Cool, lush, and windswept, surrounded by cinder cone-studded open pasture with clear-day views of Mauna Kea, historic Kamuela is undeniably paniolo country. It has been indelibly shaped by neighboring cattle ranches—especially Hawai‘i’s largest, Parker Ranch, whose cows graze comfortably here at 2,670 feet. This intimate, two-traffic-light community is as passionate about ranching as preserving its singular legacy and future.
Get to know Hawai‘i’s “first lady of ranching,” Anna Lindsey Perry-Fiske, at picturesque Anna Ranch. Tour the historic ranch home and walk the on-site Discovery Trail. 65-1480 Kawaihae Road. 808-885-4426; annaranch.org.
Learn about W.M. Keck Observatory’s twin 10-meter telescopes at Keck Observatory's visitor gallery. 65-1120 Mamalahoa Highway. 808-885-7887; keckobservatory.org.
Great performances await at Kahilu Theatre. 67-1186 Lindsey Road. 808-885-6868; kahilutheatre.org.
For families, Anuenue Playground’s labyrinthine wooden structures alone demand a trip. Waimea Park; park on Lindsey Road. anuenueplayground.org.
Familiar retail abounds at Parker Ranch Center, but other must-stops include Waimea General Store, where every nook brims with practical to decorative items. 65-1279 Kawaihae Road, Suite 112. 808-885-4479; waimeageneralstore.com.
Be treated to personalized styling while sourcing chic, practical women’s fashion at Hula Moon Boutique. 65-1279 Kawaihae Road, Suite 111. 808-885-1202; hulamoonboutique.com.
Fill coolers with fresh butter and superpremium ice cream, sorbet, and gelato from Tropical Dreams store. 66-1250 Lalamilo Farm Road. 888-888-8031; tropicaldreamsicecream.com.
Tuck in at The Fish and the Hog for country atmosphere, fish tacos, and barbecue brisket. 64-957 Mamalahoa Highway. 808-885-6268; fb.com/fishandhog.
Award-winning craft beers complement local and handcrafted dishes at Big Island Brewhaus. 64-1066 Mamalahoa Highway. 808-887-1717; bigislandbrewhaus.com.
Visit warm, casual Pau for farm-to-table pizza, pasta, organic salads, and sandwiches. 65-1227 Opelo Road. 808-885-6325; paupizza.com.
Chef Edwin Goto’s Noodle Club pairs indulgent bone broths with eclectic noodles. 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway, Suite A106. 808-885-8825; fb.com/noodleclubwaimea.