South Kona

Located in the heart of Kona Coffee Country, the district of South Kona encompasses everything from rural farms and ranches to national and state parks, remote sand beaches, small vibrant towns, artists’ communities, and arguably the best water attractions on the entire Big Island.

Located about 20 minutes north of downtown Kailua-Kona, South Kona spans from the towns of Kealakekua, Captain Cooksouth kona hawaii and McCoy Plantation to Honaunau, Ho‘okena, Kona Paradise, Papa Bay, Miloli‘i and Honomolino to the south.
Whether residing on a coffee farm in the mauka (mountain) regions of Honaunau, taking in a sunset view from your custom residence in Kona Paradise, or living in a vacation-style home near the ocean at Kealakekua Bay, residents of South Kona enjoy proximity to a variety of community amenities including several elementary schools and a middle school, as well as Konawaena High School.

West Hawaii’s main hospital, Kona Community Hospital is located in Kealakekua, surrounded by a plethora of medical offices. The County Courthouse is also located here, along with a great selection of cafés, coffee shops and restaurants. In Kealakekua, there’s also a fitness center, two banks, the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, numerous antique stores, and the Kona Historical Society and Greenwell Farms.

In Captain Cook, ChoiceMart is considered by locals to be one of the best grocery stores in all of Kona. This family-run market offers excellent choices in local produce, fresh fish, meat, health food and wine. It also includes a deli and bakery, plus Kona Brewing Co. beer on tap available in growler jugs. Next door to ChoiceMart, ACE Hardware provides the basic home and garden essentials.

Every Sunday at Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, the South Kona Green Market is the place to be for South Kona-ites to buy local produce and products, socialize, and grab a bite for breakfast or lunch. Next door to the gardens, a public playground, tennis court and softball field attracts youth, residents and sports teams.

World famous for its spinner dolphins, Kealakekua Bay is the choice attraction for snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddleboarding and swimming. A premier destination for snorkeling, Two Steps at Honaunau Bay is a must see. There’s also Keuoa canoe club, which welcomes new members to paddle and compete in canoe races islandwide.

Sand beaches in South Kona include Ke‘ei Beach, Ho‘okena Beach Park and Honomolino Bay. The village of Miloli‘i is one of the last authentic fishing villages on the Kona Coast.

History abounds in South Kona, where King Kamehameha resided in his youth. During his reign, the first cattle arrived at Kealakekua Bay in 1793. The still-active ranching community of South Kona includes multi-generational families who trace their roots to the early days of the Great Mahele of the Kamehameha III in the 1840s.

An ancient sanctuary of redemption and renewal, Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is among the most peaceful and beautiful settings on the Big Island. The historic grounds include a royal canoe landing, an ancient wall and temple (heiau) and a picnic area perfect for whale watching and sunset gatherings. Perhaps no place in the area represents the tranquility and beauty of South Kona better than Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau.

©Karen Anderson (image / article).

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