Nestled in North Kohala about a one-hour drive from Kailua-Kona, the historic town of Hawi traces its roots to the sugar-plantation era of the mid 1800s. Today, this quaint, roadside town brims with cafés, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants that occupy vintage buildings from the plantation era.

Known for its cryThe rugged coastline below Hawi offers incredible views of the Alenuihaha Channel and the Island of Maui in the distance. Photo: Karen Andersonstal-clear blue skies, year-round idyllic climate, lush greenery, wide-open spaces and coastline views of Maui in the distance, Hawi boasts a small-town camaraderie that hearkens back to the days of Old Hawaii.  Comprised of multi-generational kama‘aina families, artists, woodworkers, shopkeepers, farmers, chefs and ranchers, the close-knit community of Hawi enjoys proximity to the convenience centers of Waimea and Waikoloa, yet feels worlds’ away from life’s modern pace.

With the resort beaches of Kohala’s Gold Coast just a 20-minute drive to the south, Hawi offers the best of all worlds on the Big Island. Some of the Big Island’s most popular restaurants are located in Hawi, including Sushi Rock with its array of Japanese-fusion cuisine, as well as Bamboo RestaThe roadside village of Hawi features art galleries, boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.urant, home to an on-site art gallery and boutique. Hawi also receives international recognition as the turnaround point for the bike portion of the Ironman World Championship triathlon. Public schools in Hawi include Kohala Elementary, Kohala Middle School and Kohala High School. In nearby Waimea, the private campuses of Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Parker School attract students from throughout Hawaii Island.

The birthplace of Kamehameha I, the historic area that surrounds Hawi includes ancient sites such as the mysterious Mo‘okini Heiau, built more than 1,500 years ago as a sacrificial temple. The adjacent town of Kapaau proudly displays the original commissioned statue of King Kamehameha I that stands sentry by the courthouse. On King Kamehameha Day every June, the statue is draped with layers of freshly made lei.

Whether the private equestrian neighborhood of Puakea Bay Ranch, the vintage neighborhoods along Kynnersley Road, or the verdant up-county community of Maliu Ridge, Hawi presents plentiful opportunities to live on sizable acreage in a secluded setting.

(c) Karen Anderson, photos & article

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