Beach day fun at Carlsmith Beach Park (4 Mile) in Hilo, Hawaii
Carlsmith Beach Park is simply gorgeous, located in the string of beaches in Hilo close to the airport, this beach is interesting in that it actually has not beach area! Instead what substitutes for beach is green lush lawn and flat lava rocks that everyone parks their towels in. What makes this beach stunning is the soft beach bottom and gorgeous aqua to azure tones of green to blue within the lagoons, coves and protected reef that is fun to explore on foot or in the water.
Carlsmith is called “4 mile” because it is about four miles from the downtown area of Hilo. It is also next to James Kealoha (4-mile) Beach Park and the entire area is referred to as 4 mile so there’s no confusion to the different named parks close by to each other. Carlsmith is located on the right hand side with the pool lagoons and James Kealoha Beach is on the left side with the larger parking lot area and a private fish pond on the far left side of the park area.
A family friendly beach park, the protected reef feels like a giant swimming pool on one end and a bay with little islands sprinkled in the middle that make it a fun destination. The shallow lagoon portions and cove areas are perfect to little kids to play in under the parent’s eyes that can easily spot them from above in the green lawn areas of the park.
Protected break waters in the bay
Perfect for snorkeling fun, bringing big play toys like sup boards and kayaks, there’s plenty of space to float and explore around 4 mile beach. The beach has fresh water bubbling to the surface mixing cold and hot water giving swimming an odd but refreshing experience passing through these areas.
Looking at the small island in the middle of the lagoon area called Mahikea Island below.
Directions to Carl Smith Beach
The beach is about a 10 minute drive from downtown Hilo. drive down Kalaniana’ole Avenue until you reach the beach area on the left side and signage for Carlsmith Beach. The parking lot is very small so parking is mostly on the street or the adjoining lot close by which is also a part of Carl Smith Beach park.
Address: 1815 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720
Amenities at Carlsmith Beach Park
Parking and adjoining lot with restrooms, showers, picnic areas, covered pavilions and grass lawns and lifeguard stations that are monitored mostly on weekends. Entrance is free to the beach park and parking.
The beach park is open from 7am to 8pm daily.
Looking at the James Kealoha Beach Park adjoining Carlsmith and the private fish pond area next door.
Things to do at Carlsmith Beach park
Spread your towel on the large lawn areas and hit the pools.
Spot native honu or green sea turtles in all the coves and rocky areas feeding. Make sure you give them at least 10 feet of space which is a legal requirement in Hawaii
Bring a water recreation toy like a kayak, surf board or snorkel set to enjoy all the lagoon areas
Make it to the small island in the middle of the lagoon areas called Mahikea Island.
Take a nice walk along the coastal area to the left at James Kealoha (4-mile) Beach Park for different views or swimming spots
Check out the private fish pond on the far left of the park. You can see the pond from the parking lot and access is prohibited on the pond or adjoining rock areas. Originally this area had over 14 different active fish ponds that housed mullet and talapia fish.
Walk or bike to the other string of Hilo Beaches heading east all the way to the end at Richardson’s.
Here’s a cool video tour of Carlsmith beach area and the dazzling water to swim in
Other beaches to explore in the area include:
Onekahakaha Beach Park
Keaukaha Beach Park
Wai’olena Beach Park
Kealoha Beach Park
Further reading to visiting Hilo and surrounding areas in East Hawaii
Check out the top things to do in Hilo, Hawaii
Strolling through Lili’uokalani Gardens – a gorgeous Japanese garden that is bay front in Hilo
Explore the best Waterfalls of the Big Island
Enyoy this exciting and unusual Big Island hike to Narnia
Visit to Rainbow Falls, one of the most popular attractions in Hilo and some other fantastic waterfalls to explore.
Explore the cool caves above Hilo at Kaumana Caves State Park
A visit to visit the botanical gardens and lava tree stumps at Lava Tree State Park in Pahoa
Exploring the best of the national park scene at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Have you been to CarlSmith Beach Park?
Please share your thoughts and other recommendations in the comments below with your recommendations.
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