The big island of Hawaii is hands down one of our favorite places to travel. We love the amazing beaches on the Kona coast and the constant 80 degree weather. We have so many memories here starting back in Jr. High for me, coming with my family. Lol, I won’t be sharing those pictures! Let’s just say the hair was way bigger and the Hawaiian prints were bolder back then. We came together for the first time soon after we got married and have brought all of our kids when they were babies. It feels like a doable flight with an infant and an easy first vacation. We love to escape the cold and come sometime in the Spring when we are tired of all the rain but I have come in almost every season and it’s always been beautiful. It’s usually a little hotter in August/September and a bit more rainy in February/March. With that being said it is so mild that you generally get mostly beautiful days even if there’s a little rain mixed in.
We have stayed so many different places along the Kona coast, including some camping back in the day, and each place has been so fun and different in their own way. We have rented private condos and stayed in bigger resorts. Like any tropical destination the further you get from the beach, the cheaper the accommodations. We love the small feel of Waikoloa Village but it is definitely a little bit of a drive to get down to the water. Two of our favorite resorts we have stayed at are the Fairmont Orchid and the Mauna Lani Resort. Both of these are in Waimea and have beautiful, quiet beaches and great restaurant choices. The rates are definitely cheaper in the off season which is late spring and early Fall and go up significantly in the Summer months.
There are so many good restaurant choices up the Kona coast and in Kona town itself. We tend to go further north than Kona proper to get out of the busy hustle as we prefer the smaller town feel, but there are plenty of restaurants and beaches in actual Kona town as well.
A few of our favorite restaurants North of Kona:
LAVA LAVA BEACH CLUB- I’d recommend going here for the amazing view and cheap happy hour prices. You literally sit at your table on the beach and it is perfect for viewing the sunset. It is also super kid friendly and we have come on a date night as well as with our whole family. If the kids get restless you can run up and down the beach and we usually see turtles hanging out on the sand for the night. It often has live music playing here too which is always a bonus!
BROWNS BEACH HOUSE, MAUNA LANI- This one is a little more on the pricey side but the food is amazing and you can’t beat the view. It is more of a farm to table feel and everything is always so fresh, including the sea food, obviously. They also have small plates if you decide to go there but don’t want to eat a full dinner. We came for a date night dinner at sunset and it was so romantic!
TOMMY BAHAMA’S RESTAURANT- Before eating here I had no idea Tommy Bahama’s did anything but clothing. It turns out they can make delicious food too! We have come here for both dinner and happy hour and both were good but the happy hour is definitely a better deal and the sunset is beautiful from the rooftop seating. The best part about coming here for happy hour is that there is a free luau show at the Mani Lani shops right when happy hour is over. This was perfect for our family, rather than paying for a very expensive, long luau. It does a great job of giving an overview of the Island’s history and has gorgeous dancing mixed in. Definitely would recommend if your not planning on paying paying for a luau.
NAPUA- Another pricier option but the food is delicious and again you can’t beat the beach front view! We have come here a couple of times and have never been disappointed. We have not brought kids here but I’m sure it would be fine.
LAVA JAVA- This is more of a coffee shop than a restaurant but they do serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is home-made and so delicious. We love coming here for breakfast before we head to the beach and the coffee is amazing. (Or if you’re me the chai is delicious!)
Juice 101- Another one that is not a proper restaurant but amazing in its own way. I had just begun incorporating green juice smoothies into my life before our last trip over there, so this place was a life saver. It’s hard to keep up with healthy habits while your on vacation but this place definitely helped! They have so many different options and all the ingredients are fresh. They also had some gluten-free treats that our son was excited to find!
We clearly better get back to Hawaii soon because this pool lounger is still waiting on her sweet potato fries and virgin mai tai. I would love to hear your favorite places to stay and eat in Hawaii. We will be traveling to Maui later this year and would love your recommendations!