Top 5 favorite Hawaii valleys: HAWAII Magazine Facebook poll resultsby: Derek Paiva
posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:33 AM
(Hamakua Coast, Big Island)
The Big Island’s largest, deepest and—OK, we’ll just say it—most visually stunning valley received almost twice the votes of its closest competition in our poll. If you’ve ever been to Waipio, we're sure you understand why. Six miles deep with a mile-long black sand and boulder-strewn beach, Waipio’s considerable natural charms are as breathtaking from a scenic overlook almost 2,000 feet above the valley floor, as they are by hike, horseback or four-wheel drive vehicle on the valley floor.
The most southern of six Hamakua Coast valleys marking the Kohala Mountains drop into the sea, Waipio was once home to thousands of Native Hawaiians who farmed its vast fertile acreage prior to Western contact. The valley—also called “Valley of the Kings” because of the many Big Island rulers raised within its walls—was King Kamehameha the Great’s boyhood home. These days, fewer than 100 residents live in Waipio, many of them taro farmers.
If you've got the time, we highly recommend a daylong exploration of the valley floor. Start with some beachcombing. The take the dirt road hugging the Waipio River deep into the valley’s lush foliage and scattered taro farms to a view of towering Hiilawe — one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii. The twin falls (pictured, above) were the inspiration for Hawaii music legend Gabby Pahinui’s most famous song, “Hiilawe.” Visit Waipio on a sunny day during the rainy winter and spring seasons and you’ll find dozens of other waterfalls cascading down the green valley walls.
One thing’s certain about any visit to Waipio Valley: If you can possibly help it, it won’t be your last.
Click on the links below for the Top 5 results of our previous HAWAII Magazine Facebook Ohana poll questions:
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii waterfalls
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii-filmed TV series ever
• Top 5 favorite natural wonders of Hawaii
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii plate lunch foods
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii small towns
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii-filmed movies
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii snacks
• Top 5 favorite Hawaii beaches
Photos: Hawaii's Big Island Visitor Bureau/BIVB (pg. 1, top); Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson (pg. 1, bottom); Wikipedia Commons (pg. 2, pg. 4, pg. 5-bottom); Kenna Miller (pg. 3); Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Kirk Lee Aeder (pg. 5, top)
Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Your Top 5 favorite Hawaii snacks: Our HAWAII Magazine Facebook poll results
Top 5 favorite Maui swimming beaches: HAWAII Magazine facebook poll results
Top 5 favorite scenic spots on Kauai: HAWAII Magazine facebook poll results