ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living in Hawaii I- Hilo: Big Island’s Jewel in the Crown-Getting Around

Updated on February 14, 2011

I retired from my government job last May, 2010 and moved to Hawaii in July, 2010. I came bringing my wife and her 4 four legged critters in tow. I thought that I would relay a little information about the transition while the memories remain fresh and does not fade with the list of other experiences that I have forgotten over time. While I have learned a little about the other islands, my specialty is the Big Island of Hawaii.

Downtown Hilo

When we take that weekly visit to town, it is a given that we stop somewhere and get something to eat. Hilo reminds me of a large carnival, synonymous with cotton candy. There are people on the roadside selling fresh fish and Hawaiian exotic delicacies from the back of their car or truck. I am a meat and potatoes sort of guy who is now introduced to lau-lau, tofu and things like that. My wife is better acclimated and has a palate that is consistent with the environment. The Asian flair in the food is more than evident. The first thing that I notice is the dearth of so many restaurant chains. I could not find an Olive Garden, Red Lobster or many of the signature steakhouses that I took for granted in Colorado. I am quite fond of the aforementioned restaurants so it is not by coincidence that I mentioned them. There are many businesses that have gone ‘belly up’. It is evident that the dour national economy is here when you see so many establishments that have been shuttered. Down the streets and thoroughfares, everyone is very courteous and yields the right of way even when it is not warranted. No road rage around here. We dined at a favorite restaurant of ours before crossing the street to the bus station on foot. My significant other says that the bus station is surrounded by seedy characters. Teenagers smoking cigarettes and dressed like carnival performers. I have been to bus stations that make this look like a folk dance, and you know, it did look like a folk dance. The way some of these kids were dressed!! I told her, if this is a bad as it gets, remember its counterparts in Los Angeles, Denver, or Washington D.C. Compared with those places, this Hilo bus station is light weight and I think that we can handle it. We then took an after-brunch stroll through CoconutIsland which is nearby. I could not see why it was referred to as an island, but anyway, it was a scenic experience. I have provided a picture or two to illustrate.

Bus Station-Banyon Tree

Bus Station
Bus Station
Check out this Banyon!!
Check out this Banyon!!
The Folk Dance Participants
The Folk Dance Participants
Bus Station
Bus Station

Stroll through Coconut Island

Coconut Island
Coconut Island
Coconut Island
Coconut Island
Coconut Island
Coconut Island

Bon Appetit

Now that we are natives and not tourists, we know how to eat where the food is good and inexpensive without having to settle for a fast food outlet. I am going to recommend 3 places that we always seem to find ourselves visiting when we come to town.

Try the Hilo Rice Noodles Soup Restaurant, which in my experience has a distinctly Vietnamese flavor. The soups are hearty with herbs, fresh basil and cilantro. Bean sprouts are provided as well. Put this together with some very tasty vegetable wraps in a burrito like sleeve made of rice, and you are well on your way to a healthy and filling meal with no regrets about calories. The two of us usually pay roughly $26.00 for the experience. The establishment has a functional layout and the service is fast and courteous.

The Food Court, next to the Walmart (there is only one in town) is the place to go for us to experience Hawaiian cuisine at down to earth prices. There are 4 restaurants located within a mall like design. Each restaurant has an Asian motif. You order from one of the restaurants and seat yourself in a common area. There I was introduced to many of the Hawaiian, local, specialties. The Missus is slowly changing my view as to what constitutes ‘food’. I am eating strange vegetables and fruit, but I couldn’t get into the poi. Again, it is a smorgasbord of aromas and flavors. We usually escape from here after addressing a tab of about $25.00 for two.

Reubens has to be the most improved restaurant since my visit to the islands back in 2003. I am picky about Mexican food and am quite fond of it. Coming from the southwest, I have some idea what it should taste like. Although, it fell short of my expectations when I dined there then, it is fabulous now. It is quite a treat; I had a great fish burrito with all the spicy sauces and flavorings I have come to expect. After a couple of great drinks, we were ‘looped’ and ready for the stroll in the park. This establishment is located in the downtown area and is quite reasonably priced. We paid about $40.00 for it all, but in all fairness, we ate like horses.

So it is possible with a little planning to enjoy great meals in Hilo without breaking the bank. Bon Appetit……


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Glad that it met with your approval, Christine, thanks

    • ChristineVianello profile image


      8 years ago from Philadelphia

      I love the pictures, it is completly beautiful.

    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Thanks for your support, Goldenpath. What anchor text links would you suggest? I presume that I can make the correction on photo thumbnail using the current program?

    • goldenpath profile image


      8 years ago from Shenandoah, Iowa, USA

      Great hub. I'd suggest some anchor text links. Also, thumbnail the photos.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)