Some Suggestions for Adventures While You Stay at Kona Comfort Rentals








People ask: "What could I do in a couple of days, in a week, in two weeks during my

stay?" Take a look at some suggestions we have collected and put here to try and help out ...


"Click to Ask" specific trip questions

YOU would like to see here on this page --->


What follows are some ingredients for TRIP RECIPES! We tend to give suggestions in "daily

segments". So you could pick the number of segments that you think would work for the time

you have. Perhaps blend with some of your own ideas. Perhaps "mix and match" or repeat

some segments. Blend with spotaneous and unexpected yields "One Perfect Trip!"


People are very different so it is difficult to propose a plan that everyone would stick to. I suggest getting a

guidebook, letting each of the party go thru it, highlight what most appeals, then in a group whittle that down to

any arbitrary number say “the top 10” or “the top 12”. For more in depth coverage, about guide books: <<Press


Kailua Kona literally has something to do every block or two. You can’t be bored if you have a heartbeat. That said,

there is “the tourist area” and “the not so tourist area”. Similar to how you might spot a good restaurant or business

in your own town, look for locals. They will not be wearing fancy clothes, probably a t-shirt and sandals. If the locals

are there the place is probably not “dear” in expense and is probably a good value (portions, service, cleanliness).

This will apply to shops, food places, local hangouts, etc

I am all for local businesses and the small guy, but most of the trinkets and souvenirs are just mass produced and

you might as well look at Costco and Wal-Mart and then fill in with local crafts if they can be found. That’s how we

always approached it, get the bulk stuff for the multiples then try to source out better nicer “real” stuff as we

traveled. The real Hawaiian stuff is going to be from vendors operating where & when they like, sometimes

from the back ends of their cars or at local markets. They are not likely to be able to afford the luxury of air

conditioned stores in malls.

Hawaii is a different place to vacation in that unlike many places you would go in a metropolitan area where the

vacation is geared to shopping and thrills and events, here many people would prefer to set aside a significant

chunk of time to actually be quiet and lay around, nap, relax. Our beaches provide a haven for that and the

location of the house and our attention to details facilitates this approach well.

We have many different types of guests, and it is interesting to see guests when they come back the next year.

Usually that first year they go home needing a vacation from their vacation — trying to stuff everything they can

into every day. The next year they come back and are much more geared to enjoying the breezes, the air, the

house, the beaches “we’ve seen it all” they say — we smile and say “sure” and of course they have not you would

need six months to see the attractions all around us.

On your end you need shorts, casual clothes, flip flops. If you pack — bring suntan oil unless you want to buy

here. If you have suntan oil from a previous trip realize that it does age and the efficiency of the chemicals

deteriorate — you don’t want impotent suntan oil when you are out on a boat or already are at the beach so if it is

very old, discard.

You can dress up here but for the most part you would be like the Howell’s on Gilligan’s Island. There are

fancy restaurants if that is your cup of tea, there are fancy places North, you might want to go to a play (and feel

you want to dress but it is not required here) so if you intend to partake bring one nice set of clothes. But more

important is the casual stuff that many neglect.

If you have time before your arrival I advise to get a guidebook. If you do they SHOULD be available at your local

Borders or whatever you favorite local bookstore is. Hawaii The Big Island Revealed The Ultimate GuideBook  by

Andrew Doughty is one of the best in my opinion.

That said, we also provide a downloadable pamphlet that might give you some ideas: It is 3.1MB to

download but many people rave about it so we provide it to our clients...

The following is what I think might work, somewhat in a time order.

Basically, pick up groceries and start slow at arrival. At the end of your trip keep time to pack, clean up the place,

arrive early enough to drop off your rental car and be at the airport without being late.

**A R R I V A L**

Arrive at airport, many people will pick up their rental car at the airport.

On the way from the airport you will pass Costco (your second traffic signal left turn (on Queen K. Highway) from

the highway past the airport as you go up the hill on Hina Lani will take you right to Costco — we discuss turning

up the Hina Lani hill from the airport in our driving directions to the house — getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but

nevertheless it is a great way to start if you get your groceries on the way up to the house.)

Costco has excellent bargains on suntan oil, beach blankets, snorkel mask sets. You can pick up a giant pizza

and bake it at the house. Other foods worth considering are some of the local foods you will see in the fresh foods

sections. Otherwise, typical fare you would find most places. You can pick up milk, juice, soda, cereal, bread,

lettuce, salad dressing, bacon, eggs, wine, beer. Wine and beer and soda probably actually cheaper at Wal-Mart


Costco Warehouse

73-5600 Maiau St Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 331-4800

Go to the house and stock your refrigerator/freezer and unpack.

Assuming you came in about 3PM it might be now 5PM, a good time to get into shorts and very casual wear to hit

the downtown. You do NOT need to be dressed up in Kona you do NOT need a big impressive wardrobe this is a

beach town you’ll just be wearing fancy clothes for no practical reason.

If you planned on staying in — there are nice big salads in the fresh food section and also big pizzas you can cook

fresh later or you can buy the pre-cooked pizza (and wonderful chicken salads) in the food court at Costco as you

exit — both are good for new arrivals who want something quick and easy to take home with. However — even

better in my opinion -- if you like nice dining and want to go out the first night, one of the best as far as reasonable

prices and on-the ocean sunsets is Kona Inn. It is on Alli Drive, right on the main drag. Simple from the house, go

to exit of driveway, turn right to top of hill, that is Palani Road. Turn right (you would have come from the left from

Costco & airport if you followed arrival instructions), take that all the way down to main stoplight. Continue forward

you will go past small shopping center on right, banks and grocery stores on left. You will notice the big hotels on

left and right as you go toward the seawall, pier, main heart of the town. As you pass the seawall and pier on the

right will come the Kona Inn Shopping Plaza, Kona Inn is right in the middle.

Kona Inn Restaurant

75-5744 Alii Dr Ste 21 Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 329-4455

If you see parking take a spot, otherwise when you come to the next intersection with a stop light, turn left (Hualalai

Rd). The first lot on right is a pay lot, avoid it and go to the second on the right which is free. If that is full, there is a

lot directly to the left across that is free (behind Uncle Billy’s). Park, and get to Kona Inn before the sunset and

enjoy a wonderful introductory experience. If you see the assistant manager (who stands out, he is very

energetic and helpful, a bit Asian looking with black hair) say hello, his name is Van and he lives right next to our

house at Hao Kuni.

After dinner, perhaps swing by Wal-Mart and pick up any little things you need. Small condiments, small

toothpastes, soaps, shampoos etc., they have excellent inexpensive variety of things to take back to give as gifts.

They also sell basic foods, a well stocked frozen food section, beer and liquor if you did not go to Costco.


75-1015 Henry St Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 334-0301

If you want a regular supermarket, the Sack N Save kitty cornered from the main post office is about the best price

wise. Since when you turn from the house you are on Palani Rd, this is easy to find you just stay on that road going

down toward town!

Sack N Save Foods

75-5595 Palani Rd

Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 326-2729

You can sign up for a Kaaimiana card and get “local prices” -- you go to the service center, get your card on the

spot, then shop and show the card and it can make some difference.

Other market choices -- There is KTA (across from Starbucks and Quizno’s) and Safeway (across from Borders,

next to Denny’s), with Safeway probably the most expensive followed by KTA then by Sack 'N Save.

KTA Super Stores

74-5588 Palani Rd

Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 329-167

Safeway Stores

75-1027 Henry St Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 329-2207

You may want to roam around a bit — Kailua at night is very beautiful. If you are not familiar things do look

different at night and perhaps best to stay in this general area to back trace back up the hill to home. But if you do

get lost just ask how to get back to Palani Road. Or while driving, look for Wal-Mart, Borders (Henry Street)— turn

toward them. All those roads eventually will hit Palani, then turn up the mountain rather than down toward town

and you are on your way back home.

When you are ready for home, its up Palani Road and you go up it. Look for the street names on the bottom of

the signs — they announce which streets are coming up next. Up Palani Road we are right past mile marker

36, then the intersection is Hao Kuni, turn left. Then we are right past the 2nd fire hydrant (or look for the blue

reflectors in the middle of the road which mark the hydrants), then you will see the rock wall and the large palm

trees on the left of the street — turn in you are back home. Relax and recharge for tomorrow.


Next morning, if you bought your eggs, bacon, cereal, (& condiments from Wal-Mart if you need those) have a nice

quiet breakfast at home. Don’t want to cook at home? We have a very popular Denny’s (across from the tempting

but overpriced Safeway Supermarket). Want a local style breakfast — you won’t be unhappy with Splasher's, at

75-5662 Palani Road, upper level. This is close to the overpriced and not as good Fish Hopper right across from

the seawall down on the main drag of town on Alli Drive. The address for Splasher's  says Palani Rd — well yes

Palani Road goes way down but turns into Alli Drive so take your choice — right on the seawall, look on the side

opposite of the seawall and you will see Splasher’s and Forget the Fish Hopper it may look neat but you are

overpaying for flash and less food, I have yet to meet a local that recommends the Fish Hopper.


75-1027 Henry St Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 334-1313

Splasher's Grill

78-5663 Palani Rd Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 326-2212

Further down on Alli many people rave about the breakfast at Bongo Ben's ...

Bongo Ben's

75-5819 Alii Drive Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 329-9203

Big Island Grill (local style and traditional fare as well; go hungry get the 2 combo plate like hamburger and roast


75-5702 Kuakini Hwy Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 326-1153

Don's Chinese Kitchen (plate lunches and mini serving pre-cooked selections)

74-5588 Palani RD #10 Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 329-3770

Right up from the house (turn left at top of road at Palani Rd instead of right to go down town), about 3 miles is a

small market (Matsuyama Food Mart), gas station and local plate lunch (Kay’s Kitchen)...They aren’t frequented

by locals for no reason! If you want a novel breakfast, go early (they run out of fried rice if you go late) and order a

loco moco with fried rice (rather than with white rice). This is fried rice, hamburger patty, easy over egg and gravy.

They also have more traditional breakfasts as well and full line of other things to eat if you get home and just want

a short trek to have some hot food... The listing says Mamalahoa Highway — yes Palani Road is also known as

Mamalahoa Highway.

Matsuyama Food Mart - more info »

73-4354 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kailua Kona, HI - (808) 325-5411

Things to do.

After you have breakfast, why not see what is right around you? Go up and down the main drag and hit shops in

the Kona Inn Shopping Center. There are some unique places. You can go across to the Farmer’s Market for

some unusual finds as well and if you like fresh produce to take back home there you go.

Further down Alli Drive is another outdoor market (Alli Gardens Marketplace) which is also fun to shop.

Alii Gardens Marketplace

75-6129 Alii Dr Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 334-1381

Stay away from the glass bottom boat. Unless you have very young kids you will be bored to tears.

The submarine (Atlantis Submarine) is well liked, although you have to realize that most fish come out at night

not during the day when the tours run — still that is fun for most people.


The various snorkel cruises — early might be better than later. It can rain more often in the afternoons. Take water

and suntan oil. You don’t realize how hot the sun can be.

Our favorite is Body Glove.

Body Glove Cruises

75-5629 Kuakini Hwy Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 326-7122

The sky diving lift where you parasail, we have had excellent feedback most people would do it again.

Ufo Parasailing of Kailua Kona

75-5669 Alii Dr Ste 1106 Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 325-5836

Beaches — there are dozens of beaches. Right down at "the harbor" (Honokohau Harbor -- see the FAQs for

more details) are some. If you go to the harbor and go to the right parking lot and take the trail there are some

very relaxing sandy beaches you can spend the day at. It will require some walking in. Take a nice cooler and

suntan oil and beach towels. If you go in afternoon — you can enjoy the beach and then often a fantastic sunset.

If you go to harbor and go forward to where the cars park and “look out”, to the left over some rocks people walk to

a small beach and that is also well enjoyed. Recommend you stay inward as sometimes the water can get

undercurrents. If you do get into an undercurrent allow it to pull you out and a boat will help you rather than fight

and get cut on the rocks.

There are beaches all over — one very nice beach is right across from Costco. On this one I could spend several

hours so guidebooks, asking others you meet, just driving up and down and doing something spontaneous...

White Sands (“Magic Sands”) on Alii Drive is very popular, about 7 miles from the house (see our FAQ page on

the website)

“Two Steps” across from City of Refuge is very popular, this is supposedly one of the best places to snorkel and

see lots of fish.

Then there are coffee farms — if you go up Old Mamalahoa Highway which the turnoff is right up from the house

— you will take a very nice drive thru some of “old Hawaii”. That highway used to be THE MAIN road in years past.

There are a half dozen coffee farms up there you can stop at and tour. Otherwise, I think one of the best choices is

to travel a bit further South and go to Greenwell farms.

Greenwell farms is old school. They are not like some of the new blood that comes in with money and flash and

tour buses they are the real thing. There is a historical museum and some days they even bake bread in an

outdoor oven. Well worth the time.

Greenwell Farms Incorporated

Captain Cook, HI

(808) 323-2275

What should you otherwise not miss?

In my opinion the house is so nice and then it is centrally located that when we used to travel back and forth we

would use it as a landing base to visit other parts of the Island. Most “remote” areas are nice day trips. Say a day

to Waimea. A day to Hilo. A day to Volcano. I mean really there is not much to “stay for” but they are nice to see

and visit. Remember that locations south toward Puna, Oceanview, Volcano may have more vog.

But that aside with the time you have --  work in a couple of day trips. You could go left as you leave the house

onto Palani Road and go all the way to Waimea. Tour, come back. Recharge, take a day at the house and beach

to relax or if you are up for it .. Plug in another day trip...


Another day leave early, go South toward Captain Cook and do the Greenwell coffee farm. Then go to City of

refuge (should not take too long, it is historical but not too much to really see) and then to Hookena Beach and

spend the afternoon there (beautiful water, nice swimming, nice beach, usually not crowded) some days you will

see dolphins.

You will need to buy a National Park Pass to get into City of Refuge. If you intend to go to Volcano, there is also a

National Park there and if you buy the “annual” pass you can use it both places — might want to consider that

instead of buy a one day one place then another one day the other place.

Kayaking, you can do that at Hookena Beach, rent a kayak before you get there. One of the most well respected

kayak rental places is Kona Boys in Captain Cook/Kealakekua. You could combine an afternoon with Kayaking at

Hookena Beach.

Kona Boys

79-7539 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, HI

(808) 328-1234

Otherwise, kayaks are available in the area right at and you can launch at Kealakekua Bay. You should check out

the Painted Church if you go down there as well. Very nice area, take a bento lunch and make a day of it. What is

a bento lunch — they are small compact lunches the locals like to eat similar to a picnic. Usually rice with chicken

or spam, etc. and some spicy seeds and garnishes. You can buy these from most local supermarkets more likely

available earlier in the day than wait as they make them just to keep and for that day. If you forget, you can stop

and get one made at Sandy’s Restaurant in Captain Cook. Or you can stop at Teshima’s and have an excellent

Japanese lunch and forget the bento.

Sandy's Drive In

78-6818 Kuhinanui St

(808) 322-2161

Teshimas Restaurant

79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, HI

(808) 322-9140

Another day leave very early -- go further South to Oceanview (perhaps just to stop for a soda at the local grocery

-- Malama Market) then on toward Volcano. Forget the L&L Cafe -- it is lousy -- but if you get that far there is a

nice grocery store and a thrift store that's fun to visit right next.

Really recommend you stop while going thru Naalehu and eat at Shaka's Restaurant. We have never had a bad

meal here. They don't take credit cards but they do have an ATM in the cafe if you don't have cash in your wallet. 

You may also see Hana Hou Restaurant -- well it is cute but overpriced and about 50% of the time the food is not

fit to eat -- also some of the worst coffee I've had in my life, some days the staff are friendly some days not. But

across the street is an interesting thrift store and also a large grocery store.

In the same immediate area is Punaluu Bakery. This is worth seeing, they have nice grounds and some decent if

pricey food. The pastries are usually a let down, but their baked goods are worth picking up a sack or two or three!

Shaka Restaurant

95-5673 Mamalahoa Hwy

Naalehu, HI 96772

(808) 929-7404

Punaluiu Bakery

95-5642 Mamalahoa Hwy

Naalehu, HI  96772

(808) 929-7343

At Volcano .. there is vog and you might not want to stay too long but you can go to the Visitors Center, watch a

movie about the eruptions, see the displays, go see the Sulpher pits, etc. -- most people do appreciate this day

trip. Hint, if you stay after dark it is wonderful to actually intentionally go to a sulphur pit and allow the vapors to

surround you like a sauna bath. We do that sometimes — just take your beach towel to dry with (and it can be

actually cold air away from the steam). You will find it is very good for the skin and is an experience most people

do not think of.

If you have time, you can go Northward to the more “ritzy section” of the Island. It is well worth paying the parking

fee and going to the old Hilton Hotel just to ride the boats (free), ride the tram into the sections of the hotel (free)

and then to walk the miles of art on display (free). You may also want to venture to the dolphin pools where kids

sometimes are escorted into the water to meet dolphins!

Hilton Waikoloa Village

69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr Waikoloa, HI

(808) 886-1234

If you are in good health (as the air gets thin) and you have a vehicle that has some horsepower and 4 wheel

drive, a mid afternoon trip to Mauna Kea should be a MUST. Prepare ahead. Take some water, take some pants,

a blanket, a coat or sweater -- it gets very cold up there and moreso when the sun goes down. Leave the house

about 2:30 or 3PM. You will be going on Saddle Road for some of this trip -- and this area is very different. You

will want to take your time it is usually very beautiful. Once you start the assent you will reach a Visitors' Center

where you should park, let the car rest, go inside. There are rangers there to answer questions, usually a video

about the mountain playing, hot cocoa to drink. Try to leave a good hour or hour and a half before sunset -- there

are things to see before it gets dark. Once you arrive up top and you get pictures, try to find the parking area next

to the bathrooms and where the tour busses park. This is a perfect place to watch the sunset and it allows you to

get back into your car to warm up. Enjoy the sunset!


A MidWeek Day At The Beach!

Another fantastic day trip you should consider is to Maniniowali Beach (Kua Bay).

This is located just past the 88 mile marker off Highway 19, north of Kona Airport.

This is well covered at several sites...



This area is relatively new to the public, but is easy to get to, has a nice sandy beach, and beautiful views and


Probably best in midweek, it can get crowded now that it is open to the public, and when it is crowded it's not the

same experience.

Take your suntan oil, a picnic, lots of fluids to drink, a nice beach towel. It is well suited to things like looking for

shells, metal detecting, reading a book.


There is so much to do, now perhaps you understand why I try to get people to do the guide book because before

you know it I have written a mini guide book myself.

Some of this material is covered in more detail on our FAQ page

I will add more sections on walking trails, and some more subjects in the near future.

We have a section in progress about unique places to stay and restaurants not to miss -- that is NOW in progress

so check it out: << Click to Check Out "Places We'd Send You!" >>

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