A few miles north of Hilo on the scenic Hāmākua Coast lies the former plantation town of Papaikou Hawaii. With amazing ocean views, lush greenery, and beautiful waterfalls, you’ll love relaxing in our Papaikou vacation rentals! It’s a great spot from which to explore the Hāmākua Coast and the beautiful town of Hilo.
One of the nicest parts of this area is the four-mile scenic drive, a piece of the Old Mamalahoa Highway that winds through lush jungles, with amazing views of Onomea Bay. Onomea Trail leads from this road down to the bay; it’s about a half-mile round trip with an elevation change of 150 feet. Onomea Bay is not great for swimming, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. There’s a smoothie place nearby for a tropical snack after the hike and before heading back to your gorgeous nearby Papaikou vacation rental!
History enthusiasts will really appreciate the Hawaiʻi Plantation Museum, a great spot in Papaikou Hawaii that’s dedicated to remembering life in the sugar plantation era. They have an awesome collection of artifacts and photographs that recall this important time in Hawaiʻi’s history; the proprietors are likewise very knowledgeable and friendly. Tea connoisseurs will want to reserve a tea tasting and tour at Onomea Tea, a local tea farm, and learn about the craft of making tea.
Our Papaikou vacation rentals are just 3 miles north of Honoli’i Beach Park, known as the best surfing spot on the east side of the island. The summer months bring gentle waves good for beginners, while winter months see larger swells that are more appropriate for experienced surfers. With a quick drop-off from shore and common rip currents, this black sand beach is better suited for surfing rather than swimming. However, even non-surfers can come and enjoy the action. A wide expanse of grass with palms for shade make a great picnic area and vantage point for watching others catch the waves.
For a beach better suited for swimming, head 6 miles further south to Carlsmith Beach Park (also known as Four Miles). The reef and lava rocks here form a protective barrier against large swells, creating a calm oasis perfect for swimming. With calm water almost like a swimming pool, this is an ideal place to bring children for a dip. This beach also regularly has ideal conditions for snorkeling, where you can observe a variety of tropical fish as well as the green sea turtles that frequent the area. Although there’s no sandy beach, the well-kept lawn is a great place for laying in the sun. Shaded areas and picnic tables make this a good place to spend the afternoon.
A vacation rental in Papaikou puts you in perfect proximity for exploring Rainbow Falls, named for the frequent rainbows that can be seen in the mist of this 80-foot cascade. Catch an early morning view of these popular falls, when the light is soft, and the crowds are fewer. At nearly 100 feet wide, the falls provide a dramatic photo opportunity as they plunge over a natural lava cave and into the Wailuku River below.
Hilo is only a few miles away, and as it’s the biggest town on the island, it’s very convenient for all your grocery, restaurant, and entertainment needs. Enjoy exploring the many unique shops along Hilo Bayfront, as well as the museums, waterfalls, and natural beauty of Hilo.
Papaikou Hawaii is a great place for a fun east side vacation!
Contact Us for More Information About Papaikou Hawaii
At I Love Hawaii, we have a variety of vacation rentals available on the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. Whether you’re exploring nature at its rawest at Volcano National Park on the Big Island, surfing in Oahu’s Waikiki, catching the sunrise at Haleakala on Maui, or gazing out over the Grand Canyon of the Pacific on Kauai, our vacation rentals will ensure complete comfort during your island stay. Many of our rentals offer full kitchens, island-inspired décor, breezy lanais, and swimming pools. Please contact us to make your vacation rental booking and to get started on planning your ideal Papaikou getaway!