In addition to its mind-blowing ocean offerings, the island has a laid-back, dive-oriented vibe that permeates the social fabric. A host of waterside hotels cater to divers, including Kona Village Resort, which now sports a new boat and a school of underwater scooters to keep up with the action. If you want to be taken for a local, forego chemical mask defoggers and instead simply pluck a leaf of the naupaka plant, a low-lying coastal shrub. Gently crush it and rub it inside your mask and voila, an organic mask-defogger. After climbing back on land, boat captains and divemasters hit Harbor House at Honokohau, where they knock back a few icy-cold Kona brews, chow down on fresh ahi poke and swap tales. And to sate the hunger only a thrilling dive can generate, islanders flock to the fresh seafood and live music at the new Blue Dragon, “like the name of one of our favorite nudibranchs,” notes Rebekah Kaufmann, co-owner of Kohala Divers.