Simply referred to as “Kona” by residents, it’s the undisputed center of activity on the Big Island’s western shore, and the closest the island gets to having the bustle of Waikiki. Walk down Alii Drive and browse the numerous gift and souvenir shops or book a tour at one of the many activity desks. Sit down and enjoy a tropical drink at an oceanfront restaurant while watching local keiki (children) jump off the seawall in the center of town into beautiful Kailua-Kona Bay. Visit the historical Mokuaikaua Church, built entirely of lava and coral, Hulihee Palace, the former summer retreat of Hawaiian royalty, and the Ahuena Heiau, a temple built by King Kamehameha the Great. The Kailua-Kona area also offers some of the best sport fishing in the world, with several boats and tours embarking daily from Kailua Pier. You can even watch the fish being weighed at Honokohau Harbor.