A fun beach day at Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo, Hawaii
Richardson Ocean Park is one of the fabulous string of beaches located in south Hilo and enjoying a beach day here is truly one of the simple pleasures to enjoy while on the island. A popular weekend hangout spot for locals that call the park “Richardson’s”, the park is family friendly with full facilities and lifeguard station in the beach areas. The beach is also a popular place for snorkeling, surfing and spotting marine life like green honu (native sea turtles) resting or eating along the rock areas of the beach.
Richardson’s is the last of a string of beaches in Hilo along Kalaniana’ole and one of the most popular because of the varied beach, snorkeling, surfing and picnic potluck gatherings the place is known for. Weekends here are packed so if you need more space and quiet time, visit during the weekend day at Richardson’s. The park contains several ponds that are part of a marine conservation area and are typically office limits to visitors to enter or collect things.
Interesting history of Richardson Ocean Park
The home still standing at Richardson’s Beach used to be the personal home of Elsa and George Richardson who was the chief detective of the County of Hawaii. The property was gift to the Richardson’s from the Malo family that owed them a debt for saving the family from typhoid fever. The property was later gifted to the county and operating the Richardson Ocean Center today.
Along this unique green and black sand beach you’ll find some fantastic marine life sheltering here including honu turtles, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal as well as migratory whales just outside the breakers areas of the beach.
Directions on how to get to Richardson Ocean Park
From downtown Hilo, drive down Kalaniana’ole Avenue and past the series of local beaches in the area including Carlsmith Beach Park, Onekahakaha Beach Park, and some of the smaller beach parks and lagoon areas of the south end of Hilo.
Address of the beach: 2355 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720
How to park at Richardson Ocean Park
With a relatively small parking lot that fills up early on the weekends, most people park on the main feeder road or on the side streets if it is very busy. Weekends are crowded and traffic and parking in the area is difficult because everyone wants to be at the beach.
What’s cool to do and see at Richardson Ocean Park
There are rock areas and beach areas to explore along with small lagoons that have tropical fish and marine life that is cool to see along with sea turtles that regularly feed and rest in the area.
The bay area of Richardson’s is very popular for recreation to include kayaking, surfing, snorkeling and fishing in the areas that are not marine conservation areas.
The sands at Richardson’s an interesting mix of Green Olivine sand crystals and black lava sand which is unusual for this side of the island.
You can walk through to the barrier rocks on the perimeter with a shallow lagoon that you can cross, this is typically a place you’ll find some green sea turtles along with tropical fish.
When it is whale season in winter time, you can spot whales just offshore the rocky barrier areas.
Tips on visiting and spending time at Richardson Ocean Park
Weekends are the busy period for locals and families to hang out at Richardson’s or any of the Hilo Beaches, you should just visit during the weekdays if possible.
Parking is limited so go early in the morning or later afternoon time frame or look for street parking on the main drag.
There are picnic tables and barbeque grills so a picnic is always great here especially with all the fantastic views.
Bring your snorkel gear or other outdoor toys here to play in the semi protected areas of the beach park.
There are lots of tropical fish to discover so please use reef protected sun screen when you go swimming or snorkeling in the waters.
Check with the lifeguard on duty if you notice anything strange or change of flags or the weather conditions on the beach area.
Check out these other Hilo area posts and attractions
Explore one of the most scenic waterfalls in town at Rainbow Falls
Enjoy some fun at Coconut Island in Hilo Bay
Experience the aquamarine pools and lagoons at Carlsmith Beach Park
Go kayaking, Sup or water fun on family friendly Reeds Bay Beach Park
Enjoy some cool and fun Things to do around Hilo town
Check out the impressive Waterfalls of the Big Island
Explore the cool caves above Hilo at Kaumana Caves State Park
Visit Lili’uokalani Garden in Hilo – a beautiful Japanese garden that is ocean front on the Hilo Bay.
Why Visit Volcanoes National Park – because the volcano is active with lava eruptions in the crater
Visit Volcano Village close to the national Park
Have you been to Richardson Ocean Park?
Please share your thoughts and other recommendations in the comments below with your recommendations.
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