On the windward side of the Big Island is Hilo, Hawaii – full of lush, tropical gardens. Compared to the Kona side, this is what tourists expect Hawaii to look like – beautiful gardens, lush vegetation, wild orchids along the roadside, everything Hawaii is supposed to look like. This side of the Big Island provides as many activities as tourists can possibly think of to do, and some they will find quite enthralling.
Hilo is a very charming town on the Big Island. It is relaxing, beautiful, and full of great activities, such as:
1. Old Hilo Town is a mecca of shopping and wonderful cafes in which to have great food and just watch the ocean’s waves roll in.
2. Even though there are beautiful flowers everywhere, the Lili’uokalani Gardens is one of the most stunning Japanese gardens near Hilo; complete with koi ponds, incredible flowers, and a great view of town.
3. Of course the Kilauea Volcano is a must see. Drive around the caldera and be sure to go into the museum to learn about A’a and Pāhoehoe, and see the lava flow.
4. A drive to the most southern tip at Ka Lea to see the Green Sand beach is a must, and be sure to look for the seals and turtles that hang out here.
5. Towards the Northern end is the Waipio Na’alapa Valley for horseback riding enthusiasts.