Introduction to Hilo, Hawaii
Hilo is situated along the shore of Hilo Bay on the east side of the island of Hawaii. It's the largest city on the island and is located in Hawaii County. The active Mauna Loa volcano as well as the dormant Mauna Kea volcano are nearby. Prominent astronomical observatories are located on Mauna Kea.
The Manuna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, one of the major producers of macadamia nuts in the world is situated in Hilo. The city receives a vast amount of rain and is recognized as one of the wettest cities in the entire world. Fortunately for residents and tourists a significant amount of the rain occurs at night.
During the ancient days of Hawaii, the area was a primary trading center for natives. Missionaries arrived in Hilo during the early 1800's and establish several churches. The city became a prominent trading center due to the nearby sugar plantations. In 1946 an earthquake occurred close to the Aleutian Islands which produced a large tsunami which struck Hilo and killed 160 people. Another powerful tsunami hit the island in 1960 and ended the lives of 61 people. In the 1990's the sugar plantations were closed down which significantly harmed the economy.
- King Kamehameha Statue.
- Chase Gallery.
- The Lyman House Memorial Museum includes numerous exhibits of Hawaii culture and is well known for its exhibits of shells and minerals.
- Pacific Tsunami Museum offers exhibits regarding two of the devastating tsunamis that struck Hilo.
- Banyan Drive is also called the "Hilo Walk of Fame." Celebrities have planted banyan samplings which over the years have developed into beautiful, huge trees.
- Hilo Tropical Gardens features lily ponds, waterfalls as well as Oriental style bridges.
- Liliuokalani Park and Gardens includes Japanese gardens and a Japanese Teahouse.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers views of the active flow area of the Kilauea volcano and several excellent hiking locations.
- Nani Mau Gardens is a commercial botanical center which features a vast number of species of plants, fruit trees and orchids. It includes a Japanese type bell tower, a butterfly house and a botanical museum.
- Pana'ewa Rain Forest Zoo showcases a variety of species and is situated in a beautiful rain forest.
- University of Hawaii at Hilo Botanical Gardens provides a notable cycad collection, containing close to one hundred different species. It also includes palm tree varieties from all over the world.
Opportunities for surfing can be found on the island shores. The Richardson Ocean Park is popular for snorkeling and having a leisurely time on the beach. Four Mile is a notable location for swimming. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular at the excellent reefs off the coast.
Tourists enjoy exploring the Kaumana Caves. Charming shops are located on the Bayfront. The Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival offers steel guitar and ukulele music. The Merrie Monarch Festival features one of the worlds most prominent hula competitions. The Hilo Municipal Golf Course is situated in a lush setting.