Daily Archives: January 27, 2016

Five of Our Favorite Restaurants on the Kona Coast

Playing on the beach and in the water all day long is bound to work up an appetite. Good thing that Kona is filled with restaurants and eateries that are as excellent as its beaches. You can find everything from the very finest beach-front dining to local sandwich shops that will hit the spot. There are so many good places to choose from, so we did the hard work for you and picked our top five favorites:

1. Splasher’s Grill Bring the whole family down to this friendly and casual dining restaurant owned by the same team behind Splasher’s Ocean Adventures. Splasher’s offers great ocean views as well as delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Its menu also includes local craft brews, or you can head over to the full tiki bar and get creative with your drink order. If you come for dinner, try the island seared ahi, fish-n-shrimp, or the ribeye steak.

2. Kona Brewing Company – Kailua-Kona Pub & Brewery If you really want to know the Big Island, you can’t miss out on its most famous brewery. This is the perfect place to taste some fine craft beer after a long day of adventuring and to fuel up on typical pub fare, including pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. Some of its most popular year-round brews include the Longboard Island Lager, Big Wave Golden Ale, and Fire Rock Pale Ale.    

3. Amici Ristorante Italiano The old country meets the Island at this authentic and classy Italian eatery. Chef Giovanni Saffioti whips up your Italian and pasta favorites, including fritto misto, lasana, and spaghetti vongole. Of course, if you’re in the mood for a nice red ribeye, you can order that too! Sip a signature cocktail or choose from the generous wine list as you enjoy the warm night air on the gorgeous patio.

4. The Harbor House For quick service and great prices, try the Harbor House, a favorite of the Kona locals. You can quench your thirst with some of the lowest priced beer on the island and make your stomach happy with a burger or basket of fish n’ chips while looking out at the harbor. A great way to fill up on good food, fast!

5. Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers You in the mood for a burger? You’ve got to head over to Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers. It’s not just in the name. Annie’s, a local favorite, has been voted the best burger in West Hawaii five years in a row! Annie’s is proud to use grass-fed, island raised beef as well as local, organic produce on its menu. You haven’t lived until you’re tried one of Annie’s six signature burgers, including The Ultimate Classic Burger, The Fire Cracker Burger, and The Bacon Swiss Burger.

Want even more great dining suggestions in Kona? We might be a little biased for our own restaurant, but if you’re scheduled to take a tour with Splasher’s Ocean Adventures, ask your tour guide about their favorite places to eat on the island. The best advice comes from the locals!

Why Manta Rays Are One of the Coolest Animals in the World

Beneath the tropical waters off of Kona lurks a mysterious creature. It is flat like a carpet, with triangle fins that flap up and down, almost like it is flying beneath the water. This creature is also huge! It can easily top 3,000 pounds in weight (1.4 tons), and stretch over 15 feet long (4.5 meters) from fin to fin. When it feeds, its large mouth opens wide to scoop the plankton of the sea.

Pretty scary, right?

Nonsense! This is the manta ray, one of the strangest but coolest creatures you will find off the coast of Kona and throughout the warm waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Don’t let their size fool you. Manta rays are gentle creatures that feed only on plankton. In fact, you can even jump in the water and swim with the manta rays. It is an experience that you will never forget!

Learning More About Manta Rays

Manta rays belong to the taxonomic Mobulidae family. They are closely related to sharks, but they don’t have any sharp teeth or a taste for toes and fingers. There are actually two species of manta rays – manta birostris and manta alfredi. Manta B. is an oceanic manta that is much bigger than the manta A. and tends to travel much farther out into the open water. They can weigh as much as 4,400 pounds and reach 23 feet across! Manta A. is a reef dweller and tends to stay closer to shore.

Both types of mantas must constantly move to keep oxygen-rich water flowing through their gills. They also like to stop by coral reefs for a quick cleanup. Here in Hawaii, a small species of fish called a wrasses will eat away destructive organisms that attach themselves to mantas. Such is the beauty and the symbiotic nature of the ocean ecosystem.

Want to Swim with Manta Rays?

There’s nothing cooler than meeting a manta ray in person, which is why we offer bucket list trips like the Sunset Manta Ray Swim and the Moonlight Manta Ray Swim two of our most popular tours! Hop on board where we take you out to a popular manta ray gathering spot. With our well-trained guides on hand, we share an experience of a lifetime where you these gentle giants perform a ballet all around you. It is truly a magical and transformative experience!

Learn more about our manta ray tours and see why these creatures are so amazing for yourself!

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.19.03 AM