Lili'uokalani Botanical Garden, Banyan Drive, and Coconut Island Professional Review and Guide
"This prime real estate on Hilo Bay is safe from urban sprawl and available for you to enjoy on foot because it is vulnerable to tsunamis, the last of which struck in 1960. In 1946, when much of the town of Hilo was built closer to the waterfront, sixty people were killed and over 500 buildings destroyed by a wave produced by an earthquake in Chile. The park is named for Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of the kingdom of Hawai’i, and the gardens were built in honor of the islands’ Japanese immigrant workers.
The walking is easy, the garden a delight, the banyan trees remarkable, and there are unexpected opportunities for wildlife watching as well. The path does not follow the shoreline but passes in front of several large hotels that are not particularly interesting in themselves—but the row of huge banyan trees that line the walk are. Banyan is a common name for several species of ficus, or fig trees, native to Asia. Their spreading branches host birds that deposit seeds on them, which then develop aerial roots that descend to the ground where over time they form new trunks, making the tree wider and wider."