Hilo is a typical small American town with a local Hawaiian twist. On the "quieter" side of the Big Island, tourists might miss this little town on their way to Volcanoes National Park.
Hilo has a lively art scene, including galleries and boutiques behind the wooden storefronts that were built centuries ago.
Besides art, Hilo's Farmers' Market is one of the best in the United States. The historic downtown offers several cafes, restaurants, a natural and organic store, and small surf shops to peruse on a visit to the windward side of Hawaii Island.