A vacation in Hawai’i is what you make of it!
The Island of Hawai'i
The Island of Hawai’i (commonlycalled the Big Island) is believed to be the first of the islands settled by Polynesians somewhere around 500-700 AD. From long white-sand beaches and crystal-clear ocean water to rain forests, waterfalls, exotic flowers, turtles and birds, hula dancing and luau, all things essentially Hawaiian are part of the tradition and history of the Big Island of Hawai’i.
Hawai’i is about 75 miles across as its widest point, a little over 4,000 square miles. The Hilo side (east side) the “wet side” of the island receives on average about 126 inches of rainfall per year. Kailua-Kona area (the sunny west side) is called the “dry side” of the island.
The Island of Hawai’i earned a reputation as a dream vacation spot and is the land of volcanoes, sparkling waterfalls, black lava deserts, snowcapped mountains, tropical rainforest and miles of white, black, red and even green sand beaches.
Kailua-Kona, nestled at the bottom of the Hualalai Volcano, is located on the western coast and is home to exceptionally clear water making it an excellent place for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Kailua-Kona was once home to Hawai’i’s greatest Kings, due to the excellent weather and good water, and today is the perfect spot for those who seek attractions that resonate with rich Hawaiian tradition and history, from petroglyphs and battlefields to sanctuaries and ancient temples.
A vacation on the Kona Coast can range from relaxing in the sun to experiencing the thrill of hooking into one of the large Pacific Blue Marlin that abounds in the Pacific Ocean. Sure, you can bike the paths along a volcano, hike to Akaka Falls or view undersea life, there are plenty of opportunities to dive and snorkel in crystal blue water. You can take a submarine ride or go for a night dive with Manta Rays to add deeper meaning to your vacations! Kayaking, surfing, hiking, parasailing, the Kona Coast has every opportunity you could ask for!
Mostly English and Hawaiian.
Kailua-Kona has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The coldest month in Kona is January with an average high of 81.9°F. August is the warmest month with an average high of 88.0°F. Kailua-Kona area (the sunny west side) is called the “dry side” of the island with a mean annual precipitation of less than 12 inches.
In fact, most of the world’s climates exist on the Big Island. It’s possible to ski on Mauna Kea in the morning and swim at the beach in the afternoon. The weather doesn’t fluctuate significantly from season to season but it can vary depending on elevation level so pack according to your activities.
Hawaii beckons you to relax. That attitude spills over into clothing for both locals and visitors. Flip flops are a staple in this chilled out paradise. Dress casually and comfortably. Bring a jacket or sweater for rainforests and some warmer clothes for higher elevations. Semi-casual dress clothes for restaurants and nightlife.
Hawai’i follows its own time zone Hawai’i-Aleutian standard time, which is 10 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-10 hours), 5 hours behind the Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawai’i does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add one extra hour to the time difference during this period (March through November).
US dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Rent a car at Kona International Airport (KOA) to explore the island. Other options include tour buses, shuttles, taxis or city buses. See rental car pages for more information on car rental agencies.
U.S. standards apply: 15-20% on meals.