A short description
Hilo is fun. The main street, Kamehameha Ave, faces the bay and has 4 blocks
of small stores and museums that are fun to walk in and out of. The
buildings are old and the businesses locally owned. It feels like real
Hawai'i. Here is a small sample of sites and things to do that are worth
Hilo Farmers’ and Flea Market: Wednesdays and Saturdays are when
this market really bustles and easy to find at the Southern end of
Kamehameha Ave. More info here. You should try to make time to visit.
Mokupāpapa Discovery Center: has re-opened in a new
location, 76 Kamehameha Ave on the corner of Kamehameha and Waianuenue
Ave. It is a special
museum that informs you all about the fascinating Northwest Islands.
Regular business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00
Pacific Tsunami Museum: also on the main drag has become a real
Hilo institution (entry fee).
Palace Theater - located downtown is the historic Palace
Theater. This old theater is worth a visit to view the interior. The
theater hosts movies on the weekends, music and other events. 38 Haili St., 808 934-7777.
Shaved Ice: when you get too warm from walking around take a break with a shaved ice - be adventurous and try one of the Island fruit flavors. I
would skip the cream though my wife likes it.
Two Ladies Kitchen: located at 274 Kilauea Avenue creates
wonderful mochi - a Japanese glutinous rice cake treat. They currently
have 20 different colors and creative shapes of mochi treats with
strawberry the top favorite. They also sell a half dozen varieties of
manju - a traditional sweet Japanese steamed cake. Sometimes they run
out of the strawberry mochi so it doesn't hurt to pre-order
(808-961-4766). Note that Kilauea Avenue is a back door out of downtown
Hilo - it by passes all the malls though it does have an entry to the
Lyman Museum and Mission House: at 276 Haili street is a short 4 block up from the main street.
It houses a collection of artifacts, fine art, and natural history
exhibits as well as special exhibitions. Visitors touring the two
facilities can see the old Mission House and life as it was 150 years
ago. (entry fee look for discount coupons in the various Island Guides)
Rainbow Falls: is free, easy to visit, and often full of
tourists. Your best chance to see a rainbow is in the morning. If it’s
been raining heavy the night before the falls can really roar. Further
up the road a few miles are
PeePee Falls and Boiling Pots. Please be careful in this wild area
and don’t wander off the trail.
Imiloa Astronomy Center: “Where astronomy meets Hawaiian culture” –
the Imiloa Astronomy Center Astronomical center, 600 Imiloa Place, is
not downtown but nonetheless is good fun for children and adults and a
great rainy day activity. (entry fee)
Carlsmith Beach and
Richardson Beach – both are in
Hilo and are located out near the airport.. Both offer swimming\snorkeling
and are safe for children. Carlsmith is our favorite and offers the best
chance to swim\snorkel with a turtle.