Hawaii May 2021, Day 4: Kona Coffee Living History Farm and Paradise Meadows

I woke up early, as usual in Hawaii, fully intending to go hike down the Captain Cook Monument Trail to the beach I had been unable to kayak to the previous afternoon. I had an appointment at 9:30 am, and I figured I had plenty of time to hike down and back up beforehand. But as I sipped my coffee on the back porch in the early morning light, I found myself wanting to linger. Why rush? Why not savor a tranquil moment in this delightful place, and just let the Captain Cook Monument go?

I entertained the temptation, and when the host Michael announced a breakfast of frittata, baked goods, and tropical fruit, I yielded. So I left a planned experience “on the table” as it were, but I don’t regret it for a minute. The B&B really was enchanting, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If I had to do it over again, I would have stayed two nights here and only one in Kailua-Kona.

When it was finally time to leave, I headed to my scheduled tour at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. This was completely different from the Buddha’s Cup farm I had toured the other day, or even the cocoa orchard. This was a 1940’s-era traditional farm that had belonged to a Japanese immigrant family and did everything – picking, drying, and grinding – the traditional way. Although I confess I don’t remember many of the technical details told me by the guide, it was fascinating to see the low-technology but ingenious devices they used as well as the house they lived in, decorated in traditional Japanese manner.

Although not cheap ($85, must be booked in advance), the tour was highly worth it because it was such a unique experience and I ended up getting a private tour from an affable and very knowledgeable guide because no-one else had booked that time slot. Of my three orchard/farm tours on the island, I would say Buddha’s Cup, while enjoyable, was probably the most dispensable – you’d get plenty of an enjoyable and educational experience with the cocoa orchard and this.

Leaving there, I swung by Kaaloa Super J’s again hoping for chicken laulau this time, but they were out, so I contented myself with more pork. Heading further south down the coast, the road wound on and on, until eventually I rounded the southern end of Mauna Loa and approached South Point Road.

View from an overlook approaching the turnoff to South Point Road. On the far left side, you can see the high sea cliffs near South Point itself. Note also the incredibly rich, black volcanic soil on the right side.

Almost immediately after turning on South Point Road, I made an impromptu stop at Paradise Meadows Orchard and Bee Farm. This sounds like yet another “agritour,” but this one was a bit different. This was laid out more like a garden, with lots of different herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers growing in different areas. It was here that I learned that banana trees are technically not trees, but herbs!

They also had several beautiful tropical birds!

The tour was free, self-guided, enjoyable, and at the end there were lots of free samples of honey, chocolate, and cookies! Overall, I highly recommend stopping by this place.

Next: South Point and Green Sands beach!

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