experience a Kona Sunset Sail on a Catamaran

The Big Island Kona adventure that you want will be more invigorating with a sunset tour included in your things to do in Kona Hawaii.

The relaxing 90-minute cruise will bring you to the scenic Kona coast where you will enjoy tropical drinks aboard a 54-ft catamaran that can accommodate up to 49 guests.

You will even get a chance to see dolphins on this cruise and enjoy a sunset dinner while sailing.

The picturesque scenery as the setting of the sun colors the sky will chase all your stress away and make you feel that fantastic beach vacation vibe.

You will also be served delicious food aboard that will make the sunset trip the perfect getaway.

1. Watch the sunset while stargazing at Mauna Kea Summit

Watch the sunset while stargazing at Mauna Kea Summit

What could be more magical than watching a sunset from a summit of a dormant volcano and then proceeding to see the stars closer than they could possibly be?

The breathtaking views from this activity will bring you closer to the gifts of nature and appreciate the beauty the world has to offer.

You will be picked up from your hotel in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle for the 40-minute drive to Mauna Kea State Park. You will then proceed to the summit where you will watch the sunset and be able to see the stars with the help of a high-powered telescope.

Not only that, you will also get the chance to learn more about Mauna Kea in the Mauna Kea visitor center where there are educational videos about the volcano and ongoing research.

Parka and gloves are even included in the tour for your utmost comfort.

Other Extraordinary Snorkeling Adventures

Your Big Island adventure in Kona, Hawaii will not be complete without the snorkeling adventure so we added this special section to guide you in getting the best snorkeling adventure. See below for snorkeling adventures that will add spice to your vacation trip:

Kona Manta Ray Night Snorkel Cruise

An encounter of a lifetime, you should experience this 2.5-hour nighttime snorkeling where you will swim with the incredible manta rays. Book here.

Kealakekua Bay Snorkel and Captain Cook Monument Cruise

The best snorkeling adventure is in Kealakekua Bay where you get to enjoy 3.5 hours of swimming and exploring the amazing reefs and colorful marine lives. You will also stop by Captain Cook Monument, another popular attraction. Book here.

Ocean Rafting with Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling

You will also get to enjoy the award-winning Kealakekua Bay snorkeling escapade but the difference is on this tour you will experience a thrilling ocean rafting adventure aboard a 24-foot Zodiac Hurricane ocean raft. Book here.

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Article by Kyle

Digital nomad since 2010. I spend my time traveling around the world learning about new cultures and languages. I've lived in 4 continents and still have a lot left to explore!