Hilo, Hawaii, Hawaii
Although officially America's wettest city, Hilo's clouds definitely have silver linings. Rainbow sightings are rampant, and the atmosphere is perfumed with plumeria and ginger. Gardens proliferate, such as Nani Mau's Hawaiian orchids and hibiscus, or Liliuokalani's Japanese koi ponds and bonsais. In the distance, the mighty peak of Mauna Loa raises its spectral head, lording over the calm in Hawaii's second-largest city. Tidal ponds well-suited for swimming dot mostly black-sand beaches. Only an hour away, very active Kilauea dominates the stark, steamy beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where the newest land on Earth is born.