10 Unforgettable Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii

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You work hard, and let’s face it, you’re probably overdue for a vacation! You should consider Kona, Hawaii if you’re looking for a vacation spot offering relaxation, adventure, and incredible food. But what is there to do in Kona exactly?

Not only does Kona have an endless list of fun activities, but the natural beauty of the island has to be seen to be believed. From gorgeous sunsets to calm and clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, Kona has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation.
Here are some of the incredible things to do in Kona, Hawaii.


Kona has an attraction for everyone — whether you’re a history buff, an avid diner, or an adventure seeker. No matter who you bring along on your trip, you’ll find an activity they love to do.
Here are some top-rated attractions that will excite every member of the family and create lifelong memories:

Tour a Coffee Farm

Kona is right in the middle of coffee country. So, if you’re a coffee lover, this is the attraction for you. Many coffee farms in Kona offer tours. You’ll get to learn the rich history of the beverage on the island, see how it’s grown and made, and try some delicious samples, of course.

On average, these walking tours will only take about 30 minutes, so you won’t have to worry about them taking too much time out of your day. Want to hear about the best part? Many tours are also free of charge. Just make sure to do your research in advance and schedule your tour ahead of time.

Tour a Coffee Farm

See Ancient Petroglyphs

Are you looking for a fascinating, educational attraction? How about going to see ancient petroglyphs? Petroglyphs are centuries-old lava rock carvings created by native Hawaiians. The intricate carvings feature human forms, canoes, turtles, and more.

It’s awe-inspiring when you can see centuries-old historical artifacts first-hand. It’s the perfect attraction for immersing yourself in the beauty and history of Hawaiian culture.

While the true meanings are unknown, historians theorize these petroglyphs are recordings of significant events, such as births. Decide for yourself and enjoy the beauty of this ancient art. It’s definitely one of the most unique things to do in Kona.

See Ancient Petroglyphs

Sample Fruit at the Farmers Market

Hawaii is known for having some of the world's freshest, most delicious fruits. Therefore, no trip to Kona is complete without a trip to a local farmers market. In addition to juicy exotic and classic fruit favorites, you can sample and purchase meats, homemade bread, honey, Kona coffee, and more. It’s a must-do in Kona.

Many vendors at the local farmer’s markets also sell homemade clothes or jewelry, so you can find the perfect souvenirs and support local artisans. You’ll want to make room in your suitcase to bring some Hawaiian delicacies and art pieces home.

Sample Fruit at the Farmers Market

Spend the Day at a National Historic Park

No Hawaiian trip is complete without exploring some of the natural beauty, and Kona has some of the most stunning national historic parks on the island. For instance, the Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is one of the top things to do in Kona, Hawaii.

This vast park was once home to Hawaiian royals and a refuge for ancient lawbreakers. Its rich history makes it as exciting as it is stunning. Some of the incredible sights you’ll see include:

  • A 12-foot tall, 18-foot thick Great Wall
  • Hale o Keawe Heiau, a sacred temple that used to house the bones of 23 chiefs
  • Fierce kiʻi, or wooden images of gods
  • A black lava rock shoreline

Learn about Hawaiian culture while navigating the beautiful grounds of Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Pro tip — we highly recommend you watch the sunset here. You can thank us later!

Drink Beer at a Local Brewery

After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than drinking an ice-cold beer at a local Kona brewery. Kona Brewing Co. is one of the most popular breweries not just in Kona but in all of Hawaii — and for good reason.

Kona Brewing Co. was founded by a father and son team who set out for the Big Island in 1994 to bring their dreams of serving delicious craft beers to life. Now, it’s one of the world's most popular craft beer brands. From brewery tours to beer tastings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Kona Brewing Co.

Go Snorkeling

Kona is known for offering some of the best snorkeling excursions in Hawaii. That’s because the ocean is warm year-round and has plenty of small and large marine life, from whales to the domino damselfish (which you’ll only find in Hawaii).

If you’re interested in exploring Kona’s magnificent waters and coming face-to-face with native wildlife, snorkeling is the excursion for you. There are tons of incredible snorkeling spots in Kona, including:

As you can see, plenty of quality options are available for your snorkeling adventure.

Try Out Surfing

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or want to try it for the first time, Kona is the perfect place to catch some waves. For beginner surfers, there are plenty of easily accessible surfing spots where you can learn from the professionals.

If you’re interested in learning from a surf school, your equipment will be included, including your board, water shoes, and rash guards. Beginner surf spots include Kahalu'u and Pine Trees.

For more advanced options, look into:

Surfing Etiquette

Before you hit the waves, keep the following Hawaiian surfer etiquette in mind:

  • Never “drop in” on another person’s wave.
  • Check for others around you before you start paddling toward a wave.
  • Look for surfers in front of you before you go.
  • If inexperienced, stay closer to the shore.
  • Remember, you’re a guest in someone else’s home, so please be mindful of Hawaii’s surfing best practices.

Zipline over the Jungle

Ziplining over the jungle is the perfect activity if you're a thrill-seeker. Ziplining is an unforgettable experience, but getting to do so over Kona’s jungles takes everything to the next level.

There are plenty of ziplining options in Kona, each with something unique to offer both experienced and first-time zipliners. One of the most popular options is Kohala Zipline, which is about an hour from Kailua Kona. Here, you can experience a full canopy tour over a towering forest on a private nature reserve.

Remember that ziplining usually has a weight limit and requires you to wear closed-toe shoes and short or long-sleeved shirts. Do thorough research before going on your excursion, and ask your guide any questions you have before you take the leap. Be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime!

Hike in a National Park

Hiking has never been more enticing than at a national park in Kona, Hawaii. Even those who don’t love hikes can’t say no to exploring some of the most beautiful trails on the planet. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t want to miss.

Hiking in Hawaii is an experience you can’t get anywhere else. There are many incredible monuments, various plant and animal life, and even active volcanoes. We recommend reserving a full day or at least half a day if you want to hike so you can take your time and enjoy nature to the fullest.

Here are a few of the most recommended national parks:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park sits between Hilo and Kona and features two active volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You can safely watch an active volcano up close and personal here. It’s one of the only places in the world where you can do that, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s definitely a must-see and one of the top things to do in Kona.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

This gorgeous park protects an ancient Hawaiian settlement. In addition to its beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities, Kaloko-Honokohau offers two stunning beaches: Honokohau and Aiʻopio. You can hike and hit the beach on the same day — a true win-win.

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Park

At this national park, you can walk in the footsteps of a king. Where else can you say that? Kamehameha I built this place of worship around 1790 in dedication to the war god Kūkaʻilimoku. Then, he conquered nearby islands, successfully uniting Hawaii under one king. This national park is as beautiful as it is rich in Hawaiian history and culture.

Relax on the Beach

One of the best parts of going on vacation is getting the chance to finally relax. Kona, Hawaii, is the ultimate relaxation destination. Some of the best beaches in Kona include:

These beaches are sandy, kid-friendly, and the perfect place to sit back, relax, and dig your toes into the warm Hawaiian sand. Many Kona beaches also offer amenities like restrooms, showers, and drinking water so you can focus solely on your number one goal — relaxation. It’s one of the most amazing things to do around Kona.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re wondering what to do in Kona, all you have to do is step outside. Hawaii is known for its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and breath-catching landscapes. Some of the best activities to do in Kona involve communing with nature and maybe even stepping out of your comfort zone

Tips for Visiting Kona, Hawaii

When planning your trip to Kona, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind so you can have the most incredible experience possible. Here are some helpful tips:

Plan Ahead:  Book your top excursions in advance.

Allow Enough Time:  There’s a lot to see, so give yourself enough time to explore everything you want to see and do without feeling rushed.

Pack Smart:  Pack for various types of weather and activities.

Arrange Transportation:  Rent a car to ensure you can get to the best places to visit in Kona, Hawaii.

With so many fun things to do in Kona, you don’t want to feel rushed or like you can’t fully immerse yourself in each experience. That’s why planning ahead, researching activities in Kona, packing appropriately, and renting a car will all help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Plan Your Hawaiian Adventure Today

We could go on and on about why Kona, Hawaii, is the ultimate vacation destination. Whether you want to bring the whole family or prefer a romantic getaway with someone special, Kona has endless attractions and activities to make it your best vacation yet. From historic tours and epic meals to snorkeling, surfing, and tanning on the beautiful beaches, there are endless things to do in Kona, Hawaii.

With so many Kona activities, you don’t want anything slowing you down, especially transportation. That’s where Discount Hawaii Car Rental comes in. We make Big Island car rental easy and affordable so you can check off every exciting experience on your bucket list. For more information, check out our website and contact us today.