Hilo Travel Guide

Located on the eastern side of Hawaii’s largest island on the banks of Wailuku river, Hilo is the biggest city on the island of Hawaii. Nowadays, its tourist industry has become an important economic factor as lots of visitors who come to see Volcanoes National Park take lodgings here. Hilo is one of the world’s wettest towns and has a record of tsunamis, the worst occurring in 1946 and 1980. The city features shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and a developed downtown district.

Among Hilo’s numerous historic draws, the seafront Kress Building is the only one to have braved the last major tsunami. Similarly attention-grabbing is the nationally accredited Lyman Museum, which showcases the island’s natural and cultural history. Water enthusiasts will be overwhelmed by Hilo’s spectacular snorkeling options, especially in Richardson’s Ocean Park where they can also swim, surf, dive and kayak.

Hilo’s bustling and vivacious historic downtown is an unusual mixture of old and new; the main waterside promenade of Kamehamcha stretches out to the pier landing close to the appealing Pacific Tsunami Museum. Nature lovers will be delighted at the various parks and gardens in and around Hilo. The city has a fine selection of affordable restaurants and also houses various entertainment venues including cinemas, theaters, caf├ęs and nightclubs.


Lyman Museum: the museum showcases Hawaii’s natural and cultural history and also displays ancient art of China, Hawaiian artists and collections of minerals and seashells.

Pacific Tsunami Museum: offers residents and visitors diverse badly-needed tsunami education programs.

Hilo Farmers Market: located in historic downtown Hilo, this spot creates a cheerful outdoor atmosphere where more than 100 local farmers and crafters trade their products, gift items and tropical flowers.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden: situated in a valley next to the ocean, this wonderful garden is home to coconut groves, mango trees and a huge fern tree forest as well as a number of streams and waterfalls.

Panaewa Rainforest Zoo: located about 4 miles south of Hilo, this is the United States‘ only tropical rainforest zoo and is home to over 80 animal species, including a white Bengal tiger, spider monkeys and giant anteaters.

Kaumana Caves: these caves are situated about 5 miles north of Hilo and actually are part of a large lava tube which was formed during the 1881 outbreak of Mauna Loa.