Hawi (hah-vee) is a little slice of picturesque North Kohala that's been massaged by mainlanders (and their money) into a bohemian enclave of cafes, locavore dining, galleries and artisan gifts: all in about two blocks, which is as big as this town gets. Rarely will you see a 'snowbird' community settle into such a permanent nest; transplants and locals have built something special in Hawi, and it's quite simply one of the nicest places to stop and smell the organic coffee.
This was once a major plantation town for the Kohala Sugar Company, and many local residents are descendants of sugar workers. For all the town has evolved from rustic boondocks to tourist destination, there is still a very Kohala-esque sense of feisty isolation – an independent streak that's easy to love.
Note that Kohala Mountain Rd (Hwy 250) is called Hawi Rd close to town.