Not to be confused with the famous bay of the same name, the town of Kealakekua is a few miles north and mauka (uphill) of the bay. It’s a small town along the highway, with many coffee farms and artisan shops in the area. If you like waking up in the morning to a delicious cup of Kona coffee, and looking out at the beautiful ocean view and surrounding lush vegetation, you’ll love your stay at one of our great homes for rent in Kealakekua Hawaii!
Tucked back from Kealakekua Bay, the historic town of Kealakekua is known as the site where Captain Cook landed when he sailed here in 1779. The towering sea cliffs fronting the bay were where royal chiefs were buried in ancient Hawaiian times. This area is equally rich in history and culture as it is in beauty.
With a population of only a couple thousand, Kealakekua is a small town, but one with an array of amenities that will make your stay comfortable. The Kona region is famed for its locally grown and produced coffee, and the area of Kealakekua has several opportunities that coffee lovers will want to take advantage of. There are many coffee farms to visit in this area, but one that stands out is the Kona Historical Society’s Living History Farm. A visit here is like stepping into Kona’s past, as costumed “interpreters” take you through some of the daily tasks that people would have performed while farming coffee in days of old. Likewise, the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum is a well-preserved store from the late 1800s that history enthusiasts will enjoy. Another “must” stop if you’re around on a Friday or Sunday is the Pure Kona Market, a farmers’ and artisans’ market that takes place at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook. Though the garden itself is no longer operational, this market is lively and well-attended; it’s a great place to support local artists and try some new island fruits!
In addition to the coffee farms and markets in town you can visit during your stay in one of our Kealakekua vacation rentals, Kealakekua is home to a smattering of restaurants and cafes, making this a convenient place to base your stay. Additional amenities are just down the road in Captain Cook Town. Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers is a good place to stop in for a bite to eat, serving up local organic grass-fed burgers. They emulate the farm to table style, including fresh local organic produce, grass-fed island-raised beef, and wild-caught Hawaiian fish. In addition to their stellar menu, Annie’s offers a breezy island environment, complete with palm trees growing through the floor and sweeping outdoor views. After you’ve filled up on a meal here, head to nearby Dave’s Hawaiian Ice Cream, where unique local flavors are made fresh daily.
You’ll notice that time seems to slow down on the Big Island, especially when it comes to small town living. One of the best things about Kealakekua is that it’s easy to leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy easy island living!
Snorkel the Picturesque Kealakekua Bay
Most visitors to Kealakekua will definitely want to spend at least one day at Kealakekua Bay. This bay is popular for kayaking and snorkeling, though kayaking is only allowed with permitted tour guides at this time. Snorkeling is best in the area near the Cook Monument, which is not accessible by car, but only via the water or the steep and hot Kaʻawaloa Trail. Your best bet for great snorkeling is probably on a tour boat, most of which leave from Keauhou Pier. Please remember to use reef-safe sunscreen, and do not touch the coral. Some tours advertise that you can swim with dolphins in Kealakekua Bay; this is neither likely nor advisable, as the dolphins are resting when they enter the bay and should not be disturbed.
Contact Us for the Best Kealakekua Vacation Rentals
Whether you plan to base your stay in the charming Kealakekua Town or elsewhere on the Big Island of Hawai’i, we have vacation rentals situated near all the best beaches and attractions. If you plan to do some island hopping, be sure to browse our Hawaii vacation rentals on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. At I Love Hawaii, we are passionate about the beauty and aloha found in the Islands and are certain you will come to love the community here as much as we do. Give us a call today to book one of our Kealakekua vacation rentals!