Few of the earth's natural processes match the might of a volcano - blazing fountains of molten earth and liquid fire that thrust mountains from the sea while retracing shores and drowning islands in a single sweep. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places in the world where this violently majestic phenomenon can be witnessed first hand. Home to two of the world's most active volcanoes - Mauna Loa and Kilauea - vociferous eruptions with fiery streams of molten lava spewing from the lofty hulks of these volcanic mounts are regular events. Mauna Loa is also renowned as the world's largest mount, its summit at a height of 56,000 feet (17,000 meters) above the seafloor. Volcanic deserts with glowing embers, steaming craters, lava tubes, and lush forests teeming with life tell the tale of the islands of Hawaii, their dramatic origins, natural heritage, and human ancestry.
The Palace Theater is a landmark in the charming waterfront town of Hilo. The marquee still shines bright on performance nights. It was originally opened in 1925 made completely of redwood imported from the Pacific Northwest. Today the theater hosts a movie schedule of notable films, including a special Wednesday morning cultural performance.
Located in Hilo, this museum comprises of two separate galleries. The Island Heritage Gallery features a number of exhibits on Hawaii's history, heritage and culture. The Earth Heritage Gallery is devoted to the natural sciences. Additional permanent exhibits include the Interactive Astronomy Center and the Shipman Foundation Gallery of Chinese Art. Special exhibits are featured periodically. The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the first half of the 19th century to house missionaries, it was converted to a museum in 1931.
All that is artistic on the Eastern side of Hawai'i, whether it be theatrical, musical or ethnic cultural, seems to have a home base at this downtown facility. Two galleries display the works of local and international artists. Experimental theater performances, special-interest lectures and even swing dances take place in the intimate venue on the second floor. A half-dozen arts and cultural organizations, including Hilo Community Players and Kin Ryosho Dance Academy, operate within the center. Various workshops and classes are held regularly. Call or pick up a copy of the monthly calendar for up-to-the-minute information.
The Niaulani Campus of the Volcano Art Center lies surrounded by a beautiful rainforest of Kilauea State Recreation Area on one side and the Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve in the south. The natural beauty that envelopes this art center-cum-educational institution is intended to inspire potential artists to create art works that match, or, perhaps, surpass nature’s work. The art foundation is responsible for encouraging and honing local talent. They have regular events and art exhibitions held at the venue. Do check the website for details on their events.
Some visitors hail Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden as the most beautiful area in Hawaii. Visitors can expect to see rushing rivers and trickling streams, vivid orchids and delicate hanging ferns, birds and flowers in every color of the rainbow. Waterfalls, lily ponds and several miles of coastline add to the astonishing aesthetic beauty of the garden. A gift shop is onsite and umbrellas are loaned out free of charge when it rains, which adds even more to the tropical setting.
The city of Hilo is the largest settlement on the Big Island of Hawaii. The area has been inhabited since roughly 1100 CE, when its earliest inhabitants arrived from areas throughout Polynesia. It was not until the 1800s that Europeans arrived here and established the Haili Church. A beautiful area, the town is situated between the giant volcanoes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, on the island's Eastern shore. Hilo is home to many of the Island's attractions, including the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Rainbow Falls, and the Lyman Museum.
Located on the uphill side of the University of Hawaii Hilo campus and across from the administrative buildings for Mauna Kea’s Subaru and Gemini Telescopes, this center is an educational and cultural experience for students. Exhibits include global displays, depictions of the origins of the cosmos, and the explorations of ancient Polynesians and their voyaging canoes. The center successfully brings together the significance of the cosmos to ancient and modern cultures. Also on-site is a gift shop, restaurant, planetarium and a native Hawaiian garden. The center regularly schedules workshops on celestial navigation and way-finding, Hawaiian language and hula.
UH Hilo Performing Arts Center is a cultural and creative space that caters to the local community and The University of Hawaii. This arts center was developed to nurture innovation and encourage university students to explore diverse art fields. Performing arts like drama, miming, dance, concerts, theater workshops and regular classes are held here. The space also offers an interesting mix of amateur and renowned artists, thereby offering interesting and entertaining events. For more details, check website or simply drop-in at this marvelous art facility.
This versatile venue hosts a range of high profile events. Sangha hall provides for quality facilities as a wedding and meeting space. The place is also reputed as a center for religious gatherings. The exterior of the hall is unpretentious with a simple architectural pattern and a handsome parking space. Event organizers can also make use of the kitchen facility here. A variety of musical and other entertainment events are hosted here.
A nicely maintained park in central Hilo, this place is great for family outings or group picnics. The park, which spans a little more than 130 acres, has a picnic area, a boat ramp, a visitor center and a war memorial. People can choose to boat down the river or to stroll through the park and take in the scenery. The Wailoa Center, located on the property, often features displays and exhibits by local artists, while the outdoor pavilions sometimes are the sites of special events.
Equal parts cultural center and art gallery, this place should be visited by anyone with an interest in the local art scene. Many artists show their work here in this eclectic venue. Everything from Chinese silk paintings to monkeywood carvings is featured in the changing exhibits. The Spring Art Festival, one of Hawaii's biggest art fairs, is held here annually. The Center is located in Wailoa Park in downtown Hilo. It also functions as a visitor information center.