Near Kilauea is the quiet, relaxing village of Volcano where accommodations—several bed-and-breakfast inns and lodges—are available. The town gets about 100 in/250 cm of rain each year, but the showers seldom last long. Volcano is not on the coast and isn't reminiscent of what one expects in terms of typical Hawaiian postcard scenery, but this picturesque town of hospitable people offers easy access to the most exceptional of Hawaiian attractions: volcanoes.
The village's gargantuan neighbors—Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes—are a big part of its history. The Polynesians, the first settlers of the area, revered these natural structures as the dwelling place of Pele, a volcano goddess.
When President Woodrow Wilson approved the establishment of nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on 1 August 1916, it marked the start of developments and improvements in Volcano Village. Business establishments and residential homes were erected around the park's vicinity and tourism began to flourish.
In addition to the a million years of volcanism on display at the national park, there are many historic museums and other destinations located within and around Volcano. The Thomas A. Jagger Museum, for instance, has lava samples on display. Similar volcano-related sites are the Kilauea Caldera and the Thurston Lava Tube.
Aside from volcano sightseeing, downtown Volcano village has lots of shops, restaurants and art galleries. At the local general store, buy the fresh orchids those rains nourish, and while you're there, pick up some of the local poha berry jam. Volcano is 27 mi/43 km south of Hilo.
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