Sample some of the finest coffee around, learn the constellations at the planet’s largest observatory and graze on tropical field-to-fork bounty. Bite into a juicy, sweet pineapple plucked from the field hours before and taste premium Kona coffee at the source. Yes, Hawaii is about the ocean, but the ‘aina (land) holds just as many delightful treasures waiting to be uncovered. Head out for a day trip or spend the morning chatting with locals at the community farmers’ market. Keep it as easygoing or full-octane as you like.
Believe it or not, there are hundreds of coffee plantations in Kona alone. The cozy cloud cover, high elevation and volcanic soil make for superb coffee, known round the globe. And 100% kona coffee is an epicure’s delicacy grown only in the north and south. Tour and taste on the farm, delving into harvesting and processing techniques, comparing boutique brews, or make a self-guided farm-to-farm road trip out of it. Hilo, Puna and Kau are some of the hot spots — or catch them all in one place at November’s festival in Historic Kailua Village.Learn More
Small community markets are a wonderful way to meet the locals and uncover insider tips, not to mention taste some of the Islands’ tropical flavors as fresh as they come. Pick up some picnic goodies, artisan wares and seasonal staples, or venture into the exotics: dragonfruit, lilikoi and fresh papaya. Come hungry because you’ll want to try the globe-trotting tastes on offer like native poi, Korean kimchi, Filipino lumpia (fritters), Japanese katsu (fried chicken) and addictive Portuguese doughnuts called malasadas.Learn More
Pay a visit to the planet’s largest astronomical observatory, Maunakea, also atop the biggest sea mountain on Earth. Peer through giant telescopes, sit in on an astronomy talk, watch a state-of-the-art planetarium show or join a guided stargazing program to the summit. Thanks to the dizzying height, clear air and nil light pollution, the peak-top celestial show adds a new dimension to the term “spectacular.” Don’t miss it.Learn More