Hilo -- Big Island Hawaii

I love Hilo...to me it is simply...Hawaii as it should be. It's laid back, quiet, and beautiful.

Not only is it convenient to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (45 minutes away), but it has many other attractions as well. As a stark contrast to dry and sunny Kona, Hilo is wet and lush.

  • Akaka Falls
  • --Akaka Falls State Park is located about 15 minutes north of town.

    It is one of the best views of a waterfall in the state.

    There is a short quarter-mile hike in that is quite easy and you are rewarded with 420 foot high Akaka Falls (pictured to the right). There is also a smaller waterfall within the park called Kahuna Falls.

  • Merri Monarch Hula Festival
  • --Hula, is one of Hawaii’s greatest gifts to the world. This art form has become extremely popular and gone main-stream throughout the years.

    Hilo, is home to the Merrie Monarch Festival, the “Super Bowl” of the hula world. This is the real deal...It is not the commercialized hula that most people are exposed to. It is held the week after Easter every year in April.

  • Farmer’s Market
  • --Features over 100 local farmers and crafters. You will surely find something here that will make you feel “local” for a day! It has a great friendly atmosphere. It is open every Wednesday and Saturday, from dawn til’ it’s gone.

  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
  • --This Big Island attraction is located about 8 miles north of town. I have never been there, but have been told it’s is one of Hawaii’s best gardens. Consider this…Hilo is the nation’s orchid capital.

  • Rainbow Falls (pictured)
  • This is another beautiful waterfall located in town just a short drive up along the Wailuku River.

  • Big Island Candies
  • --This store has become very popular in recent years. My mom just loves their chocolate covered shortbread cookies, and I do too, but they have a bunch of other goodies too! While you are here, they are definitely worth checking out. Toll-free (800) 935-5510 or (808) 935-8890

  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center
  • --Here, you can take part in a tasty Big Island activity…sample delicious macadamia nuts! Although the gift shop is generally a typical tourist trap sales store, you can buy macadamia nuts cheaper than other places.

    The factory tour allows you to see the intensive process of packaging these nuts. It is quite interesting and FREE.

    The snack bar there has some delicious treats for your picking. It’s a great place for dessert!

    • Hours: Daily from 8:30 a.m.--5:00 p.m.
    • Phone: toll-free (888) 628-6256 or (808) 966-8618

  • Ahalanui
  • --An ocean and fresh water protected pool that is volcanically heated to almost 95 degrees Fahrenheit...This place is way cool...but warm...Click here to read more...

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