Oʻahu is Hawaiʻi's most populated island a.k.a. "The Gathering Place."
Charming, historic Kailua Kona is the centerpiece for single-family homes, estates, townhomes, and condos in central Kona. From the balmy coast and up the slopes of Hualālai to panoramic views and Kona coffee plantations, central Kona has many housing options. Warm hospitality, culture and history, countless land and ocean activities, and stunning scenery all around are a part of life here. Read More
Kailua-Kona is on the leeward (kona) coast of the beautiful Island of Hawai’i, known as the Big Island. The town was initially settled in 1812 as the first governing center for Kamehameha I. A popular tourist attraction today, the town still retains its quaint territorial atmosphere along Kailua Bay. Its various shops, restaurants, and historical sites promise a delightful day walking about town and soaking up the casual ambiance of paradise.
This diversity begins with the older traditional designs in town and moves to newer subdivisions of condos and townhouses with the growth and expansion of the area. Many of these homes are an updated variation of the Hawaiian plantation style. Housing developments have moved up the slopes of Hualala’I, and custom home designs are burgeoning on spacious lots overlooking town and the ocean. California and Asian design influences can be seen in many of these homes.
However, there is one common theme in style: design that embraces and utilizes Hawai’i’s natural environment. The various developments and custom homes in the larger Kailua Kona area generate vibrant energy but visual serenity while elegantly in harmony with the natural surroundings.
Hawai’i home prices have been increasing, and Kailua Kona is not an exception. Two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes, including condos, have increased by over 10% in just a few months. The median list price for a home is currently about $849,000.1 Almost 30% of homes have been built since 2000. Almost 60% are single-family homes.
Homes can be purchased as fee simple (FS) or leasehold (LH) in Hawai'i. A buyer owns the house and the land in a fee simple purchase. With a leasehold purchase, the buyer owns the house but not the land.
However, in West Hawaii, many leasehold properties are condos; the buyer does not own the condo but is leasing it. The leasehold contract usually lists predetermined periods when the lease payment can be renegotiated. When the lease ends, typically after 40-50 years, a new lease may be created, the lease not renewed, or the option to buy the condo offered.
Kailua Kona, like many places Hawai’i, has an ethnically diverse culture. The most significant percentage of residents is Caucasian (White), Asian, and Pacific Islanders. The area is growing with almost 40,000 residents.
Kailua Kona is primarily a service-oriented community, but it has an increasing number of telecommuters who want to take advantage of living in paradise. Many of the residents have professional occupations. The spirit of Kailua Kona is seen in its broad community support.
On King Kamehameha Day, June 11, the local community proudly hosts a commemorative parade. Colorful pa’u riders, cultural notables, floats, and musicians stream through town, terminating at the Hulihe’e Palace for ho’olaule’a (Celebration!).
Other noteworthy happenings on the calendar are cultural and music festivals, art exhibitions, a coffee festival, and Christmas celebrations. The many Kona coffee farms offer tours and tastings all year round.
Since 1959, Kailua Kona has hosted the annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Because it is an international contest, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused cancelation for the past three years. The tournament is expected to resume in 2023. However, sport fishing is not canceled by any means in one of the best deep-sea fishing destinations in the world!
Shielded by Mauna Loa and Hualala’i from the more blustery and rainy conditions on the island’s windward side, the weather is mild. The average temperature is between 68°F (20°C) and 87°F (30.5C) in town.
Temperatures are cooler in higher elevations, but rainfall is more frequent. The wonder of Kona is that I can experience heavy sweater weather on a high elevation Hualala’I coffee farm and later wind up swimming in the delightful waters of Kailua Bay.
In Kailua Kona, the wet season is from mid-November through late April. Generally, rainfall is less than half an inch on a rainy day.
While the Kona area is below the national average in violent and property crimes, homeowners invest in high-quality security systems for peace of mind.
Commute times vary depending on the area of Kailua Kona one lives. The commute into town from the upland areas, such as Kalaoa, is 10-15 minutes.
In Kailua Kona, the open-air Kona Trolley runs along Alii Drive. It makes almost several stops along its round-trip route and is a hassle-free way to explore the town.
The Hele-on Bus service is free and has routes to various parts of the island. A trip to Hilo takes about three hours, an hour longer than by personal vehicle. The bus does not provide mobility and accessibility for visiting all of the various destinations on the island.
There are shuttles to and from various destinations at the Kona International Airport, and taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also available.
Safeway, Foodland, Costco, Macy’s, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Longs (CVS) are a few of the familiar stores in Kailua Kona - and there’s always a McDonald’s (three, actually).
There are two public elementary schools (K-5) and one public charter elementary school in Kailua Kona. Three Christian schools and one college-prep private school in the Kailua-Kona area also have elementary grades.
There is one public intermediate school (6-8) and two public charter schools with intermediate grades. Three Christian schools and one private school also offer intermediate grades.
Kailua Kona has one public high school and one public charter school for grades 9-12. Two Christian schools and one private school offer grades 9-12.
The Innovations – Public Charter School (K-8) is the highest-rated public school with an 8 out of 10 rating using Great School criteria.3
Kailua Kona has several choices for pre-kindergarten education, including Montessori.
Health and urgent care facilities include Kaiser Permanente and Oahu’s Queen’s Healthcare Systems.
Kona Community Hospital is located about 10 miles south of downtown Kailua Kona. It is an acute care facility with 24-hour emergency services.
I don’t have to go far to find tasty places to eat in Kailua Kona. For lunch, many eateries are takeout to enjoy the beach or scenic spots around town. The food is always fresh and onolicious (delicious!) For poke, marinated raw fish, The Poke Shack has a fantastic variety of delicious fish selections.
I love a restaurant with a lot of local atmosphere, casual dining, and great food. While I can be torn between three or four really delightful places, I think On the Rocks is one of my choices. The Kona Fish Tacos with mango and coconut cole slaw are oh, so good! In a world-renowned destination for deep-sea fishing, the fresh ocean fish and open-air dining experience on Kailua Bay reminds me I am living the dream!
Oʻahu is Hawaiʻi's most populated island a.k.a. "The Gathering Place."
Maui is best known for its outdoor adventures and laid-back culture.
Lahaina is the "Waikiki" of Maui, centered around tourism.
A small town with a big heart; and many housing options.
Hilo is known for its rich local culture and natural beauty.
"The Garden Isle" is best known for it's natural outdoor beauty.