Driving into Hilo on Hawaii Island your first thoughts might be “not a lot going on here”. But once you dive into this sleepy looking town you begin to realize how fun and unique it really is.
Hilo is one of the oldest cities in Hawaii and is also one of the wettest, with an average annual rainfall of 130in. With its age and its precipitation, however, comes amazing waterfalls and unique shops.
Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots
Where there’s rain there are waterfalls, at least in Hilo.
In the North Hilo area, you will find two beautiful waterfalls at the Wailuku River State Park.
Waianuenue, commonly known as Rainbow Falls, gets its nickname from the many rainbows that appear within the mist. Further up the Wailuku river you will find Peepee Falls, otherwise known as Boiling Pots. This area gets its name from the bubbling effect that occurs in the pools below the falls.
These areas are ideal for picture taking and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Now, don’t go “Chasing Waterfalls”…The falls and pools are not safe for swimming, so save that swimsuit and swim cap for the ocean or hotel pool.
There aren’t many places in the world where you can hike into the mouth of an old lava tube. And as intimidating as walking into a cold dark hole is, it’s worth it.
Kaumana caves is located just off upper Waianuenue Ave. in Hilo. It is easy to find with a parking lot, bathrooms and picnic tables.
These two caves were created from an 1881 lava flow from Mauna Loa. The only thing difficult about these short hikes into the caves is the lack of light. You will need a strong flashlight or headlamp to travel more than 10 feet into the tubes. Take your time and watch your head, there are some low ceiling areas that tend to jump out at you.
This is also a great way to get out of the rain if Hilo is wet, the hike is completely covered. The tubes go back as far as a couple miles, but most people only go in a few hundred meters. Again, watch your head.
Hilo Farmers Market
You will feel like you are in an outdoor market in the middle of a foreign country, with its abundance of unique and unrecognizable produce. This market has everything from Dragon fruit, Bread fruit, Strawberry Papayas and White Pineapples.
The Hilo Farmers Market is an amazing place to get out of your comfort zone and sample something new. Once you try a white pineapple, a regular one will never be up to par.
On Saturdays and Wednesdays, the market also has additional vendors selling everything from sea glass earrings to hand made soaps that smell like heaven. It is the perfect place to pick up that koa wood dolphin sculpture you’ve always wanted.
Big Island Candies
Do yourself a favor and visit Big Island Candies, your taste buds will thank you. As soon as you walk through the door you are greeted with a chocolate cookie sample and smells of free, fresh brewed coffee.
Big Island candies has everything your sweet tooth will crave, from pineapple shortbread cookies to passion fruit chocolates. And you can sample most everything…let me repeat…you can sample most EVERYTHING. There are premade sample dishes on display and if there is something specific you would like to sample, you just need to ask. Whether you leave with some treats or a belly full of free samples, you will be glad you stopped in. I always am.
About Skyline Eco-Adventures
Skyline Eco Adventures is the first zipline company in the USA. Skyline’s mission is to provide a safe and exciting means for seeing and experiencing the natural wonder of the Hawaiian Islands. Skyline has four zipline tour courses on three islands and additional tours such as the Lava N’ Zip Tour, Zip N’ Dip Tour on the Big Island and the Haleakala Sunrise Bike N’ Zip Tour on Maui.