Guide to Hilo Area State and National Parks

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

If you’re visiting the Hilo Area, here are the state and national parks you should see to gain a taste of Hawaii’s culture and unique natural wonders.

Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens
189 Lihiwai St
Hilo, HI 96720

Donated by Queen Lili’uokalani, this sprawling, gorgeous park is located southeast of downtown Hilo and contains the largest Edo-style Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Featuring a koi pond, bridges, pagodas, and a Japanese teahouse, the park is connected to a small island, Moku ola, via a footbridge. There visitors will find a bathroom facility, picnic areas, and a small protected swimming area that’s popular with locals. The park offers incredible views of Hilo Bay and the surrounding coastline.

Wailoa River State Recreation Area
Piilani St
Hilo, HI 96720

Located between Hilo and Hilo Bay, this 131-acre park includes a boat ramp, visitor’s center, the Wailoa Arts and Culture Center, and a Kamehameha Statue honoring the founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii. A relaxing and quiet park, it’s a great option for picnics in between other activities.

Wailuku River State Park
2-198 Rainbow Dr
Hilo, HI 96720

Home to Rainbow Falls and the nearby Boiling Pots, Wailuku River State Park is an absolute must-visit when adventuring on the Hilo side of the Big Island. An 80-foot falls that feeds into a dramatic cave and river basin below, Rainbow Falls earns its name thanks to a phenomenon that occurs at the base of the falls during sunny mornings. Walking through the trees to the right, you can see some of the largest banyan trees in the world. The best part? It’s right off the road and can be seen in less than an hour.

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