Richardson’s Ocean Park

Top five family-fun attractions in (and around) Hilo, Hawaii Island

While a Hilo vacation might not be first on the list for Canadian families travelling to Hawaii, it is most definitely a destination not to be overlooked. In Hilo families will find all the ingredients needed for a top-notch getaway as well as sites that add a definite wow factor. This top five list includes attractions no family visiting Hilo should do without:

1) Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Okay so the first attraction on this list isn’t exactly in Hilo, but Hilo is the perfect place to fly into (with its International Airport) and stay if your clients are planning a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (and if they’re travelling to Hawaii Island and NOT planning a visit to this park, then you have some educating to do, because this is an experience not to be missed). It’s a smooth, 45-minute drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from Hilo, versus the two-hour trek from the Kohala Coast most visitors to Hawaii Island endure because of the majority of resorts in the area. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is also an attraction families, depending on the age of their kids, can spend more than one day exploring — which is all the more reason why a stay in Hilo makes sense. Hawaii National Volcanoes Park is filled with sites and activities for visitors. Your clients can watch the steam rise from the crater of Halemaʻumaʻu (one of the park’s active volcanoes) by day, and marvel over its red glow at night while enjoying dinner at Volcano House. Visitors can take their families on an adventure through the Thurston Lava Tubes — dark caves created by a river of lava over 500 years ago that run through the parks forest landscape. Other top sites are the park’s steam vents, which can be found throughout the park and nowhere near the volcanoes themselves, as well as Jaggar Museum for a lesson in the Hawaiian culture and mythology associated with Hawaii Islands volcanoes and a close-up look at Halemaʻumaʻu. For families and other travellers thirsting for adventure, there are a number of inspiring day hikes to enjoy (which is why multiple days at the park is a definite for some travellers). One such hike is the Kīlauea Iki Trail, where adventurists will begin their journey through lush rainforest and make their way to the Kīlauea Iki Crater’s black and solidified lava lake.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Thurston Lava Tubes