A guide to the best places to snorkel on Kauai, Hawaii.
General: Kid Friendly
|Guide Series: Best Snorkeling Beaches
Lawa'i Beach is a small but popular beach located directly across the road from the Lawai Beach Resort. It's an easy to access beach with great snorkeling and marine life to explore. If you snorkel later in the day, don't miss the beautiful sunsets which are priceless from here. More at: Lawa'i Beach
Koloa Landing is really best for snorkeling or SCUBA diving only. There isn't any sandy beach here, but instead a small boat ramp to enter the water. A few yards out is a spectacular reef to explore, teeming with marine life. More at: Koloa Landing
For the novice snorkeler, Poipu Beach Park is a good spot to get started. The beach is one of Kauai's most popular, and there are several lifeguard towers protecting swimmers. The fish aren't as abundant here as other beaches, but it is a good place to bring your family and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. More at: Poipu Beach Park
Makua Beach / Tunnels Beach is one of the best snorkel and SCUBA beaches you'll find anywhere in Hawaii. The beach is world famous for it's magnificent reef, corals, and colorful fish. Tunnels is a bit more secluded than other beaches on the Hanalei side of the Island. More at: Makua Beach / Tunnels Beach
Pali Ke Kua Beach (Hideaways) is a pain to visit, but it's definitely worth the effort. The beach is accessed just outside the The St. Regis Princeville Resort. You'll hike down a long set of steps which will eventually lead to overlook of lovely turquoise water. The beach itself is narrow, but it has an amazing reef with abundant fish and sea creatures. Save some energy for the hike back up! More at: Pali Ke Kua Beach (Hideaways)
Ke'e Beach Park is so beautiful. It's located at the end of the Kuhio Highway on the Hanalei side of the island. The semi-circular beach creates a protected lagoon, where the water can be relatively calm from the exposed ocean surge. Ke'e Beach Park is the place you dream about when thinking of Hawaii. Absolutely picturesque. Plenty of fish to explore when snorkeling, but make sure you poke your head above the water and look around. It's stunning how gorgeous it is here. Arrive early to to avoid the crowds. More at: Ke'e Beach Park
Lydgate Beach Park has a protected lagoon, making it relatively safe for families swimming with children. This is a good spot for the beginner snorkeler since the water is so calm. There are also picnic tables, grassy areas, and a sheltered pavilion. This is a great spot to play in the water with the family. There is a tradeoff though. There are better places for exploring reef and fish on Kauai, but few as protected and "safe" as this one. If you are snorkeling with keiki (kids), be sure to also let them play at nearby Lydgate Kamalani Park I and Lydgate Kamalani Park II. More at: Lydgate Beach Park
Don't forget to bring your mask, fins, snorkel. Of course, you may want to first read Should I Bring My Own Snorkel Gear To Hawaii? along with How To Snorkel if you're new to snorkeling. Finally, and this is a huge one, don't forget to bring sunscreen with you to Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer and read Hawaii Dangers - Read Before You Go.
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