Welcome to Honoka’a

Picturesque beauty in one of the last pieces of old Hawaii

Located on the extraordinary Hamakua Coast on the northern edge of the Big Island of Hawaii, the former plantation town of Honoka’a flourishes with natural splendors. Deemed the portal to the spectacular Waipio Valley — an area globally renowned for its vertiginous cliffs, lush pastures, and mesmerizing waterfalls — Honoka’a pairs historical charm with raw beauty and a definitively artsy ambiance. The quaint town’s crown jewel, the Honoka’a People’s Theatre, dates back to 1930 but remains vibrant to this day, frequently featuring films, music, and hula performances that crystallize the town’s innovative, pioneering spirit. 

The pastures that curve around Honoka’a flourish with some of the Big Island’s finest produce, including pineapple, macadamia nuts, coffee, and papaya. Meanwhile, the main drag in town brims with centuries-old wooden storefronts housing unique island boutiques and artisan restaurants, giving the whole village a captivating and distinguished old-Pacific vibe.

What to Love

  • Tremendous historical charm within a verdant setting
  • Minutes away from the world-famous Waipio Valley
  • One-of-a-kind shopping and dining
  • High-profile properties with breathtaking coastal views
  • Proximity to Hilo and Hilo International Airport

Local Lifestyle

Artists have long been drawn to Honoka’a’s retro feel and scenic beauty, while families, retirees, ranchers, and professionals seeking tranquility enjoy the laidback rhythm of life Honoka’a offers. This is the sort of place where you will frequently encounter your friends and neighbors while you’re out and about town, which gives the community incredible warmth and a terrific sense of hospitality. 

Dining, Shopping & Entertainment

Living in Honoka’a means taking a deliberate step back in time. Vintage appeal and understated sophistication dominate the town’s dining, shopping, and entertainment scene, which is nothing short of distinct. Portuguese plantation workers flocked to the region in the 19th century and made a lasting — and ongoing — impression. This is exemplified at Tex Drive-In, which serves melt-in-your-mouth, fresh malasadas (Portuguese fried donuts), and traditional Hawaiian plate lunches. 

For more old-school Portuguese cuisine, albeit with a touch of Hawaiian flair, residents and tourists pay a visit to Gramma’s Kitchen on historic Mamane Street, which pays tribute to its namesake with a wide selection of delectable comfort foods. (Think: Portuguese sweet bread French toast, mile-high BLTs, classic and inspired loco mocos, and buttery guava cobbler.) 

Once a week, Honokaa residents gather at the Hamakua Harvest Farmers Market to stock up on fresh, delicious produce, bouquets of just-cut, tropical flowers, grass-fed beef, homemade pastries, local honey, and delicious cheeses, all while enjoying the sounds of live, island-style music.

Whether you’re in the mood for fresh lilikoi fudge, a steaming, creamy latte, an artisan beer, or antique shopping, Honokaa has an abundance to offer its residents and visitors.

Things to Do

Honoka’a offers an alluring mix of outdoor adventures and creature comforts. Strolling down Mamane Street gives locals and visitors a chance to slip into shops featuring rare wares, lively bars, and splendid cafes. 

Meanwhile, few places come close to the region’s dramatic marvels. Nearby Waipio Valley — the former sacred home of King Kamehameha the First — abounds with heart-stopping views, wild horses, fertile rainforests, patches of taro, sweeping rivers, and arresting waterfalls. While parts of the valley can only be accessed on four-wheel drives, hiking and horseback excursions are widely available. 

Avid and occasional hikers also have ample opportunities to exercise their passion throughout the region, particularly at the ever-gorgeous Kalopa Native Forest State Park and Recreation Area. Situated 2,000 feet above sea level, the gem-green park features an arboretum of native plants, including ‘ohia trees, ferns, loulu palms, and hibiscus, and suitable trails for the whole family. In short, life in Honoka’a is positively idyllic.

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