Kailua-Kona Food & drinks

Our most recommended Kailua-Kona Food & drinks

Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

1. Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Visit the Royal Kona Resort to experience an interactive luau show celebrating the rich cultural history of Hawaii with seating on the glimmering shores of Kailua Bay. Feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as teriyaki beef and freshly-caught fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like, coconut rolls, sweet potato-macaroni salad, and Waipio Valley Poi. Enjoy stir fry vegetables, kalua-style pork and cabbage. Finish off your culinary experiences with tasty favorites like Hawaiian haupia pudding and coconut cake. Sip Mai Tais, wine, beer, and soft drinks as you embrace the local culture and radiant sunset. Then, as drumbeats build, the sensational Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show unfolds on stage. Be captivated by a dramatic show inspired by Polynesian stories told through live music, song, and dance, culminating in the exciting Samoan fire knife dance finale.

From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

2. From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

Step aboard and step back in time. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise in Kona for an enchanting Hawaiian history lesson from the experts. This family adventure departs from the Kailua Pier and is narrated by a local historian tour guide, who will reveal secrets, tell stories, and share legends related to the numerous landmarks along the 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. Unwind while you admire Captain Cook’s Monument at Historical Kealakekua Bay (only accessible by boat or hiking) with a complimentary cocktail from a fully stocked, premium bar. Begin your delicious dinner starting with an appetizer of Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia Nuts (Vegan/GF). Then, enjoy a salad starter of Kealaola Farm mixed salad greens, Waimea grape tomatoes, Japanese cucumber, and red onion (Vegan/GF), served with house-made Maui Onion vinaigrette dressing (Vegan/GF). For your main course, choose the Thai coconut curry with Hamakua sweet potatoes, Hawaiian breadfruit, carrots, and bell peppers (Vegan/GF). Or, opt for steamed jasmine rice (Vegan/GF) with Kiawe mango barbecue pork short ribs served with papaya salsa (GF) and island-baked coconut dinner rolls served with butter (Vegetarian). Your dessert is a cheesecake with a local Lilikoi glaze (Vegetarian). Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and seasonal humpback whales throughout the evening. Enjoy live music from some of the Big Island's best entertainers performing slack-key Hawaiian Style music. Catch the sunset on the water and make sure to look for the famous Green Flash, a fleeting glimmer of intense emerald light that appears on the horizon just after sunset. Other highlights include the Ahu’ena Heiau, the Holua Slide, and the famous Kuamo’o Battlefield, just to name a few.

Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

3. Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

Discover the beautiful coastline aboard the Kibou zodiac vessel. Search for playful dolphins in the gorgeous blue Hawaiian waters, snorkel with exotic underwater species, and enjoy a hearty Hawaiian-style BBQ lunch. After meeting your crew and boarding the boat, begin by searching for majestic dolphins in the shimmering ocean surrounding Kona. Learn a bit about marine biology, Hawaiian history, and local traditions. Stop in a spectacular bay with a vibrant reef and enjoy plenty of time for snorkeling. Swim with wild turtles and exotic tropical fish as you explore the underwater world. After snorkeling, the crew will bring out the barbecue and cook up a delectable meal. Once finished snorkeling and with lunch, travel to a second snorkel spot to try and see more wildlife and potentially some manta rays, before heading back to the meeting point.

Ultimate National Park Tour from Waikoloa

4. Ultimate National Park Tour from Waikoloa

Start your day by traveling south into Kona coffee country at Bay View Farm, a working 24 acre coffee farm nestled on the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano just above beautiful Kealakekua Bay and known for the best Kona coffee since 1984. Here you’ll see coffee growing on the trees and learn about the various steps and processes in making coffee, all of which happen right here on the farm. Get the opportunity to sample 100% Kona Coffee at a gorgeous overlook with stunning views of Kealakekua Bay and the monument to Captain Cook standing on the only sliver of British land in the United States. Your adventure continues as you head through the South Kona and Ka’u Districts. Stunning views, alternating between stark lava flows and Hawaiian dry forest, are visible through the huge picture windows of your tour vehicle. Stop briefly at Punalu’u Bake Shop, the southern most bakery in America. Offering the finest time-honored Hawaiian sweetbreads since 1991, the Bake Shop offers an array of breads and cookies. Shortly thereafter, you’ll arrive at picturesque Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Lined with swaying coconut palm trees, this is one of the best black sand beaches on the island. Stroll along the beach and look for honu (Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles) feeding just offshore or sun-worshipping on the sand. Picnic-style lunch will be served here weather permitting. Next travel to the crown jewel of the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visit the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the Volcano Art Center, and famed Sulphur Banks. Take a hike out to Keanakako’i Crater and step over the sinkholes and cracks in the roads left behind by the historic 2018 eruption here, then on to Mauna Ulu. One of the most culturally sensitive locations in the Park you will see a landscape at Mauna Ulu like no other on Earth. Photo ops abound here, and the closer you look the more unusual and striking shapes and fascinating colors you will see. Take a quick break at Volcano House, welcoming guests such as Mark Twain and Jack London to Kilauea since 1864. Enjoy the views or check out their gift shop before returning to your hotel.

Big Island: Volcanoes & Winery Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

5. Big Island: Volcanoes & Winery Tour with Breakfast & Lunch

See the best of Big Island, Hawai’i, on this guided tour. Visit active volcanoes at the National Park, watch sea turtles on Punalu’u beach, and stop at a coffee farm and winery for breakfast and lunch. Admire the 80 ft tall Rainbow Falls, and the beauty of the coastline at Hamakua, Kona, and Ka'u. Start your adventure with a pickup by van. Head into the Kona district, the heart of coffee country, to visit a mountain coffee farm. Sample a wide selection of Kona coffees and enjoy a continental breakfast while you look over the coast. Next stop is Punalu’u. Drop into the local bake shop to pick up some treats and continue to the black sand beach. The area is home to many turtles, including the endangered Hawksbill, and is where many of the first Polynesian explorers landed. Head inland to a winery and tea farm situated between two volcanoes. Sample unique wines grown at 4,000 feet of elevation and stop for a scenic lunch. Then, continue to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to admire the active volcanoes Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Your final visit will be to Rainbow Falls, an 80 foot waterfall that plunges over the entrance to a natural lava cave. The Hawaiian goddess Hina, mother of Maui, is said to dwell in the cave, and on a sunny day, rainbows appear in the mist around it. Cruise back along the beautiful, lush coast of Hamakua and get dropped back at your starting point to end the day.

Big Island: Volcano, Coffee and Black Sand Beach Day Tour

6. Big Island: Volcano, Coffee and Black Sand Beach Day Tour

See it all on a Big Island day tour exploring volcanoes, beaches, and coffee. Visit a Kona coffee farm and bakery to sample local delights. Walk through Thurston Lava Tube on Kilauea Volcano and look for turtles at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Begin with a visit to a Kona coffee farm. Breathe in the fresh mountain air while sampling a wide selection of Kona coffees. The Kona coffee belt produces exceptional coffee due to volcanic soil and a mild climate. At the coffee farm, enjoy a deli-style lunch in the heart of Kona coffee country. Continue to the famous Punalu’u Bake Shop. Here you can peruse the southernmost bakery in the United States and enjoy fresh Hawaiian sweet bread and malasadas—a Portuguese donut and favorite local treat. Visit the world-famous Punalu’u Black Sand beach. This incredible stretch of black sand beach is home to nesting Hawaiian sea turtles and is also a favorite spot for locals to fish and BBQ on the weekends. Traverse the Big Island of Hawaii and see Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, traveling over the wild and varied landscapes of the active Kilauea Volcano. Experience the heat of steam vents rising up from cracks in the earth, and take a short hike through Thurston Lava Tube. Enjoy a three-course restaurant dinner at Kilauea Lodge. If the lava is flowing, venture back into the park after dinner to view the magnificent glow of the lava lake in Halema’uma’u crater.

Big Island: National Park, Coffee, Cloud Forest, and Brewery

7. Big Island: National Park, Coffee, Cloud Forest, and Brewery

Discover some of the highlights and diversity of Hawaii's big island on this half-day tour. Explore the beautiful Kaloko-Honokohau National Park, head on a unique cloud forest walk, find out about how coffee is produced at a plantation, and enjoy a refreshing drink at a local brewery. First, head to the picturesque Kaloko-Honokohau National Park and learn about early Hawaiian settlements on the rugged Kona coast. See petroglyphs, a sacred temple, and fishponds that highlight the engineering skills of native Hawaiians. If you're lucky, you may also spot a sea turtle or monk seal. Next up is a guided stroll through the only cloud forest in the United States. Find out more about one of the Big Island’s many microclimates as you admire the distinctive plants, flowers, and trees that thrive at 3,000 feet on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Nestled on the slopes of Hualalai, Hawaii Island’s third most active volcano, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation offers tours, tastings, and a gift shop where you can purchase their coffee. Take a guided tour of the plantation and sample some of the different coffees that are produced here. To finish, sip on a local beer, cider, seltzer, or sampling flight from a community and employee-owned brewery. Ola Brew Co. sources most of its ingredients from local Hawaiian farmers, helping to sustain the local agricultural economy.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Private Discovery Tour

8. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Private Discovery Tour

Set off on a full-day customizable adventure tour with hotel pickup. Meet your private guide and drive along the beautiful Kona coast to stop first at the famous Punalu‘u Bakery. See Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach before entering one of the most unique geological, biological and cultural landscapes on earth, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch and a 3-course dinner. Following hotel pickup, travel south along the Kona coast and take in breathtaking views of lush vegetation and pristine coastline. Listen to your guide describe the cultural history of the area as well as the local flora and fauna. Arrive at the southernmost bakery in the United States. Punalu‘u Bakery is world-renown for its sweet bread, malasadas (Portuguese fried dough), and other delicious treats. Enjoy a complimentary coffee or tea and choose a malasada before heading on to explore the most beautiful black sand beach on the island, Punalu‘u. Enjoy the relaxing feeling of black sand under your toes while listening to the wind move through the palms and across the water. Your guide will keep a look out for green sea turtles and endangered hawksbill sea turtles that frequent the beach. The iconic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encompasses the summit of 2 of the world’s most active volcanoes and extends from sea level up to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. You’ll spend the majority of your tour in the park taking in all the natural wonders. Explore the main attractions in the park including the Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, Pu‘u Loa Petroglyph field, as well as many other lesser-known locations. Enjoy a guided 2 to 3-mile hike and marvel at the incredible views of the current eruption inside Halema‘uma‘u Crater during the day and “the glow” at night. If there is no active lava flowing at the time of your tour, you’ll also have the opportunity to stargaze with a state-of-the-art Vaonis Stellina telescope. Sit for a 3-course dining experience sourced with local ingredients and Hawaiian-infused cuisine at a top-of-the-line Kilauea Lodge just outside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Depart Volcano and head back to your place of lodging feeling happy, full, and filled with exciting new memories.

Private Big Island Full Circle Adventure Tour

9. Private Big Island Full Circle Adventure Tour

Discover the beauty and grace of the Big Island of Hawaii on a private tour. Explore some of the island's most unique and idyllic locations, including the Kona coast, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Hilo's iconic waterfalls, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sit back and relax as all meals and drinks (excluding alcoholic ones) are included throughout your day. Make your way to your first stop: the South Kona Coffee Farm for a tour and coffee sampling. Travel south along the striking Kona coast and absorb the breathtaking views of lush vegetation and coastline. Listen to your guide describe the cultural history of the area as well as the local flora and fauna. Then, visit the southernmost bakery in the United States, Punalu‘u Bakery. World renown for their sweet bread, malasadas, and other delicious treats. Enjoy a malasada and a coffee or tea. Continue your tour to one of the prettiest black sand beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. Relax with black sand between your toes while listening to the wind move through the palms. Keep a look out for green and hawksbill sea turtles that frequent the beach. Next, make your way to the the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. This iconic park encompasses the summit of two of the world’s most active volcanoes and extends from sea level up to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Explore the main attractions in the park including the Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, and a nature walk along the Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beauty of the park before embarking on the next leg of your adventure. From the park, venture up to Hilo to visit the picturesque Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls State Park. Both waterfalls are a sight to behold. Beautiful falls combined with lush vegetation make these stops photo-worthy. Then, drive along the 50-mile stretch of the Hamakua Coast with its hidden waterfalls, tropical rainforest, and lush green valleys. Described as one of the most beautiful locations in the state, it’s well worth the scenic drive. Arrive at Waipio Valley in the late afternoon. Enjoy the sprawling views as your guide explains the rich history of the area. Continue your ride to marvel at the bright sunset views of Waimea. To get there, travel through Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country and take in this historic area with its rolling, green pastures, the home to cattle, cowboys, and one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States; Parker Ranch. Enjoy a local and authentic dinner in Waimea where surf and turf is a definite menu staple, before returning to your hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Kailua-Kona

What top attractions are a must-see in Kailua-Kona?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona?

The best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona are:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua-Kona

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What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

It was fantastic! The evening cruise was very enjoyable and refreshing. The staff was very attentive to us--refilling drinks, extra ice, snacks, etc. I really enjoyed the music, the drinks, the historical facts and watching the sunset with my sweetheart. It was one of the best highlights of our week in Hawaii.

Professional, polite, attentive crew. Informative narration. Great views of the red cliffs, and the shoreline of Kona by day and night. We even saw a full rainbow end to end!

More than fantastic experience. Great crew, we saw lots of fish, lots of dolphins and turtles. Meals served on site at will. Kuma is a great dog. To do again++++

The staff is over the top Friendly!!!!! They were not only fun but quick to be attentive to anything we needed. A+ rating for me and my husband.

Loved this relaxing dinner cruise! Just a fun way to hear a little island history.