The Merrie Monarch Festival is the world's premier hula event held in Hilo. This weeklong celebration of the native art of the hula happens every Easter with halau (hula schools) from every island and the mainland practicing year-round for the event. This moving expression of music, dance and storytelling is part of how the people of Hawaii's Big Island continue to perpetuate and interpret the Hawaiian culture and its uniquely affirmative spirit of aloha.

Hilo town is also home to an array of museums, galleries, and performance venues where you can admire the work of local painters, sculptors, musicians, storytellers, and crafts people.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is just one example of how the people of Hawaii's Big Island locals live comfortably in the present but with great respect for the past. The mana (spiritual power) is still strong at important historical places like Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Puukohola Heiau Historic Site and Mookini Heiau State Monument. Today, with an active volcano still shaping the land at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the people of Hawaii's Big Island continue to forge their own history.


Arts & Culture Experiences
  • Art Galleries and Museums of Hawaii's Big Island - Whether it's through paintings, sculptures, glassware, jewelry or hand-carved koa wood bowls, you'll see the distinct styles that make the art found on the Big Island truly unique.
  • Historic Places of Hawaii's Big Island - From the birthplace of King Kamehameha to the birthplace of paniolo, Hawaii's Big Island is home to some of the most historic places in Hawaii.
  • Live Music on Hawaii's Big Island - You'll find live music venues throughout Hawaii's Big Island in restaurants, lounges and in the island's fine hotels and resorts.
  • Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboys) of Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii's Big Island has a rich paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, culture dating back to the early 1800's.
  • Petroglyphs of Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii's Big Island has some of the most extensive sacred petroglyphs fields in Hawaii.
  • Stargazing on Hawaii's Big Island - Maunakea on Hawaii's Big Island is home to one of the most renowned astronomical sites on the planet.