Hilo’s best beaches all lie to the east of the city along Kalanianaole Avenue, which runs six miles from downtown Hilo to where it dead ends at Lelei Point.  Not all beaches are clearly marked, but all are easily spotted by cars parked along the road or in makeshift parking lots.

Hilo Bayfront Park is a thousand yards of black sand that narrows considerably as it runs west from the Wailoa River toward downtown.The bay is terrific for fishing and picnicking, and the sails of small craft and windsurfers can always be seen. It’s a perfect spot for canoe races, and many local teams come here to train.
Hilo Bayfront Park
Coconut Island Park is reached by footbridge from a spit of land just outside Liliuokalani Gardens. Coconut Island has restrooms, pavilion, and picnic tables shaded by tall coconut trees and ironkwoods.  The only decent place to swim in Hilo Bay, it also offers the best panorama of the city, bay, and Mauna Kea beyond.
Coconut Island Park
Reeds Bay Beach Park is on the east side of the Waiakea Peninsula at the end of Banyan Drive.  It too is technically part of Hilo Bay, and offers good swimming, though the water is notoriously cold because of a constantly flowing freshwater spring.
Reeds Bay Beach Park
Keaukaha Beach, located on Phui Bay, is the first in a series of beaches as you head Easton Kalanianaole Avenue.   Not an official baech park, it is a favorite spot with local people who sim at “Cold Water Pond,” a spring-fed inlet at the head of the bay.
Keaukaha Beach

Onekahakaha Beach Park has it all: safe swimming, white-sand beach, lifeguards, all amenities, and camping. Swim in the large sandy-bottom pool protected by the breakwater. Walk east along the shore to fin an undeveloped area of the park with many small tidal pools.

James Kealoha Park is next; people swim, snorkel, and fish, and during winter months it’s a favorite surfing spot.  A large grassy area is shaded by trees and a picnic pavilion.

Richardson's Beach lies along a lovely residential area carved into the rugges coastline. This is a terrific area for snorkeling, with plenty of marinelife. Walk east to a natural lava breaker. Behind the pols are filled and flushed by the surging tide. This is one of the most picturesque swimming areas on the island.

Lehia Park is the end of the road. When the pavement stops follow the dirt track until you come to a large grassy field shaded by a variety of trees. This unofficial camping area has no amenities whatsoever. A series of pools like those at Richardson's are small, sandy-bottomed, and safe.