Carlsmith beach park (also know as Four Mile) is one of our favorite places to swim and snorkel close to Hilo. Lava rocks and a reef protect the inner swimming area, making it almost like a swimming pool. This is a good place to bring your kids.
Good for swimming and snorkeling, no sandy beach
Carlsmith is not a typical beach as there is no sandy shore but rather a well kept lawn where you can lie down in the sun or shadow. You can also find some picnic tables scattered around the park.
The breakwater keeps the waves small most of the time, and the water temperature here can be somewhat low because of cool fresh water which seeps in out of the ground into the lagoon in several areas. This has the effect of creating a few cooler spots throughout the lagoons.
If the waters are calm this is a good place for water activities such as swimming and snorkeling, and turtles often visit this beach.
A lifeguard is on duty on weekends and holidays between 9:30 and 4:45 p.m., and there are restrooms, a shower, drinking water and a picnic area.
Carlsmith beach park video
The following 3.5 minute video by YouTube user lucky we live Hawaii 808 shows aerial footage of the each park and its surroundings and gives a good overview of what you can expect when visiting.
You can reach the Carlsmith beach park in a 5 to 10 minute drive from downtown Hilo. Follow Highway 137 east and park your car at the beach parking lot.