We spent 3 years living in Kona and it was a dream. Now, every time we visit, it's like going back home. We visit the less populated beaches, grab coffee at the best coffee shops, go on secret hikes, and hit up our favorite restaurants. How lucky that we used to live in a place that some people saved for years just to go on vacation?
Kona is the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands and is home of 11 of the 13 climates. You can go from tropical rain forests to black sand beaches and snow capped mountains, all within 2 hours. A saying of the island is "Keep Kona Country" and after visiting some of the other islands, it's a value we grew to appreciate. There is lots of undeveloped land, smaller amounts of tourists, and does not have that big city feel like Maui or Honolulu. We always stay near Kailua-Kona. It is more dry than the Hilo side, less isolated than Captain Cook, and more accessible than Waikoloa. Renting a car is important if you want to see the whole island, but renting mopeds for a day or two is an absolute must!
A lot of people from the mainland plan their Hawaiian vacation during the winter months, but truthfully, the winter season in Kona is probably the worst time to visit. The temps are a lot cooler than fall and summer, the winter swells come in causing some beaches to completely disappear, making snorkeling waters cloudy, and the waves are so strong, it can be dangerous to even get in the ocean. Obviously, a trip to a Hawaii at any time of the year is a gift, but if you get to choose, my advice for anyone thinking about going on a Hawaiian vacation is to plan a spring or fall trip. This way, you avoid the summer rainy season, but still get to experience the of pleasant climate Kona offers.