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Waimea Visitor Information

Welcome to Waimea!

Waimea, known to the US Postal Service as Kamuela, is a small town of approximately 9000 located on the Big Island of Hawai`i at the 2900 foot elevation. Waimea, meaning red waters in Hawaiian, gets its name from the reddish color of the streams that flow through the center of town.
Waimea was historically a ranching community, with cattle coming into its history through a gift to King Kamehameha I in 1792, who put into place a kapu (taboo) on killing of the cattle. This kapu allowed them to multiply in great numbers for the next three decades which eventually caused havoc on the land, ruining many crops and forest.

Around 1830, Kamehameha III turned to Spanish cowboys “vaqueros” to help teach the Hawaiians how to ride horses and the basics of cattle control. Hawaii had its first cowboys, called “Paniolo”, by 1836. In 1848 John Palmer Parker founded Parker Ranch in Waimea. Parker Ranch is still among the largest ranches in the United States, spanning approximately 150,000 acres across Hawai`i Island. It is also one of the country’s oldest ranches, with more than 160 years of history.

The Kahilu Theatre Foundation was conceived and built by the Parker heir Richard Smart in 1980. Today, Parker Ranch still controls much of the land and resources in North Hawai`i.

Currently Waimea offers many shopping, dining, and visitor experiences. In addition astronomy and education provide much of the employment opportunities in the town.

Places to Eat

Aka Sushi  808-887-2320
65-1158 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743

Big Island Brewhaus  808-887-1717
64-1066 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743

Dom De Luca's Restaurant  808-887-1313
65-1158 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743

FORC Restaurant
65-1214 Lindsey Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Hawaiian Style Cafe  808-885-4295
65-1290 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

James Angelo's Underground Pizza  808-885-7888
64-974 Hawaii Belt Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Lilikoi Cafe  808-887-1400
67-1185 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743

Merrimans Big Island  808-885-6822
65-1227B Opelo Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Red Water Cafe  808-885-9299
65-1299 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Pau Pizza  808-885-6325
65-1227 Opelo Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

The Fish & The Hog  808-885-6268
64-957 Hawaii Belt Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Village Burger Waimea  808-885-7319
67-1185 Hawaii Belt Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Places to Stay

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel  808-882-7222
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort  888-977-4623
62-100 Kauna'Oa Dr, Kohala Coast, HI 96743

The Kamuela Inn  808-885-4243
65-1300 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows  808-885-6622
68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii  808-885-2000

1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

Hilton Waikoloa Village  808-886-1234
69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738

Puakea Ranch  808-315-0805
56-2864 Akoni Pule Highway, Hawi, HI 96719

Places to Shop

Parker Ranch Shopping Center

Waimea Center

Waimea General Store  808-885-4479

Waimea Marketplace

Interesting Things in Waimea

Keck Observatory

Parker Ranch

Historic Waimea


Waimea Farmer's Markets

Richard Smart - Founder of Kahilu Theatre

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