Where else can you see and smell a chocolate orchid! Among other orchids, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens is where you will want to stop for a quick visit if you are in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park area! Take a stroll through their showroom for the largest variety of gorgeous and unique orchids all in one place!
Around since 1977, Big Island Candies are known for their macadamia nut chocolate dipped shortbread cookies and the Hilo location is their flagship store and factory where you can catch a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of cookie production! Their cookies are heavenly and make perfect gifts for people back home!
Blink and you will miss this gem! Driving along the highway in Captain Cook, it's easy to miss The Coffee Shack as it's just a small unassuming little place that you'd never guess what lies beyond its little doors.
The cafe serves homemade soup, sandwiches, pizzas specializing in local ingredients, and 100% Kona coffee. Portions are generous and food is fresh. It's the perfect place to stop for a lunch or even a quick coffee break to appreciate the gorgeous views!
Located in Queen's Marketplace, A Hawaii Resort Shopping Center in Waikoloa Beach, make sure you stop by Ippy's Hawaiian BBQ, a little food court gem for Hawaiian BBQ! Owned by local Hawaiian chef, Philip “Ippy” Aiona is also a Season 8 finalist on "Food Network Star", Ippy's Hawaiian BBQ is the perfect place for a quick sampling of his cuisine. On the other side of the road at the King's Shops, you can enjoy his sit down restaurant experience at Three Fat Pigs Restaurant & The Thirsty Wolf, a Restaurant and Gastropub by Chef Ippy Aiona.
For a truly "farm to table" foodie experience, Pueo's Osteria was an amazing dining experience for fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients paired with authentic Italian imports, for an authentic Italian dinner in a fun environment. The restaurant is open later so it's a great place to go for drinks and dinner after dark, when so many places are closed. And judging by the walls of photos and celebrity visits, this award winning restaurant is a popular favourite among many!
Kona Natural Soap Company
More than just soap! A locally owned hand made soap company, Kona Natural Soap Company offers factory and farm tours every Thursday for a behind the scenes look at their operation.
They have their own coffee and chocolate farms where their ingredients are incorporated into their all natural soap products. Touring the farm and learning about their small farm production operations, you are able to experience the island of Hawaii and what it represents - living your passion through the land.
Enjoy fresh brewed Kona coffee and enjoy the farmer's markets on Saturday morning to peruse through a community of local handmade goods, arts and crafts as well as the large number of food stands selling authentic Hawaiian food and snacks.
The Hawaiian culture is steeped in tradition, paying homage to the land that bears its fruits for all to enjoy. There is no need for "want" in Hawaii as the island has everything you need. Life is simple, and life is good. What else could a person want? The spirit of aloha is all around and the generosity and love the people of Hawaii share is aspirational for us to lead our daily lives with the same level of appreciation in all that we do, and all that we have.
I think it's time we all started bringing in a little bit of aloha into our daily lives and enjoying the fruits of an aloha life! If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure you reach out for assistance! I would love the opportunity to help you plan the most amazing trip to Hawaii!