Which Side of the Big Island of Hawaii Is Best? You Asked, We Answer.
The Big Island of Hawaii is truly a magical place, and it’s hard to go wrong on this enchanting isle. However, many visitors still wonder which side of the Big Island is best. As the largest island in the state, there are countless things to see and do. It would be well worth your time to explore as much as possible, but which side of the Big Island is the best?
For the purpose of this post, we are referring to the best place to stay. The answer could change depending on what you’re doing, but if you’re looking for a home base, this is our top pick. The west side of the Big Island is hands down, the best. Here you will find dry sunny days, balmy tropical evenings, beautiful beaches, world-class snorkeling, a developed coastline, quaint shopping areas and more. Popular areas of the west side are the Kohala Coast region, Waikaloa and Kailua-Kona. In general, anywhere on the west side of the island is our recommendation, but we specifically champion Kona. Keep reading as we explore which side of the Big Island is best. Spoiler alert: it’s Kona.
Which side of the Big Island is best? It’s Kona on the west side because:
- Optimal Location. Kona is the perfect home base to start your Big Island explorations. Head northwest and you can explore sunny Hapuna Beach, Waikaloa, the Gold Coast, Pololu Valley and the charming town of Hawi. Head south and the glorious Kona Coffee District is a short drive. From there, continue south towards Naalehu and the southernmost point. Continue northeast to explore black sand beaches and Volcanoes National Park.
- Excellent Weather. The west side of the Big Island is best because of its dry, sunny weather. The east side of the island is much wetter and grayer. this makes for lovely rainforests and waterfalls – but these are good to explore for the day. You dont want your Hawaiian vacation to be waterlogged!
- Convenient. Depending on traffic conditions and time of day, Kona is less than a 20-minute drive from the island’s main airport, Kailua-Kona (KOA). Kona’s prime location is perfect if you are coming off Saddle Road too.
- Amenities. Kona Town is the best side of the Big Island for shopping, galleries, dining and entertainment. Hilo Town also has many shops and restaurants, but the cooler, rainy climate doesn’t lend itself to hitting the town exploring as well.
- Raw Beauty. There’s a reason Kona is the ideal Big Island destination. Crystal clear waters, lush palm trees and jagged lava rock cliffs, all framed by almost perfect climate conditions. Truly paradise!
We feature the lovely Royal Kona Resort in our All-Inclusive Big Island Vacation Package. This oceanfront resort offers one of the prettiest sandy cove beaches in Kona, and their house restaurant, Don’s Mai Tai Bar, is the ultimate place to sample all the classic tiki cocktails. We can’t wait to help you experience everything the Big island has to offer!