Ali'i Drive, downtown Kailua-Kona

The history of  Kailua-Kona, our "home" in Hawaii, is quite diverse:  Hawaiian kings, western missionaries, and Captain Cook.  The town is at the center attraction with access to beaches (white or black sand), waterfalls, volcanoes, resorts, luaus, whales, dolphins, turtles, and that famous Kona coffee.  Aliʻi Drive is known as the Royal footsteps of  Kona, connecting historic and archaeological sites that define Hawaiian history.  As mentioned, Kailua beach is home of the Ironman Championship Triathlon, as well as many fishing tournaments.

Beach and Royal Residence

North of the beach once stood the King's royal residence, Kamakahonu.  Another royal home in town is Hulihe'e Palace, a "modern" summer house for Hawaiian sovereigns until 1914.  Kailua-Kona was originally established by King Kamehameha as capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the center of Hawaiian culture.  Although the capital eventually moved to Lahaina and finally to Honolulu, the Kona remained a favorite retreat for the royal family.

High on the slopes of Haulalai volcano 2500 feet above Kailua-Kona is a small coffee plantation with a memorable name, Hula Daddy, offering tours and tasting of their brews and beans. The best coffee beans grow in a select "coffee belt" region just two miles wide and twenty miles long high above the coast line. 

Haulalai volcano

The plantation lies on a small secluded road behind colorful bougainvilleas and is well worth the visit. The company is environmentally friendly, planting trees to reduce the carbon footprint and using green waste, wood chips, and coffee pulp to make rich compost.  In addition, green chameleons reside in the coffee plants serving as natural insect patrol.  As a result thousands of birds visit including hawks, owls, pheasant, cardinals, finches, and doves.  And, yes, their roasted coffee tastes great, and is considered one of the top 6 coffees in the world.

AuthorRich Monroe