A Town Built Around Cof­fee

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - KONA COFFEE BELT -

A slight de­tour off High­way 11 leads to the funky up­coun­try vil­lage of Holu­aloa.

You’ll know you’ve reached this eclec­tic lit­tle town when you see a flu­o­res­cent-pink build­ing called the Kona Ho­tel. Built in 1926, the ho­tel is still main­tained by its found­ing fam­ily mem­bers. With the ex­cep­tion of the ex­te­rior paint job, there’s not much to in­di­cate the pas­sage of time—it has main­tained its orig­i­nal early-1900s style. The homey 11-unit es­tab­lish­ment of­fers rooms with shared bath­rooms at rates that range from $20 to $30 a night.

In Holu­aloa, you’ll find an in­ter­est­ing blend of artisans and crafters. The half-mile stretch of Ma­mala­hoa High­way (180) that is Holu­aloa Vil­lage fea­tures more than a dozen his­tor­i­cal build­ings that have now be­come world-class art gal­leries, stu­dios and shops, along with a cafe and restau­rant, bed-and-break­fast inns that range from cozy to ex­clu­sive, and a gen­eral store that fea­tures farm-fresh Kona cof­fee and pro­duce.

A three-mile wind­ing drive up the moun­tain­side re­veals a cool, lush Kona most vis­i­tors never see, a step back in time to a life­style cen­tered around art, cof­fee and his­tory.

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