Your entire perspective on the world can change after spending just a few days on the "Kona Side" of Hawaii Island. But, to truly experience sun-drenched tropical paradise, you need a week. Anything shorter than seven days will leave you wanting more—from its fame as a coffee capital of the world to its sweeping views (and secluded beaches!) alongside amazing food and cultural activities, this region on the western coast is a great place to energize and unwind. What would your dream vacation in this island paradise look like? Check out the must-do items to have on your perfect weeklong Kona itinerary.
Things to Do in Kona During the Day
Visit the Kilauea Volcano
An excursion to the beautiful, powerful Kilauea Volcano is a must-do when visiting the Island of Hawai'i. Since Kilauea is not in Kona, you will want to get an early start one morning. Located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, many people consider Kilauea to be a sacred place, and it's said to be the home of the Hawaiian fire goddess named Pele. This special spot is also one of the most active of the five volcanoes on the island (and is currently erupting!).
Get Your Lips on Some ‘Ulu
You won't get very far on Hawaii Island without encountering ‘ulu. A true Kona coast staple, ‘ulu is a superfruit with a texture that's similar to pudding. While you'll want to try it "ripe" at least once, you should also experience the bread-like consistency of this fruit when it's roasted at one of the great local eateries.
Spend the Afternoon at the Historic Kailua Village
This seaside village nestled in the heart of the Kona coast is a former retreat spot for Hawaiian royalty. In addition to hosting worthy historic attractions like Hulihee Palace and the Mokuaikaua Church, this majestic village is also home to some of the best shopping and dining on the island. Reserve at least a few hours for shopping on Aliʻi Drive.
Visit Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, a.k.a. the "Place of Refuge" is a unique place on the shoreline of South Kona where lawbreakers and warriors of the past went to seek sanctuary. Said to be protected by Lono, the god of life, the area is now a 180-acre national historic park. Take a walking tour of the park and visit several sites, including the grounds where the Kona aliʻi, or chiefs, and their warriors lived. Wooden deity (kiʻi) images that stand up to 15 feet high can be found all throughout the park.
Buy Real Kona Beans at a Lively Farmers' Market
Hawaii Island hosts more than a dozen outdoor markets every week. Touring these markets for the freshest foods and treats is one of the things locals love most about life here. While plated lunches, fresh fruit and handcrafted goods will leave you dazzled, it's the Kona coffee beans for sale that will really make this experience a thrill!
Visit the Kanaloa Octopus Farm
Ready for an experience? The Kanaloa Octopus Farm is a one-of-a-kind aquaculture research facility that's open to the public. In addition to the standard one-hour farm tour, guests can book private one-hour tours for between three and 35 people.
Things to Do in Kona at Night
Grab Dinner at the Wailele Café
There's still time for dinner at the beloved Wailele Café at the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa even if you get back late from these fun all-day excursions. The eatery is open until 9 p.m. for Sunday through Thursday, and stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. And plan to linger for great local live music every night from Thursday through Saturday (from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.).
Book a Moonlit Luau
A luau under the stars is the perfect way to experience the culture of Kona! Dine connected to the spirit of aloha with a private luau one night of your trip at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa—with cool options like the Feast & Fire Luau, with private seating available beside the stage.
Start Planning Your Perfect Week in Kona
You can fit a lot in even when you take things slow in Kona! They say that a week in Kona can change your perspective on life forever. You can savor the beauty of this place with a weeklong stay at the history-meets-modern Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa. Go on and try - we dare you.