Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Free Things to Do in Kona

Whether attending a Polynesian luau, riding a helicopter to the Volcano or booking a snorkel cruise,  activities during a typical Hawai‘i vacation can really add up. Fortunately, if you plan ahead, you can find plenty of things to do in Kona that are free, or almost free.

Instead of paying for a night dive out of Honokohau Harbor, head to the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort on any given evening to see the manta rays in action. The Manta Viewing Area is located adjacent to the Manta Ray Bar & Grill, and features large spotlights that shine directly on the water below, affording excellent views of the mantas as they swim below the lanai each night, feeding on the plankton.

For other marine life encounters, you might have more luck spotting spinner dolphins on your own than by booking an expensive cruise. Dolphins frequent areas like Kealakekua Bay and "Two Steps" at Honaunau, just down the road, where you can easily get in the water and possibly swim near pods of dolphins. To see the green sea turtles, take a short trek to Ke‘ei Beach, which is also near Kealakekua Bay.

To soak up some Hawaiian culture, Historic Kailua Village offers several landmarks that are free to visitors. Ahu‘ena Heiau, located near the pier, is a centuries-old sacred site where King Kamehameha I conducted his affairs of government after uniting the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1800s. There's also Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in the state of Hawai‘i, and Hulihe‘e Palace directly across the street, which offers tours for a nominal fee.

Farther up the highway in Kealakekua, Kona Historical Society is a wonderful destination for visitors that includes a general store museum, coffee tours and a Portuguese stone oven, where old-fashioned bread baking takes place every Thursday morning. And speaking of coffee tours, there are plenty of coffee farm throughout the Kona Coffee Belt that offer free tours and tastings.

Here at Holualoa Inn, we look forward to helping you make the most of your Kona Hawai‘i vacation. Our Big Island bed and breakfast is perfectly situated for proximity to all the best that Kona has to offer.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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