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Hawaii: Learn Big Island history by foot or from the water

March 01, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • The Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua is among the oldest Christian houses of worship in the islands.
The Mokuaikaua Church in Kailua is among the oldest Christian houses of… (Tor Johnson / Hawaii Tourism…)

Visitors to Kailua-Kona in Hawaii can learn of the Big Island’s fascinating history by land or by sea. 

Once a month, you can walk along Kailua’s busy Alli Drive to visit historic sites easily overlooked when traveling by car. One Sunday a month, from 1 to 6 p.m., the oceanfront drive is closed to traffic for the popular Kailua Village Stroll. Besides checking out the homemade crafts street vendors, guests can visit Hulihee Palace, one of very few royal residences in the U.S., and Mokuaikaua Church. The church, the first Christian house of worship in the Hawaiian Islands, was established in 1820 by Boston missionaries.

The next strolls are scheduled for March 17, April 21 and May 19.

Five days a week, the Kona Coast History Cruise blends an educational lesson with a meal and a three-hour cruise. Visitors seeking a more sedentary history lesson might prefer the cruise.

Guests journey back in time as they learn about the pre-territorial times when monarchs ruled the islands. The ship departs from the Kailua Pier for Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook's monument, 12 miles to the south. Dinner is served on the Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday cruises ($115.74 for adults); a lunchtime cruise is offered on Wednesdays ($94.31 for adults).

Meals are served buffet style and include traditional Hawaiian dishes. such as pork and taro laulau steamed in ti leaves.

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