Liliuokalani Park,  Hilo, East Coast.

Liliʻuokalani Park

Top choice in Hilo

Arguably Hilo's most beautiful spot, these sprawling Japanese gardens are perfect for picnicking. Named for Hawaii's last queen (r 1891–93), the 30-acre county park features magnificent trees, grassy lawns, charming footbridges over ornamental ponds, and sweeping views of Hilo Bay and Mauna Kea. At sunrise and sunset, join the locals jogging or power walking the perimeter.

Bordering the park is Banyan Dr, Hilo's mini 'hotel row,' best known for giant banyan trees lining the road. Royalty and celebrities planted the trees in the 1930s and, if you look closely, you'll find plaques beneath the trees identifying Babe Ruth, Amelia Earhart and Cecil B DeMille. Also nearby is the paved footbridge to Mokuola (Coconut Island), a tiny island that will captivate kids of all ages.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hilo attractions

1. Tsunami Memorial Clock

0.22 MILES

This tall green clock is permanently stopped at 1:04, marking the morning of May 23, 1960, when a major tsunami demolished the town. A series of seismic…

2. Mokuola

0.27 MILES

Tiny Mokuola, commonly called Coconut Island, connects to land (near Liliʻuokalani Park) by a 250ft footbridge. The island is a county park with picnic…

3. Reeds Bay Beach Park

0.37 MILES

This calm little cove is ideal for kids and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) beginners. It's scenic, but not secluded. Set alongside Banyan Dr, the compact park…

4. King Kamehameha Statue

0.63 MILES

At the northern end of Wailoa River State Park, a 14ft bronze statue of King Kamehameha stands facing the bay. Sculpted by R Sandrin at the Fracaro…

6. Pacific Tsunami Museum

1.18 MILES

You cannot understand Hilo without knowing its history as a two-time tsunami survivor (1946 and 1960). This museum encompasses only a few rooms, but they…

7. FW Koehnen Building

1.21 MILES

Built in 1910, this iconic blue building housed Koehnen's Interiors, a classy home furnishings store, from 1929 until 2012. Three generations of Koehnens…

8. Mokupapapa Discovery Center

1.21 MILES

Geared for kids, this center aims to educate the public about pristine Hawaiian ecosystems. Even adults might not know that the Hawaiian archipelago…