The town of Kailua-Kona is located on the western part of The Big Island (Hawai'i island). It's commonly referred to by the locals as Kona, in order not to get the town confused with another town named Kailua, which is located on the island of Oahu.
Kailua-Kona used to be the capital of the Hawaiian islands, before the seat was moved to Lahaina, Maui, and then to its current location in Honolulu, Oahu. After the capitol was moved out of the town, Kona turned into a peaceful town for fishermen and local families, before becoming a major hub for tourism.
Kona is known around the world for its famous coffee beans. The beans are grown on trees whose roots are buried deeply in nutrient-rich volcanic soil, adding that undefinable Hawaii terroir. The Kona Coffee Festival is held every year in order to celebrate the rich heritage of the region's favorite agricultural crop. In fact, there are 650 farms growing and cultivating coffee beans in the area. Kona Coffee Tours are included as part of the festival activities, which takes place from the beginning to the middle of November.
Sports and outdoor enthusiasts flock to Kona to watch the Ironman World Championship. While Ironman events have spread to many places in the world today, Kona is the location where the original Ironman was held; this grueling triathlon attracts athletes from around the world that want to test themselves to the limit over the course of 17 hours. Another huge outdoor sports attraction is the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.
Like much of Hawaii, Kona boasts plenty of tasty treats to enjoy. One noteworthy place that specializes in light and healthy surfer fare is Basik Acai. It's known for its acai fruit bowls with berry sorbet, fresh tropical and seasonal fruits, and granola. It also serves smoothies and other light treats.
When tourists want to sample a Hawaiian-style lunch, Da Poke Shack is the place to eat various varieties of local Poke. Poke (pronounced po-keh) is a Hawaiian variety of raw salad that combines vegetables, seaweed or herbs with raw seafoods such as tuna and octopus.
For a cold snack, you can get Hawaii-style shaved ice all over Kona, at places such as Scandinavian Shave Ice. Mind you that this isn't the ordinary snow cone that you're used to - island-style shave ice is a work of art unto itself, with a soft and snowy consistency light years beyond the hard ice crystals you tend to get on the mainland. The ice is often layered with ice cream or frozen yogurt, and topped with condensed milk or syrup for a truly sumptuous treat.
A Kailua-Kona vacation is just what you're looking for if you want to enjoy lots of outdoor beauty, relaxation, or simply, some of the most delicious food for a thousand miles around!