There has been a lot of fear and speculation among travelers scheduled to go to the Big Island of Hawaii since Kilauea Volcano started erupting.

Our clients are concerned about the safety of going to the Big Island altogether based on what they see in the media.  The media makes it seem like 1/2 of the Big Island has red hot lava flowing down the streets when in actuality the area affected is a small residential section of the island.  Some of our clients were planning on spending a few days on the Hilo side of the island to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park but with the park closure, they are concerned about not having enough to do while they are there.

With that being said, if you are planning to go to the Hilo side of the Big Island, what else is there to do?

Here are some of the other sites to see and activities to do while in and around Hilo:

  1. ‘Akaka Falls– this is one of the most famous Waterfalls on the Big Island and is very accessible by a short hike
  2.  Rainbow Falls is a short drive from downtown Hilo and it’s the perfect place to visit in the morning.

    Rainbow Falls

  3.  Hamakua Coast Scenic Drive –  This incredible drive connects Hilo to the Waipi’o Valley full of waterfalls and canyons.
  4. Imiloa Astronomy Center– offers educational and cultureal programs as well as a full dome planetarium
  5. Stargazing – just 50 minutes from Hilo, you can be at the Astronomy Visitors Center at Mauna Kea.  They offer free star gazing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with public telescopes operated by knowlegable star-guides.
  6. ATV tours–  These tours can take you off road through private lands that stop along the way at scenic points
  7. Hiking- although there is great hiking in Volcanoes National Park, there is still plenty of great hiking around Hilo.  Check out the Onomea Trail, north of Hilo, and  the Hawaii Botanical Gardens hikes which are both great for beginners
  8. Ziplining– There are a couple of zipline operators in the Umaumau Falls area, near Akaka Falls State Park and at the Botanical Gardens- all very close to Hilo
  9.  Farmers Markets–  the Hilo Farmers market is a must do if you are in Hilo on a Wednesday or Saturday, but there are a total of 6 in oar near Hilo
  10. Beer???-  yes we did say beer.  Mehana Brewing Company is in Hilo and their tasting room is open most days after noon.

So while we know the main reason our clients will stay in Hilo is to be close to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are still many other fun things to do in and around Hilo.

My Vacation Lady is a Hawaii destination specialist and we’ve been to Hawaii many times.  Each time we go, we visit different islands and participate in different activities so that we can assist our clients on the best things to see and do.  Let us help you plan your next vacation to the Hawaiian Islands!