Best Things To Do in Hilo, Hawaii

Are you looking for what to do in Hilo?


Hilo is a place that takes immense pride in its culture and history, and want visitors to experience the same with a variety of museums. The Pacific Tsunami Museum educates you more on the horrific natural disaster, that has devastated the city so many times. The Hilo Art Museum shows off international, as well as, local artworks. The Lyman House Museum has a display of historical artefacts from the ages. Hilo also has some of the best national parks and gardens, nature and man can provide us with. Akaka State Park, Mauna Kea State Park,Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo, Liliuokalani Park and Gardens and Hilo Tropical Gardens are just some of them. There are also sparkling waterfalls in Hilo like Rainbow Falls and Peepee Falls that will impress you with the unique sights they offer. 


With the Pacific Ocean right beside Hilo, there are endless things to do here. The various beach parks at Richardson Bay, Reeds Bay, Keaukaha Beach and Onekahakaha Beach lets you go snorkelling with sea turtles, swim to your heart’s content, picnic on the grass under the shade of palm trees, go surfing and kayaking or just soak in some sun; the choices are all there for you. You can even go exploring the Kaumana Caves that will give you an out-worldly feel. You can even go for photography tours at the Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery and learn how extreme photography takes place. For science enthusiasts visiting Hilo, take a tour to the Subaru Telescope and Mauna Loa Observatory and explore the wonders of the earth and beyond. Hilo is a place of endless opportunities to keep you busy throughout your trip.

Below we have a list of things to do in Hilo and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Hilo getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Hilo with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Hilo

Here is the list of things to do in Hilo and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Liliuokalani Park And Gardens

    Garden, Park, Nature

    Named after Queen Liliuokalani, one of Hawaii's last reigning monarchs, these gardens will take you to Japan. The highlight of the 30 acres’ garden was built in early 1900s, is the Japanese garden, which was built to commemorate the Japanese immigrants who came to the town to work in local sugar plantations. There are oriental paintings, curved pathways, pagodas, ponds, bridges and a teah...Read more
  2. Richardson Beach Park

    4.6 (456 Votes)
    Richardson Beach Park

    Beach, Park, Entertainment, Water Sport

    The only black sand beach in all of Hilo, Richardson Beach Park is a great place to have some fun in the water. The natural seawalls create tide pools and keep the water calm, making it perfect for even children. Thus, it is best for family picnics. The most popular activity at the beach is snorkelling, especially during summers. There are many tropical fishes and corals that you can observe he...Read more
  3. Coconut Island

    4.6 (453 Votes)
    Coconut Island

    Island, Nature

    Located in Hilo Bay, this small island can be accessed only via a pedestrian footbridge from Liliuokalani Gardens. Its Hawaiian name Moku Ola means “Island of Life”, since the waters of the island was known to have healing powers. It was believed that the waters could cure any sick person if he swam around one of the rocks at the eastern inlet of the island. There is a 15-foot stone...Read more
  4. Pepeekeo Scenic Drive

    View Point, Scenic Drive

    At about 5 to 8 miles north of Hilo, one of the most picturesque routes on Big Island, the Pepeekeo Scenic Drive is not to be missed. Stretching over 4 miles, this drive is a part of the old mamalahoa highway, that passes through the lush green tropical forest and gives you an excellent view of the Onomea Bay. This drive will surely make you fall in love with the beauty of nature in Hilo, as yo...Read more
  5. Kaumana Caves Co Park

    4.6 (768 Votes)
    Kaumana Caves Co Park

    Cave, Park

    The main highlight of this park is the lave tube formed by the lava flow from Mauna Loa in 1881. The Kaumana Caves are a part of the 25-mile-long lava tube that runs through Big Island. There is a flight of concrete stairs that take you to the entrance of the caves, from where you can check out some of the most extraordinary lava formations. Some of the lava that cooled down pretty quickly, are...Read more
  6. Hilo Tropical Gardens

    3.7 (220 Votes)
    Hilo Tropical Gardens

    Garden, Nature

    Known as the “Garden in a Valley on the Ocean”, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens has been attracting photographers, gardeners, botanists, scientists and nature lovers from all across the globe. There are over 2000 species of plants found in this unique garden. Spread of 40 acres of land, this valley is a natural greenhouse with volcanic soil which lets the plants thrives comple...Read more
  7. Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo

    4.5 (510 Votes)
    Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo

    Zoo, Nature, Bird Watching

    The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Garden is one-of-a-kind in every way. The 12 acres’ large zoo is the only one in the whole of United States that is located inside in a rainforest. There are more than 80 species of animals from all over the world on display here, including some endangered ones. There are also 40 different kinds of flora you will find here, some of them being Orchids, Clump...Read more
  8. Lyman House Memorial Museum

    4.3 (207 Votes)
    Lyman House Memorial Museum

    Museum, Specialty Museum

    Originally built as a Mission House, by New England missionaries David and Sarah Lyman, the museum was built by their descendants a century later. The exhibits of the museum aim at showcasing the true Hawaiian culture and educating people about the same. The highlight of the Lyman museum is the unique collection of shells and minerals, including a specimen of orlymanite which was named after th...Read more
  9. Mauna Loa Observatory


    A part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory and Global Monitoring Division, the Mauna Loa Observatory is a leading facility that has been continuously monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric changes ever since the 1950s. The observatory's remote location in the Pacific Ocean, air that is undisturbed and pollution-free and minimal inf...Read more
  10. Mauna Kea State Park

    4.6 (150 Votes)
    Mauna Kea State Park


    This 20.5 acres’ large state park is a protected are in the state of Hawaii. The shrub land, at a height of 6500 feet, gives a spectacular view of the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It is a popular spot for camping, hiking, picnicking and lodging. The park is also hunting grounds for wild pigs and sheep. The cool and dry weather will be a solace for those looking for a break from Hilo's tropica...Read more
  11. Honoli'i Beach Park

    4.7 (211 Votes)
    Honoli'i Beach Park

    Beach, Park, Picnic Spot

    Just north of the Hilo Bay, lies the most popular surf beach in all of east Big Island. The beach is located in a secluded area, with grassy land and picnic tables for picnickers to just stretch out lazily under the shade of palm trees, while watching surfers show their talent. On days of high surf, you might as well find all of Hilo at Honoli'i Beach, either surfing or cheering on for surfers....Read more
  12. Rainbow Falls Park

    4.6 (268 Votes)
    Rainbow Falls Park

    Park, Hiking Trail, Nature

    Along the lower reach of the longest river in the Island of Hawai'i, the Wailuku River, lies a scenic state park with two of the most beautiful waterfalls in Hilo and a stunning hiking trail. The first waterfall you will come across in the park is the Rainbow Falls, which fall from a height of 80 feet. The waterfall is named so due to the way light reflects upon the falls during morning time, c...Read more
  13. St. Joseph Catholic Church

    4.7 (210 Votes)
    St. Joseph Catholic Church

    Church, Religious Site

    This beautiful old church provides you with a blend of spirituality and fun. Visitors will feel completely at home with the parishioners, who welcome them with shell leis. The location of the church is stunning, as the ocean is right outside the window. During Mass, you can hear the waves crashing, which just add in to the charm of the church. The atmosphere created by the choir is absolutely l...Read more
  14. Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

    Art Gallery, Photo Gallery, Workshop

    Owned by two of Hawai'i Island's most renowned photographers, Bruce Onroi and Tom Kualii, the Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery is their tribute to their home. Known for going to extremes to capture breath-taking images, these photographers display art that represents the true essence and spirit of the island. Be it the formidable volcanic action or the picturesque seascapes, these two have cap...Read more
  15. Pu'u 'o'o Trail

    Trail, Hiking Trail, Adventure, Nature

    A part of the Na Ala Hele trail system, the Pu'u 'O'oTraail goes through all those areas in the old-growth forest that has been spared by the lava flows from the Mauna Loa. During older times, this trail was used to drive cattle between the Pu’u 'O'o Ranch on Mauna Loa and the other range on Mauna Kea, thus giving it its name after the ranch. Along the trail you will come across a variety...Read more
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  • want to go fishing close to Hilo in mid june. any one there offer that service?

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    • Yes, I suppose there are a couple of fishing charter services, such as the Malama Fishing Charters, available near Hilo in Hawaii. I suggest you search more online or ask the locals around to get more information. 

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