Sure, Hawai‘i is known for its impossibly beautiful beaches. But the islands boast an impressive underwater world that can’t be missed. Here, four bucket-list-worthy snorkeling spots in the aloha State.
Slip into the crystal clear waters of Kealakekua Bay on Hawai‘i island. Situated just 12 miles south of historic Kailua village, the Marine Life Conservation district offers the chance to see spinner dolphins, endangered green sea turtles, and in the winter, humpback whales.
If you’re in the mood for adventure, head to Makua, or Tunnels Beach, on the north shore of Kaua‘i. The idyllic spot, which is calmest in the summer, boasts underwater caverns and lava tubes, perfect for Cousteau wannabes.
At Makena Landing, on Maui’s southwest shore, you’ll spot everything from moorish idols to sea urchins and vibrant coral. For sun-seekers, drive five minutes south to Makena Beach State Park and grab some sand at “Big Beach.” Aptly named, since this is one of the largest beaches on Maui. O‘ahu’s north Shore is known for its massive winter surf swells. But in the summer, the waves calm, and snorkeling at Shark’s Cove—part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation district— is a must-do. Don a snorkel mask and fins to see underwater rock formations, coral caves, and tunnels teeming with tropical reef fish.