Hilo is the region blessed with magnificent nature. It is located on the lush, green, breathtaking East side of Hawaii Island. It is not as popular as other destinations in this tropical paradise, but that doesn’t mean that it is not just as beautiful, if not more. Here you can experience the real beauty of Hawaiian nature -wild ginger blooming along roadsides, waterfalls plunging through hillside jungles, and rainbows cascading over lush vegetation. There is plenty of rain, which is beneficial for the vegetation, and the gulches and slopes in the Hilo area have more shades of green than you can name. The rain keeps the days cool in the summer and the air fresh and clean. Long stretches of beach with white and black sand are something special. There are also the green “beaches,” where the grass meets the water and jagged jet-black volcanic rocks that give amazing sight while blue waves shatter of them.
This is the charming town with country feel and it almost looks like the time has slowed down. Life moves at a slow, friendly pace. Hilo is not a big tourist destination so shopping in Hilo is an authentic experience. You can stroll around Old Hilo Town relaxed, or hop on a sampan bus, Hilo’s unique transportation. Be sure to visit the farmers’ market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings for locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, and meeting people. You can taste samples of produce you have only read about, and you can decorate your accommodations with sprays of orchids, anthuriums, and other tropical splendor for just a few dollars.
Hilo isn’t lacking when it comes to great food. Offering an array of cuisines as diverse as Hilo’s people and subcultures, the East Hawaii town is home to a selection of great restaurants offering delicious food. Although all of the restaurants are pretty low key – fancy isn’t found in Hilo – they all offer great food at decent prices. Here you can find organic, natural food and amazing Hawaiian coffee, fresh raw fish and other seafood, flavorful traditional Thai food and awesome Italian food, but with a Pacific twist.
Hilo is proud to be a college town, it is a home to two post-secondary institutions, the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College. The University of Hawaii at Hilo has an international student body that specialize in marine biology, volcanology, astronomy, and Hawaiian studies. Its Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts educational and cultural center on the Big Island, serving as a joint special use facility for the University and Big Island Communities.
The gem of the Hilo town is the beautiful Lili’uokalani Gardens: a sprawling park near the bay in Hilo. It covers 30 acres of Japanese gardens with fishponds, gazebos, bridges, and has a spectacular view across the bay of Hilo Town and the slopes of Mauna Kea. If you are lucky, you will see the snow-capped summit of the magnificent mountain. Across a footbridge is the Coconut Island, just big enough for picnics, celebrations and open-air concerts.
Hilo is home of the world-famous Merrie Monarch Hula Festival that features an internationally acclaimed hula competition, an invitational Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town. The Lyman House and Museum traces the history and culture of the diverse peoples who have privilege to call Hawaii home.
Thanks to www.hiloland.net