[Big Island Day 4] Walking Around Downtown Kailua-Kona

We have passed through or stopped by downtown Kailua-Kona a few times in the past few days, but we didn’t get a chance to walk around and see some attractions. Thus, we reserved a few hours today and walked a few blocks along Ali’i Drive from Kamakahonu Beach to Hulihe‘e Palace.

Kamakahonu Beach

Downtown Kailua-Kona Kamakahonu Beach & Historic Landmark
Kamakahonu Beach & ‘Ahu’ena Heiau Temple

Our first stop was Kailua Pier and the beaches. Kamakahonu Beach is a small white sand beach on the west side of the pier. We were simply walking around so we didn’t go into the water. There were people snorkelling, and I wondered if there were any interesting things to see. We walked along the shore and took a closer look at ‘Ahu’ena Heiau Temple. It was the place where King Kamehameha I spent his last 7 years in power before his son succeeded him. It was reconstructed in the 1970s.

Scandinavian Shave Ice

Downtown Kailua-Kona Scandinavian Shave Ice
Scandinavian Shave Ice

It was noon, so we stepped into Scandinavian Shave Ice to cool ourselves down. We ordered a bowl of shaved ice with guava, coconut, and passion fruit flavours to share. The taste was fine, but I felt bad eating a lot of artificial flavours. I think I prefer Taiwanese shaved ice as it comes with real toppings like red beans, mung beans, peanuts, and more.

Hulihe‘e Palace

Downtown Kailua-Kona Hulihe‘e Palace
Hulihe‘e Palace

The last stop was Hulihe‘e Palace. It was a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty built in 1838. It is now a museum showcasing furniture and artifacts from the late 19th century. Instead of going in, we just walked around the building.


We didn’t walk further because of the burning sun. The downtown area of Kailua-Kona is not that big and could be fully explored in two or three hours. The good thing is that there are plenty of restaurants with different cuisine. If I am coming to Kailua-Kona again, I will go to the restaurants I missed and try out a few new ones.

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