Kamuela / Waimea
WHAT WE LOVE: farmers' markets galore, paniolo & ranching traditions, arts & culture.
Waimea, known locally as Kamuela, is a charming upcountry town nestled at 2,600 feet above sea level, set against the majestic backdrop of Mauna Kea. Waimea is bursting with rich ranching traditions and history, as one one of the oldest, most established communities on Hawai‘i Island. Parker Ranch was established more than 160 years ago and Waimea grew up nearby, serving as the heart and center ranching life. Kamuela is the Hawaiian language equivalent of Samuel – chosen to honor Samuel Parker, a family member with Native Hawaiian heritage who played a central role in local politics during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Waimea’s community is an ecclectic mix of local ranchers and farmers, resort employees from the Kohala Coast (just 20 minutes away), as well as astronomers who work in the many observatories at the top of nearby Mauna Kea. Waimea has become known for its excellent private schools, cultural offerings, and farm-to-table dining, all of which sits comfortably alongside the local paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) culture. It's also known for its cooler temperatures, sweeping vistas, rolling hills and grasslands.