Hilo, the largest city on the island of Hawaii and the second largest in the state, is a must-see, daylong visit for garden enthusiasts and probably a half-day trip for everyone else.
Hilo is also a perfect base for visiting what residents simply refer to as The Volcano. Only 30 mi/48 km south of Hilo along Highway 11, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the home of the active Kilauea Volcano.
Keep in mind that Hilo gets 280 days of rain a year (129 in/328 cm annually), but the rains don't last long. Moreover, while Hilo definitely has a large amount of rain, much of it is at night. Even when it does precipitate, they're usually just passing showers, and the abundant tropical rainfall is what makes the Hilo side of the Big Island so lush and green.
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