Savor Hilo's simple pleasures with a picnic lunch in Japanese gardens overlooking the bay. Named for Hawaii's last queen (r 1891–93), the 30-acre county park has manicured lawns, shallow ponds, bamboo groves, arched bridges, pagodas and a teahouse. At sunrise or sunset, join the locals and jog or stroll the perimeter, or simply admire the Mauna Kea view. Cross the paved footbridge to Mokuola (Coconut Island), a tiny island always lively with families, picnicking and swimming.
Adjacent to the park is Banyan Dr, Hilo's mini 'hotel row,' best known for the 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.