Renting a car can be a convenient way to explore the island, but to make the most of your Hawaiian adventures, don’t forget to mix in a few other means of transportation. By land, your options include trolley, segway, bike and moped. By air and water, check out guided tours by zip line, helicopter or boat, and underwater adventures snorkeling and scuba diving. Following are some of our favorite ways to explore different areas of the island’s west side.
MAMALAHOA FARM LANDS
Jump on a Segway
There are definitely areas of the island where you will want to hike, but Mamalahoa is an area we think is ideally seen by guided Segway tour, at a pace faster than being on foot while seeing more than you would by car. Step onto a two-wheeled electric scooter to explore this lush area with over 5,000 species of plant life and lots of local wildlife. This area is home to the famous Kona coffee farms and many other tree farms including macadamia nuts and local, tropical fruits like mangos and avocados. A segway allows you to explore much of this hilly farmland without any physical exertion, because we have a feeling you’ll want to save that energy for your ocean adventures.
DOWNTOWN KONA COASTLINE
Ride the Kona Trolley
One family-friendly way to explore the Kona area is by riding the Kona trolley. Traveling as far south as the Sheraton Keauhou, it makes frequent stops along Ali’i Drive through downtown and goes as far north as the Old Industrial Area. For only $2 each way, it is a great way to feel the ocean breezes while seeing some of Kona’s major shops, beaches, restaurants, and attractions. The trolley only passes each stop approximately every two hours, so it definitely isn’t the quickest way to see the island but is the perfect leisurely way to get to know the Kona area while comfortably carrying around your shopping bags. A trolley schedule can be downloaded here.
Rent a Bicycle
Kona is home to many bike shops, encouraged by the fact that it is also the city to hold the annual Ironman World Championship Triathlon every October. Bike rentals are available for all skill levels and rental terms. In September 2016, three public bike share racks were also added to allow anyone to rent a bike for shorter terms under an hour which can be returned to the next closest bike share rack. The covered area stretches 1.5 miles along the coastline and is perfect for one-way trips and novice riders. The three bike racks are located at Courtyard Marriot King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel (75-5660 Palani Road), Hale Halawai Pavilion (75-5760 Ali’i Drive), and next to Huggo’s near Coconut Grove (75-5824 Kahakai Road). Moped rentals are also available near Huggo’s in addition to a few other areas.
Join a Snorkeling Expedition
If you’re looking for a firsthand experience swimming with Hawaii’s marine life among the colorful coral reefs, snorkeling in South Kona is something you won’t want to miss. Rather than deciding between Kealakekua Bay or Honaunau Bay – both sights rich in historic significance – our snorkeling expeditionwill bring you right up to the water’s edge of not one, but three pristine snorkeling spots and provide all the gear you need. No worrying about logistics, forgetting essentials or getting lost. We’ll even feed you and let you nap on the way back so everyone can re-energize for the next adventure.
Aside from tropical beaches, there is so much to see and do in Kona that it would be impossible to fit it all into one trip. But rather than race to see as much as possible, step out of the car and add some variety, relaxation, and adventure to how you explore the island by using other ways to get from Point A to Point B. Part of the Hawaiian experience is immersing yourself in an appreciation for nature, interacting with local Hawaiians, and embracing the slower pace of island life.