Megan Shute for Only In Your State on the charming and often overlooked town of Captain Cook. Our snorkel tour will sail you out to the beautiful and popular Kealakekua Bay where the Captain Cook Monument is located and the view from the Hoku Nui is excellent!
If you’ve been wondering about things to do in Captain Cook, Hawaii, wonder no more! Where is Captain Cook? It’s located just 12 miles south of the famous Kailua-Kona, and it is a lovely Hawaiian town that is – unfortunately – all too often overlooked for more resort-saturated spots along Hawaii Island’s Kona Coast. Captain Cook, a small town with a population of just 4,300 individuals, is full of Hawaiian history and plenty of charm. Whether you live on Hawaii Island, or are simply on vacation, you will certainly not regret a day spent exploring this picturesque and historic little Hawaiian town. Here are just 11 of the most incredible places to visit and things to do in Captain Cook, Hawaii.
1. Captain Cook Monument
On January 17, 1779, Captain James Cook, of Great Britain, sailed into Kealakekua Bay. The native Hawaiian welcomed the Captain and his crew with open arms, believing them to be returning gods. A massive feast was held in their honor, however, a month later, upon realizing that the Captain and his crew were mere mortals, Cook was killed in a conflict. Approximately 99 years later, a 27-foot white obelisk was erected to honor the famous seafarer who first set foot on Kauai a year earlier. It is on the northern tip of the bay that you will find the iconic Captain Cook Monument.
Captain James Cook Monument, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
2. The Coffee Shack
Located one mile south of the Captain Cook Post Office, this island-style coffee shop is the place to go for stellar coffee, and amazing views – after all, the lanai overlooks 26 miles of gorgeous coastline. Arabica coffee is grown on-site, in fertile, volcanic soil at 1,400 feet in elevation. Really, where can you actually view – and perhaps photograph – the very 85 year old trees your coffee from The Coffee Shack was grown on?
The Coffee Shack, 83-5799 Mamalahoa Hwy Box 510, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
3. Kaaloa’s Super J’s
Often recognized as being as local as you can get, this Captain Cook eatery serves up delicious, authentic Hawaiian food in a no-frills atmosphere. The eatery is so good it is constantly lauded as some of the best in Hawaii!
4. Pu‘Uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Full of archaeological sites and reconstructions of an ancient Hawaiian “place of refuge” is Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. The site, once home to Hawaiian royalty and those who broke a law or defeated military, features a self-guided tour. For Hawaii history buffs, this is a must!
Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, State Hwy 160, H?naunau, HI 96726, USA
5. Ka’Awaloa Trail
The 3.7-mile Ka’Awaloa Trail in Captain Cook is one of only a few ways to actually visit the Captain Cook Monument. While you could opt for an easy boat tour or kayaking excursion, this trail will not only lead you to your destination, but is quite picturesque as well.
Ka’awaloa Trail Farm Coffee Farm, 81-1075D Captain Cook Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
6. Kona Coffee Living History Farm
This 5.5-acre historic Kona coffee farm was established in 1900, and is now home to an open-air agricultural museum depicting the daily lives of Japanese immigrants that worked on the farm in the mid-1900s.
Kona Coffee Living History Farm, 82-6199 Hawai?i Belt Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
7. Kealakekua Bay
Hawaii Island’s beautiful reef-filled Kealakekua Bay is one of the state’s most historic bays, and a known dolphin hangout. The bay is an incredible destination for watersports of all kinds: snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking, and an absolute must-visit on Hawaii Island.
Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii 96704, USA
8. St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church
Known more commonly as the Painted Church, this magnificent piece of art on Hawaii Island is open to the public seven days a week, and holds mass five days each week. The masterpiece was built from 1899 to 1902 under the direction of Catholic missionary Father John Velghe, an untrained folk artist who painted frescoes along the interior ceiling and walls depicting various biblical scenes using traditional house paint.
St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, 338 E 17th St, Covington, KY 41014, USA
Painted Church Road, Painted Church Rd, Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI 96704, USA
9. The Manago Hotel + Restaurant
Home to the oldest restaurant in the state, the Manago Hotel may not have much to offer in terms of luxury, but with rates starting at well under $100 per night, guests will have plenty of cash to truly experience the breathtaking Hawaii Island. The attached restaurant also happens to be the oldest restaurant in continuous operation in all Hawaii – and serves up some incredible pork chops.
Manago Hotel and Restaurant, 82-6155 Hawai?i Belt Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
10. Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary
With expansive walking paths, panoramic views, and tropical plants galore, the Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary is the ultimate place to simply relax.
11. Napoopoo Park
This oceanside park is not only home to stunning views, but also the Hiki’au Heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple dedicated to Lono, the god of fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music, and peace, making Napoopoo Park a must visit in town – especially for amazing hiking!
Napoopoo Road, Napoopoo Rd, Captain Cook, HI, USA