If you find yourself in Hilo on Hawaii's Big Island, chances are that someone will suggest you visit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Located about 8 miles north of the city, you'll see a small sign giving you the option to take the "Scenic Route." TAKE IT! You won't regret it!
Hilo is a small Hawaiian city, slightly off the beaten path, as most of the touristy things are on the opposite side of the Big Island (in the city of Kona). But, staying in Hilo gives you closer access to some pretty amazing nature: volcanoes, black sand beaches, waterfalls, and botanical gardens. If you find yourself traveling to the gardens, ALWAYS take the scenic route.
You’ll see a small sign along the road, asking you if you want to take the “scenic route.” We nearly passed it up at (thinking the highway we were traveling on was already so beautiful, why would we want to add distance to our journey just to drive on something labeled “scenic?”). I’m glad we decided to take it! It would have been a mistake not to.
The path leads you down a one-lane road, across tiny bridges, absolutely surrounded by trees and ocean. It’s breathtaking! There are also plenty of places to stop and take pictures! :)
All in all, you should take The Scenic Route. You’ll be glad you did…and it’s nearly as beautiful as the botanical gardens themselves!
Happy travels and Aloha!