Kona | Places to See | Travel Photography & Landscapes

I put this together for anyone interested in traveling to Kona aka The Big Island. There are so many restaurants, amazing beaches, coffee houses, waterfalls and activities. I’ll mention a few of my favorite places that I usually visit while there. I took the liberty of providing the link so you can easily find the address.

The Poke Shack just happens to make number one on my list because it is a must have poke stop for me. They have the freshest and widest array of the most tastiest poke to choose from. Their seaweed salad is the only one I will eat too because I’m picky.

da poke shack

Akaka Falls
Rainbow Falls
There are so many waterfalls to visit and depending on where you are staying it can take half a day to visit. Our group hiked a series of them even though I only listed two and I believe we hiked through a total of 5 in about 4 hours. Don’t forget your iphone and/or waterproof camera. I had several images but did not keep track of which image was taken where but here are a series of them.



Makalawena Beach
Makalawena Beach is a must see beach. The drive after you exit the highway is a bit rocky but be patient and go slowly so that you don’t damage your rental. After you park there will be about a 1/4 mile hike just to get to the beach but it’s well worth it. Before you head out there will be a porta-poty so you’d better go as there are no bathroom. Please don’t pee in the ocean because if you do people will notice the fish you just killed when they float to the top of the ocean. Ok, so you head out after you’ve used the restroom and you just might see some billy goats with goties(sp?). You do need to wear tennis shoes because the trek is on lava rock but once you get to the sand you can switch to your flip flops. From the sand to the actual beach you will walk by what looks like an abandoned resort but keep walking past that. You will come to another small beach and if you’re lucky you will see turtles basking in the sun. After you stop to take more pictures keep on walking. The next part has the feeling of a forest with beautiful trees but keep walking along the path past the tree and finally you will reach Makalawena Beach. You will know. It’s so breath taking and you will feel like dropping everything you have and run for the water. It’s paradise so plan on staying a good 2-3 hour if not longer and you may want to pack lightly. I would recommend your smartphone, lunch, plenty of water, sunblock, snorkel gear, a towel and a snack just before the trek back to the car. There is a picnic table there if you decide to sit in the shade and have your lunch.
The lava rock hike.





Kona’s Own Cafe
Our group decided to go on a coffee tour and came happened to stop at a new cafe. Every time eggs benedict is on the menu that is what I order. We had a group of 8 girls and we all ordered something different. I lost my notes to this part of the trip but I have to give two thumbs up for the eggs benedict. A few girls had pancakes and fritatas and everyone had happy tastebuds. After eating we stepped into their store and purchased a few gift items such as local honey, some coffee and cheese for the road. We definitely will return to this cafe.






Royal Kahili
If you stop by the Royal Kahili please say hello to the managers of the condo complex, John and Bridgett. The RK just happens to be one of our favorite places to stay at because my sister and brother in law also own a unit. Take a look at the property and see how beautiful it is. You can contact my brother in law Kevin at Smith Vacations to book his unit and if he is full you can also contact John at the complex to book another unit for your stay.
On our last visit we had a large group of family and friends who attended my nephews wedding. The complex is a great place to host a group party as we had about 60-70 people at my nephews pre-wedding party. Across from the complex is what feels like a private beach and we usually walk across to watch the sunset with a maitai. It’s so romantic.


I like to call this the Royal Kahili Beach because it’s conveniently located right across the street.


Alii Drive
I added the Alii Drive link in case you wanted to drive along and stop to visit other places. The Pahoehoe Beach Park is along Alii Drive.



Green Flash Coffee is also located along Alii drive and just a short walk north from The Royal Kahili. Get an early morning walk in for some coffee and a breakfast sandwich or burrito.

The Keiki Classic is held every year on one of the beaches just north from the Royal Kahili. We walked over to watch the event. I got an iphone shot of the famous Kelly Slater but it was too dark. Darn backlight!




The Frisky Seal
The Frisky seal is a great sports bar to have lunch and watch your favorite team play on the tele of course. The food is pretty good too and my favorite is a bluecheese burger with fries.




Darn, I couldn’t find any pics from this last trip but it’s north on Alii Drive closer to the downtown area.
Same goes for Huggos. It’s near Humpy’s.

Mountain Thunder Coffee
We didn’t make this coffee house because we ran out of time shopping at a few boutiques on the way to the coffee houses. I mention this coffee house because one morning I had tasted this coffee at my sisters unit and it was the best coffee I had ever tasted. I will definitely make a trip to this coffee house on my next trip.


Greenwell Coffee
We did make it to this coffee house and had a tour. They give a great tour and you’d be surprised how coffee is processed if you don’t know. I do recommend you visit Greenwell for their tour. Sorry but the coffee here happened to be bitter for my personal taste.






Aloha Massage Academy – sorry no link, I’m not sure exactly where this is located but you can call the number listed in the image and ask.
If you are looking for a great massage and not pay an arm and leg, there is a spa that is run by students in training. My sister and brother in law swear that they have gotten the best massages there and very worth the drive.


My sister and I were on a walk and came across this little blue crab. I placed my macro lens on my iphone and this is how I got the close video.

I’m not sure what else I am missing but I just hope you have a great time. When I vacation I usually don’t have a schedule of things to do but rather a place or two I’d like to visit.

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