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Paradise is closer than you think. With American Airlines flights to Hilo, it's easy to get there! Located on Hawaii's Big Island, you'll find a number of wonderful things to do in Hilo that will turn into lifetime memories. From splashing in cascading waterfalls to watching dramatic volcanoes, nature is on spectacular display here. We'll help you discover it all!
One of the most popular activities in Hilo is a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hilo is the gateway to this amazing national park, located about 30 miles southwest of the city. It's home to one of the most active volcanoes on earth, the Kilauea volcano, and the Maunaloa volcano, which last erupted in 1984. The entire park is a sacred spot for Native Hawaiians, and you'll soon sense its mystical allure. It covers over 300,000 acres, with 150 miles of hiking trails that wind through craters, deserts and rainforests. You'll also be able to see petroglyphs (known as kii pohaku in Hawaiian). The Puuloa Petroglyphs include more than 23,000 carved images thought to commemorate births and other significant life events. The park also includes the Thurston Lava Tube, a cave formed by flowing lava over 500 years ago through which you can walk; a verdant rainforest awaits at the end. And don't miss the Thomas A. Jagger Museum, which is open daily. You'll see maps and geological displays on volcanology.
A visit to Liliuokalani Gardens is another one of our favorite things to do in Hilo. Named after Hawaii's last reigning royal, Queen Liliuokalani, this peaceful park is an authentic Japanese garden. It stretches over 30 acres, and it features arched bridges, rock gardens, a teahouse and striking pagodas. It's an especially wonderful place for families to stroll.
Another of the can't-miss activities in Hilo is a stop at the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii on Nowelo Street. It's housed beneath three conical titanium structures that represent the three largest peaks on the Big Island, and it explores the relationship between native culture and the celestial universe. You'll enjoy its range of displays and interactive exhibits. Hilo is also home to the Lyman Museum, where you can view an excellent collection of Hawaiian artifacts along with natural history specimens. The Mission House (part of the Museum) is the oldest wood-frame structure on the Big Island, and is the former home of David and Sarah Lyman. You should also plant to walk through the Hilo Farmers Market in downtown. You'll find locally grown fruit, vegetables, jams and macadamia nuts. Strawberry papayas are a local delicacy, so if they're in season, be sure to sample one. In addition to food, however, the Farmer's Market also includes souvenirs and gifts (think wind chimes, koa wood figurines and jewelry).
Best of all, it's so simple to visit this fascinating Hawaiian destination with American Airlines. Start making plans today to fly to Hilo so you can experience its unique magic for yourself.