Located on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain just a five-minute drive to downtown Kailua-Kona, Holualoa presents an array of residential communities, both vintage and new, including plantation-era homes and cottages along Mamalahoa Road, ranch-style estate homes situated on sizable acreage above town; and custom-resort homes and gated neighborhoods located on Hualalai Road, which winds its way up to the town’s main junction.
The Donkey Mill Art Center exemplifies the world-class artist community that resides in Holualoa.Quaint and close-knit, the artists’ village of Holualoa features boutiques, cafés, art galleries and restaurants, many of which occupy lovingly restored vintage homes and structures dating from the early 1900s. Throughout the year, the town rolls out the red carpet for art strolls, Kona Coffee Festival events, art auctions and the annual Holualoa Music and Light Festival that ushers in the holiday season.

Meandering through the village and its surrounding residential communities, Mamalahoa Road traverses by old churches, coffee farms, roadside general stores, and landmark businesses like Kimura Lauhala Shop, established in 1914. Longtime residents remember such landmarks as Kona Bottling Works (1920-1942), the old Nakamaru dental office; and the vibrant-pink old Kona Hotel in the center of town built in 1926.

Also known as the Kona Heritage Corridor, this historic byway reveals an array of natural flora including majestic monkeypod trees and flowering Jacaranda trees.

Formerly a sugar town from 1899 to 1926, Holualoa become known for its Kona coffee, thanks to the volcanic-rich soil throughout the area ideal for growing coffee. Among the many renowned coffee farms, Holualoa Kona Coffee Company offers free tours of its orchard and mill.

(c) Karen Anderson, photos & article

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