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Rainbow Falls

Merrie Monarch Parade

Mokupāpapa Discovery Center -scheduled to re-open in June 2013


Hilo Town

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 checking out.


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 pm. More info here.


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. More info: http://www.hilopalace.com/


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 KTA supermarket.


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.


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