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Hilo and East Hawaii

Quiet Coconut Island in Hilo Bay.

On your trek to Hilo, take a right on Kamehameha Highway at the Intersection of Pau'ahi and Kamehameha Highway. If you look to the right just passed the Chevron gas station on the corner of Pau'ahi and Kamehameha Highway you will see a statue of KAMEHAMEHA THE GREAT. Nestled amongst royal palms and behind the statue is Wailoa with its winding waterways and a fishing pond. If Kamehameha’s birthplace is Kohala, then why is there a Statue in Hilo? With Kamehameha statues in Honolulu, Washington D.C., and one in Kohala to mark his birthplace only a few people know that this statue in Hilo stands on his father’s land.

When you talk about the old Hawaii, at least the one that hasn't been touched as much today by the long arms of commercialization and development, you cannot help but mention the East Coast on the Big Island. At the center of all this is old town Hilo. Hawaii's second largest city is seeing a revitalization of spirit thanks to the effort of the Downtown Hilo Organization who is busy restoring and preserving the storefronts of this yesterday town. Aiding this effort are the wealth of new businesses occupying Hilo's old buildings.

Adding to this old Hawaii feeling is the Hilo Farmer's Market which is held every Wednesday and Saturday in Downtown Hilo. It's fun while walking around to think about what the city was actually like around the early 1900's.

Rainbow Falls.

An easy to find waterfall is Rainbow Falls which is located inland along the Wailuku River at the north end of town. Follow the road running alongside the river to the Park where you won't have to walk far to see one of the area's most frequented sights. If you're lucky you will catch sight of a rainbow at the falls.

After leaving Hilo you don't want to miss the drive north to Waipio Valley which takes you over scenic gorges that were once crossed by cane hauling trains in the heyday of sugar cane production. The plummeting waterfalls and river mouths under the extensive bridge systems leading north up the Hilo Coast are definitely an awesome sight. On this drive north is Onomea Bay located along a 4 mile coastal scenic route. The lush ravines and botanical gardens are brilliantly picturesque along this coastal road and are well worth the detour.

Akaka Falls State Park and the village of Honomu can be reached by taking Hwy. 220 off of the main route, Hwy. 19 north. Once you reach the Park a short paved hike will take you past a network of smaller waterfalls and colorful tropical foliage to the plummeting Akaka Falls. Its accessibility and grand size make Akaka Falls a popular stop along this eastern coast. The historic town of Honomu boasts many old storefronts from the days when sugar was king. The drive and hike to Akaka Falls will only take you out of the way for an hour but you might just find yourself passing more time over an ice cream and a pleasant cool breeze in the quiet town of Honomu.

Hilo Palace Theater.

Merrie Monarch dancers.

Japanese gardens/park on Hilo Bay.

Hilo church.

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