Accommodation in Hilo
The small harbor town of Hilo Big Island is a great base to explore the eastern half of the island including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hilo is also the largest residential town on Big Island with a population of around 40,000. The accomodation in this town is more corporate hotels so if you want the best experience we would recommend staying in either Kailua-Kona or Waikoloa Beach.
The Hilo region is blessed with dramatic waterfalls, fertile rainforests and blooming gardens; the geographic flipside of the volcanic Kohala Coast. Home to Hilo International Airport, Hilo is also the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located 45 minutes south.
A busy farming and fishing area in early times, Hilo evolved into a commercial center for the sugar industry in the 1800’s. Downtown Hilo was built around its crescent-shaped bay and became the seat of county government. In 1946 and 1960 the town was nearly swallowed by a tsunami. But Hilo’s waterfront was rebuilt and today Hilo is a vibrant town, home to great museums (Imiloa Astronomy Center, Lyman Museum, Pacific Tsunami Museum), art galleries (East Hawaii Cultural Center), unique shops (Sig Zane Designs, Big Island Candies, Hilo Hattie, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory) and perennial favorites like the Hilo Farmers Market. Hilo’s newest world-class attraction, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, is housed beneath three striking titanium cones representing the three largest mountains on Hawaii Island. Interactive exhibits include a “walk” through a koa (native hardwood) forest and an IMAX-style movie presentation that makes viewers feel like they’re flying through space. Hilo offers natural beauty too. Serene Liliuokalani Gardens is right on Banyan Drive near Hilo’s major hotels.