We were in HIlo for 9 days in July--a great city by the way. Those that say there is nothing to do here don't appreciate all the gems one can find if they do some reading first, and are willing to enjoy the real Hawaiian experience, not the touristy one. We filled every one of our 9 days hiking, swimming, touring, flying, snorkelling and eating, and we wished we'd had more time to explore. I would choose Hilo over Kona any day.
Big Island Candies: a must stop! We popped in there on our first day in Hilo, and went back 3 more times before we left to purchase more for us, and to take several boxes home as gifts. Our friends that were with us (we were 2 families of 4) also shopped there several times. The choc dipped mac nut short bread is delicious (you can watch them dipping the cookies through the window) Try the samples, and ask for one if there is something you want to try that isn't set out. The smoothies are also very good. Yes, it's a candy store, but it is definitely worth a stop to try something tasty and to purchase a few for family and friends.
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