In many cases, the bulk of your day will occur before lunchtime, as early morning is when you’ll venture out on kayaking, snorkeling, dolphin-swimming, and deep-sea fishing tours. The warm afternoons are a perfect time to relax, with little effort, on a nearby beach, such as Kikaua Point Park Beach or Manini‘owali Beach in north Kona. If it’s just too hot out, head north up the hill to Holualoa, where the weather is cooler than down below and the street is lined with art galleries. The late afternoon presents the best time to hike to one of the beaches, like Makalawena, that does require some walking—usually over an open lava field.
Kona is one of few places on the island with nightlife. Many first-time visitors arrange to see a luau at one of the hotels or take a stroll on Ali‘i Drive to people-watch. On the weekends or holidays, the open-air Ali‘i Drive bars can become quite bustling when the cover bands come out to play.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.