Top things to do

Top Choice Hawaii Regional in Kailua-Kona

Umekes

Umeke takes island-style food to the next level. Local ingredients such as ahi tuna, spicy crab salad and salted Waimea beef are served plate-lunch style with excellent, innovative sides such as seasoned seaweed and…
Top Choice Seafood in Kailua-Kona

Da Poke Shack

Poke is a local specialty that blends ceviche and sushi: raw, marinated cubes of fish mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, chiles, seaweed and…well, really, the sky’s the limit. The point is, poke is wonderful, and Da …
Top Choice Beach in Kailua-Kona

Magic Sands Beach

This small but gorgeous beach (also called White Sands and, officially, Laʻaloa Beach) has turquoise water, great sunsets, little shade and possibly the best bodysurfing and bodyboarding on the Big Island. Waves are…
Top Choice Cultural in Kailua-Kona

Kokua Kailua

If you want to get a taste for the feisty civic spirit of Kailua-Kona, this is a can't miss. Local food vendors, artists and craftspeople set up booths along Aliʻi Dr, which closes to vehicular traffic. Free Hawaiia…
Top Choice Japanese in Kailua-Kona

Sushi Shiono

Inside a mini mall, wickedly fresh sushi and sashimi are complemented by a sake list that's as long as Honshu. The joint is owned by a Japanese expat, who employs an all-star, all-Japanese cast of sushi chefs behind…
Top Choice Books in Kailua-Kona

Kona Bay Books

The Big Island's largest selection of used books, CDs and DVDs, including Hawaiiana titles, is piled floor to ceiling in this warehouse-sized bookstore.
Top Choice Food in Kailua-Kona

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

For 10 days in early November during the harvest season, the community celebrates Kona coffee pioneers and their renowned beans. Dozens of events include a cupping competition, art shows, live music and hula perform…
Wildlife Reserve in Kailua-Kona

Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Dr Ann Goody runs this animal sanctuary on five lovely acres in upland Kona. This isn't a zoo, or even a conventional sanctuary; instead, Dr Goody cares for and genuinely communicates with her charges, which include…
Vietnamese in Kailua-Kona

Ba-Le Kona

Don’t let the fluorescent-lit dining room and polystyrene plates fool you: Ba-Le serves the sort of Vietnamese that makes you want to pack it all up and move to Hanoi. Flavors are simple, refreshing and bright, from…
Cafe in Kailua-Kona

Island Lava Java

A convivial gathering spot for Sunday brunch or a sunny breakfast (served until 11:30am) with ocean-view dining on the sidewalk patio. This upscale diner is a little too fancy to be a greasy spoon; maybe it's a grea…