Ali‘i Drive in historic Kailua-Kona offers visitors a coastal walk perfect by day and in the evening hours. As you can see, there’s lots to do along this stretch!
EAT: Residents and visitors have been coming and going from Oceans Sports Bar & Grill for the last 15 years, and it’s all thanks to owners Todd and Shirley Hull.
“My husband and I love watching sports, and enjoy food and drinks while doing so,” says Shirley. It was the inspiration behind opening this casual dining spot featuring sports games on TV monitors. But don’t let that distract you from the ocean and sunset views—they’re incredible!
There’s lots to like on the menu. Shirley’s favorite is the “one-pound peel-and-eat Cajun or Garlic Butter Shrimp, as well as the Cobb Salad and Tomato Stack. People love our fried pickles too!”
Check on their daily specials as well. “We’re known for our Taco Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,” says Shirley. “Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays we run a $9.95 fish and chips special that’s become really popular too. And you can’t beat the $4 Mai Tai all day, every day.”
One of Oceans Sports Bar’s signature cocktails is the Queen’s Favorite. “It’s a Lilikoi Margarita with Li Hing Mui on the rim. Another is the Passion Tea, which is a twist on a Long Island Iced Tea,” shares Shirley. Accompanied by an island sunset on the water, it sounds perfect.
She says Oceans Sports Bar’s casual open-air atmosphere along with affordable prices is what brings people back, which makes it a great stop along Ali‘i Drive.
Foster’s Kitchen prepares their menu items in-house daily from scratch. It may take a little longer, but it’s definitely worth the wait. They procure the freshest ingredients from local farmers and are committed to the highest quality of service.
Experience fine dining in a casual and family-friendly atmosphere, plus enjoy liquid perfection with their handcrafted cocktails. One of the highlights is the Lele Cocktail made with hibiscus, citrus and lemongrass in Kai Coconut Pandan. Pair it with one of the delicious appetizers for a perfect taste of Foster’s.
Pouring 100 percent Kona coffee starting at 5 a.m. daily, Menehune Coffee also serves smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches, wraps, desserts and tropical fruit smoothies. Savor the Honu specialty drink: a chocolate, caramel and macadamia nut latte. Favorites include the Paradise Panini, made with bacon, turkey, cheese and tomato on a hoagie roll, and the Green Honu Smoothie concocted with island banana, papaya, pineapple, spinach and Spuralina. Also selling pure Kona coffee beans to go; pick your roast and flavor.
PLAY: Treat yourself or your whole family to a special gift with natural temporary body art from Kona Henna Studio. This world-class henna studio and manufacturer of premium organic henna products offers everything from small single henna designs to full body adornment. It’s a great way to take a little piece of Hawai‘i home.
Clark’s Hawaii Tours makes it easy to explore the many stops along Ali‘i Drive whenever the cruise ships come in. The Hop-On Hop-Off shuttle stops at Keauhou Shopping Center, Kahalu‘u Beach, Magic White Sand Beach, Ali‘i Garden Market Place, Coconut Grove, Farmers Market, Hulihe‘e Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. Visit their website for more tour options!
SHOP: Located along the oceanfront, Kona Inn Shopping Village provides an opportunity for visitors to leisurely explore shops, galleries, boutiques, Hawaiian gift shops and restaurants. Free parking is available on nearby Hualalai Road.
Pearl Factory makes your shopping experience fun as “Hawaii’s Original Pearl-In-The-Oyster.” Creating excitement and memories is what they’re all about. All of their pearls come from genuine saltwater-cultured oysters. Discover Akoya, Tahitian, South Sea and freshwater pearls in fine jewelry pieces such as necklaces, lariats, bracelets and earrings.
With pearl in hand, select from over 135 jewelry mountings in a variety of styles and price ranges for a custom experience.
Surfin’ Ass Coffee & Donkey Balls is the Donkey Balls Café in Historic Kailua Village. Focusing on coffee, candy and teas, Surfin’ Ass is centrally located in the Kona Inn Shopping Village. Find chocolate-covered macadamia specialties like Donkey Balls, Flakey Balls, Mocha Balls and Salty Balls, plus Hawaiian honey. Choose from Surfin’ Ass or Happy Hawaiian Coffee and Teas. All products are made in Hawai‘i.
[A version of this article appears in print in the pages of This Week Big Island]