The Parker Ranch on the Big Island was, once upon a time, the largest ranch in the united states. Their history is interwoven with that of the American presence in Hawaii, and they remain one of the biggest ranches on the Island.
The main reasons why people visit the Parker Ranch are:
- Parker Ranch 4th of July rodeo
- Hunting tours, and
- The free self-guided tour of two on-site historic homes
Website: Parker Ranch
The history of the Parker Ranch
The Parker Ranch history starts in 1809 when the young John Parker came to the Big Island. Over time John became a loyal friend and subject of King Kamehameha I, who hired him to cull the herd of wild cattle which began as five cattle given to the king 21 years earlier in 1793 by British Captain George Vancouver. In 1815, John Parker married Kipikane, the daughter of a high-ranking Hawaiian chief, who took the Christian name Rachel. The couple had a daughter and two sons, and so the Parker dynasty began.
Things to do on the Parker Ranch:
Their main business of the Parker Ranch is raising cattle, but the vast amount of land they own allows them to use the land for tours and events.
1: Parker Ranch 4th of July Rodeo
The Parker Ranch 4th of July Rodeo is an award-winning tradition that includes action-packed rodeo events, keiki (children) activities, ono (delicious) food and much, much more.
For more information call (808) 885-5669 or look on their website in the weeks before the event.
2: Hunting excursions
Unfortunately, at the moment (2017) the ranch does not offer horseback riding tours anymore, but it is possible to go on an organized hunting trip on the Parker Ranch.
For more information see the hunting section at the Parker Ranch website.
3: Self-guided tours at the Parker Ranch
The are two historic homes on the Parker Ranch grounds that are open to visitors. These homes tell the Parker family’s story through historic heirlooms, works of art, and everyday things.
A self-guided tour and 20-minute video are available free of charge. Presently used as Parker Ranch Headquarters, the homes are open 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information see the tour section at the Parker Ranch website.