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Things To Do In Kona Hawaii In July

Why Visit The Big Island

Coconut Island in Hilo while I wait for my tour. July 10, 2018

Where else can you visit a tropical rain forest in the morning, play in the snow in the afternoon and enjoy the sunset with a beach cocktail?

The Big Island offers endless ways to explore nature by car or on foot, not to mention soft sand in every possible shade of color.

Home to Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, fire is the Big Island’s dominant element.

Kona Joe Coffee Tours Kona Hawaii

At the Kona Joe Coffee Farm, you can find out all you ever wanted to know about how your favorite mood-enhancer is produced and processed. There are several ways to tour the farm, including a completely free self-guided tour, but it is well worth the small additional charge to join one of the hourly fully guided tours. You will learn about the entire process, including cultivation, picking, processing, roasting, and brewing, and then get to sample the end product and take home a souvenir engraved coffee mug. For an even more in-depth experience, you can roast your own batch of coffee beans under the guidance of one of the roast masters. Your coffee beans will then be packaged for you to take home. The gift shop is stocked with delightful coffee-themed souvenirs.

Kona Joe Coffee LLC, 79-7346, Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750, Phone: 808-322-2100

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Things We Did In Kona On Our Trip To The Big Island In Hawaii

1. Spent a day at the beautiful Maniniowali Beach

When you visit Hawaii, you HAVE to go to the beach. Am I right? Its almost a travel sin if you do not experience the gorgeous ocean water when youre on an island. We were told that Maniniowali Beach was the place to go, the locals love it and it was about 15 minutes from our condo. They were absolutely right, because the turquoise water here was amazing! We swam, got knocked over by a few strong waves, and hiked around on the lava rocks where there were tons of shells and coral washed up from the ocean. I was happy to see many locals here, I do try to do some of the local activities when I travel and it was nice to not really see many tourists.

2. We explored a random lava cave on the side of the road

Before we made it to the beach, we were driving along the HI-19 and saw a bunch of cars pulled over. We slowed to look and noticed a huge, natural lava rock cave! We pulled over and got out to check out the magnificent sight. Afraid to go in, we looked on for a while and saw a little girl run in there by herself, as well as many other families coming out. In we went, and it was just so neat to see how a cave was created from an old lava flow!

Neat lava rocks balanced in Kona Big Island Hawaii

3. Enjoyed a sunset luau at the Royal Kona Resort

4. Took a catamaran and snorkeling trip to Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cooks Monument

5. Went on a coffee farm tour in the mountains

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The Pure Kona Green Market

The Pure Kona green market Market is committed to sustainability, natural practices, and working with the earth to produce quality food and art for our local community. Stop by to get their weekly produce, enjoy a meal, and stay for the day.

The Pure Kona Green Market. Image credit: the Pure Kona Green Market.

For a more thorough review we recommend this report by Sonia Martinez for the Hawaii homegrown food network.

Boat Tours To Kealakekua Bay

Things to do in Kona, Hawaii

The easiest way to visit Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling or diving is as part of one of the many snorkel tours to the Captain Cook Monument.

Tour operators are familiar with the best areas in the bay to see fish and corals, and some companies also include lunch in the price of the tour. The cruises generally take between 3 hours and half a day and provide snorkeling gear, snacks and refreshments, as well as cultural, natural and historical information relevant to Kealakekua bay.

Tours operators that follow the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii guidelines are e.g. Sea Paradise and Fair-Wind. Body Glove cruises organizes dinner cruises to the bay without the possibility of snorkeling.

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Go Whale Watching In Winter

Did you know that Humpback whales from all over the Pacific ocean migrate to Hawaiifor the Winter? Between December and mid-April ,whale watching is one of the most unique things that you can only do during Winter in Hawaii.You also have the chance of seeing dolphins if you go in the morning!

Here are a few of the best-rated whale-watching boat tours you can take fromKona, Hawaii for an up-close experience with these gentle giants :

  • 2.5 hours: Kailua-Kona Whale Watching Cruise 2.5 hour cruise. Departs from Honokohau Harbor . You have a live tour guide, snacks and beverages, and you get a special device to listen to the whales sing!
  • 1.5 hours: Kona Whale-watching Cruise 1.5 hour cruise. Complementary drinks, and offers one free re-try if you dont see whales on your cruise. Departs from Kawaihae Harbor, which is further up the coast .
  • 1.5 hours: Kona Whale-watching Cruise 1.5 hour cruise. Departs from Anaehoomalu Bay . Complementary drinks are included.
  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

    The pristine Four Seasons, the only five-pearl property on the Big Island, is unlike any other resort on the Kohala Coast. Lush and beautifully landscaped grounds surround private bungalow-style rooms and suites tucked along winding paths throughout the large property.

    The thoughtfully designed architecture, pools , and public spaces are indulgent without seeming excessive.

    Dining options on-site are few in number but high in quality, and include what is arguably the best restaurant on the Big Island. BOOK NOW!!!!

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    Hawaii Islandfine Dining And Luaus And Resort Lifestyle

    West Hawaii is a fine dining destination with its world class resorts and upscale restaurants. Each hotel also sponsors a regular Hawaiian luau on site which is a representation of a tradition form of celebration and gathering along with festive hula shows, crafts exhibits and other sharing of Hawaiian culture and history. Ocean front dining is at its best with world-class restaurants like the Kamuela Provision company, Browns Beach House, Manta and Pavilion , Ulu Ocean Grill and the Canoe House, you cant go wrong having a fantastic meal especially with a spectacular sunset view. Take a look at some of these amazing restaurant venues if you want excellent service, food and a beautiful sunset view to cap off a wonderful dining experience in West Hawaii. Thanks for taking a tour of some attractions and key sites in West Hawaii, there are so many other beautiful places not mentioned in this post. If you also visited someplace worth noting from the west side of Hawaii Island, please share it with us in the comments section. Also take a look at some of the top sites to visit on the east side of the island on this post

    Kona Accommodations/ Luxury Hotels On The Big Island

    Kona Coffee Plantation Tour

    I love luxury hotels and specifically boutique hotels so I know exactly what luxury travelers are looking for when booking their Kona accommodations.

    When I review luxury properties I evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants.

    After you have researched all of the things to do in Kona, Hawaii you need to figure out where you are going to stay and I have taken all of the guesswork out and here are my top picks for Kona accommodations on the Big Island to get you inspired!

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    Papakolea Green Sand Beach

    The Hawaiian islands are full of beautiful beaches, but one of the most peculiar is the green sand beach of Papakolea located on the South West coast of the Big Island.

    This 49,000 year old cinder cone belonging to the Mauna Loa volcano contains billions of green crystals called olivines that give the beach its name.

    Papakolea is a bit off the beaten track, and not easy to reach. The hike out is 5-miles round trip, so be prepared with plenty of water. Theres nowhere to hide from the sun either.

    However, this also means only the most adventurous souls make the trek limiting the number of people out there.

    Blue Water Hunter Spearfishing Charters

    Overall Ratings

    5.0 based on 45 reviews

    Blue Water Hunter Spearfishing Charters of Kona, Hawaii specializes in freediving and spearfishing charters. We are proud to be the first and only legally operated and insured freediving and spearfishing boat charter business in the state of Hawaii, and possibly the entire USA. Most charters are spearfishing oriented but spearing a fish is only PART of the entire adventure. We often encounter dolphins, whales, manta rays, sharks and other magnificent creatures of the sea. For those vacationing on the Big Island, this can be a very exciting once-in-a-lifetime experience. Owner Rob White is a top expert in his field with over 30 years of experience. When you are in the ocean you really want an expert guiding you every step of the way to ensure a safe experience. All charters offer a guided dive, which means one of us will be in the water with you at all times to help you with your gear, to help identify approaching game fish and to identify and aid in dangerous situations. A smaller boat means a more personal experience. Our favorite dive locations are close by and the weather is generally very good.

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    Pay Respects To Duke Oahu

    The father of modern surfing and Hawaiis Ambassador of Aloha, Duke Kahanamoku is memorialized by a 9 foot tall bronze statue right on the sands of Waikiki Beach. A gold medal Olympic swimmer, waterman, Hollywood actor, and sheriff of Honolulu, Dukes charisma and popularity was instrumental in reviving the sport of surfing and spreading its popularity worldwide. The statue stands with open arms, draped in flower leis left by admirers. This is one of the most photographed sites in Waikiki, located on Kalakalua Avenue near the Waikiki Police Station. For more photos and memorabilia, check out Dukes Canoe Club restaurant and the Moana Surfrider hotels historic tour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:00. While at the Surfrider, be sure to grab some Dole Whip pineapple ice cream the only other places in the world where you can get it are at the Dole Plantation or at Disney parks.

    Things To Do On The Big Island

    Things to do in Kona, Hawaii

    Heading to the Big Island? Im so jealous! The Big Island is the Hawaiian Island that seems to overwhelm most travelers but there are sooooo many unique and truly spectacular things to experience here that its definitely worth a visit!

    You could stay busy for weeks exploring every part of this island so this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything to do on the Big Island, but its a pretty good overview of some dont miss experiences!

    Also, I know different people like to vacation different ways so while a lot of things on this list you can do on your own , Ive also included options for people who gravitate more towards organized tours and excursions especially since there are quite a few experiences on the Big Island that I think doing as part of an organized tour are necessary.

    This post may contain some affiliate links, which means Ill make a little money on anything you choose to purchase. But of course, I only recommend my absolute favorites to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Hulaland possible.

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    Drive Around The Pastures Of Waimea

    Waimea is located at the northernmost area of the Big Island, and looks starkly differentthan much of the Big Island which is either arid volcanic land or lush jungles.Waimea is where a lot of cattle and sheep are raised, and thus is home towide pastures that stretch for miles. From the northern tip, you can even seeMaui looming in the distance.

    The Beautiful Akaka Falls

    Akaka falls is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls is set in a lovely botanical garden and is an easy loop trail through lush surroundings with beautiful vistas. There are two waterfalls to check out on the tour at Akaka Falls State Park which you walk past bamboo groves, thick dense forests and past a variety of gorgeous tropical plants and flowers.

    Entrance is free for Hawaii residents but $5 parking or $1 per person entry to the park and waterfall hiking area.

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    Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail From Lahaina

    Enjoy an elevated sunset viewing experience. Lay back on the forward trampolines, find a comfortable seat with panoramic island views, or sit under the covered cabin space for a break from the elements.From December to May, enjoy the thrill of watching the humpback whales making their way to Hawaii each year.

    Captain Cook Memorial And Kealakekua Bay

    Nespresso Hawaii Kona – Taste Test

    The suggestion is really not for the memorial itself, which is a monument to the first white guy who arrived and then was killed in Hawaii . However, I mention it because this is where you can access the Kealakekua Bay. This is rumored to be the best snorkeling on the island, and in the morning, you might just see some dolphins.

    Getting to the bay is difficult you can hike a good hour each way on a trail thatâs hard to find, rent a kayak, which is increasingly frowned upon and only available to companies with permits , or take a snorkeling tour. Because of the difficulty, I havenât made it here yet, but itâs on my list.

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    Places To Eat In Kona Big Island

    Sunset at Huggos

    Huggos on the Rocks came recommended to us as the place to go for sunset views. Check it out for yourself. They also serve food here if you want to hang around for dinner or check it out for lunch. We didnt eat here so cant comment on that but I did like the views.

    Island Lava Java

    We ate at their sister restaurant near Waikoloa and had a yummy breakfast. Island Lava Java in Kona has views of the ocean but is popular so get there early!

    Kona Canoe Club

    We found this right before our flight to Maui. It was fantastic and so cheap.

    We made Happy Hour 2-5pm $3.95 frozen margaritas and $5 meals hello! We had ocean views and a colorful gecko hanging out with us. This seems like a locals favorite which is where we love to hang out most.

    Captain Zodiac Raft Expeditions Kona Hawaii

    Joining an adventure with Captain Zodiac Raft Expeditions is a truly memorable add-on to your Hawaii vacation. Captain Zodiac has been taking visitors on thrilling zodiac adventures for over 40 years and has the expertise to ensure you have a wonderful time exploring the rugged coastline of the Big Island while meeting some of the amazing marine wildlife. You can choose from several scheduled tours or arrange a private charter. Scheduled tours last from 3 to 5 hours and include snorkeling excursions, swimming with wild dolphins, and seasonal whale watching, and the highly maneuverable zodiacs can get you really close to some amazing lava tubes, sea caves, and blow holes.

    Captain Zodiac Raft Expeditions, 74-425 Kealakehe Pkwy, #16, Kailua Kona, HI 96740, Phone: 808-329-3199

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    Day 2 Big Island: Night Swim With Manta Rays

    Begin your day at Place of Refuge, otherwise known as Puuhonua o Honaunau. Its a historical Hawaiian treasure you need to visit, both on land and by sea.

    If the water is calm, you can snorkel here too, powered by warm turquoise waves. Watch out south of this point thoughthe waves are strong!

    2. Volcano discovery tour. Learn more here.3. Waterfalls and coffee farm day trip. Learn more here.

    Why is it called Place of Refuge? Until the 19th century, if a Hawaiian broke a kapu , he was protected from certain death if he could elude his captors and make it here. A few powerful chiefs lived just outside its boundaries. And yet, defeated warriors were still safe here.

    Place of Refuge offered a peaceful secluded bay for snorkeling on the day we were there. I even cavorted with a small sea turtle for a few minutes. It was incredible to view the totems from the water.

    Night Swim with manta rays? Yes, really! Unfortunately, we missed this bucket list experience because we didnt book ahead. Dont be like us. More organized travelers eagerly shared their enthusiastic endorsements and photos with us.

    So how did this opportunity come to be? The story goes like this: Back in the late seventies, the Sheraton Kona Resort decided to illuminate the waves for guests nighttime viewing pleasure. That attracted loads of plankton, which in turn, attracted the giant manta rays that learned that the lights meant a ready source of food.

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