Hilo

 In Honeymoon Planning
Aloha and welcome to Hilo! Hilo is the largest city on the island of Hawaii.  Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian Island Chain. Hilo encompasses 58 square miles on the east end of the island and is the primary gateway for cruise ships. The other major city on the island is Kona, famous worldwide for its coffee and locally for its Kona beer. With an average of 127 inches of rain per year and upwards of 220 in some spots, Hilo is one of the world’s wettest cities. It is blessed with a lush tropical year-round climate that ranges from the mid sixties to the upper eighties. The population is about 44,000 and the locals enjoy a blend of Asian, Polynesian and Portuguese cuisine centered around rice, fish, pit barbecue and over 200 varieties of locally grown sweet potato. The first Polynesian boaters arrived here about a thousand years ago and British explorer James Cook moored in Hilo Bay in 1878.
Hilo offers an abundance of wildly exotic beauty. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains two of the world’s most active volcanoes and dramatic lava landscapes that  has transformed the island for 70 million years. Waipi’o Valley is a gorgeous green valley that was a meeting place of Hawaiian Kings and a legendary “portal” to the spirit world. Mauna Kea summit rises 14,000 feet and is the only spot in the Hawaiian Islands that ever sees snow. At the 9,000 ft. mark you can see the stars from the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy. The Tropical Botanical Gardens, Kealakekua Bay and Lava Tree State Park are all popular tourist destinations. It’s a great place for healthy tourism and hiking, caving, snorkeling and kayaking are great ways to explore the island’s beauty.
We decided to get wet right from the start. Our first stop was an amazing kayak tour of Hilo Bay. It rained off and on the entire trip which meant we got to see plenty of rainbows! Afterwards we hiked up to  the top of Rainbow Falls. This picturesque park gets its name from the rainbows that appear when the 80-foot cascade bounces off the water below and the mist creates a dazzling prism of color in the sun.
After a strenuous two hours of kayaking and a hike, we’d built up quite an appetite. Ponds Restaurant  was a brilliant spot for lunch. We enjoyed ltraditional Hawaiian fare while overlooking a beautiful lake full of turtles, koi fish and ducks. The native beer is Kona. We enjoyed a sampler flight too along with our fresh fish dishes.  Afterwards we sipped Kona Coffee grown on the west end of the island. Kona is regarded by many as the finest coffee on the planet and we brought plenty home for Mom and the family to enjoy!  We enjoyed a two mile stroll from Ponds back to the port of Hilo. Along the way we did some sightseeing at Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Park – it was gorgeous. We wish we had more time to spend on the Island – it’s so vast and you need about a week to see it all.  Hopefully we’ll make it back for round two someday. Aloha, Hawaii!

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