Drive the Hamakua Coast
The 45-mile Hamakua Coast road trip from Hilo to Honoka‘a is stunning.
Highway 19 rises above high erosional cliffs that drop to the foaming surf below. Above the highway, the mountainside is blanketed in greenery interlaced by rushing streams, with two volcanoes—Mauna Kea and Kohala—rising in the distance.
Honoka‘a is a postcard-perfect site, with a main street, historic storefronts, shops, restaurants and a church steeple. There’s a Saturday-morning farmers market, bed-and-breakfast accommodations, a vintage hotel, barbershops, restaurants, bakeries and a video outlet.
Honoka‘a is a gateway to Waipi‘o Valley, one of the Big Island’s most scenic and sacred destinations. Off limits to rental cars, it is accessible by horseback, bicycle or foot. To get there from Honoka‘a, take Highway 240 to the lookout above the valley.
Other stops along the Hamakua Coast include Akaka Falls on Highway 220, the Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden just outside Hilo, Kolekole Beach Park, and the World Botanical Gardens, where Umauma Falls is located.