Hilo is a coastal city in the State of Hawaii, and is the largest community on the island of Hawaii. Hilo has an estimated population of 41,000 people. A breakwater across Hilo Bay was begun in the 1900s and finished in 1929. Hilo extended inland beginning in the 1960s. The downtown found a new role in the 1980s as the city's cultural center with numerous galleries and museums being opened; the Palace Theatre was reopened in 1998 as an art house. Closure of the sugar plantations during the 1990s led to a downturn in the local economy, corresponding with a general statewide decline. Hilo in recent years has seen commercial and population growth as the neighboring district of Puna became the fastest-growing region in the state. Hilo has a significant tourism sector, as is customary across the whole island. Hilo, as the second largest city in the state of Hawaii, is home to shopping centers, movie theaters, hotels, and downtown area full of various shops.
Merry Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient hula, which takes place each year in the week following Easter. It honors King David Kalakaua, who was nicknamed the "Merry Monarch" for his sponsorship of the arts. He is credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions during his sovereignty, including the hula. Many hula schools, including some from the U.S. Mainland and Japan, attend the festival each year to take part in the festival competitions, which are considered the most esteemed of all hula contests.
A quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle is Coconut Island. Coconut Island is a small island park in Hilo Bay. Coconut Island is the perfect place for a picnic and a relaxing dip into the ocean. This little isle is a fantastic spot for the kids to run around and play. They will enjoy playing in the shallow pools with sandy bottoms.
Directions from Hilo International Airport to Port of Hilo