The Kona Coast is on the west side of the island of Hawaii, which is called the "Big Island" by almost every resident to avoid confusing the name of the island with the name of the state itself. Anchored by the town of Kona, which rests at the foot of the Hualalai Volcano, the Kona Coast is one of Hawaii's top draws, with its year-round picture-perfect weather, lush tropical scenery, and endless beaches.
Beyond the beaches, some of the activities you may want to include on your itinerary during your stay on the Kona Coast include:
-Water sports: The Kona coast is home to some of the best snorkeling, diving, swimming, boating, water skiing, and parasailing in the world.
-Whale watching: Organized dolphin and whale watching trips are held seasonally, offering the once in a lifetime opportunity to see these marvelous sea creatures in their natural habitats.
-Kona city tours: The city of Kona has a far richer history than most visitors imagine, and taking a tour of the palaces, churches and remnants of the region's prehistoric civilizations is a very rewarding experience. You'll also enjoy countless opportunities to photograph Kona by the sea.
-Coffee plantations: If you're a java lover, a tour of the Kona Coast's coffee plantations is sure to perk you up. You'll also have the chance to sample some freshly ground Kona coffee.
-Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Though the trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and back from the Kona side of the Big Island takes about nine hours, it is well worth the trek if you want a true taste of the overpowering beauty of the Pacific islands.
For your accommodations, a vacation rental, such as a condo, beach house, villa or apartment, makes an ideal alternative to a hotel. These options are more spacious and private than hotels, and they are perfect for couples, families and group vacations to the "Big Island."
It's easy to explore the other Hawaiian Islands from the Kona coast. Ferries to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai run throughout the day, and you can visit these islands either as a day trip or on an extended stay. The city of Honolulu is also on the island of Oahu, and it's the perfect place to go if you're craving the adventure and excitement of the big city after a sojourn on the beach.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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