Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day Trip to Ahualoa

It rhymes with Holualoa, but it's world's away from our artists' village here in Kona. Located on the Hamakua Coast 13 miles from Waimea, the rural area of Ahualoa offer visitors a unique destination that's decidedly off the beaten track.

With towering eucalyptus trees that shade the long, windy road mauka of Honoka‘a Town, Ahualoa was originally settled by Portuguese ranchers and Japanese farmers who served the old sugar plantations in the area. Today, Ahualoa has become a quiet haven for small farms and specialty operations that produce everything from rare white honey to beef jerky, coffee, eggs and goat cheese. Some farms even offer tours, like Richard Speigel's Volcano Island Honey Company, where he cultivates a prized honey that originates from the kiawe trees in coastal Puako. Richard's rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey features a delicate tropical flavor, buttery-smooth texture and pearlescent white color favored by resort chefs and foodies.

If you happen to make the trip to Ahualoa, you might also want to explore the neighboring area of Paauilo, home of Hawaiian Vanilla Company. The only commercial grower of vanilla in the United States, Hawaiian Vanilla Company is owned and operated by the Reddekopp family, who welcomes visitors to tour their farm for a behind-the-scenes look at the vanilla-growing process. They also serve up a great lunch and afternoon teas at their little cafe, with a gourmet menu that focuses on all things vanilla. Plus there's a gallery and gift shop where you can buy extract, salad dressings, spices, rubs and vanilla beans.

Here at Holualoa Inn, we grow our own coffee, citrus, fruits and more, serving our guests a bounty of tropical ingredients. We even gather our own eggs, fresh from the chicken coop. In the coming years, our new orchard will be producing even more fruits and produce. When you stay at our Kona bed-and-breakfast inn, you'll enjoy gourmet breakfasts that are truly "farm to plate."

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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