The Kona Hawaii Temple, the 2nd temple built in Hawaii, was dedicated in 2000, which was 81 years after the first Hawaiian Temple, the Laie Hawaii Temple was built. It was the 2nd temple dedicated in the year 2000, which started a long streak of the smaller temples that were completed the same year. These smaller temples use a simple design with a single spire topped with beloved Angel Moroni.
It is thought that the Church has been preaching the gospel on the islands since 1850 when missionaries from California were called to serve in what was known as the Sandwich Islands at the time. The Church's first branch was organized on Maui in 1851. Something as simple as having the Book of Mormon translated into the Hawaiian language was vital in spreading the Gospel on the islands. A young, humble George Q. Cannon, who was one of the first missionaries in Hawaii, was crucial in helping to complete this translation.
The Kona Hawaii Temple is located on the west side of the Big Island or Island of Hawaii. This island is nearly double the size of other islands and is 4,028 square miles. Because of it's size, we focus mostly on the area around the Temple. This luxurious tropical paradise has beauty rarely seen and no shortage of outdoor activities. If you're slightly adventurous (or want to be) and live for unique opportunities, you won't want to pass up a chance to visit the Mauna Kea Summit, which is 13,796 feet at the summit. Being on top of the world is exhilarating! If you're looking for a different kind of adventure, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a chance to walk on an active volcano. When will you have the chance to explore the very powerful earth, the exact earth that created these lush islands? Many unique experiences are to be had in the park. For a more laid-back activity, visit Kaloko-Honokohau National Park where there are many footpaths for exploring, which may lead to turtles, tide pools, rare birds and ancient fish ponds. The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is the result of one man's keen sense of wisdom and years of hard labor, carving out a spectacular jungle full of interesting natural plants, trees, flowers and water. Stop by for a quick tour of Hulihe e Palace and see artifacts and furniture used by Hawaiian royalty who used to vacation at this palace.
One of the many foods that make Hawaii unique, is poke. Because it's raw fish, it's probably something that you need to create a taste for. But, if you want to try something authentic, visit Da Poke Shack for some of the best poke combinations around. Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill is a fun, friendly, casual joint with an eclectic menu of seafood, American and Hawaiian fare. If you prefer to sit outside and take in the ocean view while savoring your meal, head to Island Lava Java Bistro Grill. Don't miss the fresh catch of the day or the Super Loco Moco at Big Island Grill. For a tasty treat and real Hawaiian shave ice, Scandinavian Shave Ice offers some of the best.