Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Rainiest City in the U.S.? Hilo!


If someone were to ask you what the rainiest city in the country is, you may likely respond with Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon. After all, those cities do experience quite a bit of annual rainfall. For example, Seattle has on average 229 cloudy days ranking in the top five behind Anchorage, Alaska and Forks, Washington. However, cities like Miami actually experience more accumulated rainfall than Seattle because, when it rains in Miami, it REALLY rains, dumping an inch of rain with one big storm. Seattle and places like it tend to have all-day rain affairs that only accumulate small amounts of mist and drizzle.

The rainiest city in the strictest sense of the word throughout the country is Hilo on the Big Island, receiving approximately 127 inches of rain every year. When you take a look at the annual rainfall in Hilo, you’ll see it averages out to one-third of an inch every day. That’s what sets Hilo apart from all other rainy cities: it gets rain nearly every day, not just in certain seasons. Only 100 days in Hilo per year don’t see rain. Because it’s so warm, mild and tropical here, rain clouds and showers tend to enjoy it here.

Lots of Rain=Eco-Friendly Resources

Rain is an integral part of Hilo, a main component of its renewable resources. In fact, many businesses and homeowners use reclaimed rain water to water their gardens, wash their cars, and run their facilities, all in an effort to increase the harnessing of hydroelectric power. The local economy has flourished in part because they’ve found a way to use the power of rainwater that graces the land.

Natural Beauty

All this rain may sound like a downer to someone who’s never been here but for the seasoned Hilo-goer it means all the more beauty. Lush rainforest, greenery, tropical flora and fauna, and cascading waterfalls dominate this side of the island in stark contrast with the Kona side which abounds with dry lava fields.

What to do on Rainy Days

There’s no reason why you can’t take advantage of hikes and other outdoor pursuits when it’s drizzling out; in fact, if you wait for a dry sunny day in Hilo to get outside, you may be waiting awhile. However, if you’re looking for a way to get out of the rain for a few hours, try these activities:

Kamuela Museum:

This museum has a huge collection of local pieces and artifacts found and preserved by owner Albert Solomon Jr. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids 12 and under. You’ll need just about an hour to go through the museum, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Hilton Waikoloa Village:

Where else can you enjoy a full water park, while taking train rides, swimming with dolphins, shopping, boating, taking a tram, hitting one of eight restaurants, or enjoying a pampering spa day?

If your stay in Hawaii includes a few days in Oahu, call us at Hoku Hawaii Tours. We’ll hook you up with an amazing excursion.

  • Posted in: