Plan Your Visit
There are many ways to experience our high-altitude climate and unique landscape that you will not find anywhere else in Hawai'i. Whether you enjoy hiking, shopping for unique gifts and artwork or taking it easy, staying in Volcano Village has something for everyone.
Suggested length of stay: At least two (2) nights. You will need at least a full day in the park to truly appreciate it. Best time to visit: Volcano Village and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park can be visited any time of the year. Volcano receives more than 100 inches of rain a year, which provides us with our wonderful rain forest environment. The park is one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the world with seven ecological zones within the park including seacoast, lowland forest, mid-elevation woodland, rain forest, upland forest, subalpine and alpine. The rainy season runs from November to April with the driest and warmest months from June to August. At an elevation of 4,000 feet (1,220 meters), Volcano enjoys cooler daytime temperatures than Hilo. In the afternoon, mist often rolls in from the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Weather: Temperatures and conditions can be unpredictable, so it is advisable to pack for cold and warm weather. Be sure to check the weather forecast and don't forget sturdy walking shoes or an umbrella. You might experience several seasons in one day.
Car Rentals: To visit Volcano Village and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, you will need a car. For low rates on all the major car rental brands, book with Discount Hawaii Car Rentals.
Driving Tips: Get some tips about driving on the Island of Hawai'i.
Visitors Guide: Access the official 2023 Hawaii Visitors Guide for inspiration and planning assistance.
Our small, cozy town has a population of just over 3,500. It is nestled outside the entrance to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and near the northeast rim of Kīlauea’s summit caldera. Volcano Village is the perfect base to explore the East side of the island from South Point to Pāhoa to Hilo and beyond. You will love our cooler weather after a day out exploring.
Reserve time in your schedule to explore Hale 'Ohu's historic property. Arrive between 3 and 6 p.m. so that you can relax, walk-through our well-maintained garden or take a short stroll along our Rainforest Walk.
2400 Fahrenheit – Visit a working glass-making studio and gallery. To schedule an appointment to visit, go to their website.
Akatsuka Orchid Gardens – Drop by an orchid farm that has an orchid maze and greenhouse. They also offer tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, but you do not need a tour to stroll around their orchid greenhouse. They also have a wonderful gift shop.
Kilauea Kreations – Quaint shop selling Hawaiian-made gifts like quilts, table runners, Hawaiian butters and chili pepper jellies.
Kīpukapuaulu (Bird Park) – This 1.2 mile (1.9km) loop trail explores some of Hawai‘i's rarest plants and animals. The walk will take you through a "Kīpuka", where older vegetation is surrounded by a lava flow from Mauna Loa.
The Lili House Farm – Experience a family-run farm in Volcano. This beautiful country farm has a petting zoo and farm tours. Petting zoo access is from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and needs to be booked at least one day in advance.
Okika Studio & J.M. Fusions – Just next door to Hale 'Ohu is a fused glass studio featuring hand-made pieces and locally made gifts.
Tea Hawaii & Company – Learn more about Hawaiian grown teas during a garden tour of teas planted in volcanic soil and then enjoy a tea-tasting. Available by appointment.
Niaulani Rainforest Walk– On Mondays, take a free guided tour of the rain forest from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. rain or shine at the art center. During the rest of the week, you can take the self-guided rain forest tour. Learn about the ecological importance of one of the last old-growth koa and ōhia rain forests.
Sculpture Garden – Visit Hawai’i’s first outdoor sculpture garden where artists will showcase their creations.
Volcano Thursday Market – Stop by to grab some local grinds (food), listen to live music and meet some local craft makers. Open from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Cooper Center (right around the corner from Hale ‘Ohu).
Volcano Sunday Market – Pick up local produce, breads, coffees and jams. Also available are crafts, art and gifts. The market operates on Sundays from 6 to 10 a.m. and is located just around the corner from Hale 'Ohu.
Volcano Garden Arts – Gardens and art studio located in a historic setting. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes Café Ono (see the Dining Options section below for more information).
Volcano Winery – Check out the area’s only winery, featuring handcrafted local wines. The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Aunty Pon's Thai Food Truck (Thai) – A food truck, located around the corner from Hale ‘Ohu at the Cooper Center, serving up made to order Thai flavors at reasonable prices.
Big O's (Deli and Pizza) – Adjacent to Kilauea General Store, Big O's is another place to get picnic supplies, sandwiches and drinks. Take-out pizza is available Monday to Saturday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Cafe Ono (Vegetarian/Vegan) – This delightful restaurant with garden seating is located at Volcano Garden Arts. Not only do they showcase locally-grown organic produce but also local artists.
Crater Rim Cafe (Casual American/Hawaiian) – Located at the Kīlauea Military Camp near the Kīlauea Overlook in the park and open to the public. The Crater Rim Café is a casual cafeteria-style restaurant serving burgers and deli sandwiches at lunch plus grilled-to-order entrees at dinner. They also have buffets on special occasions and holidays. Head next door to the Lava Lounge, which opens daily at 4 p.m., for beer or cocktails. Live music most Friday and Saturday nights.
Eagles Lighthouse Cafe (Deli/Cafe) – Delicious homemade sandwiches and plate lunches available. Order at the walk-up counter and eat at one of the picnic tables outside, or grab items for a picnic lunch in the park.
Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant (Continental) – Fine dining by a roaring fire in a historic building. Join them for the Pau Hana (happy hour) from 1 to 3 p.m. daily. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner.
Lava Rock Cafe (American/Hawaiian) – Casual dining with options like burgers, pastas and local specialties. Some nights include live music.
Ōhelo Cafe (American/Pizza) – Delicious cocktails and local craft beers add to the thoughtfully prepared menu. The wood fired pizzas are very popular. Reservations are recommended.
Rico's Tacos (Mexican) – Opened in March 2022. This outdoor food truck is located at Aloha Happy Ranch just two doors down from Hale 'Ohu (towards Pearl Ave). Serving up a small assortment of Mexican foods done right at reasonable prices. Go early to avoid disappointment.
Rim Restaurant at Volcano House (Pacific Rim) – Take in the spectacular view of Halema'uma'u Crater while dining on Hawaiian an Asian-inspired dishes made with local ingredients. Reservations required.
Thai Thai Bistro (Thai) – Large restaurant serving fresh, authentic Thai food. No reservations for small parties. Plus, take-out orders are welcome.
Tuk Tuk Thai Food Truck (Thai) – This popular food truck can be found at the end of Old Volcano Road - close to Hale Ohu. Offering delicious, authentic Thai food at reasonable prices.
Uncle George's Lounge at Volcano House (American/Hawaiian) – A casual dining spot with the same view as the Rim Restaurant. Full-service bar with a good selection of beers and cocktails. The new pizza oven is a big hit. Plus, their Pau Hana (happy hour) has some great deals from 3 to 5 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. daily.
Nearby Grocery Stores:
Kilauea General Store – Get gas or pick-up snacks and drinks here.
True Value – Tucked behind the Thai Thai Bistro and Volcano Laundromat properties is this hardware store that also sells food items. It is also a good place to purchase flashlights and raincoats.
Volcano Store – A good place in town to pick up wine, beer and snacks as well as toiletries and other general essentials. There is also a gas station located here.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Experience geology in action and learn about the history of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa’s volcanic eruptions. The park is open 24 hours a day. Be sure to check air quality conditions in the park.
Location: 1 Crater Rim Drive, Hawaii National Park - just a five minute drive from Hale 'Ohu.
What to See and Do – There is so much to see and do in the park. What you choose depends on your interest and how much time you have. Visit the park’s website for suggested itineraries, learn about different hikes and find out about special talks and events in the park. Download the National Park Service app and select Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park for information including self-guided tours, what to see, current eruption information and much more.
Park Service Areas:
Visitor Center – Stop by the Kīlauea Visitor Center to get acquainted, ask questions, see a film and pick up hiking information. The Kīlauea Visitor Center is located just past the entrance to the park on your right and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kīlauea Military Camp (KMC) – Established in 1916 as a rest camp for military personnel, the camp includes Crater Rim Cafe and the Lava Lounge. On most Fridays, they have a luau dinner buffet in the cafe and free hula performances in the lounge.
Volcano House – View the crater from the Volcano House's walkway or get a drink from Uncle George's Lounge and take it to the Meditation Room where you can also take in the view of the crater. Volcano House also has two outstanding gift shops.
Crater Rim Drive and Summit Highlights – The summit area can become very busy between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Consider exploring these sites early morning or late afternoon. This road is accessible from Devastation Trail to Uēkahuna. Highlights, include:
Devastation Trail – Take a leisurely stroll through a landscape buried in cinders from the 1959 Kīlauea Ikilava fountain and see vegetation emerging from this once-devastated area.
The Hale – Located a short walk from the Kīlauea Visitor Center, is a traditional Hawaiian house built in 2019 using traditional labor methods and materials.
Halema’uma’u Trail – This trail begins at Volcano House on the rim and descends through the rainforest to the caldera floor.
Keanakako’o Crater Trail – Park at Devastation Trail and hike along an old portion of Crater Rim Drive for spectacular views of Halema’uma’u Crater.
Kīlauea Iki Overlook – Instead of venturing out for a hike, get a glimpse of the Kīlauea Iki Crater from the overlook.
Kīlauea Iki Trail – This 4-mile (6.4km) loop is the most popular trail in the park. Descend through the rain forest then across the 1959 lava lake floor.
Kīlauea Overlook – This is a must-see stop for dramatic views of Halema’uma’u Crater.
Nāhuku (formerly Thurston Lava Tube) – This popular attraction is a half-mile one-way trail loop where you start in the rainforest then enter the lava tube and back out through the rainforest. Avoid the crowds and visit before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Lights are on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but you can explore after dark if you bring a flashlight or head lamp. Parking is limited.
Steam Vents – Kīlauea is still a very active volcano, which you can witness as volcanic gases escape through these vents. Here you can also get a good view of the Halema’uma’u Crater.
Sulphur Banks – See how volcanic activity at the summit has deposited colorful sulphur crystals and other minerals over time
Uēkahuna – Located near the parking area for the now closed Jaggar Museum, this vantage point provides one of the best views of the summit and surrounding vistas including Mauna Loa.
Chain of Craters Road Highlights – Just after the entrance of the park, take the first left and follow Crater Rim Drive to the Chain of Craters Road. Along this 19-mile road, from the summit to the ocean, make stops at trails and eruption sites and other points of interest.
Hōlei Sea Arch – At the end of the road, catch a glimpse of this dramatic rock formation.
Mauna Ulu Trail – Hike over lava flows from the 1969 to 1974 Mauna Ulu eruption.
Puʻu Loa Petroglyphs – Towards the end of the Chain of Craters Road, take a short hike (1.5 miles/2.4 km round trip) to view 550 year old petroglyph images.
Puʻu ʻŌʻō Lava Flows – At the very end of the Chain of Craters Road, go past the gates and walk along the gravel road. Here you will see the lava flows that took place from 1983 to 2018. This area experienced the longest continuous lava flow in recorded history at Kīlauea. The road is 5.5 miles one-way
Kīlauea is the world’s most active volcano. Learn more about the geology and history of the island with a tour. Island tour options include awe inspiring waterfalls, witnessing active lava and view newly created coastline and lava fields. When booking with the following tour operators, please mention you were recommended by Hale 'Ohu B&B.
Self-Guided Driving Tours – Use either of these guides to explore the island.
Action Tour Guide – Offers road-trip guidance for visiting the island’s volcanoes, rainforest hikes and beautiful beaches. Drivers utilizing the tour can begin their road trips from either Kailua-Kona on the island’s west side or Hilo International Airport on the east side and see the best of the island’s scenery and places.
Shaka Driving Tour App – Explore Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and the rest of Hawai'i Island with a guided tour experience designed to help visitors make the most of their stay.
Tours – These operators offer private and group tour options. Visit their websites for more information.
Arnott's Adventures – Offers a Mauna Kea summit tour as well as custom/private tours of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Departs from Hilo.
Epic Lava Tours – Offers a four hour sunrise or afternoon tour of the park.
Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park – Offers 4, 6, and 8 hour private tours based on your interests.
Hawaii Forest & Trail – Offers group tours from Hilo and custom/private tours of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
Kilauea Eco Tours – Offers active, education based tours of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
Viator – Includes more than 200 tours, excursions and activities.
Helicopter Tours – These operators depart from the Hilo Airport.
Bike Tours – Offers bike tours of the of the national park.
Farmer's Markets on the East Side
Farmer's Market @ the Mill – The only farmer's market found on a working farm in East Hawai'i. A host of vendors offering fruits, vegetables, baked goods, prepared foods and more. Located adjacent to the Hilo Coffee Mill at 17-995 Volcano Rd, (Highway 11) between mile marker 12 and 13 in Mountain View. Open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hilo Farmer's Market – Don’t miss a chance to stroll a “local-style” farmer’s market. On Wednesday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. there are more than 200 local farmers and craftspeople. It’s smaller (around 30 farmers) for the rest of the week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Maku'u Farmer's Market – Here you can find Hawaiian crafts, plants, produce, jewelry, shells, food and more from 150 vendors. Located at 15-2131 Keaau-Pahoa Rd in Pahoa. Takes place on Sundays.
To the South: Ka'u District
Black Sand Beach – Drive down to Punalu’u beach for one of Hawai’i’s most unique sights. Watch turtles basking in the sun here. Take Highway 11 northeast of Naʻālehu and southwest of Pāhala, and turn makai (toward the sea) between mile markers 55 and 56 on Ninole Loop Road. Follow Ninole Loop Road to Punalu'u Beach Park.
Green Sand Beach – Just three miles from South Point, visit Papakolea Beach for its gorgeous green sand. This beach is only one of four green sand beaches in the world. From Highway 11 toward Kona, find the South Point road sign between mile markers 69 and 70. Take this road for about eight miles to a parking area. Beach access is by foot only and is 2.5 miles each way from the parking area.
Kahuku Unit – This section of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is open from Wednesday to Sunday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The entrance is near mile marker 70.5 on Highway 11.
Ka'u Coffee Mill – Free tours are offered daily at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. followed by free coffee tastings.
Mirandas Farms – Award winning Ka'u coffee open Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
South Point – Drive to the Southern-most point in the United States. This area is also thought to be where the first Polynesians landed in Hawai'i. It is approximately 20-mile drive when you turn off of Highway 11 between mile markers 69 and 70.
Punalu'u Bake Shop – Famous for its Hawaiian sweetbread. This shop in Na`alehu also has other baked treats including delicious malasadas, sandwiches, plate lunches and salads.
Hana Hou Restaurant – Features burgers, sandwiches, salads and local favorites.
To the North and East: Hilo Town, Pāhoa and More
Akaka Falls – View spectacular waterfalls among the lush tropical environment.
Big Island Candies – Since 1977, this shop has been churning out a variety of high-quality handmade cookies and candies. You can even see view the production line when you visit the store. The macadamia nut shortbread cookies are simply the best.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens – Just eight miles from north of Hilo is a splendid botanical garden set on 40-acres with more than 2,000 plant species.
Hilo Coffee Mill– Sample Hawaiian coffees and watch the coffee roasting process. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are available at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Kazumara Cave – Explore this vast lava tube with Kilauea Caverns of Fire in Kurtistown.
Lavaloha – Take a tour of a working chocolate farm or just visit their gift shop for some delicious Hawaiian delights. Located just ten minutes from downtown Hilo.
Lava Tree State Monument – Explore lava molds of the tree trunks that were formed when a lava flow swept through a forested area in 1790.
Lyman Museum and Mission House– Hale ‘Ohu shares a special connection with the Lyman Museum and Mission House. The descendants of Sarah and David Lyman built Hale 'Ohu in 1886 as their summer residence. The Lyman Mission House, built in the late 1830s, is now the oldest standing wood structure on the island. Visit the Mission House and adjacent museum to learn about life on the island in the 1800s. Tours of the Mission House are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and require advance reservations. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mōhalu Hawaiʻi – Learn the art of lei making and about the different styles of leis at this one hour private session in Waimea.
Mauna Kea –Take in spectacular views on the world's tallest mountain (from sea floor to summit). After sunset, enjoy star gazing tours and telescopes at the visitor center. The Visitor Information Station is located at a 9,200-foot (2,800 meter) elevation and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is accessible via normal 2-wheel drive vehicle. However, to reach the summit (past the Visitor Information Center), you will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle for this steep, unpaved road.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center – Visit a macadamia nut factory and enjoy free samples.
Pacific Tsunami Museum – This fascinating museum details past tsunamis that have devastated Hilo and the island, and educates people about these destructive waves. Hear first-hand stories and view exhibits detailing the history of tsunamis. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pāhoa – While you are visiting this side of the island, don't miss this small quirky town with the highest concentration of old buildings on the island. Stroll along the wooden sidewalks and stop in the eclectic shops. From Highway 11 in Keaau, take Highway 130 and follow the signs to Pāhoa.
Pāhoa Lava Flow Museum – A small volunteer run museum with items from the now closed Jaggar Museum.
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens – Visit this small zoo set in a tropical rainforest where you can stroll their 12-acres and see more than 80 animal species.
Rainbow Falls – Just five minutes from downtown Hilo is one of the most accessible waterfalls on the island. The 80-foot falls are located within the Wailuku River State Park. To get there, take Waiānuenue Avenue west for one mile. When the road forks, stay to the right and follow the signs to Rainbow Falls. There is no entry fee.
Red Road Scenic Drive – An enchanting drive along Highway 137 with stops along the way.
Star of the Sea Painted Church – This historic church, now a community center, was moved to its present location in 1990 just ahead of the advancing lava flow that destroyed the Kalapana area. Dating from the 1930s, the church boasts several lovely stained-glass windows and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cafe Pesto – Innovative menu options plus a large selection of salads and wood-fired pizzas. Set along Hilo's bayfront area.
Hawaiian Style Cafe – Great place to get local comfort food including burgers, plate lunches and sandwiches in Hilo.
Hilo Pizza Company – New York style pizzeria using fresh ingredients. Located in Hilo at the Puainako Center (behind McDonalds).
Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill – Casual Hilo restaurant featuring fresh seafood, steaks, pasta and a variety of salads.
Kaleo's Bar & Grill– Serving innovative Hawaiian favorites at lunch and dinner plus live entertainment nightly in Pāhoa .
Ken's House of Pancakes – A Hilo institution for local favorites like loco moco or saimin. They also have all your favorite American diner fare too.
Miyo's Restaurant – A local favorite since 1987, Miyo's serves quality, fresh and delicious Japanese food.
Peppercorn Spice House – Opened in August 2023, this restaurant, serving delicious Asian dishes, is quickly becoming a local favorite in Keaau.
Pineapples – Open air restaurant in the heart of downtown Hilo serving pupus, burgers and local favorites.
Puka Puka Kitchen – Located along Hilo's bayfront is this small restaurant serving authentic local food.
Tin Shack Bakery – Mostly a breakfast place in Pāhoa, this bakery also serves soups and sandwiches.
Useful Travel Resources
Visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Go Hawaii website to learn more about what to see and do on the island.
Latest Updates on Kilauea Volcano
Take the Pono Pledge
Launched in September 2018 as a partnership between the Island of Hawai'i Visitors Bureau (IHVB) and the County of Hawai'i, the campaign wishes to educate and encourage residents and visitors to be safe, responsible and respectful while on the island of Hawaii. The initiative is part of IHVB’s comprehensive destination management efforts to help protect and preserve the island’s natural resources and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.
Take and sign the Pono Pledge today.
Island of Hawaii Travel Tips
View these short videos before your trip to better understand the Island of Hawai'i and responsible tourism.