Papaikou is located to the north of Hilo on the Big Island along the scenic Hamakua Coast. During the last century the economy of Papaikou was driven by sugar plantations as well as the cattle industry but today tourism and diversified agriculture are the primary job providers.
Stop for a snack in Papaikou at the pink building where Pinky’s 5 Eight store or try the tasty malasadas at Baker’s Tom which is attached to the local auto repair store.
A major attraction in the Papaikou area is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Onomea Bay. The botanical garden features more than 2,500 exotic plant species from around the world in a lush 40-acre valley.
Papaikou is located between Hilo and Honomu, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Hilo. Papaikou is home to about 1,600 people and is one of the many charming, small towns along the scenic Hamakua Heritage Corridor Drive from Hilo to Waipio Valley.