Visit Carlsmith Beach Park (Four Mile) in Hilo, Hawaii

Carlsmith Beach Park (Also known as Four Mile) is simply gorgeous Located along the string of small beach parks that skirts the coastline from downtown Hilo and past the Hilo airport, Carlsmith beach is interesting and a very popular local beach. But it is different to the other beach parks in that it doesn’t have a real beach! 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 a outer rock barrier that protects in inside reef and lagoons which are fun to swim, snorkel or kayak in..

Why it is also called 4 Mile Beach?

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 ocean side with the pool lagoons and before James Kealoha Beach with the large 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.

Beach day fun at Carlsmith Beach Park in Hilo, Hawaii

Protected break waters in the bay for family fun

Carlsmith beach is a family friendly swimming post. 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.

There are picnic tables around the park to set up or you can lay a towel on the large grassy lawn area. The area also has lots of coconut trees and large shrubby areas to protect from the hot afternoon sun around the beach areas.

Looking at the small island in the middle of the lagoon area called Mahikea Island below.

Protected break waters in the bay

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 ocean side and signage for Carlsmith Beach right in front of the restroom. The parking lot is very small so parking is mostly on the street or you can find parking in the adjoining lot close by with a short walk to the park.

Address: 1815 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720

Directions to Carl Smith Beach

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.

For additional parking areas, drive next door to the James Kealoha Beach Park adjoining Carlsmith with the private fish pond area next door.

Amenities at Carlsmith Beach Park

Things to do at Carlsmith Beach park

Spread your towel on the large lawn areas and hit the pools (there is no physical beach).

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

There are some cool inlets and larger lagoons to explore with a kayak or sup board or swim if you prefer.

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.

Across the street is the Seaside restaurant for terrific seafood meals.

Here’s a cool video tour of Carlsmith beach area and the dazzling water to swim in

Things to do on the beach

Other beaches to explore in the area include:

Onekahakaha Beach Park

Richardson Ocean Beach Park

Keaukaha Beach Park

Coconut Island

Wai’olena Beach Park

Reeds Bay Beach Park

Kealoha Beach Park

Further reading to visiting Hilo and surrounding areas in East Hawaii

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?

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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Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.