Hilo Port Guide

Hilo Port is one of the older towns in Hawaii which was settled around 1900. Hilo receives a considerable amount of rain every year. The average temperature is around 73 degrees. Cruise ships dock at the Hilo cruise port just past the hotel district, a 10 minute drive from the airport and downtown.


Hilo has numerous shops to buy gifts, souvenirs, craft items, and jewelry. Items that tourists buy like tee shirts can also be purchased in the local shops. Shuttle buses take tourists to Hilo Hatties, a tourist store. Banyon Drive hotel shops and mini mall are a short walk from the Hilo cruise terminal.

Hawaiian jewelry, collectibles, tee shirts, macademia nuts, perfumes, and everything Hawaiian is available, and a local artisan's market is open in the area where the cruise ships dock to meet the tourists as they arrive. The hotels along Banyon Drive all have shops, and a favorite stop for tourists looking for Hawaiian souvenirs is Uncle Billie's Hilo Bay Hotel.

Things to See

Volcano National Park is one of the main attractions, and since transportation is limited, make arrangements prior to your trip for a car rental, or take advantage of the tours offered by the cruise line. Kilauea an active volcano, hasen't stopped erupting for years. Visitors have the opportunity to get within close proximity of the flow. Generally park rangers are available to escort visitors to where the flow can be viewed.

Akaka Falls State Park is a tropical rainforest and has a spectacular 442 foot waterfall. A paved trail leads to the falls with some steep inclines. Akaka Falls State park is 30 minutes from the center of Hilo, and can be reached by the scenic Hamakua coastline.

From the cruise ship pier, walk along Banyon Drive. After passing the Hilo Hawaiian Hilton, walk through the lovely Queen Liliuokalani Gardens; Japanese gardens laden with pools and exquisite Bonsai trees. Coconut Island across the bridge, is the perfect spot for snorkeling.

Downtown Hilo has a Farmer's Market on Wednesday and Saturday. After visiting the market, stop by some of the shops and boutiques, or one of the excellent restaurants. Great shops to purchase gifts are Big Island Candies, the Black Pearl Gallery for authentic Tahitian pearls.

Restaurants and Bars

Hilo has every type of cuisine to entice your palate. Traditional Hawaiian and Asian food is available, but regional cuisine, barbecue, Italian, Mexican, and even Irish dishes are served. Tourists can find coffee bars and teahouses, diners, and a cyber cafe. The more popular restaurants are Fiascos, serving steaks, burgers, and a soup/salad bar. Banyan Hibachi and Miyo's serve traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Ken's House of Pancakes has a varied menu with delicious omelettes.

Aloha Luigi has a friendly atmosphere, and combines the interesting combination of Italian and Mexican dishes. Cafe Concerto is a charming bistro-style restaurant featuring traditional Italian dishes. Reuben's serves traditional Mexican food including great chili rellenos and margaritas.

The Emerald Orchid is a friendly Irish pub with beer and live entertainment on selected nights. Cronies has karaoke, burgers, and traditional pub fare with microbrews. Other sports bars are Pub Time Inc, Hale Inu Sports Bar, and Flip-Side too. Shooters Bar and Grill, Club Sunflower,

Keoki's Kove, and Uncle Mikey's Video Dance Club are popular night spots. Palms by the Bay, karaoke bar and brewery has daily drink and food specials.

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