Plan Your Visit
If you are staying for one night or several, there are many ways to experience this part of the island. Whether you enjoy hiking, shopping for unique gifts and artwork or taking it easy, staying in Volcano Village has something for everyone.
This is a historic time to visit the East side of the Big Island. Kīlauea's newest eruption phase has brought a lot of changes. Don't miss a chance to see this historic event. You will not be disappointed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Volcano area businesses and roads remain open and operational, so we continue to welcome guests. The last collapse event at Kīlauea's summit occurred on Aug. 2. Since then, earthquakes in the summit region have decreased dramatically. Air quality continues to be very good in Volcano Village due to the prevailing wind direction that takes gas emissions away from the village. Two-thirds of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park continues to be closed until park officials deem it safe for visitors to return. The area of the park that is open is called the Kahuku Unit, which is open from Wednesday to Sunday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Visit the resources listed at the end of this page for the most accurate, timely and detailed updates regarding air quality and volcanic activity. Also visit Hale 'Ohu's Facebook page for recent posts, videos and images.
Suggested length of stay: 2 to 3 days.
Best time to visit: Any time of year. Volcano receives more than 100 inches of rain a year, but that provides us with our wonderful rain forest environment. The rainiest months are from November to March. At an elevation of 4,000 feet, Volcano enjoys cooler daytime temperatures than Hilo.
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.
Hiking: Visit Big Island Hikes for a comprehensive list of hikes around the island.
Meet with Park Rangers
There are two locations where you can meet with Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Rangers and get your questions about the park answered.
Mokupāpapa Discovery Center (76 Kamehameha Avenue in Downtown Hilo). Rangers will share daily updates at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to teach visitors about volcanic activity and clarify the conditions at Kilauea summit. Visitors can also get their official Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park passport stamp. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volcano Art Center (19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano). Rangers will be in the Hale Ho’o’mana Building Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The following attractions can be explored while staying at Hale 'Ohu, plus some recommended dining-out options.
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. The studio is open Thursday to Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment.
Akatsuka Orchid Gardens – Drop by for an orchid farm tour, which takes you through an orchid maze and greenhouse. The 11 a.m. the tour includes lunch. The 2 p.m. tour includes a tasting of their Poha berry ice cream. Tours take place Wednesday to Friday.
Farmer’s Market at the Cooper Center – 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.
Kilauea Kreations – Quaint shop selling Hawaiian-made gifts like quilts, table runners, Hawaiian butters and chili pepper jellies.
Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village – On Mondays, take a free guided tour of the rain forest from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. rain or shine on an easy, level trail. During the rest of the week, you can take the self-guided rain forest tour. Learn about the Nialani rain forest and the ecological importance as one of the last old-growth koa and ōhia rain forests. This location also has ongoing workshops and events as well as exhibitions.
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.
Cafe Ono (Vegetarian/Vegan) – This restaurant, located in the Volcano Garden Arts, not only showcases locally-grown organic produce but also local artists. Open for lunch only from Tuesday to Sunday. Reservations are recommended for groups of 5 or more.
Eagles Lighthouse Cafe (Deli/Cafe) – Delicious homemade sandwiches and plate lunches available daily except Sundays. 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 General Store (Deli) – Adjacent to Lava Rock Cafe is another place to get picnic supplies, sandwiches and drinks.
Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant (Continental) – Fine dining by a roaring fire. Reservations recommended for dinner. Open daily.
Lava Rock Cafe (American/Hawaiian) – Casual dining with options like burgers, pastas and local specialties. Enjoy the live entertainment from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday and Tuesday nights.
Ōhelo Cafe (American/Pizza) – Delicious cocktails and local craft beers add to the thoughtfully prepared menu. The wood fired pizzas should not be missed. Reservations are recommended.
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) – A food truck serving up big Thai flavors at reasonable prices. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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.
Hilo Town and Beyond
Botanical Garden – Just eight miles north of Hilo is Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens 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.
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.
Lyman Museum and Mission House – 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. Sarah and David Lyman built Hale 'Ohu in 1886 as their summer residence.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center – Visit a macadamia nut factory and get free samples.
Pacific Tsunami Museum – Hear first-hand stories and view exhibits detailing the history of tsunamis that have devastated Hilo as well as other parts of the world. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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.
Mauna Kea – Take in spectacular views on the world's tallest mountain (from sea floor to summit) on Mauna Kea. At sunset enjoy star gazing tours and telescopes at the visitor center.
Cafe Pesto – Innovative menu options plus a large selection of salads and wood-fired pizzas.
Hawaiian Style Cafe – Great place to get local comfort food as well as burgers, plate lunches and sandwiches.
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.
Moon and Turtle – This seafood restaurant focuses on locally sourced ingredients with an emphasis on Pacific regional cuisine.
Moonstruck Patisserie – Stop in for incredible pastries, quiches and cakes. Open Wednesdays to Saturday.
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.
The area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park that is open is called the Kahuku Unit, which is open from Wednesday to Sunday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The entrance is near mile marker 70.5 on Highway 11.
Black Sand Beach – Take a drive down to Punalu’u Beach for one of Hawai’i’s most unique sights. You can often see endangered Hawksbill turtles and green turtles basking in the sun on the beach. Take Highway 11 northeast of Naʻālehu and southwest of Pāhala, and turn makai (toward the sea) between the 55 and 56 mile markers 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.
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.
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 malasads, sandwiches, plate lunches and salads.
Hana Hou Restaurant – Features burgers, sandwiches, salads and local favorites.
While you are visiting this side of the island, don't miss the small quirky town of Pāhoa with the highest concentration of old buildings on the island. Stroll along the wooden sidewalks and stop in the eclectic shops.
If lava is flowing from Fissure 8, you can see glow at night in Pāhoa. Book a table at Kaleo's and witness the glow.
Maku'u Farmer's Market – Here you can find Hawaiian crafts, plants, produce, jewelry, shells, food and more from 150 vendors. Takes place on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kaleo's Bar & Grill– Serving innovative Hawaiian favorites at lunch and dinner plus live entertainment nightly.
Strato's New York Pizzeria - Best New York style pizza on the island and they have great salads too!
Tin Shack Bakery – Mostly a breakfast place, 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
Ashfall Forecast (updated twice a day)
Air Quality Readings
Air Quality/VOG Conditions - HVNP
Air Quality/VOG Conditions (http://18.104.22.168) - Volcano Village