Fun things to do in Hilo

  • Dragonfruit and mangoes
    Dragonfruit and mangoes
    by pacific_sol
  • Things to Do
    by yooperprof
  • bed and breakfast in the middle of the lava field
    bed and breakfast in the middle of the...
    by grandmaR

Most Viewed Things to Do in Hilo

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo

    Farmer's Market

    by triplehelix Written Apr 27, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I used to hate when my parents forced me to go here with them. It was tiring spending a couple of hours haggling with Filipino immigrants over stuff you can buy in the store!! As a kid, you wonder why come here when the store is nicer? This place can be quite crowded.

    The truth is, things are way cheaper here and you can find things not normally sold in stores. Many things are imported from Asia. There is also food sold in kiosks. It can be compared to an Arabic souq.

    market place
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Singles
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo

    Kalakaua Park

    by triplehelix Written Apr 27, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    King Kalakaua was the last king in the Hawaiian dynasty (Queen Liliuokalani was the last monarch). He was the second ruler who was not a part of the Kamehameha family. This park was dedicated to his memory and sits across of the federal building downtown. At the park's eastern border lies a memorial to the fallen soldiers during the Vietnam war. The park is beaufitul in the sunlight but unfortunately, Hilo isn't known for sun!

    King Kalakaua Kalakaua info Vietnam memorial pond Vietnam memorial plackard Message to the future
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • triplehelix's Profile Photo

    EK Fernandez Hawaii County Fair

    by triplehelix Updated Apr 23, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Hawaii (Big Island) County Fair is one of the few times of the year Hilo really lights up. Most of the time, Hilo's quite dead to say the least. Legend has it that there is a curse on EK Fernandez so every year the fair comes around, it pours down torrential rains making it a muddy mess in the civic area. Flooding and parking are your biggest concerns at this time. It's rained for as long as I could remember every year on the dot. The fair offers rides for all ages and opens up several vendor booths on the inside. The rides are awesome but nothing compared to what they got on a daily basis in the mainland US. The best part is the food tent!!! Talk about gaining 30 lbs in a day.

    The next fair is scheduled for Sept. 14-17 2006. Bring lots of money because it can be costly.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    Hilo Bayfront

    by KiKitC Updated Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Driving into Hilo, it's impossible to miss the exapnsive park along the bay. We learned later that the bayfront used to be a busy Japanese town that got washed out by both the tsunamies of 1946 and 1960. After those two devastingly expensive cleanups, it was decided this area would be best used as a park.

    There is a statue of King Kamehameha in this park that is like the one on Oahu by the palace. Another interesting piece here is a clock on the side of Kamehameha Street is stopped at the exact time of the 1960 tsunami...1:04 am.

    King Kamehameha Time stands still on the Hilo Bayfront
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    Waipi'o Valley

    by KiKitC Written Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We finally made it to Waipi'o Valley. Just continue up 19 north out of Hilo and follow the signs. This is probably one of the most beautiful spots on our whole trip. The view from the scenic overlook is just enough to make you never want to leave. This offers the quintessential photo for everyone's Hawai'i scrapbook.

    This valley is held in high regards spiritually by the natives. They believe that the mana of their ancestors can be felt here. It is also here that King Kamehameha hid as a child to avoid assasination by the king.

    There is another road you can access from this point...Waipi'o Valley Road. We didn't head down it, mainly because the 4-wheel drive vehicles were too rough riding while my hand was all pinned together. You need three tings to take this road:
    1. A 4 wheel drive vehicle
    2. Alot of experience driving steep roads in a 4 wheel drive vehicles
    3. Alot of balls
    This road has an incredible 45 degree down grade for 900 feet. The inexperienced will burn out their brakes.

    There are many tour options that can get you into the valley more easily, including horseback.

    Waipi'o Valley Overlook BooBoo Hand at Waipi'o Valley
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    A Tsunami Tragedy Remembered

    by KiKitC Written Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Further north on 19, just past the 27 mile marker, there is a road the leads to Laupahoehoe Point. We didn't take the trip down this road, but this is the spot most remembered for the 1946 tsunami that killed 21 schoolchildren and 3 teachers. Just washed them out to sea. After that, they moved the town further upstream...

    The views from this point are of dramatic cliffs and the surf pounded against the jagged rocks. There is a memorial to those that died at the bottom.

    Typical View from 19 North of Hilo
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    KoleKole Park

    by KiKitC Written Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just after the 14 mile marker on 19 north of Hilo, there is a small park, where the water from Akaka Falls flows out to the ocean. We took the short trip into the park, which is below the highway we just came off of. The bridge the highway was on was part of a railroad bridge that was greatly damaged in the tsunami of 1946.

    There is a small waterfall and swimming hole in this park. The beach itself is too hazardous to swim in, but the force of the fresh water stream emptying into the ocean made some impressive surfing conditions. We watched a surfer here for a while. Brave soul. The waves were only 100 yards or so from the rocks of the beach.

    This is a nice spot to spend time, there are facilities for a nice picnic. We were there mid-week, and is was pretty empty, though I hear weekends it is busy.

    Surfer at Kolekole Park Small waterfall at Kolekole Park
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    Scenic Road off Rt 19

    by KiKitC Written Apr 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just past the 7 mile marker on 19 north of Hilo, there is a turn off for a "scenic" road. This really is a great side trip. It's only 4 miles long, but it twists and turns through lush tropical jungles, and leads you past the Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Jungle. We didn't stop at this site, but I here it is well worth the $15 entrance fee. A little past the gardens, the road takes you to the edge of Onomea Bay. The view here was magical. We had to stop and gaze out for a while.

    The road takes you right back up to 19. I highly recommend this diversion.

    Onomea Bay
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    Go spelunking in Kaumana Cave

    by KiKitC Written Dec 28, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Mauna Loa lava flow of 1881 flowed towards Hilo in this lava tube. It is said that Princess Ruth slept the night in front of the lava flow and asked Pele to spare Hilo, and upon wakening found the lava had stopped. The lava tube that was left is about 25 miles long, and about the 4 mile marker on Kaumana Drive (just off Waianuenue Avenue) there is a small opening, where a hole in the lava tube, exposed to the rainforest Hilo weather, created a micro rainforest opening. Signs at the entrance warn that the cave extnds miles and does lead into private properties. We descended the stairs, and at the bottom are openings to two different caves. The one on the right is a larger opening, and was easier (and safer) for me to walk into shortly. Gordie ventured in just a liitle further, but after the accident, we had shipped all our hiking stuff and flashlights home. I would have loved to explore. The cave on the left has a low overhang, but caverns out on the other side.

    Bring your flashlights, waterproof hiking boots and have fun!

    Kaumana Cave Chris at Kaumana Cave Entrance
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    Day Trip: Hawaii Volcanos National Park

    by Blatherwick Written Sep 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main reason the you go to the big island is to see volcanos. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution. The park encompasses diverse environments that range from sea level to the summit of the earth's most massive volcano, Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano, offers scientists insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and visitors' views of dramatic volcanic landscapes.

    Over half of the park is designated wilderness and provides unusual hiking and camping opportunities. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site.

    Halemaumau Crater
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Thurston Lava Tube

    by rexvaughan Written Mar 18, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This lava tube formed about 350-500 years ago. Such tubes result from the lava flow solidifying on the outside while molten lava still flows through the interior. This one came from an eruption of the Ai-laau shield on the east side of Kilauea's summit. Lava from this vent buried the entire north flank of Kilauea, all the way to the ocean. The 20-minute walk at Thurston Lava Tube will give you a close-up look at a Hawaiian rainforest and the lava tube. Be careful, the trail can be slippery when wet.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

    Was this review helpful?

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Akatsuka Orchid Gardens

    by rexvaughan Written Mar 18, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This could also be a shopping tip as the orchids and other flowers here are for sale. In fact it is a retail business, but our visit was just for admiring. We did not buy anything - how do you get a blooming orchid through airport security? You can also purchase items on line at their website.

    Buying or not, it is worth a little time just to see the magnificent variety of bright and colorful orchids. There are some which are almost unbelieveable. One, called "Volcano Queen" does in fact look like an active volcano crater with its red flowers centered with bright yellow and bordered by bright white. Appropriate for their location in Volcano near Kilauea.

    Orchids for sale

    Was this review helpful?

  • lashr1999's Profile Photo

    Black sand Beaches of Hilo

    by lashr1999 Written Dec 7, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hilo is one of the few places that you can find Black sand beaches cause by the volcanic activity on the Island. The sand kind of looked like mud to me when I first saw it. the more secluded areas have darker blacker sand.

    Black sand Beaches of Hilo
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Hilo Tropical Gardens Chief Noa

    by camerafreak Written Dec 1, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This place is Hilo's best kept secret. Chief Noa is a riot. He does a show for the cruise ship passengers. They have a free shuttle to the gardens, which are just a mile from the pier. Aunty Bev is usually the driver. This is just a homey, Hawaiian place that you will enjoy. They charge $5 for a self-guided tour of the 2 acre gardens and Chief Noa's show. It was the best $5 I spent in Hilo.

    Chief Noa
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo

    Hang out w/ Frank

    by Hexepatty Updated Aug 16, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    He's very unique. Just very unique. All I can say. When Frank calls me and wants to travel with me, I have to be prepared for ANY thing. And mostly, I prepare for NO SLEEP! He's a Party animal and just plan crazy.

    Was this review helpful?

Hilo Hotels

See all 29 Hotels in Hilo

Latest Hilo Hotel Reviews

Hilo Seaside Hotel
418 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 5, 2014
Country Club Hawaii Condo Hotel
50 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 31, 2014
Arnott's Lodge
205 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 22, 2014
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
902 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 3, 2014
Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn
176 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 17, 2014
Hilo Honu Inn
141 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 5, 2014
Naniloa Volcanoes Resort
32 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
The Bay House
208 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 7, 2014
Oceanfront Big Island Beach House
1 Review & Opinion
Uncle Billys Hilo Bay
246 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 1, 2014
Dolphin Bay Hotel (le)
447 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 24, 2014
Hilo Bay Hostel
116 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 13, 2014
Beautiful Hilo Home
1 Review & Opinion
Hale Kai Hawaii Bed and Breakfast
228 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 5, 2014
Waiakea Villas
18 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 5, 2012

Instant Answers: Hilo

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments

Hilo Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Hilo locals.
Map of Hilo