Kailua Kona is the name of a town that is located on the western shoreline of the big Hawaii Island. Most people know this town for the excellent dry and sunny weather, the coastline, its people, its warmth and its food. This town has a lot to offer any visitor and one visit there is not enough. There are many historical and cultural places to visit while in Kailua Hawaii and the warm weather allows tourists to engage in different forms of water sports, surfing being one of them. For those who dread going into the water, they can as well lie or stroll on the glistening sandy beaches as they enjoy a spectacular view of the pristine waters of the expansive ocean.
Besides giving travelers some very exciting and scenic sites, Kailua Kona is a great shopping town and you will find souvenirs of all types to take home with you. Shops line both sides of Alii drive where you can get souvenirs, T-shirts, fashion outfits, jewelry and sculpture. In addition, you can pay a visit on weekends to shopping centers such as Kona Inn Shopping Village and get great stuff at bargain prices. Even if you do not want to buy much, go ahead and just look. You will enjoy the window shopping experience. If you love sampling new dishes, you will find great food from several restaurants there. There is food for everyone irrespective of their budget.
5 Great places to visit in Kailua Kona
- Visit ‘Ahu’ena Heiau temple
This is a historic site, which is also known as King Kamehameha. The story goes that the great king settled in this temple during his sunset days. It has attracted numerous visitors who have come in Hawaii in the past. Your visit to this Island will not be complete without a tour of this temple. While there, you can also go to Kamakahonu beach which is one of the loveliest beaches around. Enjoy a day or two snorkeling or kayaking but if none of those interest you, just walk along the Kailua beach.
- Hulihe’s Palace
This magnificent palace is a few minutes-drive from the King Kamehameha temple. The building has survived a few centuries but still standing intact. It was built in 1838 and at the time, it was used as a vacation home for visiting royal families. Today, it hosts a fully established museum housing great collections of Koa’s furniture and photos of the royalty of Hawaii. A visit to the museum will give you a greater understanding of the culture of Hawaii.
- Take a tour to the Painted Church
This site attracts numerous tourists who come to Hawaii every year. It was built in the 1800s and it was named Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church. However, in the 20th century Father John Velge decided to paint frescoes on the ceiling and it’s inside walls presenting Biblical stories. Although years have taken a toll on this building, be sure to visit it; the paintings will really mesmerize you.
- Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park
It is also referred to as the Place of Refuge, which means a place where offenders of law could get forgiveness and asylum, according to the culture of Hawaii. The national park has reconstructed Hawaiian houses, Petro glyphs and temples. The most striking site in the park is the expansive wall, which measures 1000ft long, 10ft high and 17ft in breadth. This wall separates the palace from the Place of Refuge. There is no better way of learning the culture of the people of Kailua Kona than by visiting this historic site.
- Hikiau Heiau temple
This is located on the Southern side of Kailua Kona. In this temple, human sacrifices were given to the gods. This might sound weird but it really used to happen in this town. The temple is an imposing stone structure standing on the south of Kealakekua Bay. The popular Captain Cooke used to be worshipped here as the god Lono, deity of agriculture, music and fertility. This is a must-see sight but not for the faint hearted. It can be difficult to imagine yourself placed on the stone ready to be sacrificed. Nevertheless, for those who are doubtful about this and similar kinds of past practices, it is an opportunity to come to terms with reality.
If you have not visited Kailua Kona yet, make it your next holiday destination. You will love the experience that you will get from its lovely beaches, amazing weather and distinct historic and cultural sites.