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“Best Beach in Hilo”

Richardson Beach Park
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Hilo Hot Steam Volcano Tour: Waterfalls - Big Island Candies - Black Sand
Ranked #6 of 80 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
52 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Best Beach in Hilo”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Hilo doesn't have the kind of sandbars that you find on the West side of the island. Bayfront (Hilo Bay) is a long black sand beach, but I don't see too many people swimming in the water there. That being said, I love "Richardson's". I've been coming here since I was a kid and it still has drawing power for me.

Younger kinds can hangout at what I call the "first beach." It's not really a beach at all, but the (very) small sand bar directly below the rock wall is great during low tides. If you want to hangout in the water you can wade out at the first beach, or head over the the second beach. There's a narrow entrance to the larger bay that you can usually find many families swimming in. You can also go just a bit farther out to get some elbow room.

For sunbathing the second beach has enough space to lay out, but there are also trees (which I like...). The third beach has less tree cover and enough sand to put your towel down.

Like I said, I still go to Richardson's regularly. We go snorkeling in front of the third beach, near the rocks that enclose the little bay. There are quite a few corals and fish to see. As long as visibility is good it's a great spot. The dive is MUCH better during high tide when you can get further into the rocks.

The grounds are also quite picturesque. There are a number of brackish ponds on either side of the building. You can look out over Hilo Bay and take some nice photos. And that is exactly when the busloads of tourists do. You can also explore the tide pools in the lava rocks or the brackish "marsh" closest to the retaining rocks on the third beach.

One thing to consider is that the currents can be pretty strong. If you're not a strong swimmer, stay close to shore. You don't have to go out very far to see any turtles.

Also parking can get pretty bad later in the day on weekends. I suggest getting out there before 9am if you don't want hunt for a space.

Visited October 2013
4 Thank Tony K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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397 reviews from our community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Turtles and butt cheeks galore...”
Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

Ok, it is a beach and its 80 degrees so to each their own. Many of the good things said about this beach are true. My kids counted 18 sea turtles! However, not much black sand that we could find...very rocky with rough surf. A local hangout with more hanging out of small bathing suits than you might see elsewhere. Older local guy walking behind and gawking at 3 teenage girls wearing Brazilian cut bikinis. Creepy. Middle aged guy wearing a thong or was it a sock? Seedy. Younger ladies in thongs. No comment :) Nice for young adults and little kids who dont know the difference but a little uncomfortable for some families with tweens and young teens, especially if you are trying to teach your kids about modesty. Fortunately most of the dental floss suits were out on the rocky areas so a family with young girls who may not be as open to so much skin can still enjoy sections of this beach. Its just not like the big wider sand beaches you would find on the Kona side.

2 Thank smjjakr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
78 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great location”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Sea turtles, olivine-black sand beach, lave formations,
We went there with coconut joe from Hilo. He grew up in the area, it was his family home.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Kiddosmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“We loved it here but protect yourself against the rocks”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We loved Richardsons so much we went there twice on our stay in the Big Island. The first time we got to see the sea turtles. It was awesome! Good ammenities, shower and toilet block. The only downside was that my daughter cut herself on the rocks, even wearing reef walkers, she skinned her knees and got a couple of cuts on her hand when swimming around. This doesn't stop us recommending this beautiful beach. Just make sure you take your first aid kit if your young kids feel like venturing out. I assume adults know better as my husband was fine.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank Masterofthemkt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
68 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013 via mobile

Let me start of by saying that this is not your typical beach. There is no sand on this beach. Only dirt and rocks. However this is a great place to crash/snorkel/swim. I saw 6 turtles on this beach. 4 together. So worth a stop if you have some free time in hilo.

2 Thank BKFOOD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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