East Hawaii is less known for it’s beaches but we do have a few gems. Head out to a neighborhood called Keaukaha to find these beach parks:

  • ONEKAHAKAHA BEACH: a beach park with plenty of shade, picnic tables and a shallow lagoon especially suited for children..
  • CARLSMITH BEACH PARK:  a lagoon with places to watch turtles from the rocks, coconut palms, lawns for lazing on and some places to jump in the water. Water in this lagoon can be cooler than average because it is fed by underground springs.
  • RICHARDSON’S BEACH: a small black sand beach with a gentle wave, a coral reef and more turtles. Here the water is warmer since there is a surf break just beyond the reef. At Richardson’s Beach you will also find areas of lawn to picnic on next to crystal clear ponds fed by underground springs.

These are all about 10 -15 minutes drive from Downtown Hilo. Take the ‘Bayfront’ Highway (Highway19) to the main intersection (right hand turn takes you to Highway 11). Instead of turning right, drive through those lights. The road goes through the harbor area so it looks a little industrial for about a mile. After that you will find yourself in a beach neighborhood and you can explore some of these little beach parks to find the one that suits you.