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Hawaii - Hilo, The Other Paradise





The difference between two corners of the big island, Hawaii, is nothing less than striking. 

Kona is a glitzy playground, a recreational haven. Lots of golf courses (expensive too!), restaurants, trimmed pathways, signature shops and elegant hotels. Sort of like a lady all dressed up for a party.

Hilo, on the other hand, appears to be a stop over before you get to the famous Volcano Park to see active volcano with its constant, steady but non-threatening lava stream from its active volcano. It has a sleepy little downtown that looks like a holdover from the 1970's--complete with clapboard and large wood shingle buildings standing from late 1800's.

And yet, Hilo probably has more natural, unspoiled beauty than Kona. Here are some of the natural sites you can walk or drive to in and around Hilo.

Banyan Drive is also called the "Hilo Walk of Fame." Celebrities have planted banyan samplings which over the years have developed into beautiful, huge trees. Hilo Tropical Gardens features lily ponds, waterfalls as well as Oriental style bridges.

Liliuokalani Park and Gardens includes Japanese gardens and a Japanese Teahouse.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers views of the active flow area of the Kilauea volcano and several excellent hiking locations. Nani Mau Gardens is a commercial botanical center which features a vast number of species of plants, fruit trees and orchids. It includes a Japanese type bell tower, a butterfly house and a botanical museum.

Pana'ewa Rain Forest Zoo showcases a variety of species and is situated in a beautiful rain forest. University of Hawaii at Hilo Botanical Gardens provides a notable cycad collection, containing close to one hundred different species. It also includes palm tree varieties from all over the world. Activities

Black Sand Beaches has unique, spectacular beauty all its own. it is, though a rough, turbulent area with waves lashing against boulders and swimming is not for the faint hearted.

Other swimming beaches include :

Richardson Beach, 

Onekahakaha Beach and



 Hilo Bay

Another breathtaking site for Briskwalkers is the Akaka Falls, located in the northeastern part of Hamakua coast. 

As you follow the paved footpath, you'll first see 100-foot Kahuna Falls. Continue to follow the loop around the bend, and you'll discover towering Akaka Falls which plummets 442-feet into a stream-eroded gorge. Beautiful Akaka Falls is perhaps Hawaii Island's most famous waterfall. Easily accessible, this hike takes less than an hour.


One other unique feature of Hilo's black sand beaches--the giant turtles!

A useful general site for Hilo

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