Places to See

Special places in and near Hilo, Hawai`i

Things to Do

Free and low-cost

Stories and Legends

Mo`olelo - culture stories of Hawai`i

Stuff to Buy

All made in the Hawaiian islands, and most on the Island of Hawai`i



Hawai`iana Live! at the Palace Theater

Malalo i ka Po Lani on Mauna Kea

Hula Informances at Kilauea

Find more about Weather in Hilo, HI
Click for weather forecast

About Hilo, My Home Town

Aloha, and welcome to Hilo, My Home Town!

I hope you enjoy your visit - Hilo is a wonderful place, with many things to do and see. We may be one of the rainiest cities in the world, but that does not dampen our spirits. It just waters them and makes them grow!

A little bit about Hilo:

Unlike faster-paced tourist hot-spots with their transient populations and ever-new hotels, Hilo remembers its history. Many of the residents lived it. And if not them, their parents or grandparents. In Hilo, you can still find people who live in the homes where their grandparents were reared. Family names are still recognized, and people identify each other by degrees of cousin-hood.

The name "Hilo" is ancient, and was famed in legend long before historic times. It has several meanings. It can mean "twisted," like a thread or rope. Thus, it is also the name for the first thin, twisted sliver of light to appear on the Eastern horizon at dawn. Hilo is the name for the first night in the Hawaiian month. And it also is the name of a renowned Polynesian navigator who is believed to have discovered this coast. His chief, to honor the feat, named the area for him.

Hilo is the largest town on the Island of Hawai`i, having a population of around 43,000. It is the county seat of the County of Hawai`i, and once was the capitol of the Kingdom of Hawai`i.

Hilo is poetically known as Hilo Hanakahi, and takes the name from a beloved chief, Hanakahi, whose reign was noted for peace and abundance.

Hilo's famous rain is named Ka Ua Kani Lehua, "The Rain that Moistens the Lehua Blossoms," or "The Rain that Makes the Lehua Blossoms Resound." Rain, in Hawaiian culture, is a blessing, a gift of the gods. Hilo, largest town on the island of Hawai`i, is richly blessed. Visitors and new residents often ask the kama `aina - old-timer - when the rain will stop and the weather will return to "normal." In Hilo, rain is the norm.

Meanwhile, let's start by visiting our let's start by visiting our calendar of events. If you have any fun, educational, and/or interesting events, please e-mail the information to

Check out current news of Hilo at our Hilo, My Home Town PaperLi feed!

Learn about the Island of Hawai`i and Hilo with local girl Malika Dudley - Love her narrative, she knows how to pronounce all the Hawaiian words properly!

Learn a hula about Hilo!

"Hilo, My Home Town"

by Betty Lou Yuen

Come along, join the throng
Visit my Aloha Land
Take a train, or a plane
Travel any way you can
See the smiling faces
Of the many races
You'll be smiling too
You will want to linger
Learn to do the hula
Make some whoopie too

Start the day, wear a lei
And a colored mu`umu`u
Hear the crowd sing aloud,
"Aloha nui to you!"
For there's no place on earth
Where friends prove their worth
More than Hilo, my home town

Oh, there's no place on earth
Where friends prove their worth
More than Hilo, my home town!