Your guide to Hawaii's farms and local food products

A foodie's travel planner
Matthew Jaffe

For information, contact the Big Island Visitors Bureau (808/961-5797).

FARMS

Hawaii AgVentures. The Big Island Farm Bureau program arranges tours covering individual farms, including Volcano Island Honey Co. and Wailea Agricultural Group. From $65; reservations required. www.hawaiiagventures.com or 800/660-6011.

Hawaiian Vanilla Company. Vanilla tastings (Mon-Tue; $10) as well as five-course luncheons (Wed-Thu; $39). Reservations required. Gallery and gift shop 1-5 Mon-Fri. 43-2007 Pa'auilo Mauka Rd., Pa'auilo; www.hawaiianvanilla.com or 808/776-1771.

Hilo Farmers Market. The most diverse of the island's many farmers' markets. Wed and Sat "from dawn 'til it's gone." Mamo St. at Kamehameha Ave., Hilo; www.hilofarmersmarket.com or 808/933-1000.

Merriman's Farm Visits & Dinner. Stops typically include outings to Waimea's Honopua Farms, which grows organic greens and flowers for leis. Visits conclude with a four-course dinner at Merriman's. 1:15 Tue; $125. 65-1227 Opelo Rd., in Opelo Plaza, State 19/Mamalahoa Hwy. and Opelo Rd., Waimea; www.merrimanshawaii.com or 808/885-6822.

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. Tours of the South Kona factory, which uses Hawaii-grown cocoa beans. $5, reservations required. 78-6772 Makenawai St., Kailua-Kona; www.originalhawaiianchocolatefactory.com or 808/322-2626.

Volcano Island Honey Co. Tours and tasting $10, reservations required. 46-4013 Pu'aono Rd., Honoka'a; www.volcanoislandhoney.com or 808/775-1000.

Wailea Agricultural Group. See Hawaii AgVentures, above, for tours. Buy hearts of palm online or at Honomu farm stand (call for directions). www.waileaag.com or 808/937-7591.

 

DINING

The CanoeHouse. The restaurant is one of Hawaii's most romantic. $$$$; dinner daily. Mauna Lani Resort, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr., Kohala Coast; 808/885-6622.

Hilo Bay Café. A blend of regional specialties and updated American classics. $$; lunch and dinner daily. 315 Maka'ala St., Hilo; 808/935-4939.

The Hualalai Grille by Alan Wong. Specialties by a superstar of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. $$$; lunch and dinner daily, reservations suggested. Hualalai Resort, 100 Kaupulehu Dr., Kailua-Kona; 808/325-8525.

Merriman's Restaurant. Another landmark of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. $$$$; lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily. See Merriman's Farm Visits, above.

LODGING

Hawaii's Best Bed & Breakfast. A good resource for inns throughout the island. www.bestbnb.com or 800/262-9912.

Mauna Lani Resort. Oceanfront classic with a protected swimming beach. 342 rooms from $430; 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr., Kohala Coast; www.maunalani.com or 800/367-2323.

The Palms Cliff House Inn. A small inn on the Hamakua Coast has the atmosphere of plantation-era Hawaii. 8 rooms from $175. 28-3514 State 19/Mamalahoa Hwy., Honomu; www.palmscliffhouse.com or 808/963-6076.