To get away from it all, the Hamakua Coast's small-town setting is perfect. Accommodations range from upscale B&Bs to off-the-grid cabanas. Some are located far from any town or even the main highway, so consider how much driving you want to do when you're here.

The areas just north of Hilo (from Papaikou to Hakalau) are feasible alternates to staying in Hilo proper. For memorable views, target Kukuihaele, which overlooks Waiipi‘o Valley.

For camping, Kalopa State Recreation Area offers campsites and cabins in remote upcountry forestland. While Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park allows camping, the park can be crowded with locals and windy along the coast.