Aloha and Welcome to Hilo! Hilo, Hawaii is gorgeous! This is the largest and most permanently populated town on the Big Island.
At the time of the 2010 census the population sat at 43,263 people. Hilo is the county seat for the island of Hawaii. As far as precipitation, let’s just say that it rains a lot here (156.79 inches a year or 13 feet!), but you will never hear a local complain. The beauty out weighs any inconvenience to the people that call Hilo home!
Hilo is the oldest city of all the Hawaiian islands, founded around 1100 AD. At it’s founding it was primarily focused on the farming and fishing industries.
To this day farming is of high importance including commercial macadamia nut groves, Papaya and many other crops. Hilo has evolved with the times and hosts many vacationers that want to see some of their star attractions like the Kilauea Volcano, Hilo Tsunami Museum and the banyan trees planted by Babe Ruth and Amelia Earhart and many other famous celebrities. Hilo, Hawaii is also home to the Pana’ewa Rain forest Zoo (the only rain forest zoo in the US) and famous Hilo Farmers Market. The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation is located just north of Hilo in Keaʻau. Hilo is proud to also be home to the University of Hawaiʻi on the Big Island and the Hawaiʻi Community College.
The Hilo area is known for it’s cascading waterfalls, lush green rain forest and flower filled botanical gardens. Off island transportation comes through the Hilo International Airport. Hilo is also well known as the gateway to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located only 30 miles to the southwest.
Hilo was decimated by two large tsunamis in 1949 and 1960. The town is especially vulnerable to tsunamis because of the large bay and low elevation of the old downtown sector. Hilo is a resilient community and has rebuilt their town to a thriving, Aloha friendly town that merges the old style Hawaii with new and modern day accommodations. You will be enchanted with the shopping and entertainment throughout the streets of Hilo.
Merrie Monarch Hula Festival is held in Hilo every year around Easter time. People come from all over the world to watch and compete is this world famous Hula competition. There are so many festivals year round here in Hilo like the King Kamehameha Day celebration, the County Fair, the Hilo PowWow, Polynesian dance performances, and Hawaiian music festivals.
There are many natural wonders here in Hilo that include Rainbow Falls (known as Waianuenue) and Boiling Pots on the Wailuku River State Park. There are many amazing botanical parks here such as, Liliuokalani Gardens and Wailoa River State Park where the King Kamehameha Statue stands tall. (The original statue is in Kapa’au) There are many orchid farms, Macadamia nut factories, Candy companies, and so many other things to do in Hilo. We highly advise, even insist on hanging out in Hilo for as long as you can on your vacation to the Big Island!
We hope you had a good time learning about Hilo, Hawaii. If you would like to stay updated, Like us on Facebook or Follow our Twitter feed or click one of our many Social Media Icons, that you participate with, and you will get notifications when we post new stories, information and history of the Big Island of Hawaii!