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 Top 10 Epic Things To Do in Kona, Hawaii

Kona is a paradise nestled along the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. Known for its volcanic landscapes, authentic Hawaiian culture, tranquility, and world-famous Kona coffee, this seaside town offers the perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and heritage.

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii’s Big Island, Kona should be at the top of your list. This visitor’s guide covers the 10 best things to do from snorkeling crystal clear waters to immersing yourself in ancient rituals. Read on for an insider’s look at everything you absolutely must experience in this island paradise.


#1 Relax at Hapuna Beach

With powdery white sand and calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, Hapuna Beach consistently ranks as one of the top beaches in the US. Sunbathe, build sandcastles, picnic under swaying palms, or try your hand at bodyboarding in the gentle waves. Don’t forget the sunscreen!


#2 Visit Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Park

Step back in time and immerse yourself in Hawaiian history and culture at Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Park. These sacred grounds served as a refuge and royal center in the 1600s. Wander through temple ruins, thatched structures, and see traditional canoes. An unmissable glimpse into the past.


#3 Go Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay

Snorkelers flock to Kealakekua Bay to swim through schools of tropical fish and sea turtles gliding through incredibly clear waters. Early mornings are best for spotting dolphins and avoiding crowds. Stop at the Captain Cook Monument marking where the famous explorer died in 1779.


#4 Tour a Kona Coffee Farm

As one of Hawaii’s most famous exports, you can’t leave Kona without experiencing the legendary coffee first-hand. Visit mountainside plantations like Greenwell Farms to learn traditional growing techniques. See how beans are roasted and sample freshly brewed cups. Just inhaling the aroma is heavenly.


#5 Visit Downtown Kailua Kona

Kona’s lively coastal downtown invites aimless strolls along the waterfront. Browse through shell shops and art galleries showcasing local artisans. Grab tropical cocktails or homemade ice cream. Dine at open-air restaurants as waves crash beside you. People watch as fishermen reel in the daily catch.


#6 Kayak Along the Kona Coast

For an active adventure, kayaking allows you to explore Kona’s rugged lava rock coastline from an ocean view vantage. Paddle into tranquil sea caves and inlets only accessible by watercraft. With bath-warm waters and incredible scenery, it’s a picturesque way to experience the Big Island’s dramatic cliffs and lava flows.


#7 Try Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding has boomed in popularity in Hawaii and Kona’s calm waters make it an ideal spot to give it a try. Rent a board in town or book a lesson and paddle your way through crystal clear bays, just be sure to snap an Instagram over the glass-like water!


#8 Attend a Traditional Luau

For a quintessential Hawaiian cultural experience, attend a luau featuring energetic hula dancing, thrilling fire knife dances, and traditional food cooked in an underground oven. Shows like the Legends of Hawaii Luau at Kamakahonu Bay immerse you in all the magic of Polynesia.


#9 Watch the Sunset at Magic Sands Beach

Also known as White Sands, this picturesque hidden gem reveals itself as waves wash the white sand ashore throughout the day. Arrive in time for the golden hour and watch the sun sink into the Pacific from Magic Sands’ lovely sandy cove. Bring refreshments and make an evening of it.


#10 Take a Helicopter Tour

Soaring over the island by helicopter offers an unparalleled way to take in all of Kona’s beauty in a short time. Choose a tour that flies over tropical valleys, by waterfalls cascading down cliffs, and over rivers of lava for a breathtaking birds-eye perspective you can’t glimpse any other way.

No matter which of these incredible experiences tops your Kona to-do list, this Hawaiian paradise promises the trip of a lifetime. With world-famous coffee, incredible snorkeling, and quintessential Hawaiian culture, the Big Island’s Kona region delivers an unforgettable tropical escape. Time to start planning your Hawaiian vacation!