Keauhou, Hawaii Island
What: Historic district whose coastal area is frequented by manta rays
- Where: Just south of Historic Kailua Village
A short drive south of Historic Kailua Village, the Keauhou Resort area has emerged as one of Hawaii Island’s great cultural destinations. The area is bordered on the north coast by beautiful Kahaluu Bay with the famous Kona coffee country of Holualoa just up the slopes of Mount Hualalai.
Featuring the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay and the Outrigger Kanaloa at Kona, Keauhou Resort is an area blessed with sunny weather and perfect waters for snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. These idyllic conditions made it a favorite hideaway of Hawaiian royalty, and today the area boasts diligently restored heiau (temples), ancient fishponds and a wealth of historical sites. Interpretive centers throughout the resort weave together the area’s present and past, making a stay in Keauhou as enriching as it is relaxing.
At night, the Keauhou area attracts manta rays that feed on microscopic plankton near the shore. You can spot these manta rays in the shallow waters off the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, which shoots out spotlights into the plankton filled waters nightly. But to really see manta rays up close and personal, go on a manta ray night dive departing regularly just north from Honokohau Harbor.
You can also sometimes see honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) in the shallow tide pools. It’s easy to see why Hawaiian royalty, including the “Merrie Monarch” King David Kalakaua, adored this area.