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Hilo town and farmer's market

The Big Island, HI
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Hilo town and farmer's market, The Big Island Hawaii

Description

Hilo has an unattractive downtown. Although it is on the bay, it's a more industrial ugly part of the bay. There's an occasional historic building that looks nice, but mostly the area is rundown. Many of the buildings, the movie theater, and the museums such as the Pacific Tsunami Museum and the Mokupapapa Discovery Center are musty. There are some good souvenir stores though, with Hawaiian items.
The farmer's market, which has its biggest selection of goods on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is a decent place to visit. The fruit area is too cramped and crowded, under some tents. The jewelry and clothing area is nicer, and you can find some handmade items. Stop for a shave ice at the picnic tables there- the lime and coconut flavors are not as sweet.
A few steps west of the farmer's market are some restaurants and stores, such as Hulakai Surf Shop and a good health food store called Abundant Life. There are a few souvenir shops, plus a well-loved bakery on Fumeaux Lane called Moonstruck Patisserie.
Five minutes walk further into the downtown is a popular, extremely healthy, colorful cafe called Conscious Culture, open 8am-8pm.
Although the downtown is not the best, Hilo is a great vacation destination because it is near some gorgeous spots. If you stay at one of the hotels on Banyan Drive, you will be walking distance to lovely Coconut Island, Lilioukalani Gardens, Grand Naniloa Hotel (and Hula Hula's cafe) and Hilo Bay Cafe. Wonderful views of the bay are everywhere, as well as rows of huge banyan trees.
Although Hilo is not known for its beaches, it actually has some fantastic natural seaside springs where you enter the ocean from rocky spots or tiny sandy spots. The water is cold because of the springs and you often see turtles and baby turtles feeding on the green plants on the rocks. There isn't much coral or fish, so snorkeling is mostly for seeing turtles. Some of the nice swimming spots are: Reeds Bay Park, Coconut Island, Carlsmith Beach (the best), and Richardson Beach, which is a small black sand beach! These are all a short eight minute drive east from the hotels on Banyan Drive.
In the hills above the town are two lovely waterfalls that are very easy to see since they are each right by a parking lot. Check out Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots.
It's also amazing to drive up the Hamakua Coast from Hilo, stopping at some incredible sights. 
There is a surfing beach six minutes from downtown Hilo called Honoli'i Beach. Stand at the top and enjoy the wonderful views of the headland, sets rolling in, and tropical vegetation.
Hilo is lush and incredibly green, while Kona is dry with lots of lava fields but some lush landscaping in the tourist and residential areas. Sunny weather, a nice main strip with oceanfront cafes, and great snorkeling are the reasons to go to Kona and the Kohala Coast, whereas lush, gorgeous scenery, swims in natural seaside springs, waterfalls, and lovely mistings of rain are the reasons to go to Hilo. It's fun to stay in both towns for a few days each, and also check out Waimea on the drive across.

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Photo Gallery

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Cute brown building by the waterfront.
Cute brown building by the waterfront.
Hilo Bay Building.
Hilo Bay Building.
Hilo Farmers Market sign and vegetable stalls.
Hilo Farmers Market sign and vegetable stalls.
Red flowers for sale.
Red flowers for sale.
Pineapples!
Pineapples!
Freshwater pearl necklaces.
Freshwater pearl necklaces.
Hawaiian ABC quilts.
Hawaiian ABC quilts.
Earrings.
Earrings.
Flavors at Kula Shave Ice, at the farmers market.
Flavors at Kula Shave Ice, at the farmers market.
Vegetables for sale.
Vegetables for sale.
Rambutans!
Rambutans!
Anthuriums of all colors.
Anthuriums of all colors.
White anthuriums.
White anthuriums.
Magic Pineapple Shack acai bowls.
Magic Pineapple Shack acai bowls.
Fence with gecko decoration.
Fence with gecko decoration.
Pink ginger in a park downtown.
Pink ginger in a park downtown.
Restaurants along the waterfront.
Restaurants along the waterfront.
 

Directions

The farmer's market is located at 5 Mamo Street. There is plenty of parking in the lots on Kamehameha Ave.
Moonstruck Patisserie, 16 Furneaux Ln, Hilo, HI 96720. Closed Sunday-Tuesday.
Conscious Culture, 110 Keawe St, Hilo, HI 96720. Open daily 8-8.

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Last Updated: Thu, 23 Aug 2018 12:55:46 GMT