What's it Like to Live in Waimea?

Posted Thursday, July 11, 2019 by Courtney Dennis

Set on 10 acres within the picturesque Kohala Ranch community of Waimea, this custom, contemporary, gated estate showcases 360-degree views of Big Island coastline, Maui, and the Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Kohala mountains. The home’s 4,575 square feet contain three master suites, a fourth en suite bedroom, and a 3/4 guest bath accessible from the spacious lanai and solar-heated pool with waterfall. Its detached cottage has its own kitchen, sunroom, and private patio.



Being sold furnished, the residence offers several living spaces; a kitchen with an induction cook top, granite counters, and bar seating; a dining space for 10; and dramatic details such as a two-sided rock fireplace and an atrium with indoor koi pond. It also boasts steel-framed construction, a 66-panel photovoltaic system, and a security system, along with a three-car garage with space for a workshop and storage. The home is surrounded by mature trees, lush lawns, and tropical flowers, with a verdant, rolling landscape beyond.



Developed as an equestrian community, Kohala Ranch and its dedicated riding trails are situated within Waimea, the largest town on the north side of the Big Island. Waimea rests on the southern slopes of the Kohala volcano, near the northwestern reaches of Mauna Kea. This quaint farming and ranching area enjoys average temperatures in the 60s year-round, due to its elevation of over 2,500 feet above sea level.

Waimea owes its name, meaning “reddish water” in Hawaiian, to nearby streams flowing in from the north. Although locals continue to refer to the town this way, the post office uses the name Kamuela because of other Waimeas on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. The Hawaiian version of Samuel, Kamuela was chosen to honor Samuel Parker, the primarily native Hawaiian grandson of the founder of Parker Ranch. As one of the oldest and largest cattle establishments in the U.S., Parker Ranch continues to give the region the flavor of the paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy.



So, what would life really be like in Waimea?

The Big Island’s little gem of a town features a full gamut of restaurant choices, from the acclaimed Merriman’s Big Island to the Big Island Brewhaus. The Waimea Center provides not only Chinese, Italian, Korean, Thai, and sushi restaurants, but a juice bar and an acai bowl café, as well as essentials like a grocery store, banks, medical offices, a mailing center, and a hair salon. The Parker Ranch Center has casual dining, a Starbucks, a grocery store, banks, and clothing stores; and Parker Square has boutiques and the Waimea General Store.

Four farmers’ markets also operate in this charming region over the course of the week. And just a few miles to the west, the Mauna Kea Resort area has a variety of additional dining options, as well as scenic oceanfront golf and a luxurious spa.

And what else will I find in Waimea?

Waimea’s gently sloping hills make it an ideal setting not only for horseback riding, but for hiking in locations such as the Kohala Forest Reserve. The nearby Botanical World Adventures offers a number of activities, including a rainforest walk, a visit to the Umauma Waterfall, ziplining over the Umauma River, and kayaking on the river.



Those seeking a dose of history can opt for self-guided tours through the Victorian-era homes on Parker Ranch or explore the petroglyphs (known in Hawaiian as pohaku) just west of Waimea, carved in stone as early as the 16th century. Just over 20 miles north of Waimea lies the magical Waipio Valley, with cliffs up to 2,000 feet in height, the breathtaking Hiilawe waterfall, a black sand beach, and otherworldly horseback riding.

And what about the beaches?

Only 16 minutes from Waimea, Spencer Beach Park supplies shade and calm waters protected by an off-shore reef that creates an excellent setting for swimming and snorkeling. A 20-minute drive from Waimea leads to heavenly, half-mile Hapuna Beach, complete with white sands; perpetual sunshine; great conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and body boarding; an on-duty lifeguard; beach equipment rentals; and even a snack bar. Although nearby Kaunaoa/Mauna Kea Beach can have rough surf in the winter, its dazzling white sands make it a lovely place to sunbathe during the day and spot manta rays (in water lit by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel) at night.

To learn more about this featured listing or life in Waimea, please contact Donna Duryea.