Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island, Travel Photo Mondays #29

Travel Photo Monday



Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island, Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling. You can also follow us on Twitter with the hastag #tpMondays.

Since I’m spending winter here on the island, I’ve decided to spend a little more time and share some of the beautiful landscape, attractions and towns around the island. There are so many unique communities and towns that have developed from the plantation days, serving their little communities. Nowadays, the towns have preserved most of their individual flavor and characteristic – attracting tourists and locals like to shop and enjoy a variety of services. Following are some of my favorite towns around Hawaii that have maintained their distinctive, unique identities and historical significance on the island.


Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island

Honomu and Sarong Heaven

Honomu, Hamakua

The little town of Honomu, better known as the gateway to Akaka Falls is a well-preserved town with colorful buildings evoking an old plantation pastime. Now the old plantation town caters mostly to a tourist crowd stopping by from the falls for refreshments or some souvenir shopping. It’s a fun town to explore the galleries and shops and to find something unique or hand-made from Hawaii, and maybe even try some of the local ice cream flavors made locally.


Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island

Pahoa Town

Pahoa, Puna

Pahoa town, on the eastern side of the Puna district, has an old wild west appeal with simple clapboard styled, ageing storefronts with rickety elevated walkways that barely protect you from occasional rains. It’s run down and quaint at the same time with little shops and a variety of surprisingly good food of different cuisines. Stop by on your way touring around Puna or the panoramic loop and coastal areas of the red road.


Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island

Hilo town

Hilo town

The largest population on Hawaii Island is centered on old Hilo town, a place that seems to have been lost in a time warp that hasn’t changed dramatically and actually that’s what the locals like, something authentic and real for the locals and not catering to the tourist crowd. There’s an actual revival of supporting local businesses, restaurants and shops in town because these are places that have been around for a while. Although we do like to have new and exciting places to also dine and enjoy a nice night out and Hilo does offer all those options even on a smaller scale.

Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island

Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua, Kona

Over on West Hawaii Kailua Kona a town that caters mostly to a tourist crowd but also locals typically going for shopping and other daily routines. The town has many historic and ancient monuments that keep the history and importance of this town in which Kamehameha 1st (Hawaii’s first king) resided. Today the town is filled with many restaurants, shops, farmers markets and many little coves and beaches that are a draw for snorkeling and a quick dip before heading into town.


Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island


 Holualoa, Kona

Above Kona in the hills of Holualoa is the town of Holualoa, a small art community with many little art galleries and shops ,along with a variety of coffee farms and tasting rooms along the main corridor. The area up in the cloud forest all the way down to south Kona is where most of the coffee plantations are located and you can visit many of the farms and coffee tasting shops throughout the area. It’s a perfect place to visit some unique local artists and try some of the well-known Kona coffee that is a popular souvenir to take back home.


Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island

Kainaliu theater

Kainaliu, South Kona

In the southern part of the island is the town of Kainaliu which has so many coffee plantation farms and tasting rooms along the route on highway 11, its hard to choose just one spot to try some coffees. The town itself is a long strip of shops, galleries, cafes and coffee tasting rooms. The Kealakekua bay and the Captain Cook monuments are the most popular tourist destination points to visit with beautiful snorkeling and other water related activities.

Thanks so much for coming to visit Travel Photo Mondays and touring some of the distinctive towns of Hawaii Island. Come and enjoy some of these other bloggers from around that world showing you some beautiful imagery.


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40 Responses to Distinctive towns of Hawaii Island, Travel Photo Mondays #29

  1. Jyotsna January 31, 2017 at 7:16 am #

    Love your photography, Noel. Whats your gear?

    • Noel January 31, 2017 at 7:49 am #

      I use a variety of Cannon DSLRs but changing it out to mirrorless cameras recently

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  3. jenny@atasteoftravel January 31, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    It’s good to see photos of the smaller towns of Hawaii that are often overlooked. They all look cute and different to each other. It must be fun visiting them all whilst you escape the cold of the mainland.

  4. Tonya {The Traveling Praters} January 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Beautiful! I’d love to see Kailua Kona. It looks peaceful and serene.

  5. Cindy - thetravelgal January 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Ok. I’m ready to head down there! Looks fun. Next week I’ll link. I promise!

  6. Jess January 29, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    I love interesting little towns! I really want to visit Hawaii, but I don’t want to end up stuck in at the tourist beaches – no matter how beautiful, I need a little variety.

    • Noel January 29, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      There’s a lot of cool beaches here, I’ll be posting one soon of a rare green sand beach I hiked to

  7. Elizabeth Krall January 29, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    >The Kealakekua bay and the Captain Cook monuments are the most popular tourist destination points to visit with beautiful snorkeling.
    I snorkelled in that bay! You’re quite right, it’s beautiful. This is a great selection of photos of places that tourists don’t often see.

  8. antonette January 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Great shots – somehow going to Hawaii never really crossed my mind but maybe I should look into it again…

  9. budget jan January 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    I can see the appeal of these towns and I especially like the look of Pahoa town. Looks like it might be giving Asia a run for it’s money when it comes to electricity cables crossing the street. 🙂

  10. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} January 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I really enjoyed your photo of of the Big Island. It brings back so many happy memories. I enjoyed Hilo and how un-touristy it felt.

  11. Jesh StG January 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Love the diversity of ethnicities I see in these pics! Also, the colors of the buildings are beautiful!

  12. NatureFootstep Travel January 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I liek the theatre building. 🙂 And I´m so amaized by all those powerlined. It´s a wonder they actually works. 🙂

    • Noel January 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      yes, unfortunately power lines here so old school, can’t afford to dig them into the ground for these old communities

  13. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs January 27, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Love the colours of the buildings, they look so cute and lovely!

  14. travelnwrite January 27, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    You’ve so wonderfully captured all that I love about Hawaii. This is a beautiful post. I am hoping to capture some of the same character and history with my camera while we are here this month.

  15. A Southern Gypsy January 27, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    I can’t wait to make it to Hawaii. Great photos! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

  16. frankaboutcroatia January 27, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Noel it’s great that you are spending winter on the island so we can all get a glimpse of the island through your beautiful photos :-). What kind of the weather there is in Hilo, since people on the photo are very differently dressed?!

    • Noel January 27, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      These photos were taken at different times but the standard year round is shorts, tshirts or aloha shirts if there’s a fun event or party going on…weather is perfect year round!

  17. Rachel M January 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Beutiful, vibrant and colorful photos!

  18. muzachan January 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Very beautiful city…

  19. Anna January 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Pretty! I spent a lot of time in Kona this summer! I loved the Big Island!!

  20. Marilyn Armstrong January 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Love the vibrant colors and all that pink … and the cloudy sky. Thanks!

  21. Samantha @mytanfeet January 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I can’t wait to explore more of Hawaii. I’ve only been to Honolulu since I have relatives there and the other islands look amazing. I have a friend who studies at Hilo so perhaps it is time to reunite with him heheh. Gorgeous photos as always!

  22. Heather January 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to explore some of the smaller towns. I think they have so much character and tell you more about a place than the big cities or tourist attractions. These look like they’d be fun to get lost in!

  23. Doreen Pendgracs January 26, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    We will be in Kailua Kona next month. Can’t wait, as it will be my first trip to the Big Island. Thx for the terrific post. I will tweet it!

  24. Mary {The World Is A Book} January 26, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    These charming, historic towns are such a joy to visit. I’ve only walked through Kailua Kona but probably driven through the others. Now, I really need to stop and walk around next time. Beautiful pictures, as always.

  25. Marc d'Entremont January 26, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    You capture the essence of the island.

  26. Marisol@TravelingSolemates January 26, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I like these colorful town. They certainly have a very island vibes. It’s great that despite being popular tourist places these towns have manage to preserve their unique characteristics and still cater to the locals rather than the whim of tourism. Your lovely photos virtually brought warmth and sunshine in my cold NY day.

  27. Raul (@ilivetotravel) January 26, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    I have never been to Hawaii and this sure does make me realize how there is a lot of character to the towns across the islands. Great photos!

  28. Bex January 26, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Oh wow – look at those colours! I love it! Aside from the wooden frontings, the colours remind me of being in a Mediterranean island – the Greek or Spanish islands.
    Thanks for sharing this and brightening up a winter’s day.

    • Noel January 26, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Hi Bex,
      Yes it is very colorful living here…interesting you think it has like a mediterranean type of appeal…probably more so on the very dry west side of the island.


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I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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