Ali’i Drive is where the major shopping and restaurants are located in Kona. This long stretch of seaside street has small shopping plazas and individual stores lining both sides of the street. Just about any type of item can be found here along with the typical ABC stores. There are some nice outdoor restaurants and restaurants that have large patios with a nice view of the sea.
Ali’i Drive is not just for shopping; along the road are several historic sites such as the Hulihe’e Palace and Mokuaikaua Church that are worth exploring. On one side of the street is the Sea Wall which provides a nice sittiing area for taking in the views, watching the fisherman or sealife.
Most of the action seems to be on Alii drive. It is the main street for shopping, eating, and people watching. Walk along the harbor seawall, note the marked finish line for the annual Ironman Triathalon that is held here. Kailua Bay is a wonderful place for adults and children to swim.
Across the bay, Kailua Pier becomes a popular hangout at the end of the day.
'Ahu'ena Heiau was ordered restored by King Kamehameha in 1812 and dedicated to the god Lono. It is here where King Kamehameha spent his final years until he died in 1819. This historical site is right at the north end of Ali'i Drive, by the King Kamehameha Hotel, and just next to the pier where the Ironman Triathalon.
We had an opportunity to visit this (you can't go in it) while waiting for the Atlantis Submarine tour, which starts at the Ironman pier. Please note...offerings are still left for the gods at heiaus and other sacred spots. Do not touch.
Just north of the Keauhou Beach Resort on Ali'i Drive is St. Peter's Catholic Church, or the "Litle Blue Church." This tiny chapel offers big photo opportunities, as sunset from Ali'i Drive is wonderfully spectacular.
Right along Ali'i Drive, on the north end, just south of the King Kamehameha Hotel, is the Hulihe'e Palace. This was built in 1838, this was the royalty's "beach house" for vacations even into the 20th century. Inside is now a museum, with period deco and furniture, as well as portraits of many royals.
Outside the museum, by the water fountain, look for a rock with a hole in it. This "Pohaku Likanaka" was used for executions.
We didn't get to go into the museum. We were at the north end of Ali'i Drive, because that's where the sub departs. Still recovering from the accident, I was whooped and needing some pain meds by the time we got done with the sub.
Admission is $5.00. There are guided tours in many languages.
Open Monday through Saturday 9:00 am until 4:00 pm
Open Sundays 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
I passed this Church many times while walking along Alii Drive. Built completely of stone gave it an earthy feel.
Walking and Shopping
Nice views, balcony overlook restaurants and watering holes, interesting shops that have inexpensive tropical souvenir and craft type stuff.
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