Hilo might be the Big Island’s largest settlement but it’s a laid back coastal place, with some classic old buildings and wooden storefronts. The town is on Hilo Bay, overlooked by the volcanoes Manua Loa and Mauna Kea.
In town, visit the Pacific Tsunami Museum to learn about the wild waves that have pounded this coast over the centuries. The town also boasts galleries, gardens, missionary churches, macadamia factories and the well-regarded Lyman Museum, providing insights into the Big Island’s natural history.Prismatic colors flash at Rainbow Falls, just outside town, and waterfalls pour into pools known as the Boiling Pots.
The county capital, Hilo is on the mid-east coast of the Big Island. State Highway 11 links the city with other towns on the island.