If you could visit just one of Chef Peter Merriman’s restaurants, it should be his flagship Waimea location. Merriman’s Waimea has been praised by Honolulu Magazine as the “Best Big Island Restaurant” for 15 consecutive years. 15 years. Insane. And yes, the food is indeed delicious. Chef Merriman defined what became known as Hawaii Regional Cuisine, along with other notable chefs, including Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, and George Mavrothalassitis.
Fresh fruit, local pastries, and artisan meats are just a few of the gems that you’ll be able to find at the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market. Every Thursday, this eclectic market sets up shop on the beautiful grounds of Waimea Valley. This farmer’s market felt a bit more festive than your typical farmer’s market. Maybe it was the fresh acoustic sounds of Paul Izak filling the air. Or the smell of the macadamia nut sticky buns. Whatever it was, I realized quickly that the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market was the farmer’s market to be at.
Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau is the largest heiau on the island, covering almost 2 acres. Built in the 1600’s, Pu’u o Mahuka is a series of three walled enclosures of stacked rock walls. The name of the heiau translates to “hill of escape” and served a pivotal role in the governing of Waimea Valley in the pre-contact era. It was at this heiau that religious ceremonies were practiced up until 1819, when the Kapu System was banned. The heiau was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
The plan was to do more than just the lookout. Joel and I had grand plans of experiencing Kokee via the 9.5-mile long Nualolo-Awaawapuhi Trail. Considered to be the most glorious ridge trail of the collection of trails that make up Kokee State Park. These plans would be scrapped, however, with the vicious rain and flash-flooding that attacked the island during our Spring Break stay. Meh. The mountains will always be there and we’re just an island away. We’ll save it for another trip. Maybe a day trip? We still found our way to Waimea Canyon, though. The drive up and the various lookouts would be our little glimpse into what we will, hopefully, experience in greater detail in the future.