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Hulihee Palace (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat & Sun 10am-4pm; $5) faces out to sea from the center of Kailua. Built as the governor's residence in 1838, it's not all that imposing from the outside. Within, it's notable for massive koa -wood furnishings, made to fit the considerable girth of the various members of the Hawaiian royal family who later lived here, such as the redoubtable 400-pound Princess Ruth. The 1836 Mokuaikaua Church directly opposite was the first in Hawaii, and part of it has been set aside as a museum of the early days of Hawaiian Christianity. A peculiar "sausage-tree" from Mozambique, named after the elongated fruit that dangles from its branches, grows in the church grounds. Nearby, King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel dominates the northern end of the bay. King Kamehameha's funeral rites were performed in the ancient temple of Ahuena Heiau, which juts into the sea in front of its beach.
Some of the world's best fishing, snorkeling and scuba spots are approached by sea from Kailua. Expensive two-hour tours on Atlantis Submarines ($79, under-12s half-price; tel 808/329-6626) descend one hundred feet to a coral reef, accompanied by the Star Wars theme, to see a frenzy of feeding fish and the occasional lurking shark.
Wild Side Adventures International Kona Kailua, your source for extreme adventure, meeting new people and trying activities. We have skiing, adventure, ballooning, skydiving, sport fishing, scuba diving, cruises, kayaking, sailing, tours, paintball, helicopter, surfing, bungee, waterski, guest ranch, rafting, climbing, travel, tours, information, instruction, dining, hotels and fun at your fingertips. This site is for tourists and for our local visitors. Have a great time.