Take a Break in Honoka‘a

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - HILO/HAMAKUA COAST -

Sit­u­ated on bluffs high above the ocean on the is­land’s east coast, Honoka‘a was once the hub of the Ha­makua Coast sugar in­dus­try. To­day, it is a lit­tle gem bet­ter known as the gate­way to Waipi‘o Val­ley, a pop­u­lar vis­i­tor des­ti­na­tion less than 15 min­utes away.

The shops and eater­ies along Honoka‘a’s main drag are a com­pat­i­ble blend of old and new. There’s an 80-year-old hard­ware store, a the­ater that has been show­ing films since 1939, a 100-year-old Hong­wanji Mis­sion Tem­ple and the homey Ho­tel Honoka‘a Club.

Honoka‘a is con­sid­ered the gate­way to the north­ern end of the Her­itage High­way (High­way 19), which stretches south to Hilo along the Ha­makua Coast. This spec­tac­u­lar coastal drive is a scenic treat that moves through old sugar-plan­ta­tion ham­lets like Kalopa, Pa‘auilo, Lau­pa­hoe­hoe and Papa‘aloa. Although sugar has all but dis­ap­peared from the land­scape, there is still ev­i­dence of old camps, rail­road beds, bath­houses and gen­eral stores of Hawai‘i’s plan­ta­tion days.

Get a hint of the lo­cal cul­ture—and awe­some malasadas—at Tex Drive In. Go hik­ing in Kalopa State Park. Or take a stroll to the Katsu Goto me­mo­rial, which marks the ap­prox­i­mate spot where Goto was hanged af­ter fight­ing for the rights of plan­ta­tion work­ers. • Lau­pa­hoe­hoe Train Mu­seum (808) 962-6300 • Waipi‘o Val­ley Shut­tle (808) 775-7121

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