Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
Imiloa Astronomy Center
Learn about nalani—which means “under the heavens” in Hawaiian—at this center where science, astronomy, and culture converge. The planetarium has a show, called “Maunakea: Between Earth and Sky,” that explores the creation of the Hawaiian islands, plus Hawaiian language classes and exhibits on Polynesian navigation.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This 520-square-mile national park is located 45 minutes south of Hilo. Among other natural wonders, the rim of the ruggedly beautiful Halema'uma'u Crater is scattered with offerings to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, that visitors have brought: leis, rocks wrapped in ti leaves, and bottles of gin. Make your way down Chain of Craters Road, the park’s path to the ocean, to witness lava that has flowed into the sea since 1986.
Located in downtown Hilo, this stylish shop is the place for finds from Hawaii to Tahiti. The boutique stocks handcrafted art and accessories—woven purses; place mats; papale lauhala (hats)—plus black pearls, Ni'ihau shell jewelry, and vintage etched glassware with Tahitian designs. If you want to do it yourself, you can buy the raw materials for weaving.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.
View or download this port's map and shopping guide here.