What to Do in Hilo, Hawaii – Ultimate Guide: 27 Amazing Things!

What to Do in Hilo, Hawaii – Ultimate Guide: 27 Amazing Things!

Are you seeking an unforgettable adventure in Hawaii? Look no further than Hilo, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Known for its lush rainforests and stunning waterfalls, Hilo offers a mix of natural beauty and cultural attractions that will leave you in awe.

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What to Do in Hilo Hawaii

Immerse yourself in the enchanting wonders of Hilo’s abundant rainforests, where vibrant flora and fauna thrive. Explore the breathtaking Akaka Falls, cascading down from a height of 442 feet, or witness the mesmerizing Rainbow Falls as it plunges into a serene pool below. Hike through the mystical Wailuku River State Park and marvel at its majestic beauty.

But Hilo is not just about nature; it also boasts a rich cultural heritage. Discover the fascinating history of Hawaii at the Lyman Museum and Mission House, or delve into local traditions at the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Don’t miss out on experiencing traditional Hawaiian cuisine and music at one of Hilo’s many authentic restaurants.

Prepare to be captivated by the allure of Hilo, where nature’s wonders meet cultural treasures. Get ready for an adventure like no other!


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Witness majestic Humpback Whales

If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience in Hilo, Hawaii, then make sure to take a whale-watching tour in Hilo Bay. This is your chance to witness the majestic Humpback Whales up close and personal during their annual migration.

As you set sail on the crystal-clear waters of Hilo Bay, keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures. The sight of a massive humpback breaching the surface is truly awe-inspiring. Feel the excitement build as you anticipate their next move, wondering if they will gracefully dive back into the depths or put on a show with a spectacular breach.

During their migration from Alaska to Hawaii’s warm waters, humpback whales travel thousands of miles seeking mating opportunities and giving birth. It’s a remarkable journey that takes them through some of the world’s most beautiful oceanic landscapes. By joining a whale-watching tour, you get a front-row seat to this incredible spectacle.

Not only will you have the opportunity to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat, but knowledgeable guides will also provide insights into their behavior and conservation efforts. Learn about how these whales communicate through haunting songs that can be heard underwater for miles around. Discover fascinating facts about their feeding habits and how they use bubble nets to corral fish into tight groups before lunging towards them with open mouths.

Explore Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo and its animals

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience in Hilo, Hawaii, the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo is a must-visit destination. This incredible zoo offers visitors the opportunity to encounter exotic wildlife, explore lush gardens filled with native Hawaiian flora, and enjoy educational exhibits and interactive experiences suitable for all ages.

Encounter exotic wildlife like tigers, monkeys, and sloths

At the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo, you’ll have the chance to come face-to-face with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures. From majestic tigers to playful monkeys and adorable sloths, this zoo is home to an impressive array of exotic wildlife that will leave you in awe. As you walk through the well-designed enclosures, you can observe these animals up close and learn about their behaviors and habitats.

Stroll through lush gardens and learn about native Hawaiian flora

In addition to its captivating animal exhibits, the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo boasts beautiful gardens that showcase the diverse range of native Hawaiian flora. Take a leisurely stroll along winding paths lined with vibrant flowers, towering trees, and tropical plants. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere as you breathe in the fragrant scents of orchids or admire the intricate patterns of hibiscus blooms.

Immerse in history at Lyman Museum and Mission House

If you’re looking to delve into the rich history of Hilo, Hawaii, a visit to the Lyman Museum and Mission House is a must. This historical gem offers an immersive experience that allows visitors to discover artifacts from ancient Hawaiian culture while exploring the fascinating Mission House.

Discover artifacts from ancient Hawaiian culture at the museum

At the Lyman Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a vast collection of artifacts that offer insights into the vibrant heritage of Hawaii. From intricately crafted tools and weapons to traditional clothing and artwork, each piece tells a story of the island’s indigenous people. As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of their customs, traditions, and way of life.

Explore the historic Mission House, built in 1839 by Christian missionaries

Step back in time as you enter the historic Mission House, which was constructed in 1839 by Christian missionaries who played a significant role in shaping Hawaii’s history. The house itself is an architectural marvel, showcasing traditional New England design elements blended with local materials such as lava rock. As you explore its rooms and corridors, you’ll be transported to a different era and gain insight into how these early settlers lived.

Gain insights into the island’s past through exhibits and guided tours

Kayak adventure in beautiful Hilo Bay

Looking for an exciting and unique experience during your visit to Hilo, Hawaii? Look no further than a kayak adventure in the stunning Hilo Bay. Paddle along the scenic coastline while enjoying breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.

As you embark on your kayak journey, be prepared to encounter an abundance of marine life. Hilo Bay is home to a diverse range of species, including dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful fish. Keep your eyes peeled as you glide across the crystal-clear waters, and you may just catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

What to Do in Hilo Hawaii

One of the highlights of this kayak adventure is the opportunity to witness dolphins playfully swimming alongside your kayak. Imagine the thrill as they gracefully leap out of the water, showcasing their acrobatic skills. It’s a truly magical experience that will create memories to last a lifetime.

Not only will you have the chance to spot marine life from above the water’s surface, but also beneath it. The clear visibility allows for excellent snorkeling opportunities. Take a break from paddling and dive into the vibrant underwater world below. Snorkel gear can be easily stored on your kayak, ensuring you’re ready for an impromptu exploration whenever something catches your eye.

The beauty of kayaking in Hilo Bay lies not only in its stunning scenery but also in its calm waters.

Discover tranquility on Coconut Island

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape in Hilo, Hawaii, look no further than Coconut Island. This small island park is surrounded by calm waters and offers the perfect setting to relax and unwind. Whether you’re seeking solitude or quality time with loved ones, Coconut Island has something for everyone.

Relax on this small island park surrounded by calm waters

As soon as you step foot on Coconut Island, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility wash over you. The island’s serene atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Find a secluded spot under the shade of a palm tree and let all your worries melt away.

Enjoy picnicking, swimming, or simply taking in the serene atmosphere

One of the best ways to make the most of your visit to Coconut Island is by packing a picnic basket filled with delicious treats. Spread out a blanket on the lush green grass and indulge in a leisurely meal while enjoying panoramic views of Hilo Bay. As you savor each bite, take in the soothing sounds of nature that surround you.

When it’s time to cool off from the Hawaiian sun, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Coconut Island. The gentle waves invite swimmers of all ages to enjoy a refreshing swim. Feel the weightlessness as you float effortlessly, allowing your worries to drift away.

Dive into the Pacific Tsunami Museum

Located in Hilo, Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Museum offers a unique and educational experience for visitors seeking to learn about the devastating impact of tsunamis on the island. Through interactive exhibits, personal stories of survivors, and in-depth information about tsunami science and preparedness, this museum provides a comprehensive understanding of the historical and ongoing challenges faced by Hawaii.

Learn about tsunamis that have affected Hawaii throughout history

The Pacific Tsunami Museum takes visitors on a journey through time, recounting significant tsunamis that have struck Hawaii’s shores. From the infamous 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake-induced tsunami to the more recent 2011 Tohoku earthquake-triggered event, each exhibit highlights the destructive power of these natural disasters. Through photographs, videos, and artifacts from past events, visitors gain a profound appreciation for the immense force unleashed by tsunamis.

Explore interactive exhibits showcasing tsunami science and preparedness

One of the most captivating aspects of the museum is its interactive exhibits that delve into tsunami science and preparedness measures. Visitors can engage with hands-on displays explaining how tsunamis are formed, their characteristics as they approach landfall, and their potential impact on coastal communities. These exhibits provide valuable insights into wave propagation, warning systems, evacuation procedures, and disaster response strategies.

Bike Volcano Adventure or Whalewatching Tour

Embark on an exhilarating bike ride through Volcanoes National Park

Imagine the thrill of cycling through one of nature’s most awe-inspiring wonders – Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, Hawaii. Strap on your helmet, hop on a bike, and get ready for an adventure like no other. As you pedal along scenic trails, the captivating landscapes will leave you breathless. Feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate through ancient lava fields and lush rainforests. The sheer magnitude of the volcanic formations surrounding you is nothing short of spectacular.

Take a moment to soak in the raw power of Mother Nature as you witness firsthand the remnants of volcanic eruptions that have shaped this unique terrain over millions of years. The rugged beauty and dramatic vistas will make every twist and turn of your journey worth it. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a beginner looking for an unforgettable experience, this bike ride through Volcanoes National Park is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Marvel at volcanic landscapes while cycling along scenic trails

As you pedal your way through Volcanoes National Park, prepare to be mesmerized by its breathtaking volcanic landscapes. Picture yourself surrounded by towering peaks, ancient lava tubes, and vibrant flora that has managed to thrive amidst the harsh conditions. The contrasting colors of black lava rock against lush green vegetation create a visual feast for the eyes.

Visit Hilo Brewing Company and Hawaiian Crown Chocolate

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Hilo, Hawaii, make sure to stop by the Hilo Brewing Company and Hawaiian Crown Chocolate. These two local establishments offer a delightful combination of craft beers and delicious chocolate, providing visitors with a taste of the island’s finest flavors.

Taste locally brewed craft beers at Hilo Brewing Company

At Hilo Brewing Company, beer enthusiasts can indulge in a wide selection of locally brewed craft beers. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, there is something to satisfy every palate. Step into their taproom and be greeted by friendly staff who are passionate about their craft. Take a seat at the bar or grab a table with friends as you embark on a journey through the flavors of Hawaii.

The brewing process is an art form at Hilo Brewing Company. The skilled brewers meticulously select high-quality ingredients to create their unique brews. They pay homage to traditional brewing techniques while infusing them with innovative twists that capture the essence of the Big Island.

As you sip on your chosen brew, take a moment to appreciate the attention to detail that goes into each pint. The flavors are carefully balanced, resulting in refreshing and memorable experiences. Whether you prefer light and crisp lagers or bold and robust ales, Hilo Brewing Company has something for everyone.

Admire photography at Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery, snap photos at Rainbow Falls

If you’re looking for a unique and artistic experience in Hilo, Hawaii, make sure to visit the Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery. This gallery is a hidden gem that showcases stunning nature and landscape photography captured by local photographers. As you step into the gallery, you’ll be greeted by an array of captivating images that will transport you to the breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii.

The Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery features a diverse collection of photographs that highlight the natural beauty of Hilo and its surroundings. From vibrant sunsets over the ocean to lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls, each photograph captures the essence of this tropical paradise. The attention to detail and composition in these images is truly remarkable, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Hawaii.

One standout attraction near Hilo that should not be missed is Rainbow Falls. As its name suggests, this majestic waterfall offers a spectacular display of colors when sunlight filters through the misty spray. Located just a short drive from downtown Hilo, Rainbow Falls is easily accessible for visitors who want to witness its beauty firsthand.

When visiting Rainbow Falls, be sure to bring your camera along as it presents an incredible opportunity for photography enthusiasts. Capture the raw power and elegance of the waterfall as it plunges into a turquoise pool below.

Spend a day at Wailuku River State Park with Bike Volcano

If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Hilo, Hawaii, spending a day at Wailuku River State Park with Bike Volcano is an absolute must. This incredible experience allows you to discover the scenic wonders of the park while enjoying the thrill of biking through its breathtaking landscapes.

One of the highlights of this excursion is marveling at the majestic Rainbow Falls. As you pedal your way through the park, you’ll come across this natural wonder that will leave you in awe. The waterfall cascades down from a height of 80 feet into a beautiful turquoise pool below. The mist created by the falls creates a magical atmosphere, making it perfect for capturing stunning photographs or simply taking in the mesmerizing beauty surrounding you.

As you continue your bike ride through Wailuku River State Park, another fascinating sight awaits – the Boiling Pots. These unique rock formations are formed by centuries of volcanic activity and rushing water. The swirling pools and churning rapids create an enchanting spectacle that showcases nature’s raw power. It’s truly a sight to behold and one that will make your heart race with excitement.

Aside from these captivating attractions, Wailuku River State Park offers various hiking trails that allow you to immerse yourself in its lush vegetation and tranquil ambiance.

Thrills at Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo and ziplining

Looking for an unforgettable adventure in Hilo, Hawaii? Combine your visit to the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo with an adrenaline-pumping ziplining experience. This unique combination allows you to explore the wonders of nature while soaring through the rainforest canopy for an exhilarating thrill.

As you embark on your ziplining adventure, prepare yourself for a rush of excitement like no other. Feel the wind against your face as you glide through the lush greenery, taking in breathtaking views from above. The vibrant colors of the rainforest come alive as you zip along, providing a unique perspective of the zoo’s surroundings.

The Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo is already a fascinating destination on its own, but adding ziplining to your itinerary takes it to another level. Not only do you get to observe exotic animals up close, but you also get a chance to appreciate their natural habitat from a completely different vantage point.

Imagine spotting rare birds perched high up in the trees as you zip by or catching glimpses of playful monkeys swinging effortlessly through the branches. This thrilling experience offers an immersive way to connect with nature and witness wildlife in action.

Explore history at Pacific Tsunami Museum, Lyman Museum and Mission House, Lyman House Memorial Museum

If you’re looking to delve into the rich history of Hilo, Hawaii, there are a few must-visit attractions that will transport you back in time. The Pacific Tsunami Museum, Lyman Museum and Mission House, and Lyman House Memorial Museum offer fascinating insights into different aspects of the region’s past.

Delve into the history of tsunamis in Hawaii through exhibits and artifacts

The Pacific Tsunami Museum is an essential stop for anyone interested in understanding the impact of tsunamis on Hawaii. Through its exhibits and artifacts, this museum provides a comprehensive overview of the devastating effects these natural disasters have had on the islands over the years. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience of local communities as you learn about their experiences during these catastrophic events.

As you explore the museum’s displays, you’ll come face-to-face with powerful photographs capturing the aftermath of tsunamis. These images serve as poignant reminders of both the destructive force and human spirit that have shaped Hilo’s history. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to witness firsthand how tsunamis form and understand why they pose such a significant threat to coastal areas.

Venture underground at Kaumana Caves

If you’re looking for a unique and thrilling adventure in Hilo, Hawaii, make sure to visit the mesmerizing Kaumana Caves. These natural wonders offer an opportunity to explore lava tubes that were formed thousands of years ago due to volcanic activity. Prepare yourself for an underground journey like no other as you witness the breathtaking geological formations hidden beneath the surface.

As you step into the depths of Kaumana Caves, you’ll be transported into a world shaped by ancient volcanic forces. The lava tubes extend for miles beneath the earth’s surface, creating a labyrinthine network waiting to be discovered. Inside these caves, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over centuries.

The unique geological formations within Kaumana Caves are truly awe-inspiring. As you navigate through the dark passages, your flashlight illuminating the way, be prepared to encounter various natural wonders. Marvel at intricate patterns etched onto cave walls by flowing lava during its cooling process. These mesmerizing textures and colors will leave you captivated as they tell a story of Earth’s fiery past.

Exploring Kaumana Caves offers more than just visual delights; it also provides an opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level. The silence and darkness enveloping these underground chambers create an otherworldly atmosphere that is both peaceful and humbling.

Spot sea turtles at Carlsmith Beach Park, snorkel with turtles

Relax on sandy shores while observing sea turtles basking in the sun. Carlsmith Beach Park in Hilo, Hawaii offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. As you lay back on the soft sand, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. The gentle waves crash against the shore, creating a soothing soundtrack that accompanies your turtle-watching experience.

Dive into the crystal-clear waters and snorkel alongside these gentle creatures. The park’s calm and shallow bay provides an ideal environment for both beginners and experienced snorkelers. Strap on your gear and immerse yourself in an underwater wonderland teeming with marine life. Glide through the water effortlessly, observing colorful fish darting between coral formations. And then, there they are – sea turtles gracefully swimming by as if inviting you to join them on their aquatic adventure.

Enjoy a unique opportunity to get up close with marine life. Snorkeling at Carlsmith Beach Park not only allows you to spot sea turtles but also provides an intimate encounter with other fascinating ocean dwellers. Keep your eyes peeled for vibrant tropical fish like butterflyfish, tangs, and parrotfish as they navigate through their vibrant coral homes.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Adventure

What to Do in Hilo Hawaii

Are you ready to embark on an exciting water adventure in Hilo, Hawaii? Look no further than stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This popular water sport allows you to glide across calm waters while exploring the beautiful surroundings of Hilo Bay and nearby rivers. Not only will you enjoy a fun workout, but you’ll also get to experience the stunning coastline from a whole new perspective.

Glide Across Calm Waters on a Stand-Up Paddleboard

Imagine standing atop a sturdy board, using a long paddle to propel yourself forward as you gracefully glide across the calm waters. SUP offers an exhilarating way to explore the ocean and rivers surrounding Hilo. As you navigate through the tranquil waters, feel the refreshing breeze against your face and take in the breathtaking views that surround you.

Explore Hilo Bay or Nearby Rivers While Enjoying a Fun Workout

One of the best things about SUP is that it combines adventure with fitness. Engaging your core muscles, balance, and coordination, this activity provides a full-body workout without feeling like exercise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are options for everyone in Hilo.

In Hilo Bay, you can paddle along its serene waters while marveling at the lush green landscapes that hug its shores.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Lavaloha, explore lava tubes

If you find yourself in Hilo, Hawaii, and have a craving for something sweet, look no further than Lavaloha. This delightful dessert spot is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Lavaloha specializes in Hawaiian shaved ice treats that are sure to satisfy your cravings. The moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the refreshing aroma of freshly shaved ice and an array of mouthwatering flavors. From classic favorites like strawberry and pineapple to unique options such as passion fruit and lychee, there’s a flavor for everyone.

What sets Lavaloha apart from other shaved ice shops is their wide selection of delectable toppings. Once you’ve chosen your desired flavor, you can add on extras like condensed milk, mochi balls, or even a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. The combination of fluffy shaved ice and indulgent toppings creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that will leave you wanting more.

To make the most out of your visit to Lavaloha, consider combining it with an exploration of nearby lava tubes. These natural wonders are formed when molten lava flows through underground channels and solidifies over time. Hilo is home to some incredible lava tube formations that offer a fascinating glimpse into the volcanic history of Hawaii.

Stroll through Nani Mau Gardens for peaceful beauty

If you’re looking for a serene escape amidst the natural beauty of Hilo, Hawaii, Nani Mau Gardens is the perfect destination. This hidden gem offers a tranquil oasis where you can wander through beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of tropical plants and flowers.

As you enter Nani Mau Gardens, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant display of colors and scents. The carefully curated collection includes exotic orchids, hibiscus, plumeria, and many other tropical blooms that thrive in Hilo’s lush climate. Take your time to explore the various sections of the garden, each offering its own unique charm.

One of the highlights of Nani Mau Gardens is its serene ponds and waterfalls. As you stroll along the winding paths, you’ll come across these tranquil spots where you can sit back and enjoy the soothing sound of cascading water. The ponds are home to graceful koi fish that add an extra touch of tranquility to the surroundings.

The gardens also feature Japanese-inspired elements that further enhance their beauty. You’ll find traditional stone lanterns strategically placed throughout the landscape, adding an elegant touch to the scenery. These lanterns serve as a reminder of Japan’s influence on Hawaiian culture and create a harmonious blend between Eastern and Western aesthetics.

Unforgettable Experiences in Hilo, Hawaii

You’ve just discovered a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences in Hilo, Hawaii! From witnessing majestic Humpback Whales to exploring the lush Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo and immersing yourself in history at the Lyman Museum and Mission House, there’s something for everyone. Get ready for adventure as you embark on a kayak journey through beautiful Hilo Bay or discover tranquility on Coconut Island. Dive into the fascinating world of the Pacific Tsunami Museum or hop on a bike volcano adventure for an adrenaline rush. Don’t forget to indulge your taste buds at Hilo Brewing Company and Hawaiian Crown Chocolate, and admire stunning photography at Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery. Snap some photos at Rainbow Falls and spend a day exploring Wailuku River State Park with Bike Volcano. For thrill-seekers, there’s ziplining at Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo or venturing underground at Kaumana Caves. Spot sea turtles at Carlsmith Beach Park and enjoy Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) adventures. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Lavaloha and take a tour of lava tubes before strolling through the peaceful beauty of Nani Mau Gardens.

Now that you know all about these incredible experiences in Hilo, Hawaii, it’s time to start planning your trip! Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Hilo has it all. So grab your sunscreen, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with breathtaking sights and memorable moments. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to create lifelong memories in one of Hawaii’s most enchanting destinations!

FAQs: What to Do in Hilo Hawaii?

How can I witness humpback whales in Hilo?

To witness humpback whales in Hilo, you can book a whale-watching tour with one of the local tour operators. They offer boat trips that take you out into the ocean, where you can spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Are there any age restrictions for ziplining at Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo?

Yes, there are age restrictions for ziplining at Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo. Participants must be at least 8 years old and weigh between 70 and 270 pounds.

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/

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