Hawaii RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Day Trips From Kona

By Viator, May 2013

4.5 75 Reviews | Add your review

Aside from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the town of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most popular attractions for island visitors. The hot, dry weather is a welcome change from the lush, tropical east side, and the nightlife in Kona is far superior to anywhere else on the island.

Most visitors to the Kona side of the island opt to stay in one of either three places: Downtown Kona, the area of Keauhou to the south of town, or the Waikoloa resort district 45 minutes north of town. While each area is nice in its own respect, experiencing other parts of the Kona coastline mean venturing out for a day trip, some of the most popular of which are listed below.

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau
One of the most popular snorkeling areas on the south Kona coastline, this pu’uohonua, or place of refuge, was historically a place where ancient Hawaiians who had broken the kapu system of laws could seek refuge from persecution. Now designated as a National Historic Park, the area has been refurbished and reconstructed to give the feel of an ancient Hawaiian outpost. While the cultural history of the area is reason enough to visit, the snorkeling from the shoreline is some of Kona’s best.

Pu’ukohola Heiau
This towering heiau (religious temple) is one of the most sacred sites on the Big Island of Hawaii and is now preserved as a National Historic Site. Standing high above the dry grasslands of south Kohala, Pu’ukohola was constructed by King Kamehamhea before he unified all of the islands under a single sovereign crown. In addition to the powerful history behind the area, it’s believed that the stones used to construct Pu’ukohola were passed from neighboring Pololu Valley in a human chain which would have required 10,000-20,000 men. For those who want to learn more about the early history of King Kamehameha, it’s possible to visit his birthplace which lies in an undeveloped fields in the hinterlands of the Kohala coastline.

Anaeho’omalu Bay and Hapuna Beach
Though much of the Kona coastline is still comprised of fresh, black lava rock in its geological infancy, these two white-sand beaches stand out as the gems of the Kona coastline. The turquoise waters from here coincide perfectly with the black lava rock and blindingly white sands, and on many days they are sheltered from the tradewinds which can blow fiercely only a few miles away.

The Coffee Belt
Hawaii is the only state in America with the right climate for growing coffee, and some of the best coffee in all of Hawaii comes from the slopes above the town of Kona in an area known as “the coffee belt”. Not only are the views spectacular from the vantage point above the shoreline, but you can stop in at a number of different coffee plantations to sample the local crop and learn about the growing process. One of the most popular events of the year is the Kona Coffee and Cultural Festival, and plantation owners will proudly tell you how well they’ve fared in recent competitions.

Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory
Finally, although it’s a long, torturous drive, if you want to throw snowballs in the morning hours and build a sandcastle at sunset, with the right type of vehicle it’s possible to visit the Mauna Kea summit and observatory to stand at 13,796 ft. atop the highest peak in the 50th state. Bring a jacket, however, as temperatures up here can often drop to below freezing, but this is one of the day trips from Kona that fall into the category of things you won’t be able to do anywhere else on the planet.

Contributed by Kyle Ellison

Tours & Tickets

See all

Big Island Day Trip: Volcanoes National Park from Oahu

4 star rating: Recommended 315 Reviews

Discover the sights of the Big Island on this guided day trip from Oahu. Inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO-listed site, hike along a crater rim, ...  Read more

Location: Waikiki, Oahu
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $421.99

Big Island in One Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, and History Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 41 Reviews

This 10-hour nature tour offers an in-depth look at Hawaii’s youngest and largest island. Explore the diverse landscape and natural wonders, including active ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $165.63

Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour with Dole Plantation

4.5 star rating: Recommended 437 Reviews

From jagged green mountains to sparkling ocean and pristine beaches, see Oahu's most stunning sites on a full-day tour that circles the island. Visit the North ...  Read more

Location: Waikiki, Oahu
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $89.99

Oahu Day Trip: Pearl Harbor, Honolulu and Punchbowl from Maui

4.5 star rating: Recommended 77 Reviews

Journey to Pearl Harbor and take a step back in time to an era of conflict and courage on this unforgettable Maui to Oahu day trip. Great for passengers of ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $362.99

Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona and Circle Island Day Trip

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 198 Reviews

On the Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona and Circle Island Day Trip, you’ll see the events that thrust America into World War II through by watching the footage of the ...  Read more

Location: Waikiki, Oahu
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $87.99

Na Pali Coast Snorkel, Hike and Picnic

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Explore Kauai's rugged Na Pali Coast on this raft and snorkel adventure. Enter sea caves (weather permitting) on a raft, snorkel, and land on a remote beach ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $196.99

Spectacular Haleakala Maui Sunrise Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 195 Reviews

Witness the dawn of a new day on a Haleakala Sunrise Tour. Standing at the top of majestic Mt. Haleakala, renowned for its stunning sunrises and beauty, ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 7 - 8 hours

From USD $122.70

Molokini Sail and Snorkel Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 63 Reviews

Cruise to Molokini and snorkel into a crescent-shaped submerged volcanic crater! Discover the beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish underneath the water, or ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $109.99

Maui Hana Coast Day Trip

4.5 star rating: Recommended 84 Reviews

Explore the lush tropical beauty of Maui's Hana coast on a delightful day trip to the eastern side of the island. On this scenic Hana tour you will have plenty ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 10 - 11 hours

From USD $129.99

Oahu Day Trip: Pearl Harbor, Honolulu and Punchbowl from the Big Island

4.5 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

This historic Oahu Day Trip from the Big Island to Pearl Harbor Hawaii takes you on a patriotic journey from the site of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $440.26

See all

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message