Big Island Sights

Pahoa Town

  • Town/Village

Published 01/10/2017

Fodor's Review

This eclectic little town is reminiscent of the Wild West, with its wooden boardwalks and vintage buildings—not to mention a reputation as a pot growers' haven. Founded originally to serve the sugar plantation community, today it's a free-spirited throwback to the '60s and '70s. You'll see plenty of hippies, vets, survivalists, woofers (workers on organic farms), yoga students, and other colorful characters pursuing alternative lifestyles. Secondhand stores, tie-dye/hemp clothing boutiques, smoke shops, and art/antiques galleries add to the "trippy" experience. In 2014, lava flows from Kilauea intruded into the town, overrunning the dump and cemetery and destroying a couple of buildings. Residents began saying goodbye to their town and packed up as smoke from the flows billowed in the near distance and the flows glowed after dark. Then it all abruptly stopped within 500 yards of Pahoa Village Road, once again ensuring the town's status as a survivor—for now. Pahoa's funky main street—with buildings dating to 1910—boasts a handful of excellent, local-style eateries. To get here, turn southeast onto Highway 130 at Keaau, and drive 11 miles and follow signs to the Village.

Sight Information


Pahoa, Hawaii, 96778, USA

Published 01/10/2017


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