Dangers & Annoyances
While Hilo is relatively safe, the town shuts down at night and it pays to be careful in deserted areas, including downtown.
Gay & Lesbian Travellers
While Hilo is too small and laid-back to have a gay scene, it's a diverse and accommodating town and gay and lesbian travelers are unlikely to encounter discrimination. That said, Hilo people are low-key and it's probably best not to flaunt sexuality, whether gay or straight.
Finding free wi-fi is hit or miss in Hilo, while internet cafes (with computers for rent) are ancient history. In a pinch, drop in to a big-name coffee chain for free wi-fi with a purchase.
Banks 8:30am–4pm Monday–Friday, some to 6pm Friday; 9am–noon or 1pm Saturday
Bars and clubs Noon–midnight daily, some to 2am Friday and Saturday. Bars may close early if business is slow.
Businesses (general) and government offices 8:30am–4:30pm Monday–Friday, some post offices also 9am–noon Saturday.
Restaurants Breakfast 6am–10am, lunch 11:30am–2pm, dinner 5pm–9:30pm. Smaller restaurants may have more fungible hours.
Shops 9am–5pm Monday–Saturday, some also noon to 5pm Sunday; major shopping areas and malls keep extended hours.
Travel with Children
Hilo is a family-oriented town, and kids are welcome at most attractions and restaurants. Bear in mind, however, that facilities for diaper (nappy) changing and breastfeeding, as well as high chairs and other special equipment, are available only at major establishments.
Regarding accommodations, many B&Bs and inns don't allow children to stay due to potential noise and damage. Ask when booking to prevent any surprises. Also, if climbing stairs with a stroller is an issue, a hotel with an elevator might be preferable.
For young kids, Hilo's outdoor attractions, such as Onekahakaha Beach Park and Lili‘uokalani Park, are ideal. Older kids can appreciate the museums, which are brimming with info without being overwhelming: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is especially geared to curious grade-schoolers.
Travel with Children
Travellers with Disabilities
Most museums and indoor attractions are wheelchair accessible, as are Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Lili‘uokalani Park. Among the beaches, Onekahakaha Beach Park has paved paths and is the easiest to navigate.
While most hotels have elevators, B&Bs and rental houses might require climbing steps so inquire when booking if this would be inconvenient.