10 Un-missable Activities in Kona, Hawaii
The big island of Hawaii is, as its name would suggest, the largest of all the islands in the archipelago that we call Hawaii. Not only is it geographically the largest island, but it’s also arguably got the biggest adventures, especially in the west coast town of Kailua Kona, which many consider to be the adventure capital of Hawaii.
Of course, if you prefer your vacations to be more about relaxation than getting the adrenaline pumping, Kona also has you covered, with a fantastic selection of calm and peaceful activities to enjoy. You can even enjoy both, for a well-rounded and exciting adventure in Kona!
Here are our picks for ten unmissable things to do in Kona, both the sedate and the heart rate raising:
#10: Seahorse Farm Tour
Who doesn’t have a soft spot for the cute and elegant seahorse? Not only are they adorably cartoon-like, but they are also fascinating creatures – did you know that because seahorses have no teeth and no stomach, they must eat almost constantly to stay alive?
Learn many more seahorse facts and get some great photos at the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.
#9: Kona Coffee Tasting
Hawaiian coffee is famous all over the world, so you couldn’t possibly leave the state without sampling some!
Even within a state that’s famed for its coffee, Kona Coffee is particularly well regarded. Therefore, if you’re a caffeine lover or just keen to find out more about how coffee is farmed and made, it’s well worth heading out on a coffee tasting tour.
In 2011, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) awarded Park City Gold-Level center status, meaning it is amongst the best places to mountain bike in the country. This is no doubt thanks to the impressive network of trails – over 450 miles of them, in fact, and their suitability to riders of all ages and abilities. We love the views along the Wasatch Crest Trail.
If you’d prefer to explore on two feet rather than two wheels, there is an equally impressive network of hiking trails that range from short (such as the Farm Trail of Highway 224) to the difficult (but truly stunning) Fantasy Ridge Trail.
#7: Luau Show
The luau (a special dinner party) is synonymous with Hawaii, but did you know that it began when a religious law preventing men and women dining together was abolished, and large gatherings were held together for the first time? Since then, it’s evolved to become a ’must do’ activity for visitors to Hawaii. It is certainly a great opportunity to hear about traditional stories, watch cultural dances, and enjoy some hearty local food.
If you’d like to get your heart rate going just a little, there are a lot of great hikes around Kona. Ranging from short, easy hikes to more challenging expeditions, there are many opportunities to take in the beautiful volcanic and coastal views around the area.
Some popular spots for great hikes are to the north of Kona, such as the beginner-friendly Onomea Trail, or the multi-day Mauna Loa Trail.
And the heart rate is raising...
#5: Horseback Riding
One of the most enjoyable ways to take in the beautiful views over the green inland or awe-inspiring coast is on the back of a horse. Many ranches near Kona offer excursions that are suitable for everyone from families with young children to experienced equestrians. The tours can last from just an hour through to a whole day, depending on what you want to see and do.
#4: Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
The clear waters around the big island, including close to Kona, draw hundreds of thousands of snorkelers and divers every year. It’s no wonder, with the calm waters being home to an incredible variety of species of marine flora and fauna. As well as hundreds of amazing tropical fish and coral species, you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a sea horse or sea turtle!
Great fun for the whole family, there are many great mountain biking trails around Kona. The trails allow you to take in many great views, as well as get the heart racing as you fly down hills and back up again. Of course, you can also take it at a bit of an easier pace if need be. We particularly love the stunning views around the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Given that Hawaii is considered the birthplace of the fine art of surfing, you couldn’t leave without giving it a try, could you? Kona is one of the best places in Hawaii to give it a try, with a number of surf schools aimed at getting beginners ’hanging ten’ in no time. If you’re a more experienced surfer, you can have your pick of any of the many great surfing beaches around Kona, such as Kahalu’u Beach.
#1: Manta Ray Night Dive
For an absolutely mesmerizing experience that will create memories you’ll treasure forever, you have to try the Manta Ray Night Dive. Considered one of the world’s most unique and amazing dives, it will see you swim at night with the graceful Manta Rays. If you can’t dive, there is also a more sedate snorkeling option. This activity comes highly recommended as a once in a lifetime opportunity!
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