Tour five top attractions on the Big Island with the best local car hire service — Rainbow Car Rentals. We have an office in Hilo!

After you pick up your rental car from our office in Hilo, you’ll have to visit the beautiful outdoor spots around town. However, there are many other attractions aside from the lovely beaches, waterfalls, and forests.

Here are five top attractions around the northeastern side of the Big Island. Explore these destinations with the best local car hire service. To start our list…

1. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

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“‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i – Hilo” by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This destination is a part of the University of Hawaii at Hilo. It’s located on nine acres of the campus’s Science and Technology Park. The headquarters conduct extraordinary astronomical research on top of the dormant volcano, Maunakea.

Moreover, the exhibition center combines astronomy with native Hawaiian culture. Out of all the information shared it also includes the natural history of the volcano. At the center, organizations help to teach the community’s kindergarten to 12th graders. Locals and visitors can dive into the education on the scientific growth of the island and universe too.

The drive to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center from our office in Hilo is only six minutes. Be sure to make arrangements by visiting their website for tickets beforehand.

2. Scenic Drive On The Hamakua Coast

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“Hamakua Coast, Hawaii” by stevecadman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The scenic Hamakua Coast is worth a day-long road trip. Start your morning in Downtown Hilo near our office where you can pick up your rental car. Afterward, make your way up the coast to catch sights of marvelous outdoor landscapes. Starting just north of Hilo, you will be able to find breathtaking scenery.

Greet Hawaii’s gorgeous waterfalls, beaches, forests, and farms. Tour the exotic plants at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden or World Botanical Gardens. Stop and visit small towns such as the Historic Honokaa Town for a deeply local experience. Breathe in the tropical air and Aloha. Then finally, end your journeys at the Waipio Valley Lookout draped in rich Hawaiian culture and history.

Driving the Hamakua Coast is a noteworthy experience. It’s one of the main reasons to reserve a rental car.

3. Downtown Hilo

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“Aloha & Welcome to downtown Hilo” by daveynin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Near to where we have an office in Hilo, Hawaii’s largest small town welcomes you. Scattered with local gift shops, the most popular Hilo Farmers Market, and many eateries — this area will be a highlight of your stay. Find your Aloha attire and souvenirs. Visit museums and elegant art galleries. Tour the produce-packed tables at the farmers’ market.

All your visitor essentials get made whole in Downtown Hilo. It’s the essential place to buy postcards and locally crafted gifts for family and friends. After walking around the town, stop by a restaurant to grab fresh cuisine. Enjoy fruity drinks such as a smoothie held in a pineapple. Or cool off with a locally brewed beer on tap. Don’t forget to try out the local style dishes and desserts too.

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“Downtown Hilo (DSC_4514)” by thtbln is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Farmers Markets

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“Hilo farmer’s market” by Randy Stewart is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Hours:

    • Daily from 7 AM to 3 PM

    • Big Market: Wednesdays & Saturdays

  • Admission: Free

  • Address: Corner of Kamehameha Ave. and Mamo St. Hilo, HI 96720

There are about seven farmers’ markets near Downtown Hilo. The most popular one is the Hilo Farmers Market. Surprisingly, it turns into an even bigger market on Wednesdays and Saturdays known as “Big Market.” More vendors come to sell goods on those days, which is a sight to see.

At the market, you’ll find produce such as various strains of delicious bananas and mangos. Of course, you’ll have the essentials such as lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados. But might you try the longan, jackfruit, papaya, and other exotics for a true taste of Hawaii? Plus, there are a bunch of unique veggies to select from too.

Not only will you find fruits and vegetables, but vendors prepare awesome specialty food items too. Prepare yourself for delicate seafood delights, coconut desserts, fruit jellies, and more. Further, artwork and flowers are available to purchase as well. If you are staying on this side of the island, the Hilo Farmers Market is definitely a place to stop by more than once.

We have our office in Hilo, so you can cruise over to the market after you pick up your car to grab some food. It’s only four minutes away!

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“Hilo Farmer’s Market” by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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“0709C02 Farmer’s Market” by syntheticaperture is licensed under CC BY 2.0

5. Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory

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“Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory” by ohsarahrose is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Finally, our last destination is the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory. Sadly, this spot is temporarily closed during COVID-19. When it reopens you will be able to tour its facilities. Until then, you can find the company’s classic chocolate-covered macadamia nuts all around the Big Island.

Visit their website for more information on their product offerings.

Click Here for a Map of Our Top Five Destinations In Hilo

Click the words above to view a map of all the destinations listed in this blog post.

Before you arrive in Hawaii, make sure to reserve a rental car from us so you can visit these places. You are also welcome to visit us in person, as we have an office in Downtown Hilo.

When you’re exploring the island, remember to pack water and a light rain jacket or umbrella. Then take a drive in Hilo and most definitely along the coast. Visit cool sites. At Rainbow Car Rentals, we want you to have a good time.