Where the ocean is my playground……Come take a paddle out into Hilo Bay! Hilo Bay is a great big protected area surrounded by this giant rock breakwall making it perfect for water sports of all kinds. On any given day, you can find kayakers, canoe paddlers, fisherman, jet skis and pleasure boats utilizing this area.
Donna paddling in Hilo Bay
Hilo bay has lots of history including stories of the queen’s arrivals and departures in the earl 1900s. Large schooners visited Hilo Bay in former times as well as the modern day Cruise Ships that now dock near this little island known as Coconut Island; now a family park. Across from Coconut island, is the famous Queen Lilioukolani Park a sister park to the matching one found in Japan; another great family area with weekend picnicking, daily jogging and walking routes, just steps away from the Hilo Hawaiian and the Hawaii’s Naniloa Beach Hotel.
Just a short walk from the Park is the Bayfront area with restaurants, and quaint gift shops. Pick up your favorite Hawaiiana items here or a trip through the museums and art galleries. Don’t forget to check out the downtown black and white nights where the stores highlight their special wares and offer discounts. On Saturdays and Wednesdays, the Farmer’s Market will entice and entertain you with Big Island Vegetables and artist presenting their goods. The well preserved architecture in this area offers an historical insight to the businesses that made Hilo flourish at the turn of the century.
The original Lyman Mission house is now a museum located on Haili street with educational experiences for all ages. In this area is quite a few old-style buildings of the early 1930’s era, including the original Haili Church and St. Joseph’s Church. If you continue north, you’ll find our downtown Post office in the Federal Building, across from another beautiful park under the Banyan tree called Kalakaua Park. Hilo has so many relaxing spots, you can spend hours here, not to mention the many colorful people you’ll meet to “talk story” with.
A short 4 mile drive past the bayfront area will take you to the beach and snorkeling areas open to the public. Hilo’s people love the outdoors, and this area is a mega of beachgoers on the weekend. Although the sand is black, it is a very clean area and the ocean is so clear and blue. There are spots for the surfer as well as the swimmers and the “keiki” (little ones). Maybe a diner after a long day at the beach?…….try the Seaside Restaurant for a special treat with your choice of island seafood.
Hilo’s “newer” section of town is known as Waiakea. This area houses our International airport, and the new shopping malls and many brand name outlets. Nearby is the University of Hawaii, Hilo campus and community college. If you can’t find it in Hilo, you most likely don’t need it. It’s not a flam boyish town, but then again, what all do you need to survive on a tropical island?
Now that you have a charming town to come to, wouldn’t you want to have a home here too! People who have made Hilo their destination have discovered the values of healthy living and a slower lifestyle. Take a few steps back and relish the beauty the Big Island has to offer.