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Learn More About Hilo on Hawaii's Big IslandThe small city of Hilo is built around crescent-shaped Hilo Bay , celebrated in song and dance. The peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea dominate the verdant windward district of Hilo. Hilo moku was a busy farming and fishing population center in ancient times, and evolved into the seat of county government and commercial center of sugar activity. American missionaries arrived in Hilo in 1823, and less than twenty years later, the kindom had become a Christian nation.
Hawaii's Big Island Culture & History
Its easy to immerse yourself in the culture of Hawaii's Big Island. Try dancing the hula and taking part in an authentic luau (feast). Head upcountry and discover the uniquely blended Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Mexican cultures - still alive and well among Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys) on the islands giant ranches. Visit historical Kealakekua Bay where Captain James Cook dramatically lost his life in 1779. And dont miss Puukohola Heiau. This sacred spot was built in 1790 by King Kamehameha as an offering to the gods, where he asked for success in his campaign to unite the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii's Big Island Family Activities
Hawaiis Big Island is a big ohana, and that means family, whether its a traditional mom & dad and kids, blended, extended, multi generational family reunion or a group of old friends. The Big Island ohana embraces groups of people traveling together, of different ages, with different interests and tastes. And theres an adventure waiting for anyone with a sense of play and imagination.
In one day, a family can experience the desertlike lava plains along the Kona coast and the rainiest city in America, Hilo. Go from sea level to the worlds tallest mountain, Mauna Kea (13,796 when measured from sea level, 33,500 from the ocean floor), cruise through green rainforest or black lava rock. Watch whales, swim with dolphins, whisper to horses or listen to rare birdsong, sleep in the hotel industrys best, or camp out in seldom-seen places.
Hawaii's Big Island Weddings & Honeymoons
With 365 unforgettable days to choose from, Hawaiis Big Island is the perfect place to make your wedding dreams come true and celebrate year after year. Exchange your vows and flower lei, just the two of you, barefoot in the sand. Or fill a formal ballroom with family and friends, and tropical splendor fit for a queen. Sail into a sunset ceremony at sea, walk down the aisle of Hawaiis oldest Christian church, have fun with a western wedding paniolo-style, stroll through a garden by Hilo Bay, crossing a collection of oriental bridges to symbolize your journey together. Engage your imagination, indulge your senses, elevate your spirits here, together.
Golf on Hawaii's Big Island
There are 20 magnificent courses on Hawaiis Big Island (and more are being developed). These courses are carved out of ancient lava flows, nestled among historical Hawaiian landmarks, and fronting some of the most beautiful coastline of the Pacific. The striking contrasts of lush green fairways, pure white bunkers, jet-black lava flows, and turquoise blue Pacific waters make for some of the most scenic holes anywhere.
Hawaii's Big Island Arts Scene
Artists find the Big Island seductive. Even if you cant draw a straight line and have two left feet, sensory adventure can still be yours. The lands aloha calls to your artistic minds eye, beckons you to share the richness and abundance of the world around.
Inspiration is everywhere to paint, sculpt, sing, dance, write to create art aloha. Watch for continuously-changing lights and shadows, the mind-bending contrasts -- riotous exuberant forests snuggle up to somber, desolate lava fields. the glorious palette of flamboyant flowers, and the subtle tints and hues all around. And, always, strong currents of spirits and spirituality underlying daily life. Whatever it is, art is an elemental island heartbeat. Visual Arts, Performing Arts, aside, heck, living is an artform here!
Some content reproduced with permission from Hawaii's Official Tourism Site.
Some content and photos used with permission from Norwegian Cruise Line.
Last Updated : Dec 2011