For more than a century, sugar was king along the fertile Hāmākua Coast. Today, despite the industry’s demise in the late 1990s, Honoka‘a, the biggest small town along this coast, remains a living testament to the plantation era. Economic changes have not diminished Honoka‘a’s historical integrity. While some visitors consider Honoka‘a no more than a gateway to Waipi‘o Valley, it’s worth exploring this National Historic Site. On Mamāne Street, the Honoka‘a People’s Theater has been showing movies since the late ’30s. A more than 80-year-old hardware store and century-old Buddhist Temple add their luster to the town, and down the road, Tex Drive-In is a local institution. Learn more about the area’s plantation days at Laupahoehoe Train Museum, or book an excursion into Waipi‘o Valley.