TOP BEACHES IN HILO: 10 Unique Beaches in Hilo

top beaches in hilo

In terms of the Big Island’s heart and soul, Hilo is home to a significant portion of it. In contrast to the more touristic Kona side, with its opulent resorts and gated neighborhoods, Hilo is a town for the people. Tropical weather, roaring waterfalls, and, of course, its distinctive beaches are the most well-known attractions in Hilo. The beachfront’s volcanic lava, grassy lawn sections, and mountain vistas make Hilo’s beaches unique. There are large grassy areas with benches, tables, and bathrooms in beach parks. Since there aren’t many sandy beaches, most tourists enter the ocean from the lava-black rocks.

Hilo’s water is remarkably pure and ideal for snorkeling. Additionally, several of the beaches have natural rock barriers that shield them from the waves, making the waters safe for swimming. Find out which Hilo beaches are the most outstanding by reading about them.

#1. Carlsmith Beach Park

top beaches in hilo
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One of Hilo’s most popular beaches is Carlsmith Beach Park, which is located along the beach-filled Kalanianaole Street. The area’s water is tranquil, warm, and ideal for swimming and snorkeling thanks to the black, moss-covered lava rocks that surround it. Given the calm ocean, this Hilo beach is a great choice for families. There isn’t powder-soft sand here, like at the majority of the beaches close to Hilo. Instead, there are grassy places where locals and guests are likely to have spread out their picnic blankets. There are several picnic tables in the park as well.

The lagoon waters are sandy, but, the land around the beach is not. The area is frequently visited by sea turtles, however, you must not approach them as they are a protected species. When visiting Hilo’s beaches, it’s crucial to be aware of Kalanianaole Street, with Carlsmith Beach Park as the starting point.


#2. Richardson Ocean Park 

top beaches in hilo
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Another beach park that is very well-liked by Hilo locals is not far from Carlsmith Beach Park. Richardson Ocean Park adds to the network of coastal parks that extends down Kalanianaole Street. Its clear water, fantastic snorkeling, and practical amenities are reasons why visitors like it.

The sand at Richardson’s is unique in that it is one of the Big Island’s few green beaches. This is due to the extremely uncommon and distinctive mineral olivine, which is found in lava. It elevates it to one of the island’s most stunning beaches. (And don’t forget to visit the island’s renowned Green Sand Beach, which can only be reached by hiking, if you’re truly interested in green beaches.)

Richardson’s shallow waters are ideal for snorkelers and families. You can see a variety of marine species, including sea turtles and (perhaps) Hawaiian monk seals because nearby springs contribute freshwater to the bathing pools. There are restrooms, picnic tables, showers, and a lifeguard on duty among the amenities.

#3. Reeds Bay Beach Park

top beaches in hilo

In Hilo, it might be challenging to locate a truly sandy beach. Volcanic rock lines the majority of beaches. But one of the few beaches in Hilo that genuinely has fine, white sand is Reeds Bay Beach Park. This is a tranquil, quiet beach that is situated on Banyan Drive, which is where the bulk of Hilo’s hotels are located. This beach is ideal for families because of the calm, shallow water.

Added features include picnic tables, restrooms, and showers. Snorkelers like exploring the rocky cove sections, while those looking for some exercise can paddle kayaks around the bay. Because the water is so tranquil, stand-up paddleboarding is also ideal there. It’s not a very large beach, but if you’re seeking a sandy coastline, it does satisfy your craving. You can walk the entire length of it in less than five minutes. Additionally, it is conveniently situated so that you can get there quickly from practically everywhere in downtown Hilo.

#4. Keaukaha Beach Park

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The peculiarity of Keaukaha Beach Park is that there isn’t even a beach there. What you have is total lava rock, not sand, or shoreline. It might not be what you were hoping for on a beach day, but it is a very lovely beach and a great representation of the Big Island’s scenery. Although it isn’t the finest beach for swimming, snorkeling can be done there when the sea is calm. Additionally, you’ll see individuals making use of the grassy lawn next to the shore, which is well-liked for picnics and sunbathing.

There is also a long-term camping place nearby, but you need a permit for it. Due to its distinctive characteristics, Keaukaha Beach Park is not the busiest, yet it is one of the most gorgeous. You can sit there and enjoy the peace and quiet while taking in one of the nicest views of the sea and the neighboring slopes.

Read Also: BEST BEACHES IN HONOLULU: 12 Breathtaking Beaches

#5. Honoli’i Beach Park

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One of the nicest beaches in Hilo, Honoli’i Beach Park, is not on Kalanianaole Street. This park is located just where the Honoli’i Stream flows into the Pacific Ocean, north of Hilo. The picturesque black-sand beach with palm palms is one of Hilo’s best surfing spots. Due to the strong current and the rocky floor, there are far fewer swimmers in this cove than there are surfers. However, it is a beautiful beach overall and a terrific place to see surfers. Additionally, there is a gorgeous pond and a lawn area with picnic tables.

The majority of visitors leave their automobiles parked at the cliff’s edge and see the surfers below. Visitors should go on Sunday since locals have set up food kiosks. On the weekends, it serves as a wonderful location for families to congregate. You can descend the numerous stairs to the pebbly beach for a closer look at the action or to obtain a fresh perspective. And this is one of the better local beaches to try to catch a wave if you’re even a little proficient at surfing.

#6. Wai’olena Beach Park

You can get to Wai’olena Beach Park, which is close to Carlsmith Beach Park, by returning to Kalanianaole Street. Although Hilo doesn’t seem to have many typical beach areas, there is still enough room to spread out for an outdoor picnic or to relax and gaze at the surf. This beach is better suited for surfers or surf spectators because of the strong currents and lava rock crust in the shallow water. The occasional marine turtle could be visible here as well. This beach offers stunning 360-degree views of the lake and distant hills.

This beach park is perfect for weekend family get-togethers because it is next to a lawn area with shelters and picnic tables. In fact, the weekends can be fairly busy, so arrive early to get a seat. Of course, you won’t have to go very far to locate an option along Kalanianaole Street if it does get too busy here.

#7. Onekahakaha Beach Park

Looking for a fantastic family beach near Hilo? Just head to Onekahakaha Beach Park. Volcanic rock surrounds the little beach, creating a tranquil swimming hole with sand at the bottom. It’s a terrific location for beachgoers looking for a simple, carefree day. However, this place lacks a true sandy beach. It is primarily made of black volcanic rock, like the majority of the beaches in Hilo. However, swimming in tidal pools and little coves is really safe, and snorkeling is also rather fantastic there. Always keep an eye out for those green sea turtles. 

The swimming area’s sandy bottom is a nice change from the often rocky shorelines in the Hilo area. A parking lot, bathrooms, showers, picnic spaces, and a lifeguard on duty are among the amenities available at the beach. Because weekends can be quite busy, weekdays are frequently the best time to visit.

Read Also: NEW HAWAII RESORTS: Best Modern Resorts 2023

#8. Kealoha Beach Park


James Kealoha Beach Park is yet another beach location along Kalanianaole Street; however, you might hear the locals refer to it as “4-mile.” Why? because the distance to Hilo’s post office is exactly four miles. Oh, right. There isn’t much sand here, just like on Hilo’s other beaches. Instead, the beach is totally composed of black volcanic rock. This means that while it might be difficult to “lie out,” the beach can be a lot of fun if you know where to go.

There is a protected lagoon area on the east side of the beach where swimming and snorkeling are both safe. Surfers prefer to hang out here because the current gets stronger and the waves break as you walk farther west along the coastline. Of course, snorkeling is fantastic here, and you could even see a few sea turtles. Always be cautious and monitor the weather because powerful currents might occur. It is recommended to stay on the east side of the beach if swimming makes you feel even somewhat uneasy.

#9. Cocoanut Island

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You’ll cross the lovely Coconut Island and the Waiakea Peninsula as you travel down the exquisitely planted Banyan Drive. This tiny island in Hilo Bay is an idyllic haven from which to admire Hilo and take in the sandy beach. A tiny footbridge that extends from the Liliuokalani Gardens connects Hilo to the island. It is only a short distance away. When you get to the island, you’ll see a grassy field, picnic places, restrooms, and a few sandy beaches.

Make sure to take notice of all the lovely flowers that thrive here as well. Consider jumping from the 20-foot tower into the water below if you want a little adrenaline boost. Local children frequently demonstrate their bravery and diving prowess there. This provides an excellent swimming location since the water is calm all around the island, especially on the side that faces Hilo.

The beaches on the island could get busy because of their unusual position, so it’s important to arrive early to ensure a nice place. Despite being right in the middle of downtown Hilo, the little island has a distinct sense of being in another place.

#10. Bayfront Beach Park

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The bulk of the residents hangs out on a beach that is located just in the center of downtown Hilo. With over 3,000 feet of area and a lot of facilities, Bayfront Beach Park is a black sand beach. People utilize this beach to hang out or launch their kayaks and canoes,  despite the fact that the water is too muddy for swimming. Parking, showers, and bathrooms are just a few of the amenities available at the beach.

Hilo’s Bayfront Beach Park is a small project. Restoration efforts are underway to restore the beach to its former splendor after years of industrial activity damaged the ocean and beachfront. Nevertheless, Hilo is a beautiful location for beach picnics, fishing, and surfing.

Does Hilo Have Nice Beaches?

Hilo is home to many black sand beaches, with Hilo Bayfront Beach Park being one of the nicest. It is located across the highway from the verdant Wailoa River State Recreation Area and downtown Hilo.

Where is the Nicest Beach in Hawaii?

The greatest beach in Hawaii this year is K’anapali Beach on the west coast of Maui, which is the cream of the crop. The three-mile-long beach is picture-perfect thanks to the pristine sand and azure water. The beach is special because of what is found beneath the water, though.

What is the Most Visited Beach in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s most renowned beach, Waikiki, is located on the island of Oahu, which receives the most tourists and offers something for everyone but the solitary traveler.

Is Hawaii Very Expensive?

A yearly salary of between $70,000 and $100,000 for a single individual or between $120,000 and $200,000 for a family is suggested to live comfortably in Hawaii. Is Hawaii a costly place to live? Hawaii is recognized for having a high cost of living owing to things like housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation.

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