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What makes Hakalau special

Welcome to Hakalau

Our home is located in Hakalau, a small town just outside of Hilo on the North East side of the Big Island. Hilo is known for its warm aloha spirit, relaxed lifestyle, unique shops, art galleries and restaurants with local regional cuisine. Local attractions include Lyman Museum, East Hawaii Cultural Center, historic Palace Theatre, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Imiloa Astronomy Center, UH Hilo Performing Arts Center and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. Hilo Farmers Market is a favorite for fresh, local produce. Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo's premier hula competition and cultural event, is held annually. Hilo's black sand beaches are some of the best for snorkeling, diving, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming with turtles and tropical fish, or watching the whales off shore. Take a helicopter volcano tour or scenic drive to Kilauea Volcano (when flows are active) to view a lava caldera, or tour the summit and view the night skies of Mauna Kea.

We are near Highway 19, only 15 minutes to the town of Hilo, 20 minutes to the Hilo Airport and an approximate 2 hour drive to Kona. This is a great central location to tour and see the inspiring vistas the Island of Hawaii has to offer.

Location of The Cliffs at Hakalau

Directions from Hilo Airport

Directions from Kona Airport - via Waimea, scenic

Directions from Kona Airport - via Saddle Road

Local Activities

A few special activities & community experiences we want to highlight!

History of Hakalau

Hakalau and the Hamakua Coast played a major role in Hawaiian History. In the 1700s and 1800s, the area supported heavy agricultural activity for native Hawaiians. The area was commercialized into sugar plantations and processing facilities in the late 1800s. 

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 gave free access to the United States market for sugar and other products grown in the Kingdom of Hawaii. The treaty led to large investment by American companies in Hawaiian sugarcane plantations. In 1878, Claus Spreckles established Hakalau Sugar Plantation. Shipping from Hakalau Landing began, including both transport of people and sugar. In 1881, the first mill at the Hakalau Sugar Plantation was completed. 

Sugar growing, processing and shipping activities dominated the Hakalau area between the late 1800s through the 1990s. The sugar industry shut down in the 1990s, and the sale of acreage in the area for “Gentleman’s Farms” heralded the beginning of gentrification in the area. In the 2000s, Hakalau residents have experienced the sale of land formerly used in the sugar industry and active community engagement. Throughout the last two decades, community activities have developed, geared towards honoring the ancestors and the area's history. Art, entertainment and entrepreneurship have enhanced these activities, creating events enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Community members have addressed infrastructure needs, and community involvement remains strong today, as evidenced by continuing improvements in the area. 

Hakalau remains a very special village, a slower-paced slice of “Old Hawaii” in the midst of the heavy commercialization and development occurring in other parts of the island. Breathe in the serenity and Mana of this special place and allow it to heal and grow you.

*Sections of this summary were extracted from information contained in the website. Thank you to the editors of this site for their time and dedication to preserving the heritage of the Hakalau community.

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