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“Thanks for the great morning ride!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch
66-1304 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
+1 808-885-7311
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Small Group
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
Ranked #10 of 18 Activities in Waimea
Type: Historic Sites, Museums, Tourist/ Visitor Centers, Ranchs, Ranch & Farm
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Parker Ranch Family Estate (also known as the Historic Homes & Gardens) was home to the Parker family from 1879 to 1992. From these homes the Parker's ran a cattle empire that survives to this day and at its height spanned half of the Big Island. Open Monday through Friday, from 8:00am until 4:00pm for free self-guided tours which includes a 20 minute video on the history of the Ranch.
Alameda, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Thanks for the great morning ride!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

A friend and I recently visited Parker Ranch for a trail ride with Cowboys of Hawaii. The horses are happy and well cared for. The ride was peaceful and our guide Sarah was great! She was knowledgeable, down to earth and excellent at her job (a 5th generation cowgirl). My friend, who prior to this ride was nervous around horses wanted to go back for another spin on "Ally" a sweet sorrel mare. This was an easy ride through the rolling hills of the ranch. Don't expect to be "the man from Snowy River" on this trip. Go, have fun, enjoy the peaceful calm and soak in the scenery.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Sadly, this attraction is dwindling to nothing.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

The memorial to the brave soldiers at Camp Tarawa is very nice, but I was very disappointed in the rest of it. A small sign marked the entrance to Parker Ranch. Six flagpoles stand at the entrance without one flag flying. Driving up the driveway, no signs direct visitors where to go or what to do. We parked, got out, saw a woman walking toward one of the houses who did not speak to or acknowledge us, spoke to her and ask where we were supposed to go. She handed us two papers and went about her business.

We walked around, looking at artifacts, not marked as to what they were, so I asked her what the deal was. She said, "The trustees are putting their efforts into the cattle ranching now." "So, in other words, they don't really care whether tourists come to the ranch or not?", I asked. She said, "Their efforts are in the cattle." We went ahead and toured the Mana Hale, the original Parker home, with it's rich Koa wood throughout. Lots of pictures and artifacts decorated this small home and most items were labeled. As we left the Mana Hale for the walk, again no signs and only the briefest description on the two papers made it impossible to know what we were seeing. One highlight, though, was seeing the giant pine tree in the front yard that was planted in 1852.

Overall, I would advise, just going to the Camp Tarawa memorial out on the highway, pay your respects, and move on to the spectacular drive from there to Hawi on highway 250. We love this drive where you can view the Kohala mountain range (you're actually on it), Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Maui and the vistas from the highway are amazing. In Hawi, we got coffee, shopped, visited, then drove back on the coastal highway past the harbor, the Lapakahi State historic park, and all the Kohala resorts. Great drive!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland, UT
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Horseback riding with beautiful views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

My wife and I had not made an appointment for the 8am ride, but we happened to be up in the area and stopped by the ranch just to see if we could get a ride in. The ladies that helped us were very nice and treated us with a tons of aloha spirit. They got us on the ride and I thought the prices were reasonable. The horses are really well maintained, and they make sure that everybody is safe. We had a 7 year old girl on our ride and she did fine.

My only complaint was the slowness of the ride. We were in pretty wide open meadows that stretched out to the base of Mauna Kea, but we still kept it at a very slow walk. It would have been fun to pick up the pace a little. Also, while the views were great, the scenery was a little plain. Just a big open meadow, no rain forest riding.

Visited July 2012
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Sykesville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Nice morning ride with spectacular views.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012 via mobile

Follow the signs for cowboys of hawaii. They're there you just have to look for them. We rode on three gentle horses. Our guide Tootsie was very helpful, friendly and informative. She explained that we didn't have to ride nose to tail but that the horses kind of did it on their own. We got to a few places where we were allowed to try our trotting. We rode for about an hour and 45. We had great weather. The lush hills with mountains in the background are not your typical Hawaiian sights but really beautiful.

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Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
94 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
“Horseback Riding”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

We did the horseback riding here through Cowboys of Hawaii. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable. The horses were easy to handle for our children (aged 8 and 11). They also offered weather protective clothing, which was very helpful because it rained during the ride.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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