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Banyan Drive back to Hilo Page
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Banyan Drive

Jutting out into Hilo Bay is the wonderful Waiakea Peninsula that features nice hotels around the ocean front fringe and a golf course in the center.

The drive around the peninsula is a virtual canopy of Banyan trees that is a joy to drive, bike, or jog as you can see here.      Click for map!

This is a spot where many visitors to Hilo choose to stay because they are within easy walking distance of many attractions like Coconut Island, Liliuokalani Gardens, and the exciting fish auction!

Reeds Bay is a (white) sandy inlet where toddlers may swim and play safely in shallow waters.

Banyan Trees

In the year of our lord nineteen hundred and thirty five the city of Hilo decided to tree this entire drive with Banyans. I know this because beneath each tree, there is a plaque commemorating when it was planted and even who did the planting.

What you are graced with then is 64 years of growth that survived the great tidal waves of 1946 and 1960. Since they all appear the same height and general condition, I am trusting this 1935 dating is accurate.

The city in its wisdom decided to have persons of renown plant these Banyans. I have captured for you here the trees of Fannie Hurst and Amelia Earhart.

The Tip of the Peninsula

Theoretically the shores around all the Hawaiian islands are public property. If an hotel desides to corner the market on a stretch of sand (more likely lava here), it must allow and even provide access to this public.

Thus if you wander through the lobby of some hotel on the drive this is the type of ocean front real estate you will encounter.

Here you are looking west toward downtown Hilo. Obstructing your view, however, is lovely Coconut Island which was garnished for military recreational use during WWII but has now been returned to the city. Also note the footbridge to the island.

Tour in Style!

Waiting for your patronage here on the drive is an enterprising couple with a nice carriage and an even nicer Belgian horse. Hopefully they have times when they are busy because it is so wonderful to see a horsedrawn carriage these days. They charge $20 per person, and I think you would get your money's worth.

Note the lights for the golf course in the background.

While taking this picture, there was a man from Dresden, Germany waiting for the bus to downtown Hilo. He said he had been here eleven times!

Uncle Billy's Hotel

There are several very nice hotels on the drive. The grounds around "Uncle Billy's" looked so inviting and so in the spirit of aloha that I decided to present these four shots here to give you a little idea of what staying here would be like.

As you see there is a lovely water walk in the center and all the way around the hotel. Goldfish inhabit ! The lower right picture has a gazebo near the center barely visible. The lobby is a delight to enter.

The hotel is locally owned and they also have a hotel in Kona. Room rates are $84-114 per day. Their web site is: