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Discover Kailua-Kona, HI
Lacking the resort filled beaches of Maui and the crowded streets of Honolulu and Oahu, the Big Island of Hawaii is an alluring place for many adventure tourists searching for a bit of solitude and the chance to commune with nature. Prior to Hawaii’s annexation by the United States, Kailua-Kona was the vacation home of independent Hawaii’s royal family. In the period since the monarchy, Kailua-Kona has transformed into a thriving artist’s enclave. With several great beaches within a short drive, it’s also popular with those searching for outdoor recreation; kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling – it’s all possible here.
It should be noted that many of the roads around Kailua-Kona, and the Big Island in general, are quite narrow. When you book an RV in Kailua-Kona you’ll need to remain vigilant as you traverse the two-lane roads that crisscross the island but also remember to enjoy the slower pace of life here.
Getting Outside Near Kailua-Kona
Obviously, you’ll probably spend a considerable amount of time at the beach during your Kailua-Kona RV rental vacation. Your first stop should be Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park just north of town. The park provides easy access to the beach and the chance to observe sea turtles in their natural habitat. The park’s visitors center also has lots of interesting information about the history of the beach and how the Polynesian people made a living there.
Animal lovers will want to check out the Kanaloa Octopus Farm. It’s a chance to swim and interact with these intelligent animals and understand their unique role in the ocean. If swimming with the octopi is a little bit too much, visit the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, which is near the airport and allows for a fascinating hands-on experience with the magnificent little creatures.
If you’re a hiker, climbing the Mauna Kea volcano should definitely be part of your itinerary when you rent an RV in Kailua-Kona. The six-mile-long trail climbs 4,600 feet to the summit – a rather difficult feat that necessitates being in at least moderately good physical condition. At the mountain’s summit are the Mauna Kea Observatories, one of the world’s premier astronomy centers. While the main telescopes are not open to the public, there are telescopes available for use near the trailhead after the sun has gone down.
You can also branch out a bit with the Kailua-Kona RV rental and take the two-hour drive to the eastern side of the island near Pāhoa, home to the active volcano known as Kilauea. From here you can also venture out to see the dark shores of Kehena Black Sand Beach.
RV Parks Near Kailua-Kona
As is the case throughout the Hawaiian Islands, flat ground comes at a premium and that means there aren’t a wide variety of places to park your travel trailer rental near Kailua-Kona. One of the closest places to park is at Kiholo State Park Reserve, about 20 miles north of Kailua-Kona.
Another option is about 20 miles to the south at Ho’Okena Beach Park, near the town of Captain Cook. The park offers outdoor showers, Wi-Fi, and a variety of equipment for rent to use at the beach (kayaks, snorkels, etc.). Sites have no hookups, but there are restrooms nearby.
While not particularly close to Kailua-Kona, it should be noted that one of the dedicated RV parks on the island is Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community, a two-hour drive away, near the town of Hilo, on the island’s eastern shore. Hedonisia offers an array of amenities including a kitchen, yoga space, and a community of like-minded campers that want to protect the beauty of the island.
Exploring the Town of Kailua-Kona
As the former vacation home of the royal family, one of the must-see stops in Kailua-Kona is Hulihe’e Palace. The mansion is now a museum and one of the best places to learn about Hawaii’s history as an independent nation during the Victorian Era. Kailua-Kona is also the site of the state’s oldest Christian church, Mokuaikaua Church, dating back to the 1830s. Its congregation still meets there, but it’s also open for tours when there are no services are taking place.
The city is also famed for the number of artists making their home there, so it makes sense that there are quite a few art galleries and shops worth browsing when you rent a motorhome in Kailua-Kona. Specialty stores in town showcase inexpensive pieces of jewelry and home goods that would be sure to add some island flair to your home. The Kona Oceanfront Gallery is a bit more upscale and has many beautiful carvings and metal sculptures on display. If you’d prefer to use your own body as an artist’s canvas, you may want to pop for a temporary henna tattoo.
If you’re searching for souvenirs to take home to your friends and family, wander down Ali’I Drive, which has a large open-air bazaar filled with trinkets, native Hawaiian foods, and also a beautiful view of the beach.
RV Rentals in Kailua-Kona, HI
Kailua-Kona, HI is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Kailua-Kona. Outdoorsy's Kailua-Kona RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.
RV and Motorhome Rentals Nearby
Nearby to Kailua-Kona are a number of National, State and Local parks. Travelers can easily rent RVs and motorhomes near Diamond Head Crater Park, Round Top Forest Reserve, Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve, Koko Head Park, and Makapu‘u Point State Wayside.Popular RV Types & Amenities
What's around Kailua-Kona, HI
Check out local hikes, campgrounds, parks and more!
Local Hiking Trails
|Captain Cook's Monument Trail||Captain Cook||Hawaii|
|Iao Needle Trail [CLOSED]||Wailuku||Hawaii|
|Akaka Falls Trail||Pepeekeo||Hawaii|
|Thurston Lava Tube Trail||Hawaii National Park||Hawaii|
|Sliding Sands Trail||Kula||Hawaii|
|Kilauea Iki Trail and Crater Rim Trail||Hawaii National Park||Hawaii|
|Waipio Valley Trail||Honokaa||Hawaii|
|Waihe'e Ridge Trail||Wailuku||Hawaii|
Recommendations for Kailua-Kona, HI from Outdoorsy Owners
Great beachfront bar and grill. Live music and fun place for happy hour!
Little burger joint in the heart of downtown Kona. The have the best burgers and homemade fries!
Cute little casual restaurant in Captain Cook. Great fish and chips and coffee house.
Awesome restaurant in captain cook area. Fish and chips are amazing!
Best gelato on the island! Made from natural ingredients. Try the coconut haystack and Kona Coffee flavors!
Yummy farm to table restaurant. Try their lilikoi cheesecake!
Bring Costco card with you, it will save you lots of money on gas and getting stocked up on camping goodies!
Beautiful beach park on one of the last active Hawaiian canoe fishing villages. Reservations required. http://www.hookena.org
Camp right on the white sand beach. Recommended for first night, close to airport, trail hike and great surfing. Permit required. reserve@https://hawaiicounty.ehawaii.gov/camping/welcome.html
Another amazing snorkeling spot. Enjoy a day at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park and then walk over to two step to enjoy fabulous snorkeling. Full day of fun!
One of the best places to snorkel on the island. Take a gorgeous 2 mile trail hike down, kayak or try a tour. https://www.tropicalsnorkeling.com/snorkeling-captain-cook-monument.html
In tie for the most beautiful white sand beach on Big Island. Great for swimming and snorkeling if calm. https://www.lovebigisland.com/big-island-beaches/kua-bay/
A sacred site known as the city of refuge, showing ancient peaceful times of wooden carvings, temples, tools, and beautiful 1871 trail hike. https://www.nps.gov/puho/planyourvisit/the-puuhonau.htm
Popular spot, especially in the high season. Must reserve a spot online. Beautiful beach hiking, fresh water spring bath, turtles and more.
Best Laulaus - a Hawaiian classic hands down. Tiny family run joint off the highway about 35 mins south of Kona.
Smoothies, hot bar and cold salad bar. Pricey but good selection. Indoor and outdoor seating for eating.
Cheapest gas on island. Must be a Costco member. Also onsite is the store and concessions - Kona's cheapest meal a hot dog and soda for $1.50.
Great Thai food owned and operated by local family. Take out and eat in. Excellent soup!
Good Vietnamese food - Pho, sandwiches on house baked french bread, and Thai iced coffees.
Yummy, grass fed burgers and crispy french fries served up with a special sauce! Skip McDonalds and come here. So good!
Good sushi and Japanese food. Centrally located in Kona, in same shopping center as Safeway.
Try the fish tacos and poke bowls. Lively scene with a bar too.
Authentic Mexican in Kona. Don't be fooled by the places on Ali'i drive. This place is the real deal. Awesome prices too. Good selection of Mexican bottled beers, sodas and spicy salsa!
Sample some Kona coffee and hang out at this community hub. Free wifi, cute dogs, and indoor and outdoor seating. Also local beers, wine and kombucha on tap.
REAL east coast pizza made by a New Yorker. Simply the best pizza in Kona if you like it greasy, cheezy and in big foldable slices.
Grind down on awesome Hawaiian and Filipino style food. So good, it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!
Local brewery - fantastic beer and ciders made on site! Locals favorite.
Go on a night time Manta Ray snorkel or day time ocean tour in a traditional Hawaiian Outrigger canoe. This family company is simply the best and an unforgettable experience. Book online or call.
This is a small, but popular beach campground on a beautiful grey sand beach about 40 minutes south of Kona. Make a reservation online, because its super popular. Bathrooms and showers. Scenic drive.
24 hour Safeway with bathrooms. Ok place to park in a pinch and spend the night, or grab some food if you need. Located central in Kona town.
Get everything you need here for your trip. McDonalds and groceries inside. Hours are 6 am - 12 am.
There is paid camping on the south side by the surfing beach with bathrooms and showers. Free camping to the north side, accessed via a sand/dirt road. Careful where you park so you don't get stuck.