22 Best Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (2024 Guide & Map!)

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Is the Big Island on your travel list this year? These are the best things to do in Hilo, Hawaii, from where to eat local fruit to gorgeous waterfalls and beyond!

Are you planning your trip to Hilo last minute?

If you’re traveling to Hilo last minute, you want to ensure you have lodging and tours ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks on the Big Island!

🌴 Best Tours and Activities from Hilo:

  1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park + Hilo Highlights (bestselling tour!)
  2. Ziplining over KoleKole Falls (and the Hamakua Coast!)
  3. Black sand beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, and more (from Hilo)

🛌  Best Hotels and Lodging in Hilo:

  1. The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls (has a private waterfall!)
  2. Orchid Tree B&B (cutest place north of the city)
  3. The Big Island Hostel (budget option)

🚗 Traveling to the Big Island independently? Be sure to book your rental car ahead of time to ensure availability!

Hilo is rainy. And Hilo is temperamental (with its weather). But man, is the Big Island city beautiful! And it is truly hard to get a taste of the Big Island by just visiting Kona and Volcanoes National Park.

This guide covers what to do in Hilo, from the best day trips from Hilo to attractions and landmarks that you’ll love within the rainy Hawaiian city.

Best things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Best things to do in Hilo, Hawaii

 Did I miss any Hilo attractions? Let me know in the comments!

Best Things to Do in Hilo, HI

I have created a list of things to do in Hilo, including local parks, beaches, the best Hawaii waterfalls, and more. The east side of the island is so underrated and worth a lot of your time on the Big Island.

If I have missed any of your favorite places to visit in Hilo, let me know below!

1. Take a Day Trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

One of the most famous places to visit on the Big Island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located 29 miles away from Hilo, it makes for the perfect day trip!

Throughout the park, there are amazing viewpoints along Crater Rim Drive, where you can look down into the smoldering volcano craters. If the volcanoes are active, you might be lucky to see lava flowing within the crater!

Crater Rim Drive will take you all the way down to the coast, and it might just be one of my favorite drives in Hawaii (and this says a lot!).

For those looking to be more active, there are also many day hikes in Volcanoes National Park.

Driving around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Driving around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

They vary from easy, short hikes to difficult, long ones. Kaakulamanu (Sulphur Banks) is an easy 1.2-mile boardwalk loop trail that is handicap accessible.

Mauna Iki (Footprints Shelter) is a 7-mile challenging hike through the rugged terrain of a lava field, perfect for those looking for an adventure.

Alternatively, if you are not planning to rent a car on your trip to Hilo or wish to experience a more relaxing, carefree day, then I recommend taking a tour of the park, starting at the visitor center.

Nahuku - Thurston Lava Tube
Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube)

On this tour, you will experience the top sites in Volcanoes National Park and some of the most famous Hilo sites, including Rainbow Falls and the Liliuokalani Gardens.

The tour lasts for 5.5 hours and does not include lunch; however, you will stop at a chocolate factory for coffee and Hawaiian treats.

>> Click here to check the Volcanoes National Park tour rates and availability

2. Stay at The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls

One of my dream places to stay in Hilo was The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls. I had visited the area many years ago and made it my mission to go back and spend the night there and take advantage of everything it had to offer.

Located about 15 minutes outside of Hilo, you can choose to stay the night at the property or visit during the day. Day visitors will need to purchase a day pass for the property.

Kulaniapia Falls is one of the top Hilo day trips!
Kulaniapia Falls is one of the top Hilo day trips!

Guests of the inn and day visitors can easily spend a day or two enjoying everything on offer, from hiking through bamboo forests to rappelling down the waterfall. My partner opted to do the waterfall rappelling and thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Those staying at the inn do not need to book a day pass and also get discounted rates on the activities on offer.

I recently reviewed my stay at The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls on this blog; it’ll give you my complete thoughts!

3. Go Ziplining over the Hamakua Coast

If you are looking for a more adventurous way of exploring the Hamakua Coast, I recommend going on a ziplining adventure! This experience will take you high over the foliage, where you will wizz past some of the most stunning views on the eastern side of Hawai’i.

You will travel along seven different ziplines, all progressing in length and height. As you make your way through the course, your guide will explain a little about what you will see along each line.

Hamakua Coast
Hamakua Coast

The trip culminates with one of the longest ziplines in the US. Along this line, you will travel above the 250-foot Kolekole Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Big Island.

However, to do this tour, you must weigh between 70 and 260 pounds, and it involves walking half a mile over uneven terrain. The trip will go regardless of the weather and no prior experience is necessary.

>> Click here to check ziplining rates and availability

4. Take a Helicopter Tour of Volcanoes National Park

The undisputed best way to experience Volcanoes National Park is by helicopter, where you will get a stunning bird’s-eye view of the park.

I recommend taking a tour with Safari Helicopters. They offer a 55-minute helicopter tour where you will be able to take in the wonders of the whole park and the areas surrounding Hilo.

You’ll take off from Hilo Airport and fly toward the national park, over lush rainforests and huge waterfalls. 

Seeing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by helicopter
Seeing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by helicopter

Throughout the journey, your pilot will act as your guide and talk you through everything you are seeing along the route. Once you have completed your route, you will return to the heliport, where your tour will end.

>> Click here to check helicopter tour rates and availability

5. Discover Akaka Falls State Park

The magnificent Akaka Falls is not only the highlight of Akaka Falls State Park but is also one of the most impressive waterfalls in Hawaii.

Located 15 miles away from Hilo, it is the perfect little detour while driving toward the Hamakua Coast.

To reach the waterfall, you will need to complete a self-guided 0.4-mile scenic hike that starts at the car park. The hike will take you through tropical forests, past bamboo groves, wild orchids, and draping ferns before reaching Akaka Falls.

Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls State Park

The waterfall plummets 442 feet into a gorge far below the viewing area. The immense power of the waterfall can be heard well before it comes into view, which makes the scene far more dramatic.

The looping footpath not only allows you to enjoy the stunning views of Akaka Falls, but it also offers vistas of Kahuna Falls, Akaka Falls State Park’s other notable waterfall.

When you arrive at Akaka Falls State Park, you will need to pay to enter the park on a small machine at its entrance (or you can pay ahead of time online).

6. Be Mesmerized on the Hamakua Coast Scenic Drive

If you’re after out-of-this-world views, then make sure to take your camera and go for a scenic drive along the Hamakua Coast to see nothing but pure perfection.

There is plenty of mesmerizing scenery along a 40-mile stretch of Hawaii’s northeastern coastline connecting Hilo and the Waipi’o Valley, ranging from lush green canyons and stunning rainforests to waterfalls and verdant valleys.

While the drive is only 40 miles long, I would set aside an entire day to complete it, as you will want to make plenty of stops along the way and take the occasional detour.

Waipi’o Valley
Waipi’o Valley

I particularly loved visiting Akaka Falls State Park, the charming historical town of Honokaa, and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

The drive ends at a viewpoint over the Waipi’o Valley, known to be one of the most spiritually important areas on the Big Island. The viewpoint offers fantastic views out over the valley and the impressive black sand beach where the valley meets the ocean.

At the viewpoint, there is parking, restrooms, and some small stands selling snacks and drinks.

The drive ends at the viewpoint, as the road down into the valley is only open to residents. You will need to return the way you came.

7. Check Out Coconut Island

Just off the coast of Hilo, near the Queen Liliuokalani Gardens, is Coconut Island, also known as Mokuola. The tiny island offers a serene retreat for those looking for a relaxing day in Hilo.

The island has two beaches, clean restrooms, a well-kept and large lawn, and a picnic area, all enclosed by palm trees (and almond trees).

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Bridge to Coconut Island in Hilo

The little island is perfect for those wanting to spend some time in the water, with small rock pools perfect for wading and beaches for swimming.

However, the local’s favorite thing to do on the island is to acrobatically jump off the 10- and 20-foot stone towers at one end of the island. The island is free to visit but can be very busy on the weekends.

8. See Rainbow Falls (and Wailuku River State Park)

Also known as Waianuenue Falls by locals, Rainbow Falls is one of Hilo’s natural marvels, named for the rainbows that emerge from the early sun hitting the mist that comes off of the falls.

Rainbow Falls is located within the Wailuku River State Park on the northern edge of Hilo. The state park has easy access, and the falls themselves can even be seen from the parking lot.

Visiting Rainbow Falls is one of the best things to do in Hilo!
Visiting Rainbow Falls is one of the best things to do in Hilo!

The 80-foot waterfall plunges into a deep pool below. The cascading water covers the entrance to a lava cave. It is said in Hawaiian mythology that the cave is home to Hina, the goddess of the moon.

Keep heading further up past the Rainbow Falls, and you will find huge banyan trees and be able to catch a glimpse of the boiling pots and Pe’epe’e Falls. There are, however, no maintained paths between the two waterfalls.

Wailuku River State Park
Wailuku River State Park

The best time to see the rainbows in the mist is first thing in the morning when the sunlight hits at the perfect angle. Ideally, you will want a large volume of water flowing quickly over the falls to create a large amount of mist.

9. Visit the Kaumana Caves

One of the coolest places to explore in Hilo is Kauamana Caves Park, home to a 2-mile-long lava tube. Formed in 1881, the tube is thought to be the 57th longest lava tube in the world.

The park is free to visit, and visitors can explore a small segment of the tube. To enter the cave, there is a metal staircase that takes you down into the tube.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
The Kaumana Caves are a top Hilo attraction!

Unfortunately, you can only explore a tiny part of the tube, as the rest of it goes under private property and is not open to the public. I highly recommend wearing sturdy shoes, as walking on lava is no treat!

10. Peruse the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

One of my absolute favorite places close to Hilo is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. I could easily spend a day in this botanical garden alone. It is honestly one of my favorite things to do on the Big Island.

Spread over a 40-acre valley, there is plenty to see in the gardens, such as small waterfalls, blowholes, and an unbelievable array of tropical plants.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

After entering the park, you will need to follow a set route that will take you down into the valley and through the gardens. Along the way, there are 31 different gardens and points of interest.

My favorites included Onomea Falls, the orchid garden, and the spectacular blowhole cove. As you walk around the gardens admiring the tropical plants, keep an eye out for colorful lizards feeding on the plant’s nectar.

The park is open every day of the week between 9 am and 5 pm, with the last entry to the gardens at 4 pm. I recommend spending at least half a day in the gardens so you can fully appreciate their beauty without feeling rushed.

Address: 27-717 Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781

11. Shop at the Hilo Farmers Market

Get a full taste of Hawaii’s exotic local produce and shop for authentic crafts in the partially open-air Hilo Farmers Market. It is nestled on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue and is open every day of the week throughout the year.

While the market is open every day, the best days to visit are Wednesdays and Saturdays, when most vendors are there.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Hilo Farmers Market

During the bigger market days, you will find over 200 stalls selling everything from delectable fresh fruit to craft items made from local materials.

There are two food courts inside the market: a covered one and an outdoor area. I suggest ordering the fresh poke from Poke ‘n’ Sides.

12. Relax at Honoli’i Beach Park

One of Hawaii’s most famous seaside parks is Honoli’i Beach Park, a popular spot for the local surf scene.

Located on the east coast of the Big Island, just north of Hilo, Honoli’i Beach Park is known for waves crashing into its black sandy beach. The surfing here is excellent throughout the year.

Honoli'i Beach Park
Honoli’i Beach Park

There is also a picnic area and public restrooms are available for all visitors. I spent an enjoyable hour watching people learn to surf, and the more seasoned surfers rode some impressive waves.

For those wanting to spend a lot of time surfing, I recommend staying at the Orchid Tree Bed & Breakfast. This beautiful bed and breakfast is located a stone’s throw away from the beach on foot.

13. Head into the Pacific Tsunami Museum

Discover the devastating part of Hawaii’s history in the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

It was founded in 1993 to honor the unbreakable spirit of Hilo despite the horrific destruction caused by the Pacific Tsunami in 1946 and the Chilean Tsunami in 1960.

The museum is located on the corner of Kamehameha and Kalakaua Avenues in a former bank building. The museum has several exhibits about the tsunamis that devastated Hilo, including first-hand stories from those who survived.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Pacific Tsunami Museum – Vacclav – Shutterstock.com

The museum is open every day of the week from 10 am to 4 pm, although it may close on Sundays if there is not enough staff available.

Address: 130 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720

14. Discover Pe’epe’e Falls

While Wailuku River State Park is undoubtedly most famous for the Rainbow Falls, further upstream you will find the beautiful Pe’epe’e Falls.

Located about a mile upriver from the Rainbow Falls, there is a dedicated parking entrance to view the falls and the boiling pots. Unfortunately, there is no maintained hiking route between Rainbow Falls and Pe’epe’e Falls.

Pe'epe'e Falls
Pe’epe’e Falls

The 80-foot waterfall plunges into a deep pool, and the water then runs downstream over the famous boiling pots. While the water in the pots is not boiling, it appears to be doing so as it runs over boulders and bubbles up from lava tubes.

The falls should only be viewed from the viewing point; people may talk about a steep path that takes you down to the plunge pool. It is now forbidden to use this dangerous path, and there is a chance of being fined for going down there due to the level of danger.

15. Explore the Remains of Kalapana

In the 1990s, a lava flow from the Kilauea volcano slowly moved toward the town of Kalapana and gradually engulfed the town. The lava flow eventually reached the coast and ended up extending the coastline.

Located 28 miles from Hilo, you can visit the area of Kalapana and walk on the lava flow, with the town sitting over 40 feet below the top of the lava.

Kalapana beach
Kalapana beach
Kalapana lava fields
Kalapana lava fields

The barren lava field makes for a stark reminder of just how powerful and destructive volcanoes can be.

Thankfully, the lava moved slowly enough that people were able to evacuate their homes before it arrived, and there were no fatalities.

🌊 FUN FACT: The beach at Kalapana was the filming location for the music video for Wicked Game by Chris Isaak. Unfortunately, the beach also now lies under the lava that covered the beach shortly after filming.

Head further along the coast to check out more black sand beaches, drive on roads built on lava flows, and eventually find a road still blocked by lava. 

I suggest spending at least half a day exploring Kalapana and the surrounding areas.

16. Visit Lava Tree State Park

Lava Tree State Park might be one of the weirdest state parks I have visited. The park is centered around odd lava structures that were discovered to be remnants of trees that were encased by lava.

The trees met their fate in 1790 when lava rushed through the area covering the trees but drained away quickly enough to leave behind these eerie statues of the forest that once was.

Lava Tree State Park
Lava Tree State Park

Today, a new forest has grown around the lava trees, providing a perfect contrast between the old forest and the new life that has grown since the eruption.

The state park is only a short drive from Hilo, and due to its small size, it can easily be explored within an hour or two. I suggest visiting Lava Tree State Park in conjunction with other places such as Kanapala and Pāhoa.

The park is free to enter and is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

17. Stroll through Liliuokalani Park and Gardens

Along the Hilo coastal front, you will find Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, a beautiful Japanese garden. Built in the traditional Edo style, the gardens are believed to be the largest authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

The land the gardens sit on was donated by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands. The gardens were dedicated to the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii to work on the newly formed farms.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Liliuokalani Park

The gardens sit on the bay, and you can sit on the coastal edge and look out over the Pacific. If you are lucky, you might see passing whales! From the gardens, you will also find the bridge that will take you over to Coconut Island.

Liliuokalani Park and Gardens is open all day and free to enter.

18. Spend time at the Wailoa River State Recreation Area

In the center of Hilo is the Wailoa River State Recreation Area. Sitting between the city and the ocean, the park was designed to be a tsunami buffer.

While the park may have a more functional role, it is still one of the most beautiful spots in Hilo and perfect for taking a short walk or spending an afternoon relaxing by the Waiākea Pond.

The park was created on the land of the Shinmachi area, where Japanese immigrants had settled in the early 20th century. This district was destroyed by a tsunami, and shortly after being rebuilt, it was destroyed again by another tsunami.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Wailoa River State Recreation Area

There is a dedicated memorial in the park to Shinmachi that is a reminder of how important this buffer zone will be if there is another tsunami.

I also recommend checking out the Wailoa Art Center, one of the best free places to visit in Hilo. The cultural center has numerous events throughout the year.

Two dedicated galleries have regular displays featuring local artists or exhibitions celebrating the history of Hawaii and Hilo. The park is open during the day every day of the week, while the Wailoa Art Center is open Monday to Saturday during the day.

19. Go Hiking with Arnott’s Lodge and Hiking Adventures

Close to Hilo is Arnotts Lodge, the perfect hotel option for those looking for an adventure on the Big Island. This charming little hotel is located on the outskirts of Hilo, in a secluded, peaceful area.

The rooms are modest, and they are known to be one of the best, more budget-friendly options in Hilo. To help keep your costs down, there is a shared kitchen on the premises where you can opt to cook each evening.

The main draw of Arnott’s Lodge is that they offer adventurous tours around Hilo. I highly recommend taking their Big Island Eruption Encounter, where you will explore the area of Kalapana and learn all about the devastation eruptions can cause.

The tour will also show you the beauty that can rise out of this devastation with visits to stunning black sand beaches and Lava Tree State Park.

Lava Tree State Park
Lava Tree State Park

If there is an active lava flow in the area around Hilo, you will also have the opportunity to witness it, provided it is deemed safe enough.

Alternatively, for a more relaxing tour with Arnott’s Lodge, you can take the Hilo Food Tour.

On this guided tour, you will be taken to some of the best food spots in Hilo and get to try amazing dishes like fresh poke and local Big Island chocolates.

>> Click here to book a stay or excursion with Arnott’s Lodge

20. Have a Picnic at Richardson Ocean Park

One of the most beautiful beaches close to Hilo can be found in Richardson Ocean Park. The beach is unique in that it is a mixture of black and green sand and is considered the most accessible beach with green sand on the island!

The bay is fed by fresh water flowing into the ocean, with reefs protecting the area from dangerous ocean currents. This has made it one of the best snorkeling spots on the East Coast of the Big Island.

If you are lucky, there is a chance turtles will be feeding in the bay, and you will have the opportunity to snorkel with them.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Richardson Ocean Park

Richardson Beach Park is also known to be frequented by the very rare Hawaiian monk seal. During the whale season, keep your eyes peeled just past the break for humpback whales swimming past.

I suggest visiting the beach during the week, when, in general, it is less crowded. Locals descend on the beach during the weekend, making it a very crowded affair.

21. Spend the Day Exploring Black Sand Beaches

The big islands’ wild and rugged coasts occasionally give way to stunning black-sand beaches that are a must-visit. In the area around Hilo, you will find several beautiful beaches formed out of eroded lava.

Some of the most beautiful beaches are harder to reach, while others are located just off the roadside. Keep an eye out on the beaches for green turtles taking a break or, if you are very lucky, Hawaiian monk seals hauling themselves out of the ocean for a rest.

Here are a few of my favorite black-sand beaches near Hilo.

Kehena Black Sand Beach

Kehena Black Sand Beach might be one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen. Dramatically located between the Pacific Ocean and a steep incline thick with lush greenery.

Getting down to the beach is fairly challenging, but the rewards are worthwhile. Alternatively, the views from above are equally stunning.

Kehena Black Sand Beach
Kehena Black Sand Beach from above

The white foam from the waves crashing against the black sand makes you feel like you are living in a black-and-white photograph.

Cape Kumukahi Black Sand Beach

Cape Kumukahi Black Sand Beach is also known as Lighthouse Beach and is one of the newest black sand beaches on the island.

Making up the eastern point of the island, the beach is only accessible these days via a 4-mile round-trip hike. The hike is over rugged lava that covered the area in 2018, destroying the road to the beach.

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach 

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is 57 miles away from Hilo, but well worth visiting. The beach is one of the best places on the island to see green sea turtles, who regularly drag themselves up onto the beach.

Turtles tend to be seen on the shore during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. Keep an eye out in the rock pools and along the coastal edge for turtles feeding in the water.

Honoli'i Beach Park
Punalu’u Beach Park
Turtle at Honoli'i
Turtle at Punalu’u

I suggest bringing some snorkeling gear with you so you can go into the water for a better look. Always remember to stay 10 feet away from turtles in the water and on land.

22. Visit the Imiloa Astronomy Center

Night skies are culturally significant in Hawaiian culture, with the sea-faring Polynesians navigating their way to Hawaii through the open ocean using the stars.

The Imiloa Astronomy Center is the best place to go on your voyage of discovery as you learn all about the culture and history of Hawaii through the lens of astronomy.

Located within the University of Hawaii campus in Hilo, the center has static displays, planetarium shows, and a garden with the types of plants brought over by Hawaii’s first settlers.

18 Amazing Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii (+ Travel Tips)
Imiloa Astronomy Center Tada

I find the center to be one of the best places to learn about the beliefs surrounding Mauna Kea without visiting the summit yourself.

It is important to note that this mountain is sacred for Native Hawaiians, and visiting Mauna Kea itself has created a lot of problems as the development has encroached on one of the most sacred places in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Imiloa Astronomy Center is open from Wednesday – Sunday during the day. However, during the school holidays, these opening times may change, and they will open later for special shows.

Address: 600 Imiloa Pl, Hilo, HI 96720

More Places to Visit and Things to Do for a Hilo Bucket List

If you have exhausted all of the things to do in Hilo (and the east side of the island) above, here is a quick list of some additional places for your Hilo bucket list!

  • Enjoy a beer from the Hilo Brewing Company
  • Check out Carlsmith Beach Park
  • Visit the Lyman Museum (and Mission House)
  • Walk around beautiful downtown Hilo
  • See the tide pools near Hilo at Leleiwi Beach Park or Reeds Bay Beach Park
  • Make a quick stop to see the exhibitions at the East Hawaii Cultural Center
  • Try mochi from the Two Ladies Kitchen
  • Check out Banyan Drive and see the trees planted by celebrities

Best Places to Eat in Hilo

Hilo is full of diverse dining options and you’ll find many in the downtown area as well as on the outskirts.

If you’re a breakfast food fan, at any time of day, try Ken’s House of Pancakes, a local staple since 1971.

The macadamia nut pancakes are especially delicious. Another great way to start your day is a delicious pastry from Moonstruck Patisserie and some fresh Hawaiian coffee from Just Cruisin Coffee.

For some Hawaiian food, check out Cafe 100 or Hawaiian Style Cafe; both are known for their tasty loco mocos!

A visit to Hilo would not be complete without trying some of the fantastic Japanese food on offer. I recommend having ramen at Kenichi Restaurant.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, you can’t beat Cafe Pesto.

For fresh, farm-to-table smoothies, juices, açaí bowls, and vegan, veggie, and gluten-free food options, head over to Sweet Cane Cafe.

Finally, for a sweet treat, don’t miss the shave ice from Da Hawaiian Brain Freeze Shave Ice & Ice Cream or gelato from Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato.

Things I Would Skip in Hilo

While I know that this is a guide to the best things to do in Hilo, there are a couple of things that I would not recommend to travelers. They are:

Visit Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea has spiritual significance to Native Hawaiians, and as tourism has grown, the area has been developed and encroached on.

I would not choose to travel there but opt to learn about the Hawaiian cultural and spiritual traditions at a museum or the Imiloa Astronomy Museum.

Take a Bike Tour of Volcanoes National Park

Bike tours have recently been banned in the park, and tour providers have found a workaround by offering GPS-audio-guided tours by bike, which you complete on your own.

However, there have been reports that people are getting in trouble for doing this tour, so I would avoid booking one.

Things to Do in Hilo (On a Map!)

🗺️  HOW TO USE THIS MAP: You can use your fingers/mouse to zoom in and out. To get more info about a place, simply touch/click the icons. Want to save this map for later use? Click the ‘⭐’ by the map title and it will add it to your Google Maps account (Saved > Maps or ‘Your Places’).

Where to Stay in Hilo

There are plenty of places to stay on the Big Island, and you can do day trips from just about anywhere, to be honest. But, if you do opt to call Hilo home during your Big Island trip, here are some great places we recommend staying:

Do you have any tips for things to do in Hilo? Let us know in the comments!

More Big Island Travel Guides

Pin this Hilo Things to Do Guide

Visiting the Big Island for the first time? These are the best things to do in Hilo, the gateway to Volcanoes National Park! It includes Hilo day trips and more. | Hilo things to do | Hilo landmarks | Hilo attractions | What to do in Hilo | Day trips from Hilo | Hilo tours | Hilo hiking | Hilo waterfalls | Hilo trails | Places to visit in Hilo HI | Places to see in Hilo | Hilo itinerary | Big Island places to visit | Visit Hilo | Travel to Hilo | Hilo museums

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