Both culturally and geographically, Hawaii's Big Island divides into exact halves. The east is jungly, dark and prone to lava flows. The other side, the Kona side, grows all the coffee, and everyone wakes up really, really early. You might even see someone break the speed limit there, which is inconceivable elsewhere in the islands.
Much of this drier region almost resembles a desert. But the shapes of the hills and the way rain snags on ridges means Kona holds hundreds of microclimates. That's how the coffee growers have flourished: Variations of only a few feet in altitude can result in very different brews. Some farms cover barely an acre; others sprawl enough to encompass two or three varietals. Either way, the beans are babied—from bush to cup—by hand.
Thankfully, plenty of places exist to play and burn off a little caffeine around Kona. History lies thick on the ground, from Kamehameha's heiau (temple) to the sacred buildings of Puuhonua O Honaunau ("The Place of Refuge") to the bay where Captain Cook breathed his last. Whales love the Kona side, spinner dolphins live up to their names, and giant mantas slowly barrel roll up from the depths. Half an island is world enough.