Named for the famous British explorer who met his death in nearby Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook is a small town perched on the mountain slope above the bay. It’s an area rich with fragrant coffee fields, and Kona coffee enthusiasts will love staying here and visiting the farms. It’s also at a much cooler elevation than Kailua-Kona, so choose one of our fabulous Captain Cook vacation rentals, enjoy the views and afternoon showers, and explore south Kona!
Historical Opportunities Abound
Those who love coffee should definitely make a stop at the Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm. This award-winning historic farm is calculated so you can immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the area. Costumed interpreters bring the old days to life through demonstrations of traditional crafts and daily farm tasks. And of course, try some of their 100% Kona coffee before you leave! It’s a memorable experience for the whole family.
You might also enjoy a visit to the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum, which is housed in the oldest store in Kona (built in 1870). The store building has been meticulously restored, and every effort has been taken to reconstruct it as it looked in the late 1800s. Here you will find a wealth of photographs, artifacts, artwork, and oral histories from the Kona Historical Society’s depth of collections and archives that help you delve deeper into the island’s storied past. Kona’s melting pot of Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, Chinese, and English heritage is heralded in this quaint museum. They are open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays only.
Head directly downhill from Captain Cook (yes, it’s steep), and you’ll end up at Kealakekua Bay, the famous site of Cook’s demise. The bay is also renowned for snorkeling, though it’s not easy to get directly in the water here; the best snorkeling is near the Cook monument, which you cannot drive anywhere near. It’s recommended to see the bay either by booking a kayak tour, or a snorkeling boat (these leave from Keauhou Pier). Please use reef-safe sunscreen (no oxybenzone), and do not step on the fragile coral. Some tour operators advertise that you can swim with dolphins here; this is much less likely than it sounds, and it disturbs the dolphins, as they’re resting when they enter the bay.
For those who are interested in learning more about traditional Hawaiian life prior to the arrival of Cook during their stay in one of our Captain Cook vacation rentals, nearby you can visit Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
Considered a sacred site to this day, in ancient times this was viewed as a safe haven. In the days of chiefdom, the punishment for breaking one of the region’s kapu (laws) was the penalty of death. The only way to escape this punishment was to reach a pu’uhonua before you were captured by your accuser. Pu’uhonua means place of refuge in the Hawaiian language, and this is where offenders could find forgiveness and leave with a blank slate. The pu’uhonua at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is the last remaining pu’uhonua in the Hawaiian Islands. A massive wall made from lava rocks stands at 10 feet tall and over 1000 feet long to mark this sacred space. Intricately carved statues were carved to stand watch, and these are an interesting sight to behold to this day.
Shop Local Nearby Our Captain Cook Hawaii Rentals
There are plenty of opportunities to support local businesses and enjoy goods grown and sourced locally from the town of Captain Cook when you stay in one of our Captain Cook Hawaii rentals.
Visit Mac’s Nut Company of Hawaii to enjoy a variety of locally grown and harvested macadamia nuts, a popular snack in Hawaii that can be eaten as a stand-alone snack or as addition to salads, breads, and desserts. Try a bag of the chocolate covered macadamia nuts for a real treat!
For another sweet treat, stop by Big Island Bees. This multi-generational, family-owned and -operated company raises their own bees and offers organic, pure, raw, unfiltered Hawaiian honey that comes straight from their hives on the Big Island. Their tasting room offers free samples of this deliciously sweet treat. If you want to further understand some of the work and passion that goes behind creating each jar of honey, a tour of their bee farm is an interesting and educational experience. Get up close and personal with their 120 million bees from a safe, screened-in area where you can watch them in action. Take a beekeeping tour where your knowledgeable guide will teach you more about the queen bee and how the hive is organized. There’s also a free, interesting museum where you can explore demonstration hives and further understand the process in which honey is made. Beeswax candles and other gifts are available in the shop.
Come stay in Captain Cook: enjoy fabulous views, fragrant coffee fields, and all the great attractions of south Kona. Contact us today to start planning your island getaway and to book one of our Captain Cook Hawaii rentals!