Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona


Waterfront, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona

Waterfront, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona

Waterfront stores on Alii Drive

Cruise ship viewed from Ali'i Drive

Kailua-Kona sunset


Explore Ali’i Drive

Fishing at the Sea Wall, Kailua BayFishing at the Sea Wall, Kailua BayAli’i Drive is a scenic waterfront panorama, nestled between rows of souvenir and curio shops, sidewalk cafes, and a long lava rock sea wall. Take the time and explore Ali’i Drive. You could visit Kailua-Kona a dozen times and find something new, tucked-away The seawall, downtown The seawall, downtown Kailua KonaKailua Konaalong this sea-side lane. Watch the boats and fishermen at the Kailua pier. Take a walk along the sea wall, keeping an eye out for crabs, fish, sea turtles, and breaking waves. There are shady lawns along the sea wall to watch the marvelous Kona sunsets. Walk down the seaside lane and feel the lure of tempting aromas coming from the many charming open air street-side restaurants. Dining outdoors while watching the beautiful Pacific sunset is commonplace, and always spectacular.


There are plentiful shops along Ali’i Drive. The Kona Inn Shopping Village on the waterfront has over 65 shops including restaurants, galleries, boutiques, Hawaiian gift stores, and souvenir shops. There are several outdoor markets that sell a variety of fresh produce and foods to discount souvenirs and tourist trinkets - they are located along the southern portion of Ali’i Drive. Open daily 9AM-9PM. Find bargains and the best shopping venues in our Big Island Shopping Guide. Don’t know what to buy? Check out our Hawaiian Souvenirs Guide.

One great outdoor market located right on Ali’i Drive is Ali’i Gardens Marketplace - with plenty of souvenirs and clothing for everyone. There are over 40 shops offering hundreds of handmade products, local art & jewelry, Kona coffee, fresh flowers, koa wood, and clothing. This market is in a beautiful garden setting and is located on Ali’i drive two miles south of the Kailua Pier. #75-6129 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona (808) 334-1381. Open Wed - Sun 9:00AM - 5:00PM.

Ahuena Heiau

Ahuena Heiau, Kailua-KonaAhuena Heiau, Kailua-KonaThis fully restored ancient heiau (temple) is located at the edge of Kamakahonu Beach, off of Ali’i Drive. The thatched building was the King’s retreat, its doorway concealed by a small guardhouse where King Kamehameha could keep watch over Kailua Heiau in front of King Kam Hotel, Heiau in front of King Kam Hotel, KailuaKailuaBay. The heiau consists of a stone wall, some other stones and a few modest grass buildings. Considered a Hawaiian holy site where sacrifice was made, no one can enter the building.

Hulihe’e Palace

Hulihe'e Palace, Kailua-KonaHulihe’e Palace, Kailua-KonaPerched at the edge of Kailua Bay, on Alii Drive in Kailua - Kona, Hulihe’e Palace was the vacation residence of Hawaiian royalty. Today it is a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawai’i and is a showplace of beautiful furniture and fascinating artifacts.

Hulihe'e PalaceHulihe’e Palace Museum Hours Open Tues through Sat 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Open Sun from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Plan on arriving by 3:30 p.m. to allow time to tour the Palace)

Mokuaikaua Church

Mokuaikaua ChurchMokuaikaua ChurchThis is the oldest and first founded Christian Church in the State of Hawaii, established in 1820. Moku’aikaua Church was founded by missionaries who came from Boston Massachusetts on the brig Thaddeus. The land was given to the missionaries by King Kamehameha III. The original structure was made of thatch under the direction of Asa Thurston, one of the first missionaries.

Mokuaikaua Church, Kailua KonaMokuaikaua Church and Hulihe’e Palace were both constructed by foreign seamen visiting the islands. The Governor of the Island of Hawai’i, John Adams Kuakini was responsible for construction of both buildings. Originally both buildings were similar in appearance.

Beaches on Ali’i Drive

Beach at Kailua Bay, Kona HawaiiBeach at Kailua Bay, Kona HawaiiYou may think that you must travel up the Kohala Coast to go to the beach. However, there are several nice beaches along Ali’i Drive. There is a small strip of white sand at the edge of the sea wall in Kailua Bay, on the south side of the pier - the waters are clear and calm, this is a great place for small kids or adults who want to swim in the protected swim area. In the mornings you will find many fitness-minded persons swimming up and down the roped-off swimming area - this is the same area that the Ironman Triathlon swim event begins!

Kahaluu Beach Park, Alii DriveThere are several other wonderful beaches on Ali’i Drive. On the north side of Kailua Pier is Kamakahonu Beach, right in front of the King Kam hotel. Further south down Ali’i Drive is Kona Magic Sands Beach, a small white-sand beach with nice body-boarding waves. Beyond that is Kahalu’u Beach Park a perfect family beach with some of the best snorkeling on the Island.

Read our next article: Kailua-Kona Restaurants

Early morning, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona

Early morning, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona


Royal Kona ResortRoyal Kona Resort
With A Dramatic Oceanfront Setting Overlooking Picturesque Kailua Bay, The Full-service Royal Kona Resort (Formerly Kona Hilton) Is Just Eight Miles From The Keahole-kona International Airport And Offers Great Value. This Hotel Is Conveniently Located Within Walking Distance Of The Quaint Fishing Village Of Kailua-kona With Its Many Fine Restaurants, Shops, Historical Sites, And Activities. The Resort Features A Natural Salt-water Swimming Lagoon And Sandy Sunning Area, In Addition To A Split-level Freshwater Pool.

Sheraton KeauhouSheraton Keauhou Bay Resort
Guests can choose from two championship golf courses, experience famous Kona town, shop at the adjacent Keauhou Shopping center, or experience any of countless activities that range from lava hunting to swimming with the Keauhou manta rays. While the many attractions and natural wonders of the Big Island will certainly tempt, guests may find the multi-level fantasy pool and Manta Ray Super Slide & Pool to be the most alluring. Located at the center of the resort, this large fresh-water pool includes a small man-made beach, the island’s largest waterslide, whirlpool spas, and children’s play area.

King Kamehameha HotelKing Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel
Location is key when staying at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. The hotel located right on Alii Drive in downtown Kailua-Kona. It boasts it’s own beach adjacent to the sea wall and pier of Kailua-Kona. Alii Drive is the heart of the shopping district and restaurants. The great number of amenities, facilities and extras this hotel features makes it an enjoyable place to stay. Although not as opulent as the other resorts in Kohala, location for this hotel is key. Check our rates for the King Kamehameha Hotel.


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