This charming cowboy town in the Puna district is located about 17 miles from Hilo. Stroll along raised wooden platform sidewalks amidst the the town’s Victorian-style storefronts and numerous restaurants to experience Pahoa’s Wild West ambiance.
The whole Pahoa region is set on the lava flows of Kilauea volcano. An 1840 eruption sent lava flows within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) or the town and an active vent of the volcano is located within 3 miles (5 km). Archaeological finds in the area indicate that Pahoa was settled by Hawaiians in ancient times.
Pahoa is home to about 1,100 people and the town’s one public school is Pahoa High and Intermediate School on Puna Road. Every Sunday a Farmers Market featuring live music is held in the parking lot of the Akebono Theater, Hawaii’s oldest theater. Pahoa means “knife.”
Just south of Pahoa is the Lava Tree State Monument where native ohia lehua trees were encased with lava during a 1790 lava flow leaving behind hollow, vertical lava tubes. Bordering Pahoa is Kehana Beach. Keaau is located along Keaau Pahoa Road (Hwy. 130).