The old plantation town of Kainaliu is often called the “Five Mile Hill” by locals. Located about 5 miles (8 km) south of Kailua-Kona, Kainaliu has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in recent years with new restaurants and cafes as well as boutique shopping, art galleries and bookstores amid the refurbished old storefronts.
Sitting at an elevation of 1,394 feet (425 m) above sea level, the town of Kainaliu retains the quaint charm of bygone days with some of the old family-operated stores still in business including Kimura’s constructed in 1927 and Oshima’s dating to 1926.
Kainaliu’s Aloha Theatre opened in 1932 when it was called Tanimoto Theater and showed silent films, usually Japanese films for the workers on the Kona coffee farms. Today the vintage Aloha Theater is the oldest operating theater in Kona and features live music and dance, films and a restaurant. The population of Kainaliu is about 1,600 people.
Kainaliu is located in the Kona district along the Mamalahoa Hwy. (Hwy. 11) south of Honalo and north of Kealakekua Bay.