Honokaa, Hawaii Guide

Honokaa, Hawaii Guide
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Address , Honokaa, HI 96727
Complete guide to the city of Honokaa, Big Island, Hawaii.

• General: Educational • General: Guide • General: History

Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Honokaa Location

The town of Honokaa is located along the north side of Hawaii's Big Island. To the west is the town of Waimea which is technically Kamuela since the official (according to the US Post Office) Waimea is on Kaua'i and the Post Office isn't big on having two cities with the same name in one state. What does that have to do with Honokaa? Nothing! Head east and you'll run through Laupahoehoe and on to Hilo via the Mamalahoa Highway (19) which is the main road you'll use to reach Honokaa.

Honokaa History

Honokaa town played a big part of Sugar in Hawaii as the area was home to the Hamakua Sugar Company from 1873 to 1994. This was a major plantation town where the economy was primarily based on sugar production. During peak production, this was the second largest town on the Big Island.

After the sugar fields closed down the economy took a nosedive but the area embraced tourism while still keeping their small town feeling and values. Since large parts of the area are still zoned for agricultural use, new farms also popped up with crops like coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapples, and teas.

Honokaa Attractions

Today, the "main street" area of the town is located on Mamane Street, which has become very tourist friendly, and will give you a small taste of life in the 1920's and 1930's when many of the buildings here were built. The area still retains that small town feeling with plenty of Aloha Spirit and should be on your list of places to check out.

If you're hungry, Mamane Street is the place to start looking for nearby restaurants and coffee shops as well as unique places to shop. If you're visiting on the first Friday of any month be sure to check out First Friday Honoka'a.

Beyond Mamane Street, the biggest nearby attraction is Waipi'o Valley. The first stop on that tour is the Waipio Valley Lookout which is not to be missed and something for all ages. For those who want to hike down to black sand Waipi'o Beach, use the Muliwai Trail To Waimanu Valley but note that this isn't for everyone. An even more difficult hike for the hard core adventurer is the Humu'ula Trail.

View all that Honokaa has to offer here.

Honokaa Fun Facts

We have a few fun facts for Honokaa town. First, those rugged north shore sea cliffs which are best viewed from the Waipio Valley Lookout plunge down over 2,000 feet! That's almost half a mile straight down. Yikes.

Second, Honokaa is the home of John D. Waihee III, who was the fourth governor of Hawaii since statehood (see The History of Hawaiian Statehood / Hawaii Admission Act) and served until 1994. He was the first Native Hawaiian to have the position of governor anywhere in the USA.

And third, remember the movie Honoka'a Boy? Yea, neither do we. It was a Japanese film released in 2009 starring a boy named Honoka'a who was named after this town which was also the setting for the movie. The world premier of the film even took place in the Honokaa People's Theatre located here.