Hilo in Hawaii, or also called the big island, is known for its Wailuku River State Park which features the Rainbow Falls. But not only that,  it offers a lot of breathtaking views. It also has plenty of waterfalls, rainforests, and gardens. With all these reasons, we really can’t get enough with Hilo.

It is really a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers! That’s why in this article, we listed down the 15 things that you could do while you’re in Hilo, Hawaii. 

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Best Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii

1. Akaka Falls State Park

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by eugene_o CC BY 2.0

A very beautiful waterfall and lots of tall trees. You can go hiking and see all of the lush greenery and great views of the falls. This wonderful view of nature is truly a must-visit when you’re in Hilo!

Suggested Tour: Akaka Falls Zipline Adventure Tour

2. Rainbow Falls

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Chloe Leis

An easy hike that would give you one of the best views after. This waterfall is located on the big island of Hawaii, It stands 80 ft and there is no fee to see the falls. It is very picturesque and is perfect for an Instagram picture!

Suggested Tour: Big Island’s Hawaii Grand Circle Island Tour

3. Liliuokalani Gardens

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Doug Keown

This 24.14-acre park is a Japanese style park, located in Moku Oka, Hilo, Hawaii. You can have a romantic walk and stay here. If you’re tired and exhausted from the bustling city, this park is the place for you! Very peaceful and beautiful, you’d really have the peace of mind that you need.

4. Maunakea Visitor Information Station

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0

Maunakea Visitor Information Station is a complex of support facilities for the telescopes and other instruments. To be able to have a tour in this place, you need a 4 wheeled vehicle. But don’t worry as the saddle road here is easy and accessible. You’d get to see plenty of great views on your journey. 

5. Carlsmith Beach Park

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by Phil Whitehouse CC BY 2.0

Have a blast in Carlsmith Beach Park! It is the ideal place for swimming, snorkeling & sea turtle-watching. Yes, there are a lot of sea turtles here! You can even swim with them. A fun place for a family getaway! Never miss this one!

6. Kaumana Caves Park

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by John Loo CC BY 2.0

Fun and exciting adventure await you in Kaumana Caves Park! When you go here, please don’t forget to bring a flashlight with you and watch your footsteps as this massive 1881 lava-tube cave can be a little bit dangerous if you’re not cautious enough. But definitely worth trying!

7. Hilo Farmers Market

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by John Loo CC BY 2.0

This outdoor market has over 200 vendors selling locally produced products, retailers, food trucks, restaurants, artisans and crafters. You will find almost everything here! It is recommended to visit the shop every Wednesday and Saturday because they open 1 hour earlier (6 am). 

8. Richardson Beach Park

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by anokarina CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the perfect place for a weekend getaway! Swim and relax at Richardson Beach Park. If you love snorkeling, then this is the ideal place since it has a lot of fish and beautiful corals. 

Suggested Tour: Sea Turtle Lagoon and Black Sand Beach Snorkel

9. Lyman Museum

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by Les Williams CC BY-SA 2.0

Lyman museum consists of exhibits on Hawaii’s volcanic origins, flora and fauna, Hawaiian culture, and other ethnic groups that shaped the society of Hawaii today. Have a tour and learn about the 19th-century missionary life of the historic Lyman Mission House which is the Island’s oldest wood-frame building.

10. Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

A place for photographers or aspiring photographers! But of course, everyone could also enjoy this museum. You’ll get to see a lot of beautiful photographs. A lot of amazing photographs at an affordable price. 

11. Pepeekeo Scenic Drive

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0

A scenic drive that is really worth it. It will be a great place for a leisurely drive. There is a lot of good stopping off points that have very beautiful views. Really a perfect time for a nice road trip!

12. Kazumura Cave Tours

This is just a perfect tour for the whole family or a group of friends. For those people who are interested in learning about lava tubes, this is the place to go to. The place is just so incredible that you’d really enjoy touring here.

13. St. Joseph Catholic Church

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by brewbooks CC BY-SA 2.0

This beautiful old church is almost a hundred years old. The architecture and inside of the church are very traditional. If you have extra time, you can stop by here to attend a mass or just look at the beauty of the church. 

14. Hamakua Chocolate Farm

A paradise for chocolate lovers! You can have a private guided tour and have the opportunity to taste cacao fruits. You’d also be able to see the gardens, treehouse, and beautiful grounds. If you want to have a great experience tasting cacao fruits and chocolates, you need to book in advance for the tour!

Suggested Tour: Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls Adventure

15. Onomea Tea Company

Onomea Tea Company is located in one of the most scenic places in Hawaii. You could find one of the most amazing teas grown along with this breathtaking coastline. Just please remember to book in advance as the tour is only exclusive by reservation. 

Things to do with 3 days in Hilo, Hawaii

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Photo by sodai gomi CC BY 2.0

Day 1 in Hilo, Hawaii

Liliuokalani Gardens Start your trip with a relaxing tour at the Liliuokalani Gardens. This Japanese style garden would make you feel calm when you visit here. The place is also very beautiful. 

Kaumana Caves Park After a relaxing trip, head to Kaumana Caves Park to have a thrilling and exciting adventure exploring lava tubes! This is definitely recommended if you’re in for a unique experience.

Day 2 in Hilo, Hawaii

Akaka Falls State Park Your Hilo trip won’t be complete if you will not go to Akaka Falls State Park. You could spend a day hiking and exploring the falls and trees around it while enjoying the beautiful view. 

Day 3 in Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo Farmers Market It is recommended to buy a lot of stuff here on your last day! You will find almost everything here! A perfect way to end your trip to Hilo!

Frequently Asked Questions about Hilo, Hawaii

15 Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii12
Pascal Debrunner

1. Is it safe to travel to Hilo, Hawaii?

It is perfectly safe to travel to Hilo. Travelers can make sure that the air quality on the big island is safe and healthy. 

2. When is the best time to visit Hilo, Hawaii?

A visit to Hilo between April and June is ideal since the demand for tours and accommodation decreases during this time resulting in lower prices. However, you could also visit between August and November, in which the weather is nice and calm. 

3. How to get to Hilo, Hawaii?

To go to Hilo, you can fly from any States to Hilo International Airport to the east or, Kona International Airport to the west. But other than that, you can also fly directly to Honolulu International Airport first then take a 30-40 minute flight to the big islands. 

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2

Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.

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By Sarah