City of Rainbows
East Hawaii is vast and green, but its center is the town of Hilo. On the shores of a sweeping bay it is the county seat where business gets done in an endless parade of sun and showers.
While it is one of the largest cities in the state, Hilo has the charm of the past with its well preserved down town of early twentieth century buildings. A county ban on highrise structures, and state wide restriction of bill board signs keeps the ambiance simple and straight forward.
Even though 50,000 people live in and around the area crowds and traffic are rarely intimidating.
The only indoor mall on the island caters to the same shopping needs as any of its mainland counterparts. There is a modest Zoo, several botanic gardens, an astronomy museum, and an excellent farmers market.
Rainbow Falls lies to the west a few miles, a magnificent sight on the Wailuku river.
To the north are the farmlands of the Hamakua were mac nuts, ginger, exotic fruit, sweet potato, flowers and foliage are grown.
Best of all, Hilo is the most affordable urban center in the state. A stable low key economy avoids some of the boom and bust extremes found elsewhere.
Ocean front properties are some of the best bargains around. Rents are low, schools abound, the University of Hawaii makes Hilo a college town and there are many restaurants in this multi-ethnic, multifaceted community.