Imagine you are in Japan as you stroll through peaceful Liliuokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Located on Hilo’s Banyan Drive, this authentic, 30-acre Japanese garden was dedicated in 1917 as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants who worked in the Hawaii Island sugar cane fields.

This beautifully landscaped park features arching red bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, Japanese stone lanterns and a teahouse. Views of Hilo Bay and Moku Ola (Coconut Island) enhance this peaceful setting. With so much to see, this is a popular park for families to explore while they’re visiting the Hilo area.  The park is open daily without charge.

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The best way to get around Hawaii’s Big Island is by renting an automobile. This is simply too large an island to conveniently navigate without one. You can pick up a rental car at either the Kona International Airport (KOA) or the Hilo International Airport (ITO), or if you have money to spare, you could take a taxi from the terminal to your rental home. Once near your lodging, you might be able to get around town on the free bus system.  The only challenge with using this type of transportation is that the bus schedule is not always convenient for tourists.

Many people who visit the Big Island have a connecting flight from Honolulu International Airport, from which you’ll fly into Hilo airport on the eastern side of the island. Kona airport, near the west side of the island, will probably be more convenient if you’re staying by the Kona or Kohala coast.

Renting a car

You’ll find a set of wheels is practically a necessity on the Big Island because the best sites are spread out along all the coasts. And the bus service, though available, does not make regular stops at tourist sites. You can rent a car at either airport and through some of the bigger hotel chains. You may want to splurge for a four-wheel drive — you’ll be thankful you did on the roughest roads — and keep in mind some rental agencies will want you to avoid Saddle Road, a narrow, winding shortcut that takes you from Kona to Hilo.

Taxi Service

Taxis are expensive on Hawaii’s Big Island, even by tourist standards — $2 just to flag one down, according to some travel guides. Coincidentally, flagging one doesn’t seem to be that much of an option, anyway. The best spot to find them is around the airports; otherwise, your hotel will assist you in calling for one for pickup.

Bus Service

You might find the bus is a frugal option if you don’t want to venture too far from your where you are staying. Still, some bus routes are only serviced Monday through Friday. It’s free to ride, but there’s a $1 charge for large bags.

Helicopter Tours

Helicopter tours are a great way to see the sights; but this is obviously an extravagant splurge and not a viable means of transportation. Many people like to look out over the island’s active volcanoes, but valley tours through the Kohala or Hamakua coasts are also pretty scenic.


Keep in mind when you stay at our hawaiigolfcondo, we have a one car garage for your convenience.

Tours and tastings, culinary events and farm fun for the whole family.  Come meet the farmers who are revitalizing the local food system and perpetuating agricultural traditions in North Kohala.  A great spot to check out is the Rio Polynesian Supper Club at the Starseed Ranch.

Unique to the region…Unique to the season…Unique to the genius of RIO

Homegrown Chef Rio Miceli brings you a masterfully crafted six course menu, accompanied by selected wine or beer pairings. RIO’s inspired Polynesian comfort cuisine represents a field-to-fork philosophy which showcases the delicacies of Hawai’i Island’s ocean and terrain.

Dinner begins with a walking tour of the farm, gardens and private retreat grounds of the Starseed Ranch. An evening at RIO Polynesian Supper Club will be remembered for years to come as a luscious blend of outrageous palate pleasers, new friends, and the living beauty of North Kohala.

A limited number of Chef Table seating and overnight Private Hale reservations are available.

$120 La Fresca seating. $145 Chef Table seating. $135 Private Hale Stay

For more information, their email address is