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 frère!

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 [email protected].

(We offer a complimentary match making service to connect you with an excellent Realtor who specializes in the area/price range you are seeking a home in. We also can connect you to a few well respected and fantastic mortgage professionals. We also help you make valuable connections within the community to  help make your move successful-email me at [email protected] for more information)

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

Moving to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

Leave a Question or Comment About this Topic

  • Rebecca Brinskele says:

    Hi! Love your website–I am learning a great deal. Just in case someone hasn’t mentioned this, the correct spelling of brother in French is “frère” and not “fraire”.

    • Julie Ziemelis says:

      THANK YOU! I missed that Rebecca! Will change it! Glad you are learning! If you are considering buying a home, don’t forget I offer a complimentary matchmaking service with a Realtor and or mortgage professional. I also have two home buying education groups on Facebook, too!

      • Michael Mann says:

        Hi Julie,

        Great video that you put together. Very helpful. Leaning toward Kona, with a special preference for Keahou. Is the vog much worse in KK vs WV? And, would appreciate a mortgage broker, or two, as we want to get pre-approval taken care of. Mahalo!

        • Julie Ziemelis says:

          Aloha Micheal-
          I will email you, but wanted you to know that the volcano stopped erupting in 2018, so there is no VOG anywhere anymore! And I have two great mortgage folks for you to contact!