Hilo is the largest census-designated place (CDP) and the largest settlement on the Island of Hawaii. The CDP's population during the 2010 census was 43,263. The town overlooks Hilo Bay, located upon two shield volcanoes; Mauna Loa, an active volcano, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano upon which are sited some of the world's most important ground-based astronomical observatories.
The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, one of the world's leading producers of macadamia nuts, is also located in Hilo. The town hosts the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient and modern hula which takes place annually after Easter.
Being the oldest city in the Hawaiian archipelago, Hilo has a well developed tourism section. It is home to Hawaii's only tsunami museum, and also has a zoological park, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, and the Farmers Market.
The CDP is served by Hilo International Airport.