With our kids home from college we decided to take a drive to South Kona and have breakfast at one of our favorite places on the Big Island, the Coffee Shack in Honaunau.
This modest establishment is located roadside on Mamalahoa Highway, right above Kealakekua Bay. As you look toward the ocean you look over a beautiful valley filled with tropical flowers and coffee trees. The highlight of our breakfast was my daughter’s “Ono Eggs Benedict.” She raved about it being the best breakfast she ever had.
The Coffee Shack was the perfect place to start off a day of exploration; we went snorkeling at Two Step and then to Pu’uhonua o Honauanu, extending an amazing breakfast into an amazing day.
83-5799 Mamalahoa Hwy
(Between Mile Markers 108 &109)
Captain Cook, HI 96704
OPEN: Thursday – Tuesday 7am – 3:30pm
CLOSED: Thanksgiving & Christmas
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park
AKA The City of Refuge
This is an awesome spot to visit. I went there with my family recently and it has a great map with a walking tour clearly marked out all along the way. It is a site of great importance in the Hawaiian culture and fun to explore. The park’s name is in keeping with how Native Hawaiians lived and were governed in ancient times. Back then, commoners’ lives were governed by a set of rules/regulations known as the Kapu system. And there were specific and rigid laws separating the “commoners” from the “ali`i” or ruling class. There were severe penalties for breaking kapu laws, up to and including death. If the offense was severe enough, the offender’s whole family might be executed. The lawbreaker, however, could elude a painful death if he could make it to the pu’uhonua (place of refuge). This designated area offered asylum. If the offender made it to the pu’uhonua and went through mandated rituals performed by a kahuna (priest), they would be forgiven and allowed to return home, no matter what the violation. All of this and much more is explained in the information you discover along the self-guided tour.
There is a fee to enter the park, but it is worth it as this is an amazing educational and cultural experience.
The park is open daily, 8:15 a.m. to sunset.