75. Poke Around a Fun Cowboy Town
Waimea’s historical cowboy roots inspire a rustic kind of charm, resulting in a Western-Hawaiian version of Aspen and Sonoma chic. Nestled among some of the island’s most beautiful homes and neighborhoods you’ll find art galleries, boutiques, wonderful little cafès and collections inspired by the rough and rugged Hawaiian cowboy, known locally as paniolo.
Parker Ranch Center, in the heart of Waimea, offers a mix of inviting specialty shops, restaurants and activities. Visit Parker Ranch Historic Homes, ride the range on a Paniolo Wagon Tour or sit at the cozy Fireside Food Court and count your blessings.
Waimea (also known as Kamuela) is the perfect town for a different taste of island life.
76. Explore a Working Cattle Ranch
Parker Ranch rolls over 150,000 acres of scenic upcountry terrain. It is the home of the first Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys), a racetrack where record-setting thoroughbreds were trained and a still-functioning cattle ranch. Its colorful history can be traced to 1809, when Massachusetts sailor John Palmer Parker landed in Hawai‘i, befriended King Kamehameha I and eventually married the daughter of a high-ranking Hawaiian chief. After domesticating herds of wild cattle on Mauna Kea, Parker purchased lands that eventually became Parker Ranch. Today, the ranch’s charitable trust helps support schools and hospitals in Waimea.
In the early 1900s, Eben “Rawhide Ben” Parker Low, a famous Waimea cowboy, proved the paniolo’s worth when he competed in the Frontier Days celebration in Cheyenne, Wyo. Low’s cousin, Ikua Purdy, took first place; his half-brother, Archie Ka‘au‘a, took third; and his brother, Jack Low, took sixth.
Explore the ranch for yourself on horseback tours, through an ATV ride or with guided treks.
77. Go Big-Game Hunting
Year-round hunting safaris are an adrenaline rush at Parker Ranch— we’re not talking about hunting rabbits here.
Wild Vancouver bulls with 35-inch horns lurk in the ranch’s remote rainforests, waiting for a challenge. Polynesian boars flourish in rolling grasslands and dense forests, while Spanish goats roam in rugged terrain. Billies and axis bucks carry up to 36-inch antlers and weigh 200 pounds. Game birds and turkey hunts are seasonal thrills as well.
Expert guides help in field dressing the animal, and the ranch can provide a list of island taxidermists. Beverages and snacks are supplied on all hunts, as well.
Call the ranch at (808) 885-7655 or (877) 885-7999 to inquire about necessary hunting permits and licenses and to make reservations. Or visit the Parker Ranch hunting website at www. hunt.parkerranch.com for full explanations regarding hunts, pricing and ranch do’s and don’ts.
78. Visit a School House Gallery
The Isaacs Art Center is a good place to get out of the sun and get a feel for authentic Hawaiian artistry. The gallery is affiliated with the Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, a boarding and day school that was established in 1949.
Isaacs Art Center contains a large permanent collection of paintings, furniture, rare books and Hawaiiana. Art pieces also are available for purchase. The center is open Tues. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 65-1268 Kawaihae Road in Waimea, next to the HPA Village Campus.