This historic oceanfront area along the Kona shore was once a small fishing village and home to Hawaiian royalty including King Kamehameha I. During the 19th century the town became the commercial, political and social center of the Kona district and also a center of missionary activity.
Today historic Kailua Village is a thriving shopping and dining area and also a place to learn about Hawaiian culture and the historic sites in the area that tell the story of Kona’s past. King Kamehameha I chose Kona as his place or residence for the final years of his life and the town was the capital of the Kingdom from 1812 to 1819 when Kamehameha passed away.
The main road of Alii Drive has some of the most important historic sites including Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. Before King Kamehameha I passed away in 1819 he lived near the shore here not far from the renowned Ahuena Heiau which is now a reconstruction of the temple that was built here by the warrior ruler himself.
Historic Kailua Village is also known for its vibrant nightlife with live music along the shores of Kailua Bay. The annual Ironman World Championship begins and ends near here at Kailua Pier.
Historic Kailua Village is located about 15 minutes south of the Kona International Airport in the heart of the Kona Coast. Just to the north are the posh resorts of the Kohala Coast. The Kona Historical Society offers historic walking tours of historic Kailua Village on weekdays at 9 am and 11 am.