Deciding on the places you want to visit while on vacation takes some research. A trip can be so much more rewarding when you actually know what you want to see. In doing a little planning, you can prepare for your trip and ensure that you actually get to do what you really wanted to do, and don’t spend half your trip wandering around trying to figure out where you want to go. If you want to find that perfect hidden beach, a place to relax, have fun with kids, and soak up the sun, you might want to consider Richardson’s Beach Park.

The park gets its name, Richardson from the original owners, Elsa and George Richardson, who lived here, and the home still stands here. George Richardson was the County Chief Detective for Hawaii in the early 1900s. The land was gifted to him by the Malo family for having helped the family get through the typhoid fever.

Richardson, originally from Kohala, liked to fish along the Keaukaha coastline in his boat. He was a friend of David Malo’s. When his daughter, Elena showed up on his doorstep with the news of the family illness, Richardson put her in the boat and went to the Malo home and took the family to the Hilo hospital. Even then, two of the children died. In thanks to saving their lives, the Malo family donated Richardsons beach to him.

Where is Richardson’s Beach?

This park is a black sand beach and it is the closest beach to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. The locals know this beach as Richardson’s and it is the best place for snorkeling and sighting sea turtle and other sea life. The shallow bay just in front of the richardson ocean center oferrs the best snorkeling option for seeing the local sea life. In fact, the entire beach offers the best snorkeling site on the East side of the Island. Families love Richardson’s Beach as it has some lovely tide pools with calm water. It is just one of several beach parks in south Hilo. Expect the weather here to be a bit dryer and clearer than in Hilo.

Main Features of Richardson’s Beach

Richardson has a marine conservation area. The water here is spring fed by freshwater as well as the ocean. This forms ponds on the beach. The combination of the cold spring water and the warm ocean water create a clear rich water with rich marine life like monk seals which you can enjoy viewing.

The sand at Richardson beach is made out of black lava mixed with sparkles of green. Actually, the green sand comes from olivine crystals. While there you will also want to visit the Richardson Marine Center.


The park opens between 7am and 7pm There are parking areas, picnic areas, showers, restrooms and ponds. It makes a wonderful place to walk, enjoy the water. It is ideal for kids, families or people who just want to soak up the sun. This is a very popular beach park so if you want to get a good parking space be sure to show up early


To reserve a hotel close to this park you need to stay in Hilo. A few recommended hotels in Hilo are the Hilo Seaside hotel, Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Grand Naniloa hotel. Some of these are smaller hotels with no elevator and others are nicer resorts.

However if you really want to stay close to Richardson’s park then you might want to try the Richardson’s Park Beach House. This is a holiday home that is within walking distance of the Rchardson’s Ocean park.

How to Get to Richardson Beach Park

Getting to Richardsons from downtown Hilo is simple. Take Kalaniana’ole Avenue. This is the avenue that goes to all the beach parks in the area. Continue down the road almost to the end and Richardsons is the last park almost at the end of the road.

Other Activities Nearby

A nice thing about Richardson’s is that there are a few other activities nearby. Just 12 minutes away by car is the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.Other interesting beaches like onekahakaha beach can also be found nearby.