Living in Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo is a city of about 43,000 people on the Big Island's eastern coast. It is known for its seaport, university and various outdoor attractions. Fruit, nut and sugar plantations can be found nearby. Although the Hilo area has a thriving economy and draws many vacationers, its cost of living remains below the national average.


Hilo residents can easily travel to a range of intriguing sites. The city offers numerous beautiful parks and a venerable museum. It's near a zoo, various waterfront resorts, a large waterfall and an observatory. A nearby national park is famous for its volcanoes. Locals may also visit several ocean beaches. The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency operates a convenient public bus service.


This city features a variety of public and private schools that provide instruction ranging from elementary to college classes. Many neighborhoods are located near primary or secondary schools. Several institutions can be found on Ululani, Waianuenue and Puainako streets. About nine out of 10 students in Hilo graduate from high school. A public library on Waianuenue Avenue remains open Tuesday through Saturday.

The University of Hawaii's campus in Hilo was established more than 40 years ago. It primarily schedules classes on business, agriculture, science and art-related subjects. This public university is known for the quality of its marine biology program. Around 30 percent of the area's adult residents have succeeded in earning bachelor's or master's degrees.


Hilo is further to the south than any other U.S. city. Nonetheless, it boasts a rather pleasant climate with few harsh temperatures or strong storms. Seasonal changes are quite minimal. The coolest part of the year occurs in January and February, but nighttime readings only dip to an average of 64 degrees. Typical daytime highs often remain in the low 80s between May and November.

Despite these appealing attributes, real estate costs less in Hilo than it does in many parts of the state. Home values increased from about $153,000 to $285,000 between 2000 and 2012. However, selling prices dropped almost 10 percent during late 2014 and early 2015. Local residential properties remain affordable for many buyers.  

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