Our tour begins at the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association at 252 Kamehameha Avenue. Here you can pick up a free walking tour of historic Hilo map, ask questions and obtain information about special events. We turn left as we leave the building and begin our tour.
photo by John Fischer
224 Kamehameha - Wilson's by the Bay
Surf's up with Hawaii style clothing, hats, snacks and refreshments. The Ice Shave here is fantastic, the syrup home made.
216 Kamehameha - Pink Elephant
This is the first of the thrift and curio shops on our tour. The store is maintained by the Hilo Woman's Club. The appeal of a thrift shop is that you'll never know just what you'll find, the browsing is fun and the bargains worthwhile. At the Pink Elephant you'll find clothing, books, records, craft supplies and more. The friendly staff always has time to stop and talk story.
206 Kamehameha - Big Island Woodworks Gallery
A family tradition and business for more than 20 years offers one of the finest collections of authentic Hawaiian wood craft in the Islands. Koa and other natural woods are fashioned into Hawaiian sailing vessels make them truly a work of art. Also available are hand crafted shirts and gift articles.
photo by John Fischer
202 Kamehameha - Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce
You'll have your choice from a large collection of brochures and pamphlets promoting business on the island. Commemorating the Chamber's 100th Anniversary is a special edition book Island of Hawaii, Sail to Space, by Scott C.S. Stone. A great memento for the coffee table of this special island. You can purchase the book at the Chamber or request a copy by calling the office at 808-935-7178.
194 Kamehameha - Caravan Town
Oriental curios, trinkets and toys fill this store from floor to ceiling. Children, in particular will be fascinated by the collection of toys and playthings. A great variety of wind chimes gift items and ornaments.
188 Kamehameha - Sally Ann Shop
The Salvation Army thrift shop is large both in floor space and inventory. Check the aloha wear, shirts and dresses. During my visit this afternoon I bought two funky 1960s era aloha shirts for 75 cents each. A bargain hard to match anywhere! Take a moment to admire the window, the displays are always interesting. The building originally housed the Hilo Dry Goods, the business formed in 1915 Lau Fai and associates who came from Canton, China. Hilo Dry Goods occupied this building at about 1930. A thriving business for many years the store closed it's doors in 1996.
174 Kamehameha - Kress Building
Restoration was completed in 1995 and inside you'll find tributes to the volcano and tsunami and if you're lucky Bob Chow, manager of the building. Bob was a policeman during the tsunami years and has some fascinating stories to share of the days way back when. If we're lucky Bob will be around and we can grab a coffee or ice cream from the on site Tropical Dreams and sit and talk story. You'll learn more about the history of Hilo town than you ever could from a history book. Bob has a wonderful manner in sharing the history, you can almost see the events unfold before you. The architecture of the building (1932) is Art -Deco, notice the floral designs, batwing shapes and terra cotta front. The old fashioned soda fountain is reminiscent of the era. The Kress is often the home base for special events and craft fairs. Friday night you will be able to catch the local talent from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. when the Kress hosts a talent night.
164 Kamehameha - Hana Hou
Browse the fine arts and fashions for a special gift to share with a loved one. Handcrafted clothing, shopping bags and other art pieces are bought and sold by consignment. The classic aloha shirts are a treasure.
160 Kamehameha - Basically Books
This is your one stop for Hawaiian specialty books, videos, maps, posters and stationary. Great bargains for leisure reading can be found in the used book section. This is always an interesting shop to browse. Be sure to ask for your free copy of the 31 flavors of Hilo, Hawaii. The brochure spotlights some great Hilo destination spots.
130 Kamehameha - First Hawaiian Bank Building
Crossing Kalakaua and on the corner is the First Hawaiian Bank Building. Built in 1930 by the famous Hawaii architect C.W. Dickey the concrete building successfully survived both the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis. New home of the tsunami museum this is a great stop to learn about the effect on the community from volcano and tsunami.
122 Kamehameha - Sig Zane Designs
Fine quality aloha wear and gifts are available.
110 Kamehameha - Bob's Jewelers
Hawaiian charms and bracelets, diamonds, jades, pearls clocks and watches are for sale along with Hawaiian heirloom jewelry.
106 Kamehameha - Rift Zone
A gallery of fine arts with ceramics by artist Robert Joiner, jewelry, paintings, wood, glass and bronze sculptures.
Corner of Kamehameha and Waianuenue - Cronie's
I offer the best of luck to the newest business to the area. Cronie's is a recently renovated nightspot offering tropical refreshments, beer and ale. I stopped by Saturday evening and enjoyed the comfortable surroundings.