On Hawaii’s Big Island, amiable Kailua-Kona is a flip-flops and board shorts kind of town. After spending the day learning to surf or sunning yourself on white-sand beaches, head downtown to stroll beside the lava-rock sea wall and sip a mai tai as the sun sinks into the Pacific. Aloha!
Planted among West Hawaii’s black lava fields and sparkling beaches, Kona is an ultra-convenient base camp for Big Island vacations. Get up early and take your pick of outdoor activities: snorkel or paddle a kayak in the tropical fish bowl of Kealakekua Bay, taste famous Kona coffee on mountainside farms or connect with Native Hawaiian traditions at the ancient Place of Refuge. After dark, snorkeling or diving with manta rays is a thrill you’ll never forget.
Craving even more adventure? Trek the wilder beaches along the North Kona coast, where your only companions might be green sea turtles. Or for a more civilized escape, book a Hawaiian lomilomi massage at a resort hotel spa on the beach.