Explore Hawaii


What’s in a name? This town on the island’s North Kohala district is also known as Kamuela. Waimea is by far the older name—Kamuela came into use in the early 20th century when the postal service needed to differentiate this town from Waimeas on the other islands. And since the postmaster’s name at that time was Samuel—which translates to Kamuela in Hawaiian—this name was given to the town. The heart of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country and home to Parker and Dahana Ranch, Waimea has a population of roughly 7,000 and its heritage blends with its small-town charm. Aside from horseback-riding tours and an annual rodeo, Waimea offers plenty of chic dining and shopping opportunities at Parker Ranch Center, Parker Square and Waimea Center. Country inns, gardens, hotels, golf courses and expansive views dot the town. See what’s playing at the Kahilu Theater, the cultural center of Waimea, where the shows range from Hawaiian slack key guitar performances to ballet and jazz. Don’t miss seeing the historic Imiloa Church, a New England-style church with walls and ceilings made from koa wood, and the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival in February.


Waimea, HI
United States