Hilo, the second largest city in Hawaii, is one of the most interesting places to retire in the U.S. It is located on the eastern coast of Hawaii (the “Big Island”), and near Mauna Loa, one of the active volcanoes in Hawaii. Volcanoes National Park, the climate, the scenery, and the lifestyle are all superb. The Hilo area offers unparalleled recreational and scenic opportunities in an ideal year round climate. It is the largest city on the Big Island with over 43,000 people.
Hilo is an old city formed because of its beautiful harbor on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Early missionaries from Connecticut were instrumental in its creation, and then sugar took over. The downtown is charming with unique architecture dating from the early 1900’s. An enormous park runs along the water’s edge. Interesting shops and restaurants reveal its early heritage, including the Japanese influence. As almost everywhere in Hawaii, as soon as one moves away from the waterfront the terrain goes up – to rivers, waterfalls, and stunning tropical forests. Hilo is the rainiest city in the U.S., which tends to come at night. Winding roads follow the coast and reveal beautiful homes and beaches.
A popular tourist destination, Hilo remains an enchanting colonial town with real neighborhoods. It is very different from the rest of Hawaii – some say it is Honolulu before the jets arrived. People come for the beauty of its terrain, quiet lifestyle, and outdoor sports. Many people use it as a retirement community for part of the year.