Hilo town, the hub of the South and North Hilo districts, was once a thriving port for the sugar cane industry. Today it is the Hawaii County Seat and home of the island's major state and federal offices, a modern international airport, Hilo Medical Center, the University of Hawaii-Hilo, and state-of-the-art Imiloa Astronomy Center.
Although Hilo is not an incorporated city, it is the second-largest population center in the state with over 40,000 residents according to the 2000 census. Hilo also has an array of commerce and entertainment offerings--boutiques and galleries, big box stores, restaurants, museums, and several hotels.
The historic Bayfront area, though impacted by major tsunamis in 1946 and 1960, is still a center of economic and cultural activity, including a weekly farmers market, Palace Theatre events and the annual Black & White Night, Merrie Monarch, and Ho'olaule'a festivals.
Embracing the town's reputation as "the rainiest city in America", Hilo residents have a certain pride about East Hawaii's weather and enjoy a different flavor of Hawaii life than their neighbors on the dry west side. The Big Island’s famed greenery, tropical fruits and flowers, trees, ferns, forests, and farms all require reliable rainfall to thrive. Water is so important to life in Hawaii that waiwai (the word for "water", doubled) translates as "assets, valuable, wealth, rich, worth and benefit."
As is true for much of the Big Island, Hilo real estate is a mixed market, with upscale custom homes and fixer-upper "opportunity" properties, condos, vacation residences, private estates and oceanfront property. A knowledgeable Clark Realty agent can guide you to the best Hilo property for your needs.