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Best things to do in Kailua-Kona

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Where in the world: USA  /  Hawaii  /  Island of Hawaii  /  Kailua-Kona

Top 15 things to do in Kailua-Kona

1. Scuba & Snorkeling

A snorkeling or scuba tour from Kailua-Kona lets you see a range of marine creatures frequenting the area. As your boat glides to spots teeming with spinner dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, and tropical fish, you'll listen to your experienced captain tell folk tales and stories about the history of the island. In addition to cruising and snorkeling or diving, you can paddle a kayak along the volcanic shoreline or watch manta rays feed on plankton under the moonlight. These tours last between 90 minutes and 5 hours.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Swim with Dolphins

Get as up close as possible to playful spinner dolphins and other amazing sea creatures at the marine-life conservation area of Kealakekua Bay. Let an experienced guide take you to the best snorkeling spots, providing interesting facts about the area's geological features and biodiversity. Keep an eye open for lava tubes and caves along the volcanic shoreline, before stopping to swim or snorkel at a protected sapphire cove. Apart from dolphins, you will likely encounter sea turtles and tropical fish swirling around colorful corals on this 3-5-hour excursion.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Mauna Kea

Ascend to the highest point in the state at Mauna Kea. The peak of this dormant volcano is 4,027 m (13,803 ft) above sea level and is considered sacred in Hawaiian mythology. As you take in the views, you can see the observatories where astronomers study the skies. You can hike, drive, or take a guided tour to the summit. If driving, you should use a four-wheel drive vehicle to avoid damage to your automobile. Visitors traveling up Mauna Kea's flanks should stop for at least half an hour at the visitor center to acclimate to the elevation. Bring a warm jacket; the temperatures get cooler as you ascend.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Puako

Commonly ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the country, Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area features everything you could hope for in a beach paradise. Soft, white sand is perfect for sunbathing, long strolls by the shore, or for kids to dig in and play. Enjoy swimming and bodysurfing in the crystal-clear water, or admire the view of the water while hiking the coastal trail. Bring an umbrella, or rent one along with other beach equipment. All the facilities you'll need, including parking, showers, restrooms, and places to buy snacks, are available and easily accessible. The beach is exposed to the open ocean. Though there are lifeguards, be careful in the water, especially during high surf.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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5. Boat Tours & Water Sports

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. My Kona Adventures, Kealakekua

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. Hawai'i Surf and Kayak, Puako

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary

The Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary has been hosting botanical tours and educational programs since 1984. Educators can contact the Cloud Forest owner, Norman Bezona, directly to book free tours of the forest. Three professional operations book and create tours for the Sanctuary: KapohoKine Tours, Hawaiian WalkWays and Big Island Off Road Adventures.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Fishing Charters & Tours

Test your patience and agility while waiting for the "big one" to bite on a sports fishing trip from Kailua-Kona. Sit back with a fishing rod in your hand as your boat glides effortlessly on the placid blue waters swimming with yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and mahimahi, among many others. Your attentive crew will teach you useful techniques that will improve your chances of snagging a meal, while your knowledgeable captain tells folk tales and stories about the history of the island. The duration of the trip is flexible, but most tours take either half a day or a full day. Some full-day excursions offer a combination of fishing and snorkeling.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. The Vanillerie

Welcome to the Vanillerie, a small vanilla farm on the west side of Hawaii's Big Island.

We invite our visitors on an unexpected journey to taste, tour, and treasure our hand grown vanilla immersed in Hawaii's remarkable natural abundance.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Akaka Falls State Park, Hilo

Experience lush vegetation and towering waterfalls at Akaka Falls State Park. Set out on the paved footpath just off the parking lot for a loop through the park. On this easy, 0.6 km (0.4 mi) walk, you can see tropical plants and stop at viewpoints for two waterfalls, Kahūnā and Akaka. At Akaka Falls, watch water plummet 129 m (422 ft) into a stream-eroded gorge. Consider bringing some bug spray to ward off mosquitos.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Honaunau

At one time, people could escape certain death after breaking the sacred laws by going to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. Today you can take a self-guided tour through the centuries-old history and culture of this sacred site. Discover Kapu, the ancient codes of conduct, and learn about weaving, fishing, and carving. Explore the royal grounds, once the exclusive preserve of the chiefdom of Kona, and view the great wall which encloses the Place of Refuge. Craftspeople demonstrate traditional craft skills such as canoe and wood carving, while skilled storytellers weave ancient tales. Food is not available at the park, so plan accordingly.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Scuba & Snorkeling, Kealakekua

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in the Kona District on the Big island of Hawaiʻi in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It includes the National Historic Landmarked archaeological site known as the Honokōhau Settlement. The park was established on November 10, 1978, for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional native Hawaiian activities and culture.

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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