Waimea is unlike any other place on the Big Island of Hawai`i, or perhaps, the world. Even its name is a curiosity because it is not one name but two. Waimea is interchangeable with Kamuela. And it’s really more of an area plus a town. Confusion comes in again in why Waimea has another name. You see, Waimea is also the name of a valley on the North Shore of Oahu, and the name of a village on Kaua`i, besides the name of this amazing land of volcanoes, flowers, and cowboys. So, why Kamuela? Most of Waimea was owned by the Parker family; hence Parker Ranch. The patriarch of the family was Samuel Parker, 75% Hawaiian, and very active in Hawaiian politics. A naming committee of local people came together to give Waimea another name and they chose Kamuela in honor of Samuel Parker (Kamuela is the Hawaiian word for Samuel).
Once a ranch or company town, Waimea is the place where the cowboys (paniolo) and ranch hands came together to shop and eat, when not riding the range of the one of the biggest cattle ranches in the United States.
Maintaining its ranch town vibes today, Waimea features another confusingly named place. This time it’s one of the best restaurants in town: Big Island Brewhaus. Obviously, from its name, they’re well known for their beer. But the main menu is not German food, it’s Mexican. The beer and the food are homemade and the best!
There is so much history in Waimea and the surrounding area that appeals to both visitors and residents alike. Waimea is cooler than the surrounding Kohala Coast of sunshine and white sand beaches. It is 2,676 feet above sea level but if you drive north to the artsy town of Hawi, you can drive up to the tree line adjacent to Parker Ranchland, where you can see forever. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a moonbeam, the night’s answer to rainbows. In the daytime, drive a little north of Hawi to Pololu Valley Lookout. You’re sure to share the view with the grazing horses on the nearby pastures. Save some time to hike down to the black sand beach below.
Save another day for driving to the Waipio Valley Lookout, around the bend at the northern corner of Waimea – one of the most dramatic beautiful jaw-dropping inspiring views in all of Hawaii.
Imagine what it would be like to experience living where this beauty surrounds you 24/7. Start shopping for your place in paradise today. Lots in Waimea currently range from $147, 500 to $1,500,000; with homes starting at $299,000 to private estates at $5 million.
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