We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A pleasant stop with a good lunch option”

Imiloa Astronomy Center
Ranked #14 of 52 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 February 2018

An informative science center at the University of Hawaii Hilo that is well worth a visit. Especially good is the presentation made by an exceptionally well informed staff member on a virtual globe in the main room (he examines fault lines, tsunami patterns, airline traffic, the presence of nuclear reactors, and much more. The planetarium is just so-so.

Thank Panajody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (299)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"planetarium shows"
in 20 reviews
"sky garden"
in 8 reviews
"hawaiian word"
in 6 reviews
"exhibit hall"
in 5 reviews
"mauna kea"
in 23 reviews
"rainy day"
in 15 reviews
"solar system"
in 4 reviews
"plan on spending"
in 3 reviews
"children and adults"
in 3 reviews
"hawaiian history"
in 11 reviews
"interesting place"
in 4 reviews
"all ages"
in 11 reviews
"fascinating information"
in 3 reviews
"gift shop"
in 10 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 5 reviews
"few hours"
in 6 reviews
"the big island"
in 18 reviews

19 - 23 of 299 reviews

Reviewed 15 February 2018

A number of the exhibits are focused on the way Polynesian explorers used their knowledge of the sky, water & wind to navigate as they traveled and settled around the Pacific, methods very different from European explorers. There were also exhibits on the large canoes & new expeditions with them. The more 'standard' astronomy exhibits were very well done too. We should have planned on more time there.

Thank Berrywin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2018

It was raining (of course, it's Hilo) so we stopped in and SO GLAD we did.

This is more than just a planetarium - it is a cultural immersion into the lives of the Hawaiian navigators an blends the story of different astronomical histories. It delivers a wealth of information in a massively accessible format - from stars and planets, to navigational techniques, and anthropological context.

The navigation of the skies and educational talks were also fascinating.

Thank TravellingQuallie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2018

My family visited the Astronomy Center during our December trip to the Big Island. The Center is run by the University of Hawaii system, and is extremely well done. It is an especially great place for children because of the many hands on exhibits. They've done a fine job of combining Hawaiian history, and folklore with astronomy and exploration. Exhibits discuss the methods used by the ancients to migrate the seas to Hawaii. There are exhibits that allow a visitor to see the surface of planets and moons, and numerous others. In addition to the exhibition hall, admission includes the visitors choice of one planetarium show, from the several that are offered each day. The Center also has an on site cafe, which offers a good menu for adults and children.It was not at all crowded the day we visited. That saddens me because it is an amazing place to visit. It is located on a hill above Hilo, and is easy to find using Google Maps. Definitely recommend it, especially if you are traveling with children.

2  Thank Mamashu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 26 December 2017 via mobile

It sometimes rains a lot in Hilo so we went here to get dry. It is located at the University of Hawaii and they have a decent restaurant and gift shop. There is an IMAX theater show there although I found that a little boring. One thing that I found very very cool was an exhibit that showed you how the actual astronauts lived at Spacelab. This place has something of interest for all ages.

Thank angeleyes27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Imiloa Astronomy Center also viewed

Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Been to Imiloa Astronomy Center? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing