Best Places to Live on the Big Island – Differences Between Waikoloa Village and Kailua Kona


From the wind swept prairie of Waikoloa Village to the quaint village of Kailua Kona, both towns have their pros and cons when it comes to living there or buying real estate.

My family and I spent almost a year living in Waikoloa Village where we moved to after spending six years in Keauhou. (We moved from Kona to Lake Tahoe and then Waikoloa Village for my husband’s job.) We then moved to a condo on Alii Drive less than a mile from Kailua Village and now we live at elevation  under Holualoa. So we know a few things about the various places to call home in West Hawaii!

Pros and Cons of Living In Waikoloa Village vs Kailua Kona

I wanted to share the pros and cons with you because when we first considered buying a condo on the Big Island of Hawaii, we had friends that suggested living in Waikoloa Village because “that was where the real residents lived”.  They warned us about not finding community down in Kona because it was all tourists. Au contraire, mon fraire!

We found both had their own brand of community, especially around the schools and churches. (As far as housing and rental prices, you will find more affordability in Waikoloa Village than in Kailua Kona proper, by far, however you have to drive 45 minutes to get to Kona from the Village.)

So, my husband and I sat down and we created a video explaining the differences, with both communities having things we love and things that we feel could be deal breakers for many of you who are considering a move here.

Get your popcorn and take a look at the video and if you have comments or questions, feel free to reach out to me in the comment section or contact me at

(My husband does real estate referrals and we would love to connect you with one of our trusted Realtors who specializes in the village or in Kona! We also help you make valuable connections within the community to  help make your move successful-email me at for more information)

Looking for resources to move to the island or to buy real estate? Check out my resource guides!

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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is the creator of 365Kona, 365 Things to Do in Kona on Facebook, 365Hawaii on YouTube, the Kona Newbies Group, the "Best of Kona" Festival and author of "How to Move to Kona" and "The Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii". Both Eric and Julie Ziemelis are passionate about creating an amazing experience for anyone who wants to vacation or buy real estate on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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