Curving gracefully around the rim of Hilo Bay, the town of Hilo is nestled on the slopes of three volcanoes and is home to nearly 41,000 residents. Hilo is also home to the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a major visitor attraction each spring. This year, it’s slated for March 31-April 6, 2013.
One of the wettest towns in the United States, Hilo boasts a rainfall average of about 128 inches a year. All that rain creates gushing waterfalls and water for a myriad of exotic flowers.
Tourism may not be as noticeable here, but there’s plenty to do. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is a short drive from Hilo, as are the scenic Hamakua Coast, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut’s visitor center and Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden. The Pacific Tsunami Museum and Lyman Museum are located in town, along with the Palace Theater, Big Island Candies, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center and a famous farmers’ market.