Jump start your day with java jolt of Kona coffee, grown on the Big Island for over 100 years, most of it in Kona district's mountainous interior. Here, over the centuries, greenery has begun to assert dominance over lifeless volcanic landscapes as evidenced by the numerous farms in the region.
Follow the aromatic nose of ground coffee on a windless day to Holualoa or Kealakekua, just south of Kailua-Kona, for one of the many coffee farms offering tours that take you from the coffee tree to the finished product. A quick drive south is the Kona Historical Society Museum with artifacts pertaining to the area's history, and the D. Uchida Coffee Farm, modeled on the workings of the farm during the 1920's-1940's, complete with period costume and tools.
If all the coffee tasting leaves you a little wired, take a morning off and sign up for a horseback ride down to Kealakekua Bay for a snorkel and picnic, or rent kayaks and explore hidden coves and crannies beyond the bay.
Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park is only a quick drive from Kealakekua Bay. Once a safe haven for Hawaiians who had broken the laws and faced the death penalty, the park today is frequented solely by the law-abiding. In addition to a number of reconstructed historical buildings, there are pleasant places to stroll and picnic in the park, with views out over the sea and sometimes humpback whales. Snorkel in adjacent Honaunau Bay before continuing on down Route 11. Numerous parks along the way allow camping with the appropriate permits for those who want to play chieftain on the beach for a night.
South Kona stretches for approximately 30 miles along the coast between Kailua-Kona and Kau district.