Hilo vacation rentals
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Your guide to Hilo
Welcome to Hilo
The town of Hilo meets the definition of an idyllic Hawaiian destination. Its black sand beaches are lined with swaying palm trees arching over aquamarine waters, dramatic waterfalls plunge from shelves blotted by tropical rainforests, and some of the planet’s most active volcanoes are only a short drive away. Yet Hilo sees a fraction of the crowds drawn to its sunnier sister town of Kona. Hilo’s lush beauty and relaxed vibe can be attributed to its status as the rainiest city in the United States. Many visitors drop into Hilo for a quick visit before jumping off to explore the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But hikers, snorkelers, waterfall chasers, and science enthusiasts will find a wide range of activities to choose from in Hilo, accompanied by a collegiate town spirit, thanks to the nearby University of Hawaii at Hilo.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Hilo
The lush eastern side of the island of Hawaii is temperate but characteristically wet, soaking in an annual average of 140 inches of rainfall. This wet climate means it’s advisable to layer or bring a light jacket in preparation for intermittent showers; if you plan to venture up to the higher elevations inland, especially near summits and volcanoes, come prepared for legitimately cold temperatures. Spring and fall generally offer visitors the best overlap of warm and dry days in Hilo, the latter months thinning out crowds as the tourist season comes to a close. Hurricane season spans June through November; while violent tropical storms are always a possibility, historically they’ve rarely made landfall across the Big Island.
Top things to do in Hilo
Punalu‘u Beach is the most famous and accessible black sand beach on the island. Hawksbill and Hawaiian green turtles are known to amble up the volcanic-rock-tinted shoreline to sunbathe here. Just be sure to give these aquatic natives a wide berth onshore and in the water, as they’re protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Hamakua Coast Scenic Drive
While Rainbow Falls State Park unequivocally warrants a visit to take in its grand cascade of water, a more adventurous option awaits along this scenic serpentine 40-mile route tracing the North Shore of the island toward Waipi’o Valley. The road is dotted by a multitude of waterfalls and old sugar cane fields along the way.
Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden
While flora grows in abundance across Hilo, this botanical garden and nature preserve hosts a riot of tropical plants of unmatched color and beauty. There are more than 2,000 species collected and cultivated from across the globe, easily accessible to visitors by winding wooden pathways.