On the Big Island, you will experience a variety of climates, terrain and scenery. While exploring the island, visit the Hilo’s Farmer’s Market and the locally grown fruits and vegetables will inspire your next meal.
When planning a trip to the Big Island, the first question to ask is if you’ll head to the Kona or Hilo side. The Big Island is just that—big! Most visitors find that it makes most the sense to stick to one side and explore.
There’s no wrong choice on where to stay, but the small town of Hilo is certainly a special place. Its tropical environment gets plenty of rain, which leads to perennial greenery and vibrant flowers.
One of the special things Hilo offers rain or shine is the daily Hilo Farmer’s Market. Located on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue, the Farmer’s Market is in the heart of historic downtown Hilo.
The market is open “from dawn till it’s gone,” and features locally grown produce, flowers and fresh caught seafood. Specialty foods are also available, such as jams and jellies, honey, hot sauce, and of course poi, the traditional Hawaiian food made from pounding cooked taro. Visitors and locals can go to the market in the morning and get everything necessary for a delicious dinner. Or take home the delicious preserves to bring aloha into meals back home.
Aside from fresh food, the farmer’s market has an entire section dedicated to small vendors selling bath and body supplies like lotions and soap, crafts, art, jewelry, clothes and souvenirs. It’s a good place to buy authentic, quality keepsakes. Be sure to ask vendors about the arts and crafts for sale to learn about some of the traditional Hawaiian methods for making lei, woven baskets, or pounding poi.
It’s easy to spend hours perusing the different stalls and trying to decide which items you can’t live without. Luckily the market is there every day so you can always go back. Be aware though that even though the market is open daily, not all vendors set up shop every day.
Photo by Shutterstock/Bonita R. Cheshier