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Carlsmith Beach in Hilo

Our favorite Hilo beach is one a little less known and one I've nicknamed Turtle Beach. Carlsmith Beach is protected by a reef making it safe for most children (3 feet or so deep near the shore). It has the nicest sandy bottom of all the Hilo beaches and offers opportunities for playing in the water and snorkeling a bit further out while still remaining safe. There are usually some sea turtles around you can see from shore and even snorkel with. There isn't a sandy beach here but it does have a nice lawn area to hang out. As always watch your belongings or leave them locked in the trunk of your car.

To find the beach, head into Hilo on the main road and just pass the airport when HI-11 ends turn right. After about 2.7 miles you will see Carlsmith Beach. It's an obvious recreation area though the sign for it identifying it as Carlsmith is not easily spotted. If you reach Richardson's Beach you've gone too far. If you can't park next to the restroom there is other parking nearby.

Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge.


Easy in and out. Where the color turns a bit dark is an area where there is safe snorkling.

Nice sandy bottom - no sand shoes needed here.

This part of the lagoon is even more shallow. Turtles show up here too.

On a clear day there is a nice view of Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano in the world. Notice how the reef protects the lagoon.

No sandy beach but there is a large lawn area to sun bath and rest between dips in the ocean.

Another view of the lagoon.


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