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.