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Hilo Area Attractions


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Banyan Drive and Coconut Island
Coconut Island also known as Mokuola, Hilo, Hawaii

Coconut Island also known as Mokuola, Hilo, Hawaii

Photo by John Fischer

Crossing the Waiakea Peninsula, Banyan Drive is home Hilo's major hotels. The road itself is lined with huge banyan trees, many of which were originally planted by such famous visitors as Amelia Earhart, King George V, Babe Ruth and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

On the mauka (inland) side of the drive you'll find the Naniloa Country Club, a small, semi-private 9 hole par 35, 2735 yard, golf course. On the makai (ocean) side you'll find a parking area and a bridge to Coconut Island also known as Mokuola (lit. healing island). From the island you can get great views of the hotel area and of downtown Hilo.

In ancient Hawaii, Mokuola was known for its curative spring waters - although those who were ill had to swim to the island. It was also a place of refuge for law breakers who could make offerings and then leave as free men. Today Mokuola is a popular spot for picnics and fishing.

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