If days spent lounging in the warm waters of the Pacific and the Fairmont Orchid's pool prove too strenuous, take heart – you can get away from it all at the hotel's eminently pleasant Kahakai Bar Oceanfront. Featuring a thatched roof and a floor of sand, this bar is the definition of casual and relaxed. Even the honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) think so; they frequently come to laze along the shoreline near the bar in the afternoons. If you're hungry, order something tempting from the pupu menu. People looking to quench their thirst will love the fruity Sunset Cocktail.
Any west side morning should start with the breakfast buffet at Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar. This is the place for long, leisurely breakfasts and chit chat over made-to-order waffles and omelets, fresh tropical fruits and juices, healthy whole grain cereals and various delicacies from the pastry kitchen with a cup of Big Island coffee. This is the Mauna Kea's breakfast buffet, with its ocean-overlook and birdsong symphony, and this is what your family will remember. Later on in the day venture to the exquisite crescent shaped white sand beach out front. You won't have to venture any further for great food or beach time.
The younger, wilder sibling of the famous seafood eatery next door called Huggo's, this spirited joint is a terrific place to wind down the day and usher in the evening. Indeed, Huggo's on the Rocks is a popular outdoor bar and dance club under a thatched roof whose specialty drinks and beautiful clientele always ensure a great time. A light bar menu features fajitas, salads, sandwiches, and tasty appetizers and offers a cure for the late night munchies. Watch the sunset, and whales jump in season. Located in the heart of Kailua, you can easily walk to other bars and clubs and explore the town.
Few things better complement a respite in paradise than an expertly mixed margarita and views of the surf rolling in. Fortunately, the Big Island boasts a place where you can enjoy both – festive Tres Hombres, which comes complete with a beach bum's ransom of surfing memorabilia. Here, Coronas are always ice cold, tequila is always potent, and chile rellenos are always spicy. A "light" menu is available for those trying to count calories amongst the usual traditional Mexican fare. This is a good place for fun group dinners, guests are allowed to get festive and up the volume when feeling celebratory.
As the Big Island's only gay bar, Mask has a solid roster of regulars, and it's one of the friendliest, most happening dance clubs around. Everyone is out to have a good time, so expect a lively crowd and check your inhibitions at the door. Arrive ready to dance your toes off, and you'll have a blast! Nights are themed, with evenings such as M&M Mondays (mai tais and melon balls), Tequila Tuesdays, Man night Thursdays (dart tournament and specials on liquor with a man's name), aloha Fridays, Fiesta Saturdays (Mexican pupus and drinks), and Kick Back Sundays (BBQ and cocktail specials).
One of the Big Island's top dance clubs, Lulu's can attribute its popularity to any number of factors – its ocean-side location, awesome open-air deck, or state-of-the-art lighting and sound. A favorite with the young and pretty sect, the bar stays hopping until well after old fogies have hit the sack, and professional DJs spin the hottest dance tracks until 1:30am or so. The menu features a variety of munchies, known as "pupus" to the local crowd. This is the most popular place to party in Kona for the younger crowed. Large televisions and pool tables also draw a crowd.
Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine & Musiquarium is known for giving guests a really good time. Always crowded with locals and visitors alike dancing away the evening and taking breaks for bites of delicious food. The menu is locally based and presents local fish, meats and produce. The menu also notes which items are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. The live music is a big draw here, and often times the place turns into a club like atmosphere. Children are welcome and there's a keiki menu, but it's best to bring them earlier on in the night before the party scene gets going.
"For beer lovers, by beer lovers" is the slogan at Humpy's Alehouse where a huge array of beers on tap and really good bar food make for happy days and fun filled nightlife. Humpy's is the new spot in Kailua Kona for live music and nighttime entertainment. Located on Kailua's main and front street along the ocean, the pub is centrally located to be enjoyed while shopping, at the beach, or eating elsewhere along the strip. It's a popular hangout with both locals and visitors alike so you'll get the best of both worlds. Any night of the week you can stroll in and find a crowd.
The pub at the Big Island's most famous brewery (choices are slim, but fame is fame, right?) is a terrific place to wind down after shopping or time at the beach. Brewery tours are quick and personal – an added bonus is that visitors over 21 get to sample the products. Kona's on-premises brewpub serves cold mugs of the brewery's top sellers, including Fire Rock Pale, Pacific Golden Ale, and Longboard Lager, and the cozy setting easily pulls you in, making it difficult to leave. A full bar is also available. Great Hawaiian influenced pub grub – pizzas, salads, and sandwiches – is also available.