Waikoloa Guide

Waikoloa Guide
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Address , Waikoloa, HI
A guide to the city of Waikoloa. Complete with history and modern day attractions.

• General: History

Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Waikoloa, or Waikoloa Village if you want to get technical, is a master planned resort community.


Waikoloa is located on Hawaii Island, or the Big Island as it's commonly known. It's on the west coast of the island, a bit towards the northern side. Waikoloa is really the section on the mauka (mountain) side of the highway while the part on the makai (ocean) side is actually a region name Puako. But it's generally accepted that Puako is part of Waikoloa just like Waikoloa and Waikoloa Village are also the same thing.

If you're traveling from Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA), it's about a 20 mile ride north which takes around 25 minutes by car. The ride is fairly interesting because you're essentially in the middle of an old lava field the entire way.


The idea for Waikoloa Village dates back to the 1960's. Back then, Ron Boeddeker (of the Boise Cascade company) bought a bunch of land. Land that was nothing more than an old lava flow. He had a vision to create an oasis in the middle of an endless black field of hardened lava.

Prior to that, this land was used by ancient Hawaiians. The Ala Kahakai, or "trail by the sea", is located here. This trail runs along the coastline and connect various important communities, temples, and fishing areas. The trail was estimated to be 175 miles long and is also known as the "King's Trail".

If you're in the area, be sure to also check out the Malama Petroglyph Trail / Puako Petroglyph Preserve that's located here.

Waikoloa Today

It's amazing what money, machinery, and materials can do to an otherwise desolate land. Today you'll find a paradise in the middle of what would otherwise be a massive lava flow. In most cases, paradise shows itself in the form of hotels, condos, shops, restaurants, and other such tourist friendly attractions like beaches.

If ever their was a vacation friendly resort town on the Big Island, Waikoloa is it. It's a fun place to visit even if you aren't staying here, but it's certainly more fun if you are!

Major Attractions

Without a doubt, the most notable attraction here is Hilton Waikoloa Village. Sure, it's just a hotel / resort, but it's done on such a massive scale that I recommend stopping in to see it.

The property is so large, at 62 acres, that they offer you transportation within the resort. That transportation comes in the form of a monorail as well as boats that run in a canal system. It's all very impressive to see. The hotel is made up of several buildings with many restaurants, pools, and shops as well. It's like a city within a city.

For shopping and dining options you'll want to check out Queens' MarketPlace and Kings' Shops. Both shopping centers offers dozens of stores to browse. Golfing options include Waikoloa Beach Golf Course, Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf, and Waikoloa Kings' Golf Course.

What would a resort community be without amazing beaches? Waikoloa has several nearby beaches that are worth your time. To name a few, check out Hapuna Beach State Park, Pauoa Bay Beach, Makaiwa Bay Beach, and Anaeho'omalu Bay Beach.