Top 25 Amazing Things To Do In Hilo Hawaii

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What to do in Hilo? The “non-touristy” side of the island in Hilo, where it rains a lot, but that’s what makes it so green and beautiful. Hilo is home to the rainforests and waterfalls, and it’s also a terrific spot to stay if you’re seeking a more convenient basecamp for touring Hawaii Volcano National Park and the famed colored sand beaches. Here are 25 things to do in Hilo Hawaii, as well as ideas for where to stay and the top restaurants, whether you’re spending part of your trip there or simply driving over for the day.

Activities and places to visit in Hilo

things to do in hilo
Activities and places to visit in Hilo

Take a helicopter tour

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Take a helicopter tour

The most popular helicopter excursions on the Big Island leave from Hilo and include a flyover over the volcano (the best way to watch the lava flow!) followed by a tour of the jungle and waterfalls before returning to Hilo. This flight with Blue Hawaiian is my favorite.

  • Address: 68-690 Waikoloa Rd, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738, US
  • Opening Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-961-5600

Waipio Valley

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Waipio Valley

Waipio Valley is among the most beautiful places on the Big Island, lush and tropical. There’s a picturesque overlook, or you can take the SUPER STEEP climb down into the valley if you’re feeling adventurous. Unless you’re on a guided tour, there’s not much to see at the bottom (mainly private land). This tour combines Waipio Valley with some of the island’s top waterfalls, and I highly suggest it.

  • Address: 48-5561A Waipio Valley Rd, Honokaa, HI 96727, US
  • Opening Hours: all-day

Explore more: 11 Best Places for Cliff Jumping In Oahu

Zipline over a waterfall

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Zipline over a waterfall

This is the place to go if ziplining through the jungle and viewing endless waterfalls is on your bucket list. Make a reservation for this adventure, which includes zip lining above KoleKole Falls.

  • Address: 28-1692 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Honomu, HI 96728, US
  • Opening Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-963-6353

Hamakua Coast Scenic Drive

what to do in hilo
Hamakua Coast Scenic Drive

The gorgeous path down the island’s north shore has to be one of the most beautiful drives in Hawaii. Take the north coast route on the way over and then the more direct Saddle Road on the way back if you’re staying on the Kona side of the island and driving over to Hilo (or Volcano) for the day.

For another adventure: 13 Most Beautiful Kona Beaches You Have To Go

Akaka FallsFor another adventure:Akaka Falls

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Akaka Falls in Hilo

The most renowned waterfall in Hawaii is located around 11 miles north of Hilo. It’s nearly 400 feet tall and just a half-mile stroll through beautiful jungle to get there. Vehicles must pay a $5 admission charge.

  • Address: 875 Akaka Falls Rd, Honomu, HI 96728, US
  • Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-961-9540

Rainbow Falls

what to do in hilo hawaii
Rainbow Falls in Hilo

This 80-foot waterfall, located in Hilo town, has a circumference of about 100 feet and is best seen early in the morning when you have the best opportunity of viewing a rainbow.

  • Address: Hilo, Hawaii 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Contact Number: 719-520-7529

Richardson Beach Park

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Richardson Beach Park

While the Hilo side of the island lacks numerous beaches, Richardson’s is your best chance for swimming and snorkeling. Although it is a black sand beach, there are little particles of green (olivine) in it.

  • Address: 2355 Kalanianaole St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 7:30am – 7:30pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-961-8688

Read more: Everything You Should Know About Shark Cage Diving Oahu

Carlsmith Beach Park

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Carlsmith Beach Park

Although there is no sand (although there is a wonderful grassy lawn to relax on), the lava rocks and reef form a nice tiny sheltered swimming spot that is ideal for snorkeling.

  • Address: 1815 Kalanianaole St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 7:00am – 8:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-961-8311

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

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Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

These botanical gardens, located 7 miles north of Hilo, are often regarded as the most beautiful in Hawaii, and their proximity to the coast provides a breathtaking vista. The orchids are a must-see! Adult admission is $20.

  • Address: 27-717 Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781, US
  • Opening Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-964-5233

People also visit: Best Hilo Botanical Gardens On The Big Island

Liliuokalani Park and Garden

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Liliuokalani Park and Garden

This gorgeous garden, which is open to the public and is the biggest true decorative Japanese garden outside of Japan, is free to see.

  • Address: 189 Lihiwai St #151, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 5:45am – 7:30pm

Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Botanical Garden

things to do on hilo
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Botanical Garden

This little zoo is the only one in the United States that is situated in a rainforest. The zoo is free to enter and may be easily toured in an hour or two.

  • Address: 800 Stainback Hwy, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-959-9233

Hilo Farmers Market

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Hilo Farmers Market

This outdoor market with over 200 local farmers and sellers is a must-see if you’re in Hilo on a Wednesday or Saturday.

  • Address: Corner of Kamehameha Avenue and, Mamo St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 7:00am – 3:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-933-1000

Pacific Tsunami Museum

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Pacific Tsunami Museum

The modest museum dedicated to the Hilo tsunamis of 1946 and 1960 is well worth an hour or two of your time.

  • Address: 130 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-935-0926

Historic Palace Theater

The Palace Theater, first opened in 1925, shows independent films and often holds concerts and other events.

  • Address: 38 Haili St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Contact Number: +1 808-934-7010

Lyman Museum and Mission House

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Lyman Museum and Mission House

The Lyman Museum, which is linked with the Smithsonian, is a world-class museum dedicated to the Hawaiian people’s history and culture. The mission home next door was erected in the 1830s, and admission to the museum ($10) provides entrance to it.

  • Address: 276 Haili St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-935-5021

Imiloa Astronomy Center

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Imiloa Astronomy Center

Mauna Kea is home to the world’s biggest array of astronomical observatories, a testament to the ancient Hawaiian culture’s connection to astronomy. At the center, there are educational and cultural exhibitions as well as a planetarium. The cost of admission is $17.50.

  • Address: 276 Haili St, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Opening Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Contact Number: +1 808-932-8901

Maybe You Concern: The 14 Best Beaches In Oahu For An Exciting Summer

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory

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Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory

The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory are located a few miles south of Hilo. Take a self-guided tour, try several nuts, and get some of your favorites!

  • Address: Macadamia Nut Rd, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Contact Number: +1 888-628-6256

Hotels in Hilo

Online hotel bookings in Hilo, United States may save you a lot of money. There’s a lot of room and the fees are reasonable. Reading hotel reviews will help you choose the greatest hotel price for your stay. There are some recommendation below to help you find the most suitable one.

Grand Naniloa Hotel

  • Address: 93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Contact Number: +1 808-969-3333
  • Price: ~276,04/night

Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

  • Address: 71 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Contact Number: +1 808-935-9361
  • Price: ~230,17/night

Hilo Seaside Hotel

  • Address: 126 Banyan Way, Hilo, HI 96720, US
  • Contact Number: +1 808-935-0821
  • Price: ~231,35/night

Restaurant in Hilo

  • Ken’s Pancake House: A Hilo staple, Ken’s Pancake House provides breakfast all day (macadamia nut pancakes are to die for!). They have a full supper menu as well as local favorites, but go for breakfast!
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Ken’s Pancake House
  • Make reservations at Moon and Turtle: if you’re a foodie looking for something a little more trendy and less old school. It’s a small (but extremely popular) Asian/Hawaiian fusion restaurant that’s likely near the top of the list of “don’t miss Hilo eateries.”
  • Two Ladies Kitchen: If there’s one “must do” gourmet visit in Hilo, it’s this Japanese patisserie, which is famous for its strawberry mocha. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday are closed.
  • Suisan Fish Market: is Hilo’s top poke joint. It’s sold by the pound with rice at the counter. There are some tables and chairs outside, but Liliuokalani Park is only over the street. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
top things to do in hilo hawaii
Suisan Fish Market ahi poke bowl
  • Sweet Cane Café: A vegetarian restaurant worth visiting if you’re looking for something different. Open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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  • Café 100: This walk-up establishment serves Hilo’s most famous loco moco (over 30 varieties actually). At a low price, you can get a lot of food for a little money 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
top things to do in hilo
  • Paul’s Place: This neighborhood café provides delicious meals created with locally sourced ingredients, but make a reservation well in advance because there are only approximately four tables! 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
things to see in hilo
  • Hilo Burger Joint: As the name says, this is a terrific informal restaurant for a burger and beer created using locally produced ingredients. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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  • Pho Viet: Not really a luxurious establishment, but maybe the best pho on the island, with a wide range of options. Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday are closed.
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  • Hilo Bay Café: This upmarket Hilo restaurant is located on one side of a magnificent Japanese garden and on the other side of picturesque Hilo Bay. This is the place to go in Hilo for great dining.
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  • Hilo’s favorite shave ice: location is Hawaiian Brain Freeze Shave Ice. Open from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
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We’re glad to share with you all the useful information about the top 25 amazing things to do in Hilo Hawaii. Would like to see how you feel after the whole vacation. Comment down below. See you soon on some posts about the holiday!

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