Mai’ka’i Waimea i ka uka (Fine is Waimea in the uplands)
Waimea, also known as Kamuela, is a town with a population of approximately nine thousand two hundred residents and a relatively strong recent growth pattern. Known as the home of Parker Ranch, we are a “Paniolo” (cowboy) town. Waimea breaks from the traditional mold of Big Island communities because of its location on the interior of the island, specifically in the South Kohala District. Waimea literally means “reddish water”, while Kamuela translates to Samuel from ancient Hawaiian (which was the name of Samuel Parker who was a prominent resident). Waimea has outstanding weather throughout the year, and boasts a fascinating ethnic and historic heritage.
Waimea is a 45 minute drive from the Kona- Keahole Airport, or an hour and fifteen minute drive from Hilo. The town sits amongst grassy hills and is noticeably cooler than the coast with afternoon mist closing in around the hills but surprisingly little rain. Waimea’s old charm has been maintained and there are several fine restaurants and inns and a few historical attractions making this a pleasant place to spend a night.
Despite its tranquil and relatively isolated location, Waimea is still located within a thirty minute to one hour drive of the major beachside resorts, Hilo International Airport, and Kona International Airport. Popular annual events in Waimea include the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, the Parker Ranch Fourth of July Rodeo, the Aloha Festivals Waimea Paniolo Parade, and the Annual Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Institute. Waimea boasts incredible mountain views in addition to attractions such as the Kamuela Museum, the Parker Ranch Historic Homes, Kahilu Theater, Dahana Ranch, and the Parker Ranch Store.
The pace is slow, real slow, but that is the beauty of it. It’s a place where you forget about your worries and allow yourself to relax. Going out to grab a bite is always an easy task. Some sandy feet, sunburn, a towel, and a smile is all you need, why give thought to your wardrobe, that’s for another place and time. Did I forget to mention the summer sunsets? Of course not… Honestly, there is nothing like grabbing a cooler and some friends and walking out to the beach and toasting to the setting of the Sun. Need I say more?
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