Located on the northern tip of the Big Island, historic Kapaau town is home to about 1,400 residents and enjoys spectacular ocean and mountain views.
Once a bustling sugarcane plantation town, Kapaau’s buildings still reflect its history with many restored buildings that now house restaurants, art galleries and boutique gift shops.
One of the main attractions in Kapaau is the King Kamehameha Statue which is located across from the town’s public library in front of the old courthouse (now the Kohala Information Center).
King Kamehameha was famous as the warrior who united all of the Hawaiian Islands under one rule and he was born not far from Kapaau in North Kohala. The Birthplace of King Kamehameha I is near Mookini Heiau and the two historic sites are part of the Kohala Historical Sites State Monument.
Every year on June 11 is King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii and the town of Kapaau honors the warrior monarch with a parade as well as games and festivities that end with a lei-draping of the King Kamehameha Statue.
Just east of the King Kamehameha Statue is the historic Kalahikiola Church built by Protestant missionaries in 1855. The church was restored after being damaged by a 1973 earthquake, but then devastated by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in 2006 and once again restored. Kalahikiola means “The day salvation comes.”
Along the coast in Kapaau is the site of an ancient fishing village now called Lapakahi State Historical Park. Kapaau is reached by following the Akoni Puli Hwy. (Hwy. 270) west from Hawi to Mile Marker 25.