Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaii

Parker Ranch with Mauna Kea in the Background, Waimea

Mauna Kea volocano in background, Waimea

Mauna Kea in background

Mauna Kea in background

Horses in Waimea

Horses in Waimea

Attractions: mountain views, Parker Ranch

Activities: rest stop, horseback riding, sight seeing

Pastures and Hills of Waimea

Mauna Kea view from Waimea

The interior of the Big Island comes as a surprise: pastoral meadows roll over gentle hills where once stood forests of sandalwood. This is cattle-ranching country, most of it - ten percent of the island - owned by the United States’ largest private ranch, the Parker Ranch.

View of North Kohala Coast in the distanceWaimea (also known as Kamuela - to distinguish itself from a town with the same name located on Kauai) is located in the cooler mountainous area of the Big Island, although only a short distance from the Kohala Coast and its magnificent beaches. At 2,500 feet above sea level, the fenced pastures, clear skies, cool air, and grazing cattle and horses offer a country-like charm.

WaimeaWaimea is home to many “Paniolo” cowboys, Physicians and Nurses at the new state-of-the-art North Hawaii Community Hospital, Astronomers for the Keck and Canada-France-Hawaii Observatories, and faculty, staff and students of the prestigious college-prep school Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

View on Route 250 - scenic driveWaimea, centrally located at the northern part of the Island, 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 at 2,600 feet and is noticeably cooler than the coast with afternoon mist closing in around the hills but surprisingly little rain. This pleasant climate and town charm has

Rolling Hills of Waimeaspurred a population boom in recent years and Waimea now boasts a modern shopping mall along with traffic lights and road congestion The old charm nonetheless 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. Turn onto Mana Road (see map) from Route19 and you will experience a pleasant drive along scenic rolling farmland and horse pastures.

Parker Ranch

Cattle grazing on the Kohala slopesWaimea is the center of Parker Ranch, a 225,000 acre ranch first developed by John Parker Palmer over 150 years ago. Intermingling with the town and adding to its country charm are over 50,000 head of cattle and 500 horses. Parker Ranch also boasts a large collection of Impressionistic artwork and a wonderful Jade collection.

Horses on the hillside, Waimea (Kamuela)

The Parker Ranch Museum (Parker Ranch Visitor Center, at the intersection of Route19 and Route190 see map) is located in the Parker Ranch Shopping Center. This museum showcases exhibits of old ranching artifacts, weapons, quilts, photos, correspondence, and clothing of over 150-years of cattle ranching on the Big Island. The Thelma Parker Theater also offers a 15-minute video.

Also nearby are the Parker Ranch Historic Homes and Garden (located on Route190) offering tours of several of John Parker’s historic homes containing collections of Hawaiian artifacts, Asian jade, and French impressionist art.

Route 250 Scenic Drive

Route 250l from Kohala to WaimeaRoute 250 joins the town of Hawi and Waimea. This 27-mile ride along the volcanic ridge climbs to 6,000 ft., with spectacular views of the ocean below. The view is marvelous as this is one of the most scenic drives on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Route 250, Mauna Kea in backgroundAs you drive from Route 250, Mauna Kea in backgroundHawi up towards Waimea, you ascend the Kohala Mountains and off to your right is the scenic Kohala Coast. On a clear day you can see Kawaihae Harbor and all the way to Kailua. Green pastures dot your drive as Mauna Kea looms tall in front of you.

Nearby Attractions: Kohala Coast, Waipio Valley Overlook, Pololu Valley, Akaka Falls.

View from Waimea Road, Coming Back from Hawi

Route 250 Scenic Drive


Be Sociable, Share!

No related posts.

Hawaii Activities