Three Reasons I Love the Hamakua Coast

The Big Island of Hawaii has so much to offer because, quite honestly, it is BIG. There is something and somewhere for everyone. If you like the beach or the mountains, large town or very rural, hot or cold, dry or wet, fishing or biking… well, you get the point.

One of the places that I enjoy to spend time is on the Hamakua Coast because it has a little bit of everything.

Where is the Hamakua coast? It is loosely defined as everything from Honokaa to Hilo — here is a map that might help. I don’t have drop pins on Honokaa or Paauilo because Google doesn’t think that is Hamakua, but we are going to go with what most people say and look at the coastline between Honokaa through to Hilo.

Here are the top three reasons why I love the Hamakua Coast so much:

The Weather

Rain at night and sun during the day is the most ideal weather pattern in my opinion. That combination gives you the water you need to grow trees, plants, gardens, and just about anything as long as you have sunshine and good soil. The Hamakua Coast has just that — plenty of sunshine, good soil, and plenty of rain too.

Take a look at this rainfall map. There is a sweet spot all along the Hamakua Coast where you get rain and sunshine. Sure there are places that are in the dark blue or wet zone, but those areas are in the upper elevations and are not what I am talking about.

Used with permission. * Source:

I am not saying that every day is sunny or that every evening is rainy. Sometimes it rains in the day and in the night too! Nonetheless, being on the Hamakua coast on a sunny day is one of the richest moments you can find.

View from Waipio Lookout outside of Honokaa on the Hamakua Coast

The Beauty

Waterfalls like Akaka Falls are on the tourist destination lists for a reason… they are beautiful!

Akaka Falls on the Hamakua Coast

Think about lush vegetation, papaya trees, passion fruit, and bananas growing in rich, fertile soil.

Banana tree with green bananas

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and the Hamakua Coast does not disappoint when it comes to beauty.

Papaya tree with green papaya

The Convenient Location

I like to think of the Hamakua Coast as the place where you feel far away from everything, but at the same time, you are close to everything. If you like privacy, but still want to get to the market, you have options. From Laupahoehoe to Honokaa there is enough to keep you satisfied. If you have a bigger shopping trip or want access to even more, you have Hilo on one side and Waimea on the other. Both have you covered from the Hospitals (NHCH in Waimea and  Hilo Medical Center) to the Restaurants  (from Merriman’s in Waimea or the Hilo Bay Cafe in Hilo). Trust me, there are more than just these two examples when it comes to restaurants, you will just have to wait until my next blog about food on the island in these locations to get my inside scoop!

So there you have it! The Hamakua Coast is great for many more reasons, but the three I pointed out are enough to make sure it is on your list of places to visit or choose to live.

* Giambelluca, T.W., Q. Chen, A.G. Frazier, J.P. Price, Y.-L. Chen, P.-S. Chu, J.K. Eischeid, and D.M. Delparte, 2013: Online Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 94, 313-316, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00228.1.

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