The Best Things to Do in Hilo

The Big Island, Hilo is well positioned for some real adventures. It’s known for its pretty downtown district, astronomical observatories, and easy access into nature right on its doorstep.

Hilo may not be the sprawling hub of Honolulu over on Oahu, but there’s still a lot to do here. Whether you’re staying in the town itself, or spring boarding right into the heart of the Big Island.

Explore downtown Hilo

You’ll find historic wooden storefronts, galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants, making it ideal for an afternoon or morning of strolling around. 

Hit up the Lyman House Memorial Museum

It’s actually the Big Island’s oldest surviving wooden building, and is worth paying a visit simply for its own history. Famous guests here include Mark Twain and Isabella Bird.

Hike the Halema’uma’u Trail to Kilauea Caldera

Visiting Kilauea is a surreal experience, and one way to get the whole experience is to hike along a former highway, across a recent lava flow, through pine forests, and past new black sand beaches.

Explore Hilo Bay by kayak

One of the best things to do in Hilo is to explore the water itself. A kayak is a good way to go, with relatively calm waters to paddle around in – go with a guide.

Kaumana Cave is a two-mile long lava tube formed in 1881 thanks to the lava flow of a then-erupting Mauna Loa. It’s the 57th longest lava tube in the world.

Head inside a lava tube

Admire the Wailuku River Falls

Looking for some things to do in Hilo that allow you to experience the great outdoors? The Wailuku River Falls are to be found in Wailuku River State Park, Wailuku.

Next steps

More amazing travel inspiration in the blog post!