Reeds Bay Beach Park

Experience a Hidden Gem for Families at Reeds Bay Beach Park
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Visit Reeds Bay Beach Park for shallow water swimming, wading, paddleboarding, or picnicking. When you want to get away from the tourist crowds or want a family-friendly beach, stop by this local park to relax in the calm, cold waters.

- The Local Expert Team

Reeds Bay Beach Park is a quiet beach on weekdays and a popular local destination on the weekends. Visit this park for a relaxing picnic or a quieter beach experience than at the larger, more populated beaches.

Most people think of wide, sandy beaches with rolling waves when they suggest Hawaiian beaches to visit. However, beaches in Hawaii don’t all look the same. You can visit multiple beach spots around the state and still not have the same experience twice. Some beaches have fine sandy expanses. Other spots have lava rocks surrounding the water.

Reeds Bay Beach Park presents another unique beach option to visit while visiting Hawaii. This spot features a white sand beach mixed with coral. The coral came from the dredging of Hilo Harbor in the 1920s. You experience local history when you walk on the coral-mixed sand at Reeds Bay Beach.

People who visit this park don’t come for surfing or bodyboarding. The waters do not have waves to accommodate these activities. This beach does offer many chances to picnic, lay on the grass, or watch the boats offshore.

The waters near Reeds Bay Beach are unusual for Hawaii. Instead of balmy waters with strong waves, the calm bay has freshwater and seawater that mix, creating cooler spots. A spring-fed freshwater pond, known as Icy Pond, at the head of the bay adds its chilling freshwater to the seawater. The cooling pond water makes the area of Reeds Bay closest to the pond preferable for swimming and water activities in the calm water. Refresh yourself on a hot afternoon with a dip in the Icy Pond waters.

If the water closer to the pond is too cold for your liking, move toward the other end of the beach, where the cold freshwater becomes more diluted by the warmer ocean water.

Reeds Bay Beach Park is a public facility that includes several convenient amenities for visitors, such as outdoor showers, bathrooms, and picnic tables. Since this park is a local favorite, skip weekends and holidays. During these times, local families flock to this park for barbecues and family gatherings. The added crowds in the park also fill the nearby parking lot and street parking, making finding a parking spot and table in the park difficult. Visit on weekdays for lighter crowds.

Enjoy one of the following great things to do at Reeds Bay Beach Park:

Enjoy Family Friendly Water Activities  

Since the protected bay has calm water, Reeds Bay Beach offers a perfect place for families with small children to enjoy swimming or wading. Adults can swim with their kids in the bay waters without worrying about strong undertows or large waves. Paddleboarding and kayaking are other popular water activities at this beach.

Go out onto Reeds Bay at your own risk. The beach does not have a lifeguard watching over swimmers.

See Decades-Old Banyan Trees

Don’t miss the chance to get pictures of the banyan trees along both sides of the road next to the park. Each tree has a plaque dedicated to a famous person, such as Amelia Earhart. These magnificent trees date back to their plantings in the 1930s. The park itself has several banyan trees inside it, which provide shady spots near the beach.

Bring a Picnic

Grab a meal from a local restaurant or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy an alfresco meal at this park. Several picnic tables provide ample spots for dining or bring a picnic blanket or towel to sit on. Barbecue grills at the picnic tables require charcoal for use. Bring charcoal and grilling food in a cooler if you want to cook your own meal, as many families who visit the park do. You might encounter a food truck that stops by the park to sell snacks to visitors to add to your picnic meal.

Reeds Bay Beach Park in Hilo is a family-friendly location for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and picnicking. Make a stop here on a weekday when you want to enjoy a quiet coral and sand beach away from the crowds of tourists.

Insider Tips:

-Go to this beach on a weekday to avoid the large crowds of the weekends.

-Wear water shoes to protect your feet from the rocky shores and gravel underwater.