Mellow Hilo has a time warp appearance with its historic buildings, parks, museums and lush gardens. Queen Liliuokalani Gardens wows those into botany with 30 acres of Hawaiian and Oriental plantings, pagodas, walkways, ponds and bridges. At the daily Hilo Farmers Market, local purveyors and artisans sell everything from seafood, fruit and produce to clothing and handicrafts. “Big Market Days” are Wednesday and Saturday. And most travelers agree there's no better place on the Big Island to sample local produce and purchase local crafts. Other town points of interest include the Pacific Tsunami Museum, Imiloa Astronomy Center, Mokupapapa Discovery Center and the East-West Cultural Center.
Just outside of town, be sure to check out Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. During heavy water flows, Boiling Pots’ terraced pools that are fed by Peepee Falls appear to be boiling–which explains its moniker.