Kailua-Kona : Hawaii


What It Is Like to Retire in Kailua-Kona

Kailua, often referrred to as Kailua-Kona to differentiate it from the city on Oahu of the same name, is located on the west coast of Hawaii, the Big Island.  It is the center of the tourist industry on this island, popular for its beaches, scuba diving, fishing, etc.  The famed Alii Drive is the big shopping district. Kona is famous for its coffee. The coastal area is flat with plenty of evidence of lava flows from the dormant volcanoes in the center of the island. As you go away from the coast you go up, up, up.  But there are many nice neighborhoods tucked here and there. Kailua-Kona is home to the Ironman World Championship. This part of Hawaii was the home of Hawaiian royalty, their castles and vacation homes were built here. Photos courtesy of Wikipedia; Kona Bay by Travis.Thurston, and oceanfront near Hulihee Palace by Calbear22.

Where to Retire in Kailua-Kona and Home Prices

Real estate is expensive, with the median home value at $556,949 in early 2020, according to Zillow. Property taxes in Hawaii are the lowest in the nation. There are resorts that have condos and homes. Then there are nice neighborhoods down by the coast or up in the hills to choose from.  There are a number of little towns near here in the Kona District.


What Is Special about Kailua-Kona

Did we mention Kailua is in Hawaii? The weather is about perfect year round. This is the drier side of the island so there is plenty of sunshine.  Great beaches, tremendous golf courses, postcard scenery. Some of the nice golf courses include Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani and the Hualalai Golf Course.

What Is Not Special about Kailua-Kona

It is expensive to live here on Hawaii's largest island.


Who Will Like Retirement in Kailua-Kona

People who want to live in wonderful year round climate near the beach will like it here. If you have too many connections to the mainland, however, such as grandchildren, frequent travel off the island could be wearing.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and agriculture.

Climate and Physical Environment

The climate does not change much from month to month. The average low and the average high only differ by a few degrees by month - usually from the high 60's/low 70's to the low 80's. Kailua is on Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, since it is by far the largest of the Hawaiian Islands.  Kailua is located on the west coast.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a tourist destination there is no shortage of interesting restaurants to try. Culture is less important here than the enjoyment of nature and the outdoors, but there are things to do.


The crime rate in Kailua-Kona is about the same as the national average.


Medical Facilities

There are medical facilities here and in Hilo, the largest city on Hawaii, the Big Island. For more serious medical care you would fly a short hop to Honolulu.


Kona International Airport serves the island, as does Hilo International Airport located on the east side of the island. Low cost island-hopper flights are offered if you are interested in visiting other islands.

Valuable Links

Konaweb tourist and other information

What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

thanks for the update
Very good info, thanks for these corrections. Nothing like inside knowledge from someone who lives there. In case you missed it, Mejask wrote a fabulous article for Topretirements on what it is like to retire in Hawaii. Check it out https://www.topretirements.com/blog/great-towns/mejasks-inside-report-a-hawaii-retirement.html/
Posted by admin on November 30, 2017
Kailua Kona
Nice to see this write up. I live here and many other things could be said but a nice summary. I do feel that a couple of items need some clarification. Transportation: There are no \"boats\" to other islands unless you are on a cruise ship, but many local flights. Also, Hilo, on the east side has an airport. Medical Facilities: Pretty accurate but I think there are many facilities in Honolulu that will serve before you need to go to the mainland. Many insurance coverages include the coverage for this when your needs can\'t be serviced on the Big Island. But if you need constant critical care this is probably not the place to be and many move back to the mainland if this happens. Also please note that low property taxes are only true for full time residents. But I\'m not sure that average of less than $1,000 is accurate. Hope this little addition helps. Aloha!
Posted by mejask on November 29, 2017

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