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SAND + SURF REEDS BAY PARK

Banyan-lined cove offers excellent swimming in calm waters, but freshwater spring from the bottom keeps the water cold, a.k.a. the Ice Pond. Picnic areas, restrooms, showers, and camping are available. Located at the end of Banyan Drive.

PUNA-KA‘Ū KEHENA BEACH PARK

Lovely black sand beach with coconut and ironwood trees offers shade and nice backdrop. Swimming can be rough because of the strong rip currents, but it’s a great place to watch dolphins and turtles. The secluded location of the beach also draws nude sunbathers. Located off Hwy 137 about 5 miles south of MacKenzie State Recreation Area, park by other cars and take the well-worn path to beach.

GREEN SAND (PAPAKŌLEA) BEACH

Green crystals sparkle like jewels in the sun next to a magnificent turquoise sea in this unusual, most beautiful crescent beach formed during an early eruption of Mauna Loa. Swimming can be dangerous and there are no facilities, but once you kick off your tennis shoes and have a refreshing soak, you will appreciate the awesomeness of nature’s gift. Take Hwy 11 to South Point Rd in Ka‘ü and go south 12 miles. From here, continue NE on the dirt road to the boat launch and hike the final two miles to this majestic beach.

MACKENZIE STATE RECREATION AREA

HĀMĀKUA KOLEKOLE BEACH PARK

Fabulous place to picnic, fish and explore the underthe-bridge park with abundant tropical foliage and waterfalls. The Kolekole stream is fed from ‘Akaka Falls and flows into the ocean. Do not attempt to swim at the mouth of the river or enter the ocean at this spot because the rough, strong currents and rocky bottom makes it dangerous. Restrooms, showers and picnic areas are available. Located off Hwy 19 about 12 miles NW of Hilo between ‘Akaka and Umauma Falls.

LAUPĀHOEHOE POINT BEACH PARK

Swimming, snorkeling and surfing can be good, but heavy surf makes it dangerous at times. Site of the 1946 tidal wave offers good fishing and beautiful park. Picnic areas, camping, restrooms, showers and electricity are available. Located ~1 mile off Hwy 19 down a well-marked twisting road.

HILO COCONUT ISLAND BEACH PARK

Local family favorite for swimming, fishing, picnicking and tide pools. Shallow pools with sandy bottoms make this beach keiki (kid) friendly. Nice shade provided by coconut and ironwood trees. Located next to the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on Banyan Drive, cross the footbridge.

JAMES KEALOHA BEACH PARK

Good snorkeling, swimming, surfing, spearfishing and throw-netting. Best to swim and snorkel on the east myhawaiitraveler.com

side of the beach since it’s more protected than the west side, which can be rough with strong currents during high surf. Picnic areas, restrooms and showers are available. Located off Hwy 19, ~3 miles east of Hilo.

HONOLI‘I BEACH PARK

Sandy beach is popular local spot for surfing and boogie boarding on the eastern coast. Strong surf makes swimming difficult. Restrooms and showers are available. Located off Hwy 19 at Alae Point.

LELEIWI BEACH PARK

Scenic park with series of inlets, coves and tide pools. It’s a good place to scuba dive. Located off Kalaniana‘ole Ave. along the water ~4 miles east of Hilo.

ONEKAHAKAHA BEACH PARK

Good family beach with a protected, white sand beach and tidepools. Picnic pavilions, restrooms and showers are available. Located off Kalaniana‘ole Ave. along the water ~3 miles east of Hilo.

RICHARDSON OCEAN PARK

Black sand beach fringed with coconut palms and ironwood trees. Lava outcroppings give swimmers somewhat protection and makes for good snorkeling. Restrooms and showers are available. Located off Kalaniana‘ole Ave. along the water ~5 miles east of Hilo.

Beautiful 13-acre coastal park located in a breezy, cool ironwood grove along a rocky coastline. Small sea arches and lava tube openings are visible along the coastline cliffs. Swimming is not recommended due to the sea cliff that borders the park, but good shore fishing exists. Beware of occasionals high waves that break on the ledges. Picnic tables, camping and restrooms are available. Located off Hwy 137, 9 miles NE of Kaimü.

PUNALU‘U BLACK SAND BEACH PARK

Palm trees line this inviting lagoon where green sea turtles rest on the black sand, good swimming beach and easily accessible. Near the boat ramp at the northern end of the beach lie the ruins of a heiau and a flat sacrificial stone. Restrooms and camping are available. Nearby is Ninole Cove, a small beach with a grassy area and lagoon good for swimming. Located on Hwy 11, 27 miles south of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

WHITTINGTON BEACH PARK

Picturesque scenic park rich with vibrant colors and history. Not much of a beach, but a great place to take photographs and explore the stunning views of the park and the wharf built in 1883 to move sugar, then destroyed by the 1946 tsunami. Swimming is not recommended in the ocean due to strong currents, high surf and rocky shoreline. Fishing is popular with the locals on the weekends. Picnic area, restrooms, electricity and camping are available. Located off Hwy 11 across from the abandoned sugar mill. 107

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