If you’re like most travelers, Hawi is a town that you didn’t plan on visiting but you end up not wanting to leave. A one-street thoroughfare of art galleries and charm, browsing and lingering are about the fastest pace you will ever manage to attain.
Stop to nibble on locally made fudge and poke your head into art galleries, and browse the local bulletin board to get a feel for the sense of community. Cool off with a guava juice in a funky mom and pop restaurant, and watch as fellow passersby become ensnared by the small-town charm. The wet climate in North Kohala is a welcome change from Kona, and the lush surroundings and fresh tradewinds almost come as a surprise.
Inland from town on Kohala Mountain Road, the winding journey through the pastures toward Waimea is one of the most scenic drives in Hawaii, and in the other direction toward the north end of town, the verdant recess of Pololu Valley is only a short, eight-mile drive. Visitors will soon find that despite the proximity of further adventures and the beauty of the surrounding area, trying to pry yourself away from Hawi is easier said than done.
The town of Hawi is located one hour from Kona and 30 minutes from Waikoloa. Afternoons are characterized by tradewinds and showers, and morning hours are the best time to visit for clear, sunny skies. Hawi is also the turn-around point for the bicycle portion of the Ironman, the world championship triathlon race that is held every October.