Time to Cowboy Up, Hawaiian Style!

Things to do

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For most people, Hawaii conjures up images of white sandy beaches, mai tais, hula dancers, and leis. But what about cowboys with guitars? While it might not be your typical vision of Hawaii, there were actually cowboys here on the Big Island before there were any states west of the Mississippi!

Paniolos, the Hawaiian cowboys

The Hawaiian cowboy (or paniolo, as we call them here) and their signature slack key guitar sound are interwoven into the fabric of Hawaiian culture. And we have the opportunity to celebrate both each spring here on the Big Island!

Western Week celebrates Hawaii’s paniolo heritage

Every year in May, the annual Western Week festivities in Honoka’a celebrate our island’s paniolo heritage, which dates back to the arrival of the Spanish cowboys in Hawaii in the 1800s. The Spanish cowboys not only taught the Hawaiians how to herd cattle – they also taught them a unique style of playing guitar that involved open tunings. The Hawaiian cowboys made it their own, and today we enjoy what’s called Hawaiian slack key guitar.

Big Island Jazz and Blues Festival

Music lovers have the opportunity to experience some of this style of music at the annual Big Island Jazz and Blues Festival. The festival, which features Grammy-Award winning artists from Hawaii and around the world, takes place at the beautiful Mauna Kea Beach Hotel right here on the Kohala Coast each spring.

Plan your Hawaiian vacation

If you’d like to soak up some Hawaiian cowboy culture, great music or just a little sun this summer, we invite you to start planning your trip by visiting our website. We can help you find the perfect vacation rental, whether you’re looking for a cozy studio for two or a luxurious villa for a large group.

Vacation rentals on the Big Island

If you’re looking for peaceful relaxation with beautiful views, but still want to be close to shopping, dining and resort amenities, then we highly recommend Waikoloa Beach Villas. Tucked away in a lushly landscaped, private gated community, these units are just steps from two swimming pools, two hot tubs, a fitness center, plus two open-air shopping centers with a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Within the resort you will also find several golf courses as well as a white sand beach with sparkling turquoise waters and a beach hut with kayak, stand-up paddleboard and other toy rentals.

Quiet, beauty, convenience at Waikoloa Beach Villas

We have both two-bedroom and three-bedroom units available at Waikoloa Beach Villas, all with covered lanais, upscale kitchens and baths, comfortable living and dining areas, and beautiful tropical views. And, as always, you can save 10% on your vacation rental when you book directly with us and mention “Aloha escape” in your reservation.

We hope to see you soon – a hui hou!

Images courtesy of Great Big Story and Honokaa Western Week.


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