Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hilo Town

Having lived in Hawaii now for 10 years, and spending quite a bit of time on all the main islands, I have grown to love the charm and simplicity of little Hilo Town on the Big Island. There is no other real town area like Hilo. Kauai has Hanalei, Maui has Paia and Makawao, and Oahu has Haleiwa, but these charming places cater mostly to tourists, and don't offer as much of a sense of community where locals go to gather, eat, be entertained as Hilo does. (My opinion of course!).

Hilo has some tourist shops, but it also has our vibrant Hilo Farmers Market, the Historic Palace Theater, the Kress $1 movies!, Koehnens Fine Furniture, and small local mom and pop shops and restaurants. Even the Ebesagawa Sisters have their semi-open air flower shop there; I don't know how long they've been there, but it's a very long time! There are lots of historic buildings that front Hilo Bay (there's something nice about buildings that have names and dates on them). A stroll along Kamehameha Ave takes you back in time. No Starbucks, Pottery Barns, J Crew, or even McDonalds here.
Lots of people talk about the 'real Hawaii.' I'm not sure what that means, but I know when I'm downtown Hilo people you pass say 'aloha' and the when you buy something from a local merchant they really mean it when they say 'MAHALO!' It's also nice when the people you pass on the street are a mix of people that live here AND visitors......not everyone is a tourist!
We like that in a town!

So to experience the charm of another time, come walk along the bay in little Hilo town!

Our favorite not to be missed places are: Aloha Luigi's on Keawe Street (killer chicken caesar salads!), the Historic Palace Theater (always something going on including HAWAIIANA LIVE every Wednesday morning at 11 am showcasing local talent), the Tsunami Museum, and the Farmer's Market every Wednesday and Sunday.
And of course, when you are looking for accommodations, check us out at

1 comment:

  1. There's no place that warms my heart quite like Hilo does. Amazing diversity, exotic location, small-town friendliness plus loads of Aloha all come together in this truly unique, charming and inviting place. I HEART HILO!!!!!