Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo on the Big Island

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On Baynan Drive in Hilo on the Big Island, you will find a 30-acre garden of serenity in the Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens. The park, which was originally built in the early 1900s, is reportedly the largest such gardens outside of Japan. You will find koi ponds, pagodas, bridges and other Japanese garden fixtures.

It’s a perfect place for a picnic lunch or a nice stroll, no matter what the weather. Hilo is often known as the rainy side of the Big Island, and this rain makes for some of the most gorgeous, lush scenery you will find on the Big Island. Lush, serene, tropical and beautiful.

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What’s Shakin’?

IMG_6077Craving the best smoothie of your life? Made with organic ingredients grown locally, right on the grounds of the most adorable little stand ever? Then it’s time to head over to What’s Shakin’ on the Hilo side of the Big Island.

What’s Shakin’ is located at 27-999 Old Mamalahoa Highway, the 4-mile scenic route, in Pepeekeo. It’s a great place to stop on your way to the Hilo side of the island, or to make a stop if you are staying near Hilo. Earlier this year, we stopped on our way to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden for lunch. We had a smoothie for lunch and split the most delicious ahi tuna wrap with fresh avocado. This is one of the freshest, most delicious lunches or snacks you will ever find.

IMG_6087They also sell the organic fruit they grow right on the grounds. Yum.

The smoothies? I highly recommend the Bananarama or the Peanut Braddah (banana, peanut butter and chocolate and milk, but I ordered it up with mac nuts). I might need to go back to eventually try all of them.

As if the 4-mile scenic drive wasn’t enough after the drive over from Kona with its twists and turns through gorgeous gulches and views, you make the turn to the scenic drive and suddenly, there you are—at the What’s Shakin’ stand just in time for lunch or the perfect afternoon snack.

IMG_6076The service at What’s Shakin’ has always been friendly. They have picnic tables for you to leisurely enjoy your smoothie or lunch. The view? Well, how about the lush green of the Hilo side along with flowers and the ocean off in the horizon? Doesn’t get better than that.