Richardson’s Beach can be found near the end of Kalanianaole Street, which begins at the intersection of Routes 19 and 11. It is a secluded black-sand beach that has a spectacular view of snow-capped Mauna Kea from across Hilo Bay. The waters are calm, making it a great spot for snorkeling, and it is not uncommon to see green sea turtles feeding near the shore. The beach has showers, restrooms, and an abundance of lava rock tidal pools to explore. This is the rainy side of the island, so you will find plenty of trees to provide protection from the hot afternoon sun.
This morning, we watched the younger students from a nearby school winding through ironwood and palm trees and over old lava flows as they played follow-the-leader with their teacher. Older keiki participated in relay races, where they each took turns running down the beach into the calm waters to swim out to their instructors and back again. After the races, the children formed a line before each of the sizeable instructors, and one by one, they were tossed high into the air screaming and laughing as they splashed down into the bay. I don’t remember ever seeing a group of kids having so much fun at school.
About a mile from the beach on our way back to Hilo, we stopped at Kai Trans for some ice cream, then went next door to the Hilo Tropical Mart, where we purchased a couple of locally made remembrances. The next thing we knew, we had spent a couple of hours at the store "talking story" with the most warm-hearted people.