LIVING ON THE BIG ISLAND
Hawaii Island has always been a want-to-go destination for adventure travelers worldwide and in recent years more and more people are deciding to move to the Big Island to live out their dreams.
It’s no surprise that this is so as Hawaii has a lot to offer with an active volcano that can be biked, hiked and explored; the world’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea that has an altitude of 4,205 meters (13,796 feet).
And, that is only the beginning of what there is to see and do on the Big Island from tropical rain-forests, towering waterfalls and lava tubes to hiking trails that range from gentle to extreme on the difficulty scale. Add to that the spectacular beaches surprising many new visitors with their variety of colors including black, white, green and all perfect for recreation and relaxation.
Towns on the Big Island
Waimea is the largest town in the interior of the Big Island, and is the center for ranching activities and paniolo culture. The Parker Ranch in Waimea is the largest privately owned cattle ranch in the United States, and they host an annual Fourth of July rodeo which is a major event Waimea. The Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, held annually in the first week of February, has recently become another major event of the town. The center of town hosts the Isaacs Art Center, the Wishard Gallery, and the Gallery of Great Things, all which feature Hawaiian art.
New To The Big Island?
Newcomers to the Big Island are sometimes confused about the town having two names: Waimea or Kamuela. On the island, everyone refers to the town as Waimea and it is Waimea!
However, the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t allow a state to have more than one post office with the same town name, and because there is a Waimea town on Kauai, the Big Island Waimea’s official post office name is Kamuela. Named after Samuel, the grandson of Parker Ranch founder John Parker. Kamuela is the Hawaiian name for Samuel.
Waimea is proud of its paniolo (cowboy) history. At one point in time the Parker Ranch encompassed over 500,000 acres which would now cover most of present day Waimea. There is a larger-than-life size statue of Ikua Purdy at the Parker Ranch Center in downtown Waimea. Purdy gained international acclaim being the first Hawaiian to win the 1908 world champion steer-roping contest in Wyoming. You can read more about how the Parker Ranch’s history intertwines with that of Hawaii here.
People in Waimea have continued the traditions of their past and many are still active farmers and ranchers and there are currently some fantastic acreage properties available. Waimea offers a lot of amenities which is why nearly 10,000 people have chosen to call Waimea home:
Everything is at Your Fingertips
Living in Waimea, puts you just about within walking distance for everything you’ll need. It is the largest town in North Kohala and offers supermarkets, health food stores, hairdressers, clothing boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and so much more. There’s also a wealth of services, including a post office, a hospital (North Hawaii Community Hospital), dentists, car repair services, cleaners and everything else you might need is right there in Waimea so there is no need to travel to Hilo or Kona.
Attractions in Waimea
There’s no shortage of cultural and social activities to enjoy in Waimea. Kahilu Theater attracts a broad range of world-famous artists and theatrical productions. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival every February attracts huge crowds, as does Parker Ranch’s annual July 4th rodeo, and for the Christmas parade the cooler weather in Waimea makes it feel like Christmas! Plus, there’s the Aloha Festivals Ho’olaulea in the fall and so much more!
The Most Beautiful Landscapes on the Planet
The island of Hawaii, also known as “The Big Island,” is the largest in the state and boasts some of Hawaii’s most varying landscape. It encompasses 12 separate climate zones and visitors will marvel at the dramatic difference in temperatures as well as the scenic beauty that spans across each distinct area from balmy tropical rain-forest to the snowcapped peaks dotting the slopes of Mauna Kea. Beach goers will always get their fill of sunshine and sand at any of the fantastic beaches located along the Big Island’s western Kona and Kohala coasts. Those who are looking for a quieter, more casual experience will adore Hilo, a sleepy little bayside town filled with small mom-and-pop shops. From the Volcanoes National Park to the famous green sandy beaches of Papakolea beach “The Big Island” has a lot to offer those looking for a unique place to raise their family or spend their retirement.