While Hawaii may be relatively small in area compared to some mainland states, there is so much to do and see that it would take months to fully explore all the sites, experiences, and adventures that our islands have to offer. From Kona, many enjoyable day trips are only a car ride or a short flight away. Whether you’re visiting the islands for a short period of time or you live here and are looking to get better acquainted with Hawaii, here are a few wonderful day trips from Kona that will have you falling in love with our islands.
- Mauna Kea Sunset and Stargazing
On top of the Big Island’s highest dormant volcano, Mauna Kea, you’ll enjoy 360 views of the Pacific Ocean on a sacred ground where Hawaiian kings once stood. After sunset, there is no better place on earth to gaze up at the stars—that’s why the site is home to one of the largest and most sophisticated observatories in the world. A drive from sea level to the summit takes about two hours. Be sure to inform yourself about some of the dangers of altitude sickness and how to ensure you have a safe, memorable trip to the summit.
- Kona Coffee Plantation
Coffee that grows near Kona is consistently rated some of the best in the world. There are hundreds of plantations on the island, each offering its own unique perspective about how to best grow, harvest, and roast their crop for a deliciously complex, satisfying flavor. Take a drive to one of the many farms that offer a free tour of the grounds and a tasting of their roasts. Near Kona, we recommend Rooster Farms, Buddha’s Cup, or the Kona Coffee Living History Farm.
- Hawaii National Park: Chain of Craters Road
A drive down Chain of Craters Road will take you through the lush Hawaiian jungle to sea level where you can view the famous Holei sea arch. The drive itself is beautiful and there are plenty of trails where you can stop, take a short walk, and fully immerse yourself in the surrounding natural environment. The drive is about 2.5 hours in total and a perfect day trip—particularly if you plan ahead and reach the ocean by sunset. Read more here.
- Day trip to Hilo
If you’re staying on the Kona side of the island, you’ll likely want to take a drive over to Hilo to get the full Big Island experience. There are many routes to take to get to Hilo—including the famous and possibly haunted Saddle Road. If you prefer to drive along the coast and see some sites along the way, here is a day trip recommendation we love.
- Cook’s Monument
This famous landmark off the Kona Coast is a monument to the famous British explorer Captain James Cook and is a popular attraction for those visiting the Big Island. The monument can only be reached by hiking or by boat, and there are many tours that offer day trips to the site combined with snorkeling—Cook’s Monument sits on Kealakekua Bay which has some of the best snorkeling on the island.
We hope you have the opportunity to check out some of the day trips we’ve recommended. If you’re interested in touring some neighborhoods and looking for real estate during your stay, we’d love to show you around. Give us a call at (808) 217-8500 or contact us here.
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