Snorkel in the clear waters at this beautiful spot, where gaps in the volcanic ocean floor hide a wealth of marine life.
If nature fascinates you, spend a day at Keaukaha Beach Park, where a huge array of animals hide out beneath the waves. This popular oceanfront area is a must-visit snorkeling site. When the waters are calm, don your mask and scan the ocean floor for all kinds of fascinating creatures. Swim all the way out to the protective reef that keeps this section of coastline sheltered.
It is the beach park’s natural form that makes it such an ideal place for enjoying the water. Despite its name, there is no classic sandy beach here. Instead, this stretch of coastline is formed from hardened lava. This means you should be extra careful when exploring it, as it can be craggy and uneven underfoot. But it’s this specific texture that creates countless cracks and tiny caves for crabs, fish and other animals to live in, making the area especially rich in marine life.
Bring your family here on a weekday afternoon and make the most of the sheltered location of the oceanfront area. There should be very few other visitors to disturb you at this time. Swim out to the reef that acts as a block to more powerful waves and helps tame the waters near the coast. On your way, scan the rocks beneath you for sea anemones and shellfish, but be ready to encounter larger animals such as turtles too. Reach the reef itself to explore an equally varied treasure trove of wildlife.
Afterward, have a picnic on the wide grassy area that’s perfect for post-snorkeling relaxation. Imagine you’ve stepped into a postcard as you enjoy the striking Hawaiian view spread out before you, complete with gorgeous rocky coastline and bright blue waters.
Keaukaha Beach Park is well served by all the facilities you need for a stress-free day out. These include a parking lot, public restrooms and showers and picnic tables. Reach the park from downtown Hilo by car in less than 15 minutes, driving eastwards and following the signs. Make sure you bring your swimsuit and snorkeling mask, and be prepared to explore a whole other world hidden beneath the waves.