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.
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 (1,220 meters), 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.
The following attractions can be explored while staying at Hale 'Ohu, plus some recommended dining-out options.
Our small, cozy town has a population of just over 2,500. 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. 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.
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 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.
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 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 Lodge & Restaurant (Continental) – Fine dining by a roaring fire. Join them for the Pau Hana Happy Hour from, 2 to 5 p.m. daily. Reservations recommended for dinner. Under new ownership since July 2018. 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. Stop in for Happy Hour Tuesday to Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
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.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Visitor Center – Stop by the Kīlauea Visitor Center to get acquainted, ask questions, see a film and pick up hiking information. Rangers can also provide updates about current lava flows and air quality. The Kīlauea Visitor Center is located just past the entrance to the park on your right and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. What to see – There is so much to see and do in the park. What you choose to do really depends on your interests and how much time you have.
Download a Driving Tour App – Explore Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park with a guided tour experience designed to help visitors make the most of their stay on the Big Island.
Park highlights include:
Chain of Craters Road– Just after the entrance of the park on the left is a road that will take you from the summit to the ocean in just 19 miles. Along the way, you will pass and can make stops at trails and past eruption sites.
Holei Sea Arch – Located at the end of Chain of Craters Road is a 90-foot lava-rock arch carved by waves.
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 next door.
Volcano House – View the crater from the Volcano House's walkway or get a drink from the bar and take it to the Meditation Room where you can also take in the view of the crater.
Viewing Lava Areas
Kīlauea is the world’s most active volcano and has been erupting since 1983. However, lava has not been flowing since August 2018 when the latest eruption in Leilani Estates in lower Puna ended. Contact boat and helicopter operators for current lava viewing options. Advance reservations are needed.
Boat Tours – These operators leave from Hilo and may still be running tours to see the newest coastline formed on the island in 2018.
Helicopter Tours – These operators depart from the Hilo Airport and fly over lava fields and Kīlauea.
Bike Tour – This operator offers a biking and hiking tour in lower Puna where the May to August 2018 eruption occurred. Tour departs from the Star of the Sea Painted Church in Pāhoa.
Volcano Bike Tours
808.934.9199 or 888.934.9199
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 are 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.
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.
To the North and East: Hilo Town, Pāhoa and More
Akaka Falls – View spectacular waterfalls among the lush tropical environment.
Beach Parks – Visit one of the beach parks in Hilo for some snorkeling and swimming:
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.
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– Hale ‘Ohu shares a special connection with the Lyman Museum and Mission House. 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.
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.
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 get 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.
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.
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.
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.
Moon and Turtle – This seafood restaurant in Hilo focuses on locally sourced ingredients with an emphasis on Pacific regional cuisine.
Moonstruck Patisserie – Tucked away on a small side street near Hilo's bayfront, 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.
Strato's New York Pizzeria – Best New York style pizza on the island can be found in the small town of Pāhoa. They have great salads too!
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
Air Quality Readings
Air Quality/VOG Conditions - HVNP
Air Quality/VOG Conditions (http://220.127.116.11) - Volcano Village