Ex­plore Hilo

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - HILO/HAMAKUA COAST -

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 also is home to the an­nual Merrie Monarch Fes­ti­val, a ma­jor vis­i­tor at­trac­tion each spring. This year, the hula and Hawai­ian cul­ture ex­trav­a­ganza cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary with a week of events.

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.

• Big Is­land Can­dies (808) 935-8890

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