Experience Kona

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church—aka “Painted Church”

In 1904, Father John Velge covered the interior of this quaint little church with religious murals to relate biblical stories to native Hawaiians. These trompe-d’oeil paintings are distinct and unforgettable, from the striped columns to the florid ceiling imbued with shades of aquamarine and red. The church itself is surrounded by a small graveyard spotted with leis, statues, and exotic flowers. It is well worth the visit to this beautiful and secluded church, a miniature Hawaiian version of the Sistine Chapel.

  40 Minute Walk
  15 Minute Bike
   7  Minute Drive

City of Refuge

Learn about Hawaii’s past Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, the Place of Refuge. It is a beautiful beachside park that preserves aspects of Hawaiian history. Admission is $5 for parking.

 

40   Minute Walk
15    Minute Bike
10    Minute Drive

Kahalu’u Beach Park

Kahalu’u Beach Park is a great place to snorkel and surf. It’s easily accessible and full of sea life. The south end of the bay is fairly shallow and protected from ocean currents by an ancient breakwater. Green sea turtles chew away on the sea bottom, occasionally surfacing for air. Walk just north of the park and visit the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church (“Painted Church”), the Little Blue Church, and Ku’emanu Heiau—the surfer temple. In ancient times, only chiefs were allowed to surf. Here, chiefs would pray and make offerings to ensure good waves.

 

15 Minute Drive
30 Bus

Snorkel Captain Cook Monument

Kayak among dolphins as you cross Kealakekua Bay, to the village site where Captain Cook was mistaken for the Hawaiian god, Lono. Cook Monument is a premier snorkeling site. You can also get there by horse, or hike a steep and difficult trail 2 1/2 hours. For $40, you can rent a double kayak from Pineapple Park’s grass shack in front of the hotel. It’s about a 30 minute paddle to the Cook Monument. Tow your kayak behind you as you snorkel with your mask and fins.

 

10 Minute Drive
2.5 Mile Hike