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Surveying the scene at about the 3,000 ft elevation in North Hawaii on the Big Island, you realize that you’ve entered Hawaii’s paniolo (cowboy) country. This is the land of vast cattle ranches, organic farms and rolling green hills (also known as puus).
If you are a first-time visitor to the Big Island, you may first hear about Waimea as a destination when you ask about “not-to-be-missed” North Hawaii restaurants. Many residents and returning visitors will say that a Big Island vacation is just not complete without at least one dinner at Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea’s Opelo Plaza. (Chef/restaurateur Peter Merriman is known as a “pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.”)
Here is a possible day-trip itinerary for anyone who wants to get to know North Hawaii at higher elevations a little better:
I’ve lived on the Big Island for 6 years now, and the Waimea-Kohala area is by far my favorite place on the island. Welcome to true Hawaiian country!
Photo: Anna Ranch Heritage Center on Kawaihae Road in Waimea
Posted by: Abby Lapointe on Aug 25, 2010