Standing tall at 13,803 feet (4,207.3 meters), Mauna Kea is the highest peak in the state of Hawaii. It is also one of five volcanic hot spots on the island, but is currently dormant, having witnessed its last eruption about 3,600 years ago. The mountain is sacred to the native Hawaiian people, and only high ranking members of the community were traditionally allowed to ascend the peak. Its summit is considered one of the best astronomical observation sites in the world and is home to a number of observatories. Numerous trails exist on the mountain, some of which lead up to the summit.
Among Big Island's white sand spots, this one stands out and is regularly ranked among the top beaches in the world. The sand is sugar-fine, warm and clean and stretches as far as the eye can see. The waves are deep blue in the distance, foamy when they hit the shore. The half-mile strip also has great facilities like a paved walkway leading from the parking lot, which is a rarity in Hawaii!
One of the more noticeable art galleries in the North Kohala area, this gallery sits along the roadside in an old renovated plantation home. The art cooperative most famous resident is Kenji Yokohama. He grew up on the homestead in an area that was a bustling plantation town. Today, the house consists of a museum, artist studios and galleries in a lush and tropical setting. Artists come for inspiration the North Kohala area, which provides others to come a bit of history and enjoy the amazing talents that have developed in this small plantation home.
This is one of the Big Island's best places to swim, sunbathe, picnic and bodysurf. A dirt road off Highway 19 (aka Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway), leads out to Mahai'ula Beach, where a picturesque crescent of golden sand meets the head of a protected bay. Kua Bay, located about a four-mile hike north from the beach, is a good place for more activities. Divers frequently visit the underwater tunnels and the shipwreck off shore. In vehicles that aren't four-wheelers, drives down the one-mile unpaved road to the beach will be a difficult one.
Estimated to be between 200 and 1000 years old, these eerie, timeless remnants of Hawaii's past are at the end of a 0.7 mile paved trail. The trail is easy to maneuver and the scenery is amazing. The first part travels over a vast expanse of lava rock. Eventually it leads into a dry wood forest where crude symbols are carved into large rocks. The historic site is located in the Holoholokai Beach Park.
Located inside the Hilton Waikoloa Village, this dolphin habitat draws visitors from up and down the big island of Hawaii. Dolphin Quest Hawaii offers a variety of programs and encounters for everyone from children to couples. Guests and visitors have the chance to learn about these extraordinary creatures through fun and educational programs. See their website for more information.
Kahilu Theatre is a local theater that was founded with the aim of encouraging creativity and innovation. The diverse shows staged here explore different aspects of performing arts and entertain audiences as well. This theater can accommodate 490 patrons and hosts drama, comedy shows, musicals, concert series and similar gigs. Also, the venue can be rented for private events and functions. For more details, check website or call ahead.
Located near the corner of Mamalahoa Highway and Lindsay Road in the heart of the small ranching town of Waimea, this charming art gallery is full of unique works of art that are often overlooked by the larger island galleries. The art shows feature island artists and serve as a showplace for community talent, budding artists and other causes. The gallery was founded in 1974 and is housed in Waimea's original firehouse. The building retains its original tin roof and plantation-era exterior. The gallery is active in promoting and stimulating interest in the community for the fine arts.
This Waimea landmark is at the very heart of the ranching and equestrian community of North Kohala on the Big Island of Hawaii. The area is the site for several rodeo events that begin in late spring and continue until Labor Day. The most popular events are the Independence Day and Labor Day events. The rodeo events showcase a group of island ranchers who compete in bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and more. The arena has a large and comfortable grandstand, a racetrack, lots of parking space and beautiful views of Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountains.
The art of Hawai'i and Polynesia has a distinctive style that appeals to a variety of people from around the world. Visit this gallery and see it for yourself. The upcountry venue features the work of some of Hawaii's best artists and crafters. You will see paintings and sculptures, jewelry, Koa wood furniture and Hawaiian quilts. Also available are tribal art of the Pacific and pieces from Indonesia and New Guinea.
A visit to this island art gallery requires a drive past wide open countryside, green pastures, grazing cattle, horses and perhaps even snow-capped Mauna Kea in the winter months. Located 2300 feet above sea level in the upland beauty of what islanders refer to as Waimea, this art gallery is a wonderful spot for browsing for local art treasures. The gallery is a unique consortium of private education and a multitude of artists. The gallery's collection contains paintings, sculpture, glass, photography and woodwork. It's worth the drive.
Located adjacent to the ball fields at Waimea Park, this community center hosts many activities and meetings. It is an older building that has seen better days, but the joy it brings to all those who use it keep the atmosphere lively and energetic. The small, one-story structure offers a district office, several large activity rooms and a small parking lot. The center is the site where seniors gather for craft and fitness classes, and it is also the site where election polls are set up. There are karate and aikido classes, line dancing classes and even ping pong classes on offer.