Waimea & Parker Ranch

. The town of Waimea (also called Kamuela) is the headquarters of the sprawling Parker Ranch, Hawaii's largest cattle ranch. Don't be surprised to see working cowboys and plenty of cattle in the fields around Waimea. This town is at an elevation of almost 2700 feet, and is generally cooler than at the coast. The town has several good restaurants (including the top-rated Merrifield's), one of the best wine stores on the island, and some nice art galleries. The Parker Ranch has its own visitor center, and you can tour some of the ranch's historic homes. Waimea also is home to many of the astronomers who work on the observatories atop Mauna Kea. The WM Keck Observatory has videos and displays about the observatories and information about programs and activities at the volcano.