Keauhou is located about seven miles south of downtown Kona and is in the “green belt” of lush tropical foliage.
Keauhou is an area with a long and important history to Hawaiians. In 1814, Keopuolani, the highest ranking wife of Kamehameha I, traveled by canoe to Keauhou Bay, near where she gave birth to her second son Kauikeaouli. He was said to have been stillborn, but when he was placed in Ka‘opa Spring at the edge of the bay, he revived.
The Daughters of Hawai‘i own and maintain both his birth site and the plaque at the head of Keauhou Bay noting it. It’s said that in honor of his son Kauikeaouli’s birth, Kamehameha built the holua slide still visible on the slopes of Keauhou. Sledding (a half-sized replica of a holua sled can be seen at Kailua’s Hulihe‘e Palace) was a greatly popular ali‘i (royal) sport, and spectators sometimes bet on the outcome.
Kamehameha’s slide was up to 50 feet wide in places, its surface made up of hard-packed dirt and smooth pebble and stone paving. Before a race, the slide would be covered with pili grass or compressed sugarcane leaves.
If you park on Ali‘i Drive across from the Keauhou Country Club and look up the mountain, it’s easy to spot the remains of the mile-long holua track, now registered as a National Historic Landmark.
These are, of course, very different times. Enjoying a water slide and entertainment in Keauhou today means staying at the Sheraton Kona and enjoying their water slide or playing at one of Keauhou’s two 18-hole golf courses at the Kona Country Club, perhaps, or watching a movie at the seven-screen cinema complex at the Keauhou Shopping Center’s Regal Cinema’s.
At beautiful Keauhou Bay, you can spot the manta rays feeding, take a snorkeling or sunset cruise, or, seasonally, a whale-watching excursion. There’s a Hawaiian lu‘au at the Sheraton Kona, or you can drop in for one of their spa treatments. At the end of the week, there’s always the Keauhou Shopping Center‘s Aloha Fridays, with Hawaiian music, complimentary ‘ukulele lessons and leimaking, and the free evening Polynesian show.
Besides its cultural events, the shopping center offers Keauhou residents all the conveniences: a grocery store and pharmacy, hardware store, bank and financial services, gas station, vet, medical offices, specialty shops and other services.
There’s an incredible ocean view from Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai restaurant above the shopping center. Hawai‘i living doesn’t get much better than having dinner with a mai tai watching the sun set over the ocean.
Keauhou Bay has every type of water sport you can imagine with the Fair Winds, Hula Kai and several dolphin swimming adventures. You can rent paddle boards and kayaks and swim in the bay, as well. One of my favorite places to snorkel is off the shore near the Sheraton Resort and there is a huge rock where five people can jump into the bay together. Watching the sunset, while floating around in the water is pretty spectacular, too.
SNAPSHOT OF KEAUHOU-KAHALU‘U
FROM 2000 CENSUS:
Land area: 5.92 square mile
Population: 2414 (50.4% male, 49.6% female)
Median age: 49.4
Median household income: $61,690
Number of housing units: 2339
Percentage owned: 64.3%
Average temperatures: January – high 81, low 66; August – high 87, low 73.
If you are considering a move to Kona or Keauhou, please connect with me directly for inside tips and real estate information! Julie@Ziemelis.com