The Best Places to Live & Explore…
For Every Lifestyle

Living a Beach Lifestyle in Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo, the second largest city in Hawaii,  near Mauna Loa, one of the active volcanoes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the climate, the scenery, and the lifestyle are superb. It is located on the southeast coast of Hawaii (the “Big Island”). The Hilo area offers unparalleled recreational and scenic opportunities in an ideal year round climate. One of those activities is going to the beach, of which there is no shortage in and near Hilo. Hilo is an old city formed because of its beautiful harbor on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

Where to Retire in Hilo and Home Prices

Retirees can live in town or in developments nearby. Most development is near the water on flat land. Hilo real estate can be surprisingly affordable for Hawaii. showed the median home value was $551,008 in late 2022, although homes go well over $1 million. The farther one gets from the center of town or a beach, the more reasonable the price.

What Is Special about Hilo

• The Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center • Annual Merrie Monarch Festival • Tsunami Museum Center •University of Hawaii at Hilo

What Is Not Special about Hilo

Hilo is way off the beaten track and far from the Lower 48.  Outside of town towards the National Park there are some areas where drug growers make the area a scary place. Hilo is the rainiest place in the U.S. There were several tsunamis in the 20th century that killed hundreds of people.

Climate and Physical Environment

Hilo is on the coast of Hawaii, the biggest island in the 50th state. The town goes from the graceful harbor up the slopes of Mona Kea, following a river and waterfalls that are in the city limits. There have been several tsunamis in the 20th century that killed hundreds of people.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The downtown found a new role in the 1980s as the city's cultural center with several galleries and museums being opened. The Palace Theatre was reopened in 1998 as an art house. The University of Hawaii has a campus here. The East Hawaii Cultural Center focuses on preserving traditional island art. There is also the interesting Tsunami Museum, as well as a very large and active farmers market. Hilo is home to the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, as well as the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient and modern hula which takes place annually after Easter.


Crime is below average in Hilo.

Medical Facilities

Hilo Medical Center


Hilo International Airport is 4 miles from town.

Valuable Links

Go Hawaii

Your Stories about Hilo, Hawaii

Add Your Story

Discuss this review of Hilo in the Forum

If you have suggestions on how could improve these reviews, contact us.

Suggest a community that you think is a great place for this lifestyle.

Tell us Your Story about this lifestyle or city. Add a Video about it.

Find Your Dream Lifestyle


Rate This Town