cover

Snorkeling in Hawaii

CC0/Fcja99/Pixabay

Hawaii is a great place for a family vacation, and one of the most family-friendly activities to do in the Aloha State is to go snorkeling. It doesn’t cost much, you never know what you’ll see and you may even learn a little something. Before booking your next trip, take a look at some of the best beaches for snorkeling while planning your itinerary.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

CC BY-SA 2.0/Viator.com/Flickr

Snorkelers who visit Hanauma Bay off the shores of Oahu will find thousands of colorful fish swimming in and out of the coral reef that sits just off the beach. There are just a few things to be aware of. First, it’s the most popular beach in Hawaii, and it’s closed on Tuesdays. Also, it’s a known spot for drownings, so be careful when snorkeling.

Molokini Crater, Maui

CC BY-SA 4.0/Bossfrog/Wikimedia Commons

You’ll have to take a boat ride to Molokini Crater, but once you make your way inside its walls, the water is perfectly clear. You’ll see manta rays, barracudas and hundreds of other beautiful fish swimming the reefs. The Crater is located a few miles off the coast, so it’s the perfect outing for anyone staying on the island.

Turtle Town, Maui

CC BY 2.0/Snorkelingdives.com/Flickr

This spot is great place for all ages, from its family-friendly rental homes to its luaus, surf lessons and aquarium. There are so many reasons to make it your family vacation destination. Turtle Town, a little snorkeling spot off Maluaka Beach, should also be on your list. It’s a great place for your family to see sea turtles, octopi and eels.

Shark’s Cove, Oahu

CC BY-SA 2.0/Ken Lund/Flickr

If sharks are more your thing, head to Oahu to a little area known as Shark’s Cove. Part of the area is enclosed by rocks, which means fewer waves and calmer waters. However, during the winter months, the water here can get a little choppy and dangerous, so stick to summer snorkeling.

Hulopoe Bay, Lanai

CC BY 2.0/Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons

Lanai is a little quieter and a little less inhabited than the rest of the island, which means you have more chances to see critters that humans don’t scare away. At Hulopoe Bay, there are plenty of calm, shallow tide pools where snorkelers of all ages can spot favorite sea creatures, including dolphins and sea turtles.</p>

Tunnels Beach, Kauai

CC BY 2.0/SNORKELINGDIVES.COM/Flickr

If you ask anyone where the most beautiful place to go snorkeling on Kauai is, they’ll tell you it’s Tunnels Beach. The water is so perfectly blue, and it’s surrounded by the stunning Nā Pali Coast State Park. You may want to leave the little ones at home for this excursion, as the currents can be strong and sometimes dangerous.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, Big Island

CC BY 2.0/daveynin/Flickr

This is one of the calmest snorkeling spots in Hawaii, which makes it fun for the whole family. Even better is that you’ll see a little bit of everything when it comes to wildlife. Dolphins, sharks, turtles, eels, rays and others call the area home. It’s also a great spot for kayaking or having a picnic on the shore.

North Shore, Oahu

CC0/skeeze/Pixabay

Snorkeling at Oahu’s North Shore is another trip all shark lovers must take. You’ll likely see a variety of the ocean’s most feared predator, including hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and sandbar sharks. You can even snorkel with a shark conservation research team and learn a little something new.

Poipu Beach Park, Kauai

CC BY 2.0/Bob Linsdell/Flickr

This spot is clear, calm and suitable for snorkelers of all ages. It’s also a treasure trove for spotting wildlife. From the infamous monk seals to the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, otherwise known as the red reef fish (it’s the state fish), you’ll see a little bit of everything. During certain seasons, you may even spot a few humpback whales.