9 Best & Fun Things to do in Hilo Hawaii (2024)

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii
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A trip to Hawaii without visiting Hilo can never be completed! Compared to Hawaii’s west side, Hilo feels more lowkey and easily accessible. There is no shortage of amazing Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii.  Where dramatic waterfalls and beautiful sun-kissed beaches coexist with charming independent boutiques, friendly locals and historic farmers’ markets, the Big Island’s eastern town of Hilo radiates a rare ability to blend culture with nature; as a result, it firmly invites hundreds of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of a quieter side of Hawaii. 

9 Best & Fun Things to do in Hilo Hawaii (2024)

1. Marvel at Rainbow Falls

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii

Rainbow Falls in Sohra, Meghalaya, India is a breathtaking waterfall surrounded by beautiful greenery. The falls are located in the East Khasi Hills District. The journey to the falls is an adventure in itself, passing over the Mawsaw Steel Bridge and through areas with unique root bridges and natural pools. The waterfall itself is stunning as it cascades into a large pool, sometimes forming a rainbow in the early morning light. Though the trek through which to reach there is challenging, the beauty of Rainbow Falls makes it all worth it and removes all the tiredness. That’s why visiting Rainbow Falls is one of the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. 

2. Explore Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii, is a beautiful retreat along Banyan Drive, displaying the largest Edo-style ornamental garden outside of Japan. The gardens were established by Queen Liliuokalani in 1907, it represents Japanese stone lanterns, arched bridges over koi ponds, and the peaceful Shoroan Teahouse. 

That’s why visiting Liliuokalani Gardens is one of the natural and attractive Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. Offering attractive views of Hilo Bay and Coconut Island, the garden is a popular spot for morning activities like jogging and yoga and also serves as a romantic backdrop for weddings. Recognized by the US Postal Service with a Priority Mail stamp, this enchanting garden invites visitors to submerge themselves in its tranquillity and beauty.

3. the Tsunami Museum

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii

Two remarkable tsunami museums, the Aceh Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii, serve as heart-rending reminders of destructive tsunami events. The Aceh Tsunami Museum, designed by architect Ridwan Kamil, recognises the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami with its symbolic architecture and exhibitions showcasing the disaster’s impact. 

Meanwhile, the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, formerly the Hilo Tsunami Museum, honours victims of the 1946 Pacific and 1960 Chilean tsunamis, promoting public education and preparedness for future disasters. Both museums fulfil vital roles in raising awareness, preserving history, and commemorating those affected by tsunamis. Without any doubt it is one of Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. 

4. Journey to the Mauna Kea Observatories

Begin with the journey to the Mauna Kea Observatories over the Big Island of Hawaiʻi’s Mauna Kea, the highest island mountain globally, where a group of cutting-edge astronomical research facilities and telescopes await. Landed at an impressive 4,205 metres above sea level within the Astronomy Precinct, these observatories provide unparalleled advantages for celestial observation, despite the controversies regarding their impact on native Hawaiian culture and environmental concerns.

 the early 20th century to groundbreaking discoveries facilitated by state-of-the-art telescopes, the Mauna Kea Observatories stand as beacons of scientific exploration, inviting us to immerse yourselves into the mysteries of the universe beneath the pristine skies above. It is good to try this one of Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. 

5. Experience the Imiloa Astronomy Center

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii, is a special place founded by George Jacob in 2001. and is one of the Best Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii. It’s part of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and teaches people about science in a fun way. You can see interesting exhibits and shows about Hawaiian history, culture, and astronomy,Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii, especially the research done at the Mauna Kea Observatories.

They have cool activities for kids, families, and the community that use new technology, nature, and Hawaiian traditions. You can also learn about how ancient Hawaiians used the stars to navigate the ocean. Whether you love looking at the stars, enjoy learning about different cultures, or just want to know more about space, the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center is a great place to visit Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii and learn about our connection to the universe. Hence, it’s actually one of the Best Things to do in Hilo, Hawaii.

6. Discover the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center

In Hilo, Hawaii, you’ll find the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, which opened in 2003. It’s in the historic Koehnen Building on 76 Kamehameha Avenue. The centre is all about the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, teaching visitors about their nature, culture, and history. If you are someone who is curious to know about the different culture, religion, and background then, it is one the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii.

you can see a big saltwater aquarium, interactive exhibits, and models of animals found on these remote islands. The displays and signs are in both English and Hawaiian, helping everyone learn more about the islands. The centre also holds events and workshops that celebrate the islands’ culture and help protect the environment. It’s a great place to explore and learn about this special part of Hawaii when you’re in Hilo.

7. Stroll the Hilo Farmers Market

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii

The Hilo Farmers Market on the Big Island of Hawaii is a must-visit destination that showcases the sparkling local culture and flavours of this big island Hawaii. With over 200 farmers and crafters displaying their produce, crafts, and tropical flowers, it offers a lively atmosphere reminiscent of Hilo’s plantation days. It’s absolutely a perfect place to experience the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii.

Serving as a food hub, visitors can indulge in specialty Hawaiian items from honey producers, coffee growers, and other food artisans, while savouring delicious dishes like Poke Bowls, Ice Shave, and Loco Mocos. The market also features the island’s largest weekly collection of artisans and crafters, creating a festive outdoor atmosphere filled with creativity. Located in Historic Downtown Hilo, at the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue, the market welcomes visitors year-round, offering an unforgettable experience that celebrates Hawaii’s rich culture and flavours. 

8. Discover the Suisan Fish Market

Suisan Fish Market in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, has been part of the local fishing community for over 114 years, providing fresh seafood to both wholesale and retail customers while following strict fishing regulations. They provide a wide variety of seafood, including popular reef fish and open-ocean favourites like tuna and mahi-mahi. Their poke bowls are absolutely  a hit, showcasing the classic flavours like Hawaiian Style and Spicy Ahi, along with unique creations like Mix Plate and Cali Roll. 

 It is a perfect place to experience the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. You can choose your serving size and rice option, and they also have salads available. It’s a must-visit spot in Hilo for seafood lovers looking for delicious and fresh ocean delights! 

9. Explore the Big Island Candies

Things to do in Hilo Hawaii

Big Island Candies in Hilo, Hawaii, has been making delicious treats since 1977. They use really good ingredients, like local macadamia nuts, to make their cookies, chocolates, and candies. One of their best treats is the Milk Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread, which is buttery and crunchy, covered in chocolate. 

the must Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. They also use special coffee from local farms, which adds to the tasty flavour of their treats. Their packages are pretty and reflect the seasons and beauty of Hawaiʻi, making them perfect for gifts. If you’re in Hilo, you can visit their factory on Hinano Street to see how they make everything and even buy some to take home. Big Island Candies is all about sharing the sweetness of Hawaiʻi with everyone! 


Hilo, Hawaii, is truly charming, with its extraordinary natural beauty, vibrant culture, and friendly and welcoming community. Whether you’re wondering at the breathtaking waterfalls, staring at the stars in the clear night sky, or exploring the rich Hawaiian traditions, there’s something magical about this town that touches your soul. Try to do the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii. And let’s not forget the delicious local cuisine that tantalises your taste buds and leaves you craving for more. Hilo has a way of captivating your senses and filling your heart with unforgettable memories. So come, immerse yourself in the Best Things to do in Hilo Hawaii, and let its treasures leave a lasting impression on you. 

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