The Best Hawaiian Beaches for Snorkeling with Kids (2022)

The Best Hawaiian Beaches for Snorkeling with Kids: Oahu, Maui and the Big Island

July 15, 2019Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, The Big Island Lissa

When we planned a three week, three island trip to Hawaii this summer- snorkeling was at the very tip top of our list of things to do. I researched for months, searching for the best places to snorkel with kids on the three islands we were planning to visit- Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Our boys had never snorkeled in the ocean before so we wanted to find easy, safe entries for them but we also wanted to see a lot of fish! We made a big long list of places to visit, checked out as many as we could and here are the spots we found to be the best Hawaiian beaches for snorkeling with kids!


Ko’Olina Lagoons

If you’re looking for the absolute safest, easiest place to start your little snorkelers, the Ko’Olina Lagoons are your best bet. There are four man-made lagoons in Ko’Olina that are shallow, sandy bottom lagoons fully protected from the big water. It was important to us that our boys to learn to snorkel in a sandy area where they could touch. We wanted them to learn from the beginning that you never stand on a live reef, even if you can touch, and we also didn’t want to overwhelm them by starting over big water. The Ko’Olina Lagoons are sandy and shallow enough that our boys could walk all the way across them, but the far edges did have enough reef to attract quite a few fish. This allowed our boys to start in a super safe environment where they could stand up and take a breather at any point in time without worrying about standing on the reef. Was it the best snorkeling in the world? Definitely not- but it is a truly fantastic place for kids to get a feel for putting their face in the ocean while still being able to put their feet down. We found quite a few fish on the outer edges of Lagoon 4 and spent most of our morning there. All four lagoons have public parking, though it does fill up by mid-morning so you’ll want to get there early!

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Shark’s Cove

This North Shore Beach was another great beginning snorkeling beach that is protected from the big water, though Shark’s Cove will also delight adults and more experienced snorkelers as you can access deeper waters if you wish. If you’re spending your entire stay down in the Honolulu area, we can’t recommend highly enough that you take a day to drive up and explore the North Shore. Shark’s Cove was hands-down the best snorkeling we found on Oahu, but there are numerous other beautiful beaches to visit and the little town of Haleiwa is a great place to grab lunch and shave ice after snorkeling!

First things first- do not attempt to visit Shark’s Cove without water shoes! There’s a bit of a hike down to the water and it’s all rocky. Younger kids will need some assistance, but it’s totally do-able. Our boys absolutely loved rock hopping their way down to the beach with a little more speed and a lot more jumping than this mama would have preferred. Didn’t make me nervous at all (it totally did!). If you park in the lot farther to the south, the entry into the water is a bit easier but it’s still rocky and you’re still going to want water shoes- plus you’ll want them for getting in the water too!

The nice thing about Shark’s Cove is that in many spots, you can stand in the sandy pools and see fish without actually having to put your face in the water. So if you have little ones who are hesitant, they can still see lots of fish! There are lots of sandy spots that are very shallow where kids can stand and just put their faces in the water without actually having to float or swim- or they can use their hands to touch the bottom. For those who are a little braver, you can swim out to spots that are deeper but where mom and dad can still touch (on sand) if needed. Closer out to the break wall there is even deeper water with more fish yet this area is still quite protected from any waves so it’s easy to snorkel. On the far north of the beach you can get into the big water and folks said the fish out there were fantastic. There’s something for every level of snorkeler at Shark’s Cove which makes it a fantastic family spot.

The only trouble with the beginner spots at Shark’s Cove is that they can be so shallow and so rocky that you can have trouble moving over the rocks at times! When we were in the shallower waters and pools, we focused on guiding our boys through and we didn’t really stick our faces in until we were out in the water that got a bit deeper. But in all locations, there were plenty of fish and our boys were really excited to see such a variety while still feeling safe and comfortable.

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(Video) Best SNORKELING beach for kids - Big Island Hawaii

Hanauma Bay

This is a super popular snorkeling spot on Oahu, though we chose not to visit Hanauma Bay. I snorkeled Hanauma Bay eighteen years ago when I spent a summer in Hawaii and even back then, so much damage had been done to the reef that it was heartbreaking. It is a beautiful beach with easy entry snorkeling for little ones- but once you get out in the water you are over all reef and shouldn’t stand up at all, which is tempting for kids especially when they can technically reach their feet to the reef and might want a short break. Hanauma Bay also gets incredibly crowded, so we opted for Shark’s Cove on the North Shore instead. But if you’re only going to be down in the Honolulu area, Hanauma Bay is a nice, safe spot for kids. It’s also easily accessible from the Honolulu area. If you don’t have a car, there are multiple tour groups that will take you out for the day.

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Honolua Bay

About about 30 minutes north of Lahaina, Honolua Bay has fantastic, easy-entry snorkeling for beginners as well as deeper water snorkeling for those looking for something, well- deeper! Many snorkeling charters anchor in the bay and by mid-day it gets a bit crowded, though the charter boat snorkelers tend to stay out by their boats in the deeper water. But there’s absolutely no need to pay for a charter boat snorkeling tour because you can just simply walk down to Honolua Bay. Parking does fill up and the later in the day you arrive the farther you’ll have to walk, but you can park at the top of the bay and take a short, easy hike to the water. It’s a flat trail that is quite beautiful and our boys enjoyed the hike in and out as part of the experience. We found mango and papaya trees along the way and I’m not sure why they liked this particular path because we didn’t really see any high concentrations of them anywhere else on the island- but the butterflies were beyond plentiful!

Once again, wear your water shoes. When you get to the bay, it’s all rocks. These rocks are bigger, sturdier and easier to navigate than the ones we had to climb at Shark’s Cove, but you’ll still want to help little ones by holding a hand. We snorkeled here on two different days and both days the water was as smooth as glass. It’s an easy walk-in entry for kids and there’s plenty to explore in the shallows if your kids are just getting comfortable. We saw far more variety here than anywhere on Oahu- so much so that we came back a second day! Our boys felt very comfortable in the water at Honolua Bay and the wide variety of fish kept them interested for quite a bit longer. As a bonus, by the time you walk the trail back out- your bathing suits will be dry!

Honokeana Bay

Shhh. This is a secret! This is not the best spot for beginning snorkelers so don’t make this the very first spot you take your kids to snorkel- but I’m going to tell you about this little secret bay we learned about from a local because it’s absolutely amazing. It’s definitely do-able for kids if they’re comfortable with their masks and have been in the water a bit. This bay was the highlight of our entire three weeks in Hawaii! We had planned on making the nearly two hour drive south from Lahaina to Turtle Beach in hopes of seeing sea turtles- but once we found this spot, we totally ditched the long drive and just came back to Honokeana Bay. “Hono” means turtle in Hawaiian!

Honokeana Bay is about 20 minutes north of Lahaina and just south of the more popular Napili Bay- which is a truly gorgeous beach. The first day we came here, we parked at Napili Bay because that has public access. If you take this route, you’re going to want water shoes. When you stand on the beach looking out at Napili Bay, there will be lots of lava rocks to your left. Start walking along those rocks to the left. Walk out and around the point until you reach the next little bay- Honokeana Bay. The walk isn’t too far or too difficult, but falling on lava rock is a special kind of painful so hold little hands if they’re not super confident on the rocks.

We highly recommend visiting Honokeana Bay at low tide as the entry into the water is much, much easier than it is at high tide. The thing that makes this a bit more than just a beginners snorkeling spot is the entry. It’s not an easy walk-in entry. You’ve got to be willing to sit on a rock and splash into water that is over your head. There are a few places in one area you can enter- but walking out onto the rocks is the easiest spot. If you go right from the shore, the water crashes back into the rocks a bit more and you’ve got to be able to swim away quickly before the waves pull you back in.

The first time we visited it was high tide and we decided it wasn’t a good idea to get our boys in the water. The entry was a little tricky and they hadn’t snorkeled out over open water yet. But my husband urged me to go in on my own so I did. I navigated the tougher entry spot (because I hadn’t yet discovered that the rocky point was easier!) and once I got out away from the rocks I put my face in the water, turned around and literally right then and there I was nose to nose with a giant sea turtle! It happened so fast and he was so close that it startled me! I had to back away as quickly as I could because you are supposed to keep a distance of 10 feet from the turtles! But he stayed with me as I worked to keep a safe distance, which wasn’t easy because he kept coming at me! It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I knew we had to get our boys in the water!

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We came back the next day more prepared. First, we found an easier route to get to the bay. It involved parking on the street and walking in through a parking lot. That’s all I’ll say! In addition to our boys’ life jackets we also brought boogie boards. We came at low tide which made the entry much easier and the boogie boards were a big help too. The first time our boys went in we laid them down on the boogie boards and eased the boogie boards in. They ended up floating on the boogie boards the whole time, sticking their faces in off the front of the boards to see the turtles.

Sure enough, within minutes of getting our boys in the water, we found a giant sea turtle. He was down eating and we watched him for 10 or so minutes before he surfaced to breathe and once again, we had to ski-dattle out of the way so he didn’t run into us! Our oldest was literally screaming into his snorkel he was so excited and we had to keep telling him to be quiet!! It wasn’t long before another turtle swam by and we floated over his way. There are just turtles everywhere in Honokeana Bay!! To top it all off, the place was nearly empty save for the people staying at the resort right on the bay (the resort that has a parking lot, cough-cough) . So if your kids have been in the water a few times and you have either a life jacket, pool noodle or boogie board- you’ll definitely want to get to Honokeana Bay at low tide for a truly remarkable swim with sea turtles!


Of the three islands we visited, the Big Island had the best snorkeling with numerous easy entry spots for kids. All of our favorite spots were on the Kailua-Kona side of the island. We did spend two days in Hilo and we snorkeled a bit there, but all the spots we snorkeled in Hilo had a unique challenge. With so much fresh groundwater, the spots we snorkeled had groundwater running into them at various points- and when the fresh water meets the saltwater it creates this unique wavy pattern in the water which makes for poor visibility. But once we headed over to the Kailua-Kona side, the snorkeling was second to none! As it was our third island, our boys were also getting more and more comfortable in the water. We were able to add one spot that was just a bit more challenging but still totally safe and easy- and totally worth the little extra challenge. We’ll save that one for last!

Two Step

Two Step is hands-down the best place to start beginner snorkelers on the Big Island. It’s a bit south of Kailua-Kona in Captain Cook and you’ll drive a few miles down a twisty residential road. Two Step gets its name from the two ledges that step down into the water, though there is an even easier entry on the old boat ramp where kids can simply walk right into the water (first photo below). There are plenty of fish right there in the sandy shallows where kids can get comfortable, but once they’re ready to swim out a bit- that’s where the real fun begins! There are sandy spots out deeper where you can stand up if need be, but there’s also LOTS of live reef so be careful not to step on or stand on the reef itself. The water here was totally calm for quite a good distance which meant there was lots to explore without the threat of waves. If you have really little ones, there are also some super shallow, sandy pools inside the rocks that babies and toddlers can enjoy with mom or dad while the other takes the older kids out to snorkel (photo in collage below). For being as popular as Two Step is for beginning snorkelers, it wasn’t very crowded at all and we spent a relaxing afternoon here taking turns going out over the reef! It was one of the healthiest reefs we had seen on all three islands so not only were the fish plentiful but there was also some colorful coral!

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(Video) Hanauma Bay, snorkeling in Oahu Hawaii

Kahulu’u Beach

Kahulu’u Beach is located just south of Kailua and right off the main road so it’s a bit easier to access by vehicle than Two Step. The water entry here is also quite easy- not as easy as Two Step because you have to be careful about stepping on the reef- but it’s definitely a great spot for kids to snorkel. There is an incredible reef at Kahulu’u which means there’s a huge variety of fish and plenty of them! There’s also the occasional sea turtle or two. There’s plenty of clear, shallow water to snorkel but most of it is directly over the reef so you won’t want to stand up or rest, even if you or the kiddos can touch. For those more comfortable, there’s also a lot of open water that is quite calm and is home to much larger fish. There’s something for everyone at Kahulu’u Beach! There’s also a covered picnic area, a lifeguard on duty (please do not rely on the lifeguard to watch your kids- you are their number one safety advocate!) and a food truck for drinks and snacks. On the day we were here, a marine life educator had set up his truck as well and spent a great deal of time talking with us about the fish we saw and about marine conservation in the area. It’s a great place to spend a full morning or even a full day if you have the time.

Captain Cook Monument

There’s no way we could write a snorkeling guide to Hawaii without mentioning the Captain Cook Monument. This is not the first place you’ll want to snorkel with your kids but if you can plan to get them comfortable early in your trip and schedule this towards the end, we promise you won’t regret it. The reef at the Captain Cook Monument is ranked as one of the best snorkeling spots in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, over-tourism caused quite a bit of damage to the reef, leading the state of Hawaii to begin regulating visits to the location in recent years.

There are three ways to access the Captain Cook Monument. First is a long, steep hike that is approximately 1.8 miles each way with a 1,300 foot elevation change- so not the most kid friendly! Second, you can take a tour on a charter boat, though none of the charters are legally allowed to anchor at the monument and must instead stay out in the open water. Third, you are able to kayak across Kealakekua Bay. If you rent kayaks and do this on your own, you are not allowed to take your kayak on shore at the monument. There are only three outfitters who have legal permits to make landfall at the monument, so we highly recommend booking at tour with one of these companies. We booked a tour with Kona Boys and their guides were absolutely fantastic. Our boys learned SO much about Hawaiian history and culture while we kayaked and it was very clear that our guides were 100% committed to preserving the reef.

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If you take a boat tour over to the monument, you have a relatively easy entry into the water for younger kids off the ladders of the boat- but the boats anchor in very deep water so they’ll need to be comfortable with that. If you kayak out on your own, you have to stay floating with your kayak as you’re not allowed to make landfall- and that could be tricky with kids as there is no real way to stop and rest. When you take a kayak tour over to the monument, your guides will help you safely pull your kayaks onto land without causing any damage to the reef.

From the landing spot, it’s a short walk over to the monument where you can set out towels and set up camp for the morning. This was perfect for us as it allowed our boys to get in and out of the water and take breaks when needed. The entry into the water is not a super easy walk-in entry but it’s also not terribly difficult either.Our tour guides brought a ladder that they put into the water from the ledge so we had an easier way to get the boys in and out- and it made a big difference, especially getting out! Once you’re in the water, there’s nowhere at all to stand, so kids need to be comfortable floating the entire time. Our boys had their snorkeling life jackets on and since we had snorkeled quite a bit by this point, they were plenty comfortable.

Though you shouldn’t stand anywhere, there are some shallower spots to snorkel over the reef. Then there’s the drop-off which is incredible! Our guides shared with us that the drop off at Captain Cook Monument is the drop-off they modeled the Finding Nemo drop-off after! So while I thought our boys would be nervous going out over the open ocean like that, once they heard it was the Finding Nemo drop-off, they were both super excited to check it out! Both of our boys swam (with us and with their life jackets) out over the drop-off and loved it! So while this isn’t the best place for a very beginning snorkeler, if your kids can gain a little bit of experience before you take a trip out to Captain Cook, they should be able to handle it! The snorkeling is absolutely incredible and totally worth the trip!

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The Best Hawaiian Beaches for Snorkeling with Kids? ›

Best Snorkeling in Hawaii- 20 Great Spots for Families
  • Kapalua Bay, Maui. ...
  • Napili Bay. ...
  • Honolua Bay, Maui. ...
  • Black Rock, Maui. ...
  • Poipu Beach, Kauai. ...
  • Lawai Beach, Kaui. ...
  • Shark's Cove, Oahu. ...
  • Kuilima Cove, Oahu. Kuilima Cove is located on the eastern edge of the Turtle Bay Resort.
Apr 6, 2022

Which Hawaii island has the best beaches for kids? ›

Each Hawaiian Island Has Epic Beaches

Though, Lanikai Beach on Oahu is often listed as the best beach in Hawaii for families because of its calm, blue waters, and gorgeous scenery.

Which Hawaiian island is best for snorkelling? ›

Maui is the best Hawaiian Island for snorkeling. Maui offers the most protected bays, calm seas, translucent waters, year-round snorkeling, and vibrant sea life. Maui snorkeling allows one to snorkel a crater, travel to nearby islands, and the best opportunities to swim with sea turtles.

What is the best beach to snorkel in Hawaii? ›

7 Best Snorkel Spots in Hawaii
  • Molokini Crater, Maui. Molokini is an old volcanic crater, which is now home to world-class snorkeling and diving. ...
  • Hanauma Bay, Oahu. ...
  • Makaha Beach Park, Oahu. ...
  • Anini Beach, Kauai. ...
  • Ke'e Beach, Kauai. ...
  • Kahaluu Beach Park, Big Island. ...
  • Kealakekua Bay, Big Island.

Is Maui or Honolulu better for families? ›

If you want a resort vacation with a few cool day trips and adventures, Maui is the ultimate Hawaiian vacation for families. But, Oahu has more tourist attractions, shopping, and historical sites.

Is Kauai better than Maui? ›

The short answer is, if you want gorgeous beaches with lots of activities, then Maui would be a good choice. If you prefer more natural beauty lush landscapes, then Kauai is probably better for you.

Can kids go snorkeling in Hawaii? ›

Hanauma Bay really is a great place to learn to snorkel and get to know the fish that call the Hawaiian islands home. Small children can play at shore's edge and enjoy the small break. Older children can swim with sea turtles, glide past triggerfish, and float above the urchins.

Is it better to snorkel in Maui or Oahu? ›

Snorkeling is hands-down much better on Maui. Oahu does have some great snorkel spots, but if you want to get into the water, snorkel easily, and not have the ocean too overcrowded, Maui is your place. Plus, you'll see turtles everywhere.

Is snorkeling better in Oahu or Kauai? ›

Oahu, hands down. While the snorkeling isn't great, it's much better than on Kauai, and you'll find a lot more beginner surf breaks as well this time of year. However, nothing in Hawaii can compare to the beauty of the north shore of Kauai in summer, IMO.

Where can I snorkel for beginners in Oahu? ›

Q: Where is the best snorkeling for beginners? The two best places to go snorkeling for beginners on O'ahu are Hanauma Bay and the Lagoons in Ko Olina. Both locations have calm waters, easy access from the beach, and are overseen by lifeguards.

What time is best for snorkeling in Oahu? ›

We recommend to arrive either very early, before 9 a.m., or after 12:30 p.m., to avoid the heaviest crowds.

Is snorkeling better in Kauai or Big Island? ›

Which Island Has the Best Snorkeling? This is pretty easy to answer. The Big Island and Maui far exceed Oahu and Kauai in terms of the amount of snorkeling locations and the quality and quantity of healthy reefs, fish and other sea life. If big fields of corals are your thing, the Big Island is probably best for you.

How safe is snorkeling in Hawaii? ›

As long as you're vigilant to keep an eye on the surrounding environment and the behavior of the water, snorkeling in Maui is very safe for the entire family! If you're ready to experience the ocean in ways you've never seen before, you need to plan a snorkeling tour with Kai Kanani!

Does Kauai have good snorkeling? ›

Kauai is the perfect place to snorkel. Roughly 50 of the 90 miles of coastline is white sand beach, which makes for easy ocean access. Top that off with lots of family-friendly spots, as well as places for those with more experience, and Kauai is every snorkeler's dream.

Which is better for kids Maui or Kauai? ›

Both islands offer exceptional beaches but in very different ways. If you want easy-to-reach, golden coastline and don't mind the crowds, Maui wins out. What is this? However, if you'd rather enjoy a quiet, safe space for small children to swim or want to adventure into lesser-known beaches, Kauai is the best option.

Is Kauai family friendly? ›

Kauai is a safe place for children. Enjoy lots of family friendly life-guarded beaches surf lessons, snorkeling, Surf Schools, easy hiking trails, parks and playgrounds. This tropical island boast mild temperatures year round with short driving times from one destination to the next.

What is the prettiest Hawaiian island? ›

Kauai. Kauai's lush greenery makes it, in my opinion, the most beautiful of all the Hawaiian islands. It is home to waterfalls, hiking trails and a variety of eco-adventures. Most travelers seek out Kauai to avoid the hustle and bustle of Oahu and Maui and have a more unplugged vacation experience.

Can a 5 year old go snorkeling? ›

You can try as early as age two with the toddler snorkel gear we recommend below, while some kids will do better at age 4 or even 6.

Can kids snorkel in Maui? ›

#1 Snorkeling

There are plenty of calm areas to snorkel in Maui with your kids. It's a fun activity that most ages can enjoy from the shallows of sandy shore. For older kids, you can take them to some great spots along the reef.

How old do you have to be to snorkel in Maui? ›

Maui Magic is an adventure snorkel, we do not permit children under 5 for this trip. For the families with the younger kids, check out the Four Winds, our “family fun boat”. SNUBA is also offered to children over the age of 8 on both boats.

Is Maui or Waikiki better? ›

Waikiki is renowned for beginner's surfing, shopping excellence, vibrant nightlife, history, and traditional culture. Maui's best offerings include snorkeling, diving, laid-back beach vibes, romance, and outdoor sports. Your decision may depend on whether you're solo, with friends, your spouse, or the entire family.

Can you snorkel off Waikiki Beach? ›

Yes, it's usually safe to snorkel in Waikiki, but there are times when the surf and currents are strong, especially with the summer swells. Not only are those times dangerous, but they also have poor visibility, so it's not worth snorkeling when the waters aren't calm. Always snorkel with a buddy.

Is Kaanapali beach good for snorkeling? ›

Rated one of the top beaches in the world

Black Rock is the prominent rocky peninsula and snorkeling spot at the north end of the beach. The combination of great ocean conditions and the seemingly endless white sand make snorkeling Black Rock at Kaanapali the complete beach experience.

What is the best time to snorkel in Hawaii? ›

Late morning or early afternoon tends to be the best time of day for Hawaii snorkeling. If you are an early riser, you can definitely snorkel in the early morning to see more sea life. While you can snorkel year-round in Hawaii, summertime (May-September) has some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

Should I go to Kauai or Honolulu? ›

We recommend Oahu if you desire a Hawaiian vacation that combines the amenities of a world-class city with the breathtaking beauty of nature. If you seek a peaceful time, we recommend Kauai because it offers a unique Pacific Paradise experience.

What is the best month to snorkel in Maui? ›

The best time to visit Maui for snorkeling is the summer thanks to smaller swells and fewer storms. During the winter months, Maui can be hit with large swells on the north and east sides of the island, making snorkeling challenging and in some cases unsafe.

Is Turtle Bay a good place to snorkel? ›

Located on the grounds of Turtle Bay, Kuilima Cove in an ideal place to take the family snorkeling on Oahu's North Shore. With an enclosed rock barrier creating a placid lagoon, you'll still be privy to all of the sea life you can take in without having to worry about large swells creating dangerous conditions.

Can you snorkel at Hanauma Bay for free? ›

Entry to Hanauma Bay remains free for Hawaii residents, children under 12, and active duty military. Parking is an additional $1 for Hawaii residents and $3 for out-of-state visitors. Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states.

Where is the clearest water in Oahu? ›

Lanikai Beach: Lanikai Beach on Oahu's windward side is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches on Oahu. It's a mile-long beach lined with coconut palms and sparkling clear water, which makes for amazing photos. Beware: Parking can be busy and difficult to find.

Are there sharks in shark Cove Oahu? ›

Despite the name, there are no sharks at Sharks Cove Oahu. So, you can easily go snorkeling or diving without the fear of encountering a shark. However, that doesn't mean there is no marine life on the beach. There is an abundance of sea animals present at the Shark's Cove Oahu.

Can you snorkel at Lanikai Beach? ›

Snorkeling. Lanikai is not a renowned snorkeling spot by any means, but there is some coral offshore, and with the water typically calm, it's a nice spot for kids and beginners to get a feel for the water. Bring your own gear because there is no snorkel rental on the beach.

Why is Hanauma Bay the deadliest beach? ›

Ocean Safety officials say part of the reason why there are so many drownings at Hanauma Bay is because there are so many visitors. "More than 1.5 million visit Hanauma Bay every year," said Honolulu Emergency Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright. "Thousands of people come to the bay every day.

Are there jellyfish in Hanauma Bay? ›

Influxes of jellyfish are common on Oahu's south facing beaches, including Hanauma Bay, Waikiki and the Waianae Coast, about eight to 10 days following the full moon, according to the Waikiki Aquarium. This is due to the reproduction of box jellyfish which occurs under certain lunar and tidal conditions.

Do you need a wetsuit to snorkel in Hawaii? ›

Maui has some heavenly water and snorkeling conditions, but you might still benefit from wearing a wetsuit! Not only will a wetsuit keep you nice and warm, but it will also keep the sun from toasting your skin – a quick way to ruin any tropical vacation!

Is it better to snorkel on Maui or Kauai? ›

Comparing between Kauai and Maui, there has to be a superior island right? Without a doubt, Maui definitely has the better offerings for snorkeling. Not only is the snorkeling good in Maui, but it is one of the best snorkeling locations in the entire world!

Is Maui cheaper than Kauai? ›

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kauai and Maui, we can see that Maui is more expensive. And not only is Kauai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination.

Is snorkeling better in Maui or Big Island? ›

Re: best snorkeling - Maui or Big Island? Having been to both islands several times, I agree with 2muchSnow that snorkeling is better on the Big Island. But I think it kind of depends on where you're staying, because if it's in the Kailua-Kona area, you'll have to drive a ways to get to a good beach and snorkeling.

Why are people dying while snorkeling? ›

There are four mechanisms of drowning that may befall snorkelers: (1) trauma; (2) intervening acute medical adverse event; (3) inadvertent or accidental aspiration of water; and (4) hypoxia due to rapid onset pulmonary edema (ROPE).

What causes death while snorkeling? ›

The majority of the cases occurred due to cardiac-related causes (60) or drowning while at the surface (33). Only 19 deaths occurred after prolonged breath-hold diving and 10 were caused by trauma. Cardiac cause was established based on medical examiners' findings.

Is there sharks in Kauai? ›

On our snorkeling tours, guests frequently ask, Are there sharks in these waters? and the answer is Yes.

How many shark attacks are there in Kauai? ›

There was 1 shark attack on Kauai.

Which side of Kauai is best for snorkeling? ›

During the winter months, the best snorkeling on Kauai is on the south shore, where the most popular spots have calm water. During the summer months, the best snorkeling is found on Kauai's north shore, when you'll experience very few waves in the best snorkeling spots.

Which Hawaiian Island has the best beaches? ›

The Hawaiian island with the best beaches is a tie between Oahu and Maui. Pick Oahu if you want easy access to beaches and love being around people and a lively atmosphere. Maui is home to some of the best beaches in the United States and is a great pick if you want a quieter time lounging under the sun.

What is better Maui or Oahu? ›

Maui vs Oahu: Oahu is right for you if you want more of a cosmopolitan vacation, enjoy the nightlife, are excited about historical and cultural activities, or want to travel on a budget. Maui is right for you if you're looking for a romantic island, great snorkeling, a relaxing vacation, or more outdoor activities.

Which island in Hawaii is best for first time visitors? ›

Kauai is the best island to visit in Hawaii for first timers who love adventure. Kauai's scenery is stunning, and its natural beauty is a draw for visitors to the island.

Is Hawaii child friendly? ›

Ohana (family) is deeply important in Hawaiian culture, which makes our islands a welcoming destination for kids of all ages. From snorkeling and sandcastle building on sun-soaked beaches to exploring volcanoes and sacred cultural sites, the Hawaiian Islands are a natural playground you never outgrow.

What is the number 1 beach in Hawaii? ›

Waikiki Beach

Waikīkī Beach is not only the most famous beach in Hawaii but it is also one of the most well-known beaches on the planet! The 2-mile stretch of golden sand is comprised of 8 sections, each offering unique vibes and activities in Honolulu.

What beach has the clearest water in Hawaii? ›

The island of Kauai offers some of Hawaii's cleanest and clearest waters. Ke'e Beach Park features a reef lagoon that is home to green sea turtles and vibrant reef fish.

What month is cheapest to visit Hawaii? ›

The cheapest time to fly to Hawaii is during February and March. The most expensive month to fly is December when the holiday period falls, with January being very expensive as well. The peak travel months of June and July are surprisingly not the most expensive months for flights, with middle figure prices.

Is snorkeling better in Maui or Oahu? ›

With better water visibility on this island too, snorkeling tends to be better on Maui in comparison to Oahu. In fact the water is so clear around the island that you can actually watch sea turtles and other sea life swim around you.

Which Hawaii island is the cheapest to fly into? ›

Oahu is the cheapest Hawaiian island to visit, with a total cost of $2,625. A Ko Olina Resort lagoon on Oahu. Maui is the most expensive island to visit, coming in nearly $1,000 more expensive, with a total cost of $3,600.

Why are there no all inclusives in Hawaii? ›

The reason there are no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii is because of the open nature of Hawaiian resorts and their close proximity to one another. Beaches are easily accessed and hotels welcome all visitors.

Is 4 days enough in Hawaii? ›

However, 4 days is certainly enough to get the best out of a trip to Oahu. Limiting your time to 4 days in Oahu can give many travelers extra time to explore Maui and the gorgeous Haleakala National Park or the big island of Hawaii.

What is the number one attraction in Hawaii? ›

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu

Waikiki, with its beautiful stretch of oceanfront beach, is Hawaii's biggest tourist attraction.

Is Kauai good for families? ›

Kauai is a safe place for children. Enjoy lots of family friendly life-guarded beaches surf lessons, snorkeling, Surf Schools, easy hiking trails, parks and playgrounds. This tropical island boast mild temperatures year round with short driving times from one destination to the next.

From New York to Hawai and California to Florida, these are the best beaches in the U.S.

Clearwater Beach also promises outstanding sunsets, and Pier 60 provides nightly entertainment 365 days a year, weather permitting.. Getty Images. Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, this 48-acre park with powdery white sand offers activities like fat-tire biking, barbecuing, sunbathing, swimming, and volleyball.. Come for the beach and stay for the incredible sunsets.. It's a wonderful place to picnic, swim, and fish.. It's located close to the boardwalk, restaurants, and shops with easy access to parking.. Chris Winsor/Getty Images. This spectacular white-sand beach, located at the foot of Ocean Avenue, is a popular surfing spot.. Sand, salt water, volleyball courts, grills, and bonfire pits are available options.. Ocean Beach Park, located along the boardwalk, features a picnic area, playground, snack bar, mini-golf, an arcade, and more.

Heading to the Big Island and looking to enjoy the best beaches in Kona and nearby? This guide showcases amazing Kona beaches, including ones nearby!

Also known as King Kam Beach , this is one of the best beaches in Kona for families with kids.. Nicely tucked between the Kailua Pier and dense rocks, this white sand beach is serene and perfect for tourists looking to enjoy an exclusive beach experience in Kona.. Kahalu’u Beach Park – gogorilla – Shutterstock.comThe Kahalu’u Beach Park has been in existence for over 500 years and was home to Hawaiian royals.. A secluded beach with pristine white sand located at Kua Bay, Manini’owali is one of Kona’s best white sand beaches.. Manini’owali BeachRemember to bring some snacks, drinks, drinking water, and sun hats or beach umbrellas as there are no amenities on this beach.. Although it is not exactly a kid-friendly beach, families who visit can still enjoy a ton of fun beach activities like kayaking and sunbathing.. Kikaua Point Beach ParkThe beach has a sheltered lagoon area where kids can swim, snorkel, and play in the water.. Also known as Pine Trees Beach , this beach is a popular surfing location.. Kohanaiki Beach ParkA popular spot for parties, barbecues, and sunset watching, Kohanaiki Beach Park always has something fun going on.

Waikiki Beach stretches 2 miles with 8 sections - Duke Kahanamoku Beach the largest, Gray’s Beach the smallest, Kuhio Beach features sea walls & good surfing, Kapiolani Beach good for boogie boarding, San Souci Beach a locals favorite, Outrigger Beach closest to Diamond Head

Did you know. it. actually has 8 different sections?. Whether you are looking forward to surfing, canoe paddling, snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding, sand combing, catching a golden tan, people watching, or marveling at a few beautiful Waikiki sunsets, it’s very easy to have a good time on the different areas of Waikiki Beach.. Sand Replenishment Efforts A sand replenishment program is taking place once again from eroding sections in Waikiki, including Royal Hawaiian Beach & Gray's Beach that stretches from the Moana to the Sheraton Hotel.. The list below starts from the western tip across. from Hilton Hawaiian Village and moves east towards Kapiolani Park and. Diamond Head to end at San Souci Beach:. For easier access,. walk through the Lotus at Diamond Head Hotel (formerly the W Hotel). parking lot, and look for a small alley way next to the Colony Surf. Hotel, that will lead you to this little known beach.. The. Outrigger Club Beach (also known as Colony Beach ) is also a nice. spot. to enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian sunsets.. Beach Showers – located at all beach sections Bathroom facilities – Fort DuRussy , Kuhio, Queens. & San Souci Beach Life Guard Stations – all except for Outrigger Canoe Club. Beach & Grey’s Concession food stands – Queens Beach Other food options and restaurants in beach front hotels. and side shops Barbeque Grills & Tables – Fort DuRussy , San Souci. and Kapiolani Park Parking – street parking in front of Queens , San Souci. & Outrigger.

From Waikiki Beach in Oahu to Hanalei Bay and Poipu Beach Park in Kauai to Wailea Beach in Maui, read on for the best beaches in Hawaii.

So how to pick from all these spectacular stretches of sand?. Getty Images. It takes some effort to get to this remote, 17-mile stretch on Kauai's windswept western shore.. Also pack plenty of sunscreen and water, since there is limited shade.. Getty Images. A lovely harbor along Kauai's eastern coast, Kalapaki Bay offers fun for all ages and all types of visitors.. The waves at this tiny cove, which is set off by two beautiful cliffs, are spectacular for body surfing.. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Dana Edmunds. Guests of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai have prime access to this stunning golden crescent, which is great for both swimming and snorkeling.. You'll often spy friendly spinner dolphins jumping and playing in the water, as well as humpback whales during the cooler winter months.. Getty Images. Some of Maui's most impressive resorts — the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea , the Andaz Maui at Wailea , and the Grand Wailea — face this beach, which has cobalt waters gentle enough for kids.. Getty Images. The Big Island has several impressive white-sand beaches — Hapuna, a half-mile stretch located on the Kona-Kohala Coast, is one of them.

Looking for the best Hawaii Big Island snorkeling spots? Then let us show you the best beaches to visit and learn where to see turtles, mantas and dolphins!

If you love exploring the ocean’s beauty, view amazing marine life by visiting some (or all) of the best Big Island snorkeling spots!. Hapuna BeachSince this is a great and popular beach, it is advised that you arrive early if you want a parking spot close to the entrance and a shading spot as Hapuna Beach gets crowded quickly.. This spot is not only a favorite because of its unique sand, but also considered as one of the best beaches to go snorkeling on Big Island Hawaii for the fact that you can see the enormous green turtle or the endangered Hawksbill turtle.. Punalu’u Black Sand BeachOn a clear day, experienced snorkelers can take a short walk southwest of the main beach to Ninole Cove for more beautiful underwater wildlife.. History buffs will love the fact that Captain Cook made the first recorded contact with one of the loved Big Island snorkeling beaches.. The corals and sea animals are amazing and worth the trip (you can see turtles and sometimes spinner dolphins too), but note that this is not a beginner Big Island snorkeling spot.. This pretty beach (also known as Kaunaʻoa) with its soft white sand and numerous palm trees offering lots of shade is a perfect Big Island snorkeling spot to enjoy with the family.. However, this is known as one of the best Big Island snorkeling spots with good reason: beginners and experts alike will enjoy the sea turtles, tropical fish, and fascinating coral formations.. This area is the best snorkeling spot in Hilo, on the east side of the Big Island.. Hawaiian Monk Seal is resting on the beachDue to natural seawalls that create caves and tide pools, the waters are usually calm which makes this one the best snorkeling on Big Island.. King Kam is not a beach you would probably spend your entire day; however, many people will enjoy some amazing underwater views if they are early risers and interested in snorkeling on Big Island at sunrise.

10 best white sand beaches in the world in 2022 that are stunningly beautiful. Right from the Hyams beach to the Barnes Bay, all of them are spellbinding.

Hyams Beach in New South Wales, Australia: Famous for its powdery white sands Matira Beach in Bora Bora, French Polynesia: Perfect for a tropical vacation Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece: The iconic exposed cove beach Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa: Waddle with the penguins White Beach in Boracay, Philippines: The white beauty Kaunaoa Bay in Hawaii, USA: Say Aloha to a beach vacation Anse Source D’Argent in L’Union Estate, Seychelles: A complete showstopper Tulum Beach in Tulum, Mexico: Beautified with Mayan ruins Titikaveka Beach in Cook Islands, New Zealand: Snorkeler’s paradise Barnes Bay in Anguilla, British Overseas Territory: Haven for solitude seekers. Famous For: Encompasses crystal clear waters.. Best time to visit: Anytime Things to do at Matira Beach: Kayaking, snorkelling, swimming, and jet skiing. One of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, Navagio Beach in Greece is an iconic vacation spot.. Famous For: Awe-inspiring surroundings.. This is probably one of the best white sand beaches in the world, 2022.. And why not, after all Hawaii is home to some of the best white sand beaches in the world.. Popular for its pristine and sandy white beaches, Seychelles makes for an incredible tropical escapade.. Best time to visit: April to May and October to November Things to do at Anse Source D Argent: Snorkeling, sea-turtle spotting, and swimming. Famous For: One of the top beaches for snorkeling.. Famous For: High-end luxury villas and resorts.. Why do some beaches have white sand?. This is why there are various beaches in the world with white sand.. Does Mexico have white sand beaches?. Does Cancun have white sand beaches?

Written by Shandley McMurrayUpdated Apr 25, 2022

These rare beauties, blushing due to the crushed coral and shells off their shores, also present travelers with spectacular places to swim, snorkel, and dive.. Colored by crushed sea creatures and shells, this southern Bermuda beach is a photographer's utopia and easily tops our list of the best pink sand beaches in the world.. Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island. Thanks to a large reef just off the coast, the waves are small and the water shallow, making this a perfect spot for little ones to frolic and snorkelers to explore.. One of its less prominent, slightly secluded, and most beautiful strands is Tangsi Beach.. Snorkeling is popular here, as coral reefs lie just off the blushing shores.. Insider's tip: The best time for photos is early morning, when the colors of this stunning pink sand beach are at their brightest.. Insider's tip: You won't find concessions on this lovely isle, so bring your own snacks, and be prepared to take garbage with you.. It's a perfect day trip for beach lovers.

How to decide which is the best Maui luau for your own needs and budget. Details about hula shows, food, and reviews of luau choices.

One activity that I recommend for everyone on Maui vacations is a Maui luau.. Do you need to book your Maui luau in advance , before you get to Maui?. See below for a discussion of several of the specific luaus available on Maui, to answer all these questions and more, and to help you pick the best Maui luau for your own needs and budget.. For discount prices on luaus, see Discount Maui Luaus .. If you are staying on the south side of Maui (Wailea or Kihei) then this is one of the two luaus for you to pick from, because it’s much closer than all of the above luaus that are on the west side of Maui.. It’s called the Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock and is more intimate than the bigger luaus like the Grand Wailea Luau.. The Old Lahaina Luau has the most authentic Hawaiian Maui luau show and food.. The luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort on Kaanapali Beach is the best luau in Maui for kids and families.. Wailele is the name of the luau at the Westin Maui Resort on Kaanapali Beach.. At practically every luau in Hawaii, you will pay one flat price and you will get an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner, a stage show with hula dancers, singers, and Hawaiian music, and Hawaiian drinks such as mai tais.. DINNER: Food at a Maui luau generally includes kalua pork (tender shredded pork baked for hours in an oven in the ground), mahi-mahi (baked or grilled fish), Lomi salmon (chopped cured-smoked salmon with tomatoes and onions), Huli-Huli (cooked on a rotating spit) chicken, teriyaki beef, salads, fruit, taro rolls (purple bread), poi (don’t ask), plus dessert (often including haupia, a Hawaiian coconut pudding).

Explore Hawaii holidays and discover the best time and places to visit.

As tropical getaways go, Hawaii couldn't be easier or more worth the trip, though be aware that visiting these Polynesian isles isn't always cheap.. Whether it's surfing, swimming, fishing or picnicking with the ʻohana (extended family and friends), encounters with nature are infused with the traditional Hawaiian value of aloha ʻaina – love and respect for the land.. Learn to surf, the ancient Hawaiian sport of 'wave sliding,' and then snorkel or dive with giant manta rays and sea turtles.. Back on land, ride horseback with paniolo , Hawaii's cowboys.. Floating all by itself in the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii proudly maintains its own distinct identity apart from the US mainland.. Spam, shave ice, surfing, ukulele and slack key guitar music, hula, pidgin, aloha shirts, 'rubbah slippah' (flip-flops) – these are just some of the touchstones of everyday life, island style.. Hawaii is as proud of its multicultural heritage as it is of former US President Barack Obama, who was born in Honolulu on Oʻahu.. On these Hawaiian Islands, the descendants of ancient Polynesians, European explorers, American missionaries and Asian plantation immigrants mix and mingle.. Come here to see what the future of the USA could be.

Hawaii beaches are among the most beautiful and exotic in the world. 14 have been named Best Beach in America by Dr. Beach. See beach guide here.

We also have black sand, green sand, and red sand beaches.. Hawaiian beaches have topped Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in America lists multiple times.. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. Fleming Park Beach, Maui, Hawaii. Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai, Hawaii. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Hapuna Beach State Recreational Area, Big Island, Hawaii. Hulopoe Beach, Lanai, Hawaii. Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii. Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii. Kaunaoa Beach, Big Island, Hawaii. Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii. Waimanalo Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Is Waikīkī Beach the most famous beach in the world?. A visit to West Maui will reward you with most of the island’s best beaches such as Kāʻanapali, Kapalua and DT Fleming Beach Park.. You will want to start at Hanauma Bay , stop at Makapuʻu Beach, spend some time at Waimānalo Beach and then walk the sandy shores of Kailua and Lanikai .. The Nā Pali Coast starts at Keʻe Beach in the north and ends at Polihale Beach in the west.. One beach along the Nā Pali Coast is accessible by foot or kayak, Kalalau Beach .


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