Welcome to Hilo, Hawaii!
Located on the Big Island, the town of Hilo is one of the biggest on the island. The area is quintessentially “Hawaiian,” with beautiful and lush greenery everywhere you look. Enjoy the exotic wildflowers blooming everywhere and yes, even volcanoes both dormant and not. Hilo has been home to local Hawaiian people for over 1000 years, and as the sugar plantation industry grew, so did the economy and the town of Hilo.
Although the sugar plantations are no longer around, Hilo’s economy is now focused on what Hawaii is known best for tourism. As a worldwide local, you’ll love Hilo’s beautiful scenery, enthralling mythical legends, and the unique Hawaiian culture.
Worldwide Local Tip: Public transportation around the town is very minimal, so most people coming here end up renting a vehicle before they leave the Hilo airport. Taxis are also an option, but renting a car is much easier for getting around the region, to and from any of the Hilo hotels.
Visit Waiakea Pond for One of the Best Things to Do in Hilo
Connected via the Wailoa stream and through the Mauna Loa volcano is the Waiakea Pond. The pond is the largest natural pond on the island and is a popular spot where the locals of Hilo come to hang out and do a little fishing. The area is a popular spot for people who want to hang out by the water, or even spend a little time boating or swimming. The flow collects freshwater from a number of locations before it makes its way here and eventually out through Hilo Bay.
Worldwide Local Tip: Perhaps one of the most beautiful spots on the entire island, is Rainbow Falls. Known in Hawaiian mythology as the home of the moon goddess Hina, legend has it that she lives in the lava cave behind the falls. Each morning at 10 a.m., the sun hits the falls in a particular way that makes it look like there’s a dazzling series of rainbows surrounding the falls.
Art in Hilo
Despite Hawaii’s natural beauty, sometimes it does rain here, so as a worldwide local, immersing yourself in the local art museums is a good way to get a glimpse into the life of the people while also staying dry. The Hilo Art Museum is a great way to spend some time checking out the local art scene and art from around the world. The collection here grows year by year, and one of the best things about the Hilo Art Museum is that it is located in an old ironworks building, with breathtaking views of Hilo Bay.
Worldwide Local Tip: Hilo is home to some of the best observation spots in the world. At the top of Mount Mauna Kea, are a series of observation towers and a view that is unlike any other in the world. Located above the clouds, astronomers get 300 clear nights a year and operate some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. As a visitor, you can check out the observation decks and do some of the best stargazing, in the entire world. Be forewarned though, it is very high up and altitude sickness can present as a real issue.
Enjoy the Hilo Weather at Wailoa State Park
Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes around, and a visit to Wailoa State Park will simply prove that notion. While there, check out the King Kamehameha Statue. An interesting piece of Hawaiian history, the statue was erected in 1997 as a gift from the island of Kauai. The people of Kauai felt they couldn’t do it because of King Kamehameha, who simply couldn’t conquer Kauai. The statue stands at 14-feet tall and overlooks Hilo, where the first king established his seat of government.
Worldwide Local Tip: For more Hawaiian mythology, check out Naha Stone in front of the Hilo Public Library. The legend has it that whoever moved the 5000 pound stone was to be the greatest king of all. Naturally, Kamehameha moved it at age 14 and fulfilled the prophecy.
Have a Memorable Time in Hilo, Hawaii!
Hilo is a place where a worldwide local can feel like they’ve indulged in something more than just exploring a city. Hilo is a place steeped with Hawaiian myths and legends, as well as beautiful works of local art and, of course, the everlasting beauty of the Hawaiian landscape.