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Kona Big Island of Hawaii events and activities

Kona Big Island of Hawaii events and activities

1/10/2012 - By Shan

This is my blog for all who are interested in the Big Island of Hawaii.
The Aloha spirit is still here in many of the people you meet; take it in & give it back to everyone you can. It is the island's best quality and grace.
We have been exploring the Island since I was young, and documented our favorite events, restaurants and activities with constant changes to the journey.  We would appreciate your feedback and any updates.  

Events on the Big Island



Many events annually.  Please check the tourism site for updates on the following link: 

There are a few memorable ones. 


Hawaiian Island Festival, 30 days of Aloha.  BEST festival of the Year. Approx September 28th for 3o days.  Check the link


 April 12th to 18th.  The Merri Monarch Festival in Hilo April 12th to 18th. About a 3 hour drive. If you leave early in the morning it is easy to drive back the same evening.  I have heard that the Wednesday free Hula show is great.


July 31st Mango Festival. Keauhou Beach Resort on Alii Drive in Kona


August 14th .  The Royal Kona Mai Tai Festival. Call the hotel for tickets. Book the Luau for this night if you are there

February 7th. 


The love2fishhospice event video


The Bill fish Fishing Tournament August 2nd


October 31st. Halloween on the ocean is a huge celebration in Kona. The main streets are closed and full of people in elaborate costume.  This is a great celebration. Google it for on line photos


First  week of October. Ironman.  Always popular. Always wonderful.


June 12th (sat in June) is king kamehameha day in Kona 


June 25th, 26th and 27th they have a gay pride celebration with parade and festivities


Websites I use for the free events are and




If you go to and enter Hawaiisavers they often have a special on the Body Glove boat and some restaurants and attractions. You will have to bid and order well in advance.  



For Room Service delivered almost  anywhere try doorstep dining! You can order from the best restaurants in Kona with a small delivery fee from Doorstep Dining at 327-3463 or internet menu at    I highly recommend them as the nicest people that truly care about a job well done.  If you want an intimate meal delivered try Jackie Reys or Bite Me.  Worth the $5.99 delivery fee . you can check your menus on line.


Below are some of our recommended restaurants in Kona.  It is a good idea to phone to reserve in advance, except for our favorite, Bongo Bens. 

1.For a memorable dining experience, the Sunday brunch ($48.00) at the Mauna Kea is one of the best in the world! We highly recommend it. Reserve in advance.  They have a wonderful beach below (open to all).  Valet parking only ~it is free.  Just drive up and they park your car.  

2. Waimea coffee shop in the darling town of Waimea, about a 45 minute drive from Kona.  65-1279 Kawaihae Rd Phone: (808) 885-8915 You will want to visit Waimea and this little coffee shop is located in a mall that is worth stopping to see. Great coffee and excellent home made coconut cookies that you might want to take home for later.  I love the atmosphere here.

3. For an appetizer, and to watch the sunset, we like the Don the Beachcomber Restaurant (the Royal Kona Hotel) for 5 pm. 75-5852 Alii  Alii Drive in Kona. Check the link below. They also have a bar that is very nice, and has 4 pm specials.
4. Bongo Ben's Restaurant in Kona. 75 Alii Drive.  This is one of my favorites! This is THE place to go for a fun and casual atmosphere, breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It has reasonable food, a great location overlooking the ocean and live music. Music from 5 pm onwards.  Reasonable Sunday brunch.  They also have a wonderful bottomless cup of coffee that is served within seconds.


5. Mauna Kea. 

A great place to go for an appetizer and then enjoy a long walk on a fantastic beach is Mauna Kea. It is the old Rockefeller hotel and worth a visit to just to see the development. The Sunday only brunch must be reserved in advance, and they never run out of food so don’t be afraid to book a late reservation.  This is my number one food choice if you want a memorable, meal.  It is 48.00 per person, and has more seafood and choices than you can imagine.  Highly recommended!


6.  The four seasons hotel just outside of Kona has excellent food!  It is  expensive and located outside of town, but worth the drive  open Sundays only for more reasonable buffet dinners.
7. Ruth Chris Steak House is a wonderful restaurant for appetizers from 4 to 6 pm. Not on the ocean and actually in a mall. It is best known for its happy hour (5 to 8 pm only)which is hands down the best happy hour value on the Island. Try their sliders. On your way home from Waimea this is a great stop. The appetizers and reduced price drinks make this a top value.  68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive, Shops at Mauna Lani, Kamuela, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743 (808) 887-0800


8. Airport food at KOA is really non existent or very poor at best.  The Pine Tree Café is the best choice for airport food. 
Kohanaiki Plaza  73-4354 Mamalahoa Highway, Kona  (808) 327-1234
Open Daily from 6am-8pm  This café is right before the airport. You can preorder and just pick it up on your way.   Photos of take out below


 9  Pau’s  in Kamuela 65-1227 Opelo Rd 808-885-6325 | when in Waimea this is just a great choice. 


10. Monstera  In the Kamuela . Varied menu of steak and butterfish. Highly recommended 68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive, Shops at Mauna Lani, Upper Level No. 111, Kamuela


11.  Brown's Beach House, Mauna Lani Resort, Kohala Coast - (808) 885-2000. $$$
From this oceanfront, outdoor restaurant at the Fairmont Orchid Mauna Lani hotel, chef Stephen Rouelle will send you right to heaven with seared duck breast with Meyer lemon marmalade, Hilo vanilla Keahole lobster bisque, liliko'i goat cheese panna cotta.

Winner of silver 2010 award

12 Huggo’s On the Rocks  (on Alii Drive in Kona) is always a fun place to have appetizers and drinks.  You love the sand floor and sound of the ocean in the evening! Very casual. Great ocean view. music some evenings and a fun atmosphere.


14. Pesto’s in Hilo. Popular so reservations recommended. Happy Hour prices from 2 to 5 (reserve a table at 4:45 for dinner!)


15. Peaberry and Galette, 78-6831 Alii Drive in Kona.  A coffee shop with so much charm! The music is great and local artists are featured on the walls. The crepes are delicious. Try the shrimp and calamari with avocado sauce. Also, the crepe with chicken sausage, asparagus and cheese is just incredible. Try a dessert crepe, or start your day with a sweet potato muffin or amazing soup Highly Recommended!


16. There is also a Panda Express in Kona for reasonable take out Chinese food (808) 329-8887        74-5562 Makala Blvd,  Kona, (near Ross)


17.  The Bamboo restaurant in Hawi. North Island past the Mauna Kea.  Closed on Sunday and Monday.  Entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.  Get a coconut mug for six dollars from the gift shop! Popular and pricey. Phone 889-5555. Dinner Tuesday - Saturday  6:00pm - 8:00-ish


9. Luau's 
The most popular luau is at the Royal Kona Hotel in Kona. Easy to walk to and from the condo. offers special prices and tends to be more reasonable. Check it on a google search. Called the “Drums of Polynesia”. Open bar.  Royal Kona Resort, 75-5852 Alii Drive, (808) 329-3111. The Luau's at the Fairmont Orchid, and Mauna Kea are also excellent but a long drive  and


To be continued…
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