About Hilo

Would you like to find out About Hilo? Situated on the windward side of Hawaii, Hilo is the greenest and the wettest part of the island.  Hilo is central to Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea Mountain with the world’s largest telescopes and incredible views and hikes, many valleys and waterfalls, Punaluu Black Sand Beach with its turtles, and Puna with its warm springs and great tropical scenery. These hot spots are the majority of things for which the Big Island is famous.

As you explore the town of Hilo you’ll notice the laid-back lifestyle where locals hang out at the beach after pau hana (done with work), the cashiers talk to customers and ask how their children are doing while you wait patiently in line, a car allows you to pass or cut in front of you in traffic (make sure you wave thank you when someone does that kind gesture for you), and smiling or interesting characters that you will notice.  This is Hilo.  This is a town unlike any other.

You will not find too many white sand beaches, but you will find lava pools with refreshing brackish water and possibly turtles on our coastline.

Hilo town is a mix of old and new with a good selection of supermarkets, modern stores, local bars, beach parks and a shopping mall. Old Hilo town is in the midst of change, has great museums, a great Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturdays and many restaurants covering a reasonable range of cuisine and prices.  Let’s not forget Hilo is the home of the legendary Merrie Monarch Festival to which people flock from all over the world as hula now has an international following.

Highlights of Hilo:

  • Farmer’s Market every day (with crafts vendors every Wednesday and Friday)
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Mauna Kea Summit
  • Mauna Loa
  • Akaka Falls
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Boiling Pots
  • Kaumana Caves
  • Hike to Hot Lava (if it’s accessible and if it’s active)
  • Richardson’s Beach Park
  • Liliuokalani Gardens
  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut
  • Imiloa Astronomy Center
  • Akatsuka Orchid Farm
  • Lyman Museum
  • Tsunami Museum
  • Mokupapa Discovery Center
  • Big Island Candies
  • Two Ladies Kitchen (the best mochi on the island!)

Please note that some of the above are not within Hilo town limits, but are very accessible from Hilo.