Kona is the gentle giant of Hawai’i, trading on its lush geography, quiet beaches, wealth of outdoor activities and, most famously, its internationally coveted coffee beans. There is no doubt it provides the perfect setting for family travel among those who want to unplug and reconnect with nature for the entirety of their visit.
While there are hotels catering to those families and a good variety of coffee plantation tours geared for older foodies, Buddha’s Sanctuary found a way to blend some of Kona’s greatest assets in a way people of all ages can savor. The family-owned plantation, which produces five coffee labels along with teas, rum cakes and chocolate confections, soars 2,400 feet above sea level and covers 50 acres nestled in the Ohia Forest. The journey to the site itself is part of the fun, requiring visitors to drive up roads that give way to spectacular views.
Tours of this cup of paradise, some free of charge, include family walking tours around the main gate as well as more extensive, nature-focused jaunts into the sanctuary where horses, goats, dogs, cats and parrots roam around as if they own the place (and they kind of do). Other on-site programs allow kids opportunities to play with the animals, pick coffee beans and learn how coffee is grown, harvested and roasted. Adults and teens, meanwhile, will enjoy coffee samples and the quiet, clutter- and tourist trap-free setting.
Buddha’s Sanctuary is also infusing a touch of 21st-century science into the coffee cultivation process thanks to Christine Coleman (granddaughter of California wine scion Julio Gallo, who purchased the estate in 2003). As an agricultural expert, Coleman discovered placing beans inside a Blu Room with UV-B brings about a cleaner, less acidic taste in brewed coffees. Guests are allowed to relax inside the estate’s Blu Room, as the effects of UV-B light have been found to benefit humans in treating or alleviating a variety of health-related issues. A Blu Gro greenhouse is now in use for growing disease-resistant coffee plants with an optimal growth rate.
For an extra fee, one-hour and half-hour driving tours offer a safari-like experience via 4×4 Jeep, covering the property’s 80 acres — like a jaunt through a real life Jurassic Park with its forest of exotic trees and plants, minus the dinosaurs. One-hour tours include five farm samplings of coffees, teas and rum cakes and run $40 for adults and $10 for kids 6–12 (free for kids under 6). Thirty-minute tours (with two coffee samples) run $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Tours of any length may also incorporate opportunities to try some of the year-round bounty of tropical fruits, including tangerines, star fruit and avocados.
There’s no reason to shiver your way through the holidays this month. Family travelers can escape to Mexico for the season with family-friendly Christmas offerings at Velas Resorts in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and beyond.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
As family travelers get ready for the holiday and gift-giving season, this thrilling and unique offer from SkyBridge Michigan at Boyne Mountain Resort should be on all travelers’ radar. The new SkyBridge Michigan Flex Ticket is the perfect experience-style gift for your adventure-loving loved one.
The end of the year is a great time to plan family travels — kids have time off and the holiday season is the perfect time for bonding and making memories. But while there are plenty of destinations known for big New Year’s Eve parties, it can be tough to find just the right spot for a family-friendly trip to celebrate this annual milestone. This year, Door County in Northern Wisconsin offers the perfect solution.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth is a colorful, festive time filled with holiday spirit, a perfect choice for a couples’ getaway to shop without the whole family in tow. It’s worth traveling to this historic seacoast city to be part of the weeks full of twinkling lights, decorated shops and streets, holiday music, theater and merriment, all of which led Portsmouth to be called the Christmas Capital of North America.