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Discovering the Best Snorkeling in Oahu
May 07 ,2019

The clear, turquoise ocean water that surrounds the island of Oahu is ideal for amateur snorkelers searching for up-close-and-personal encounters with green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, schools of colorful fish, and unique coral reefs. Some of the best snorkeling in Oahu is just a short drive from Prince Waikiki at Queen’s Beach along the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District. Snorkeling is a popular pastime here in Waikiki, Hawaii, as kama’aina and visitors alike have been exploring our pristine, shallow shores since the proper equipment was invented several decades ago.

Best Snorkeling in Oahu near Prince Waikiki

When you’re not soaking in our lavish infinity pool, indulging in gourmet cuisine at 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, and lounging in one of our ultra-luxurious, ocean-view Prince Waikiki hotel suites, we recommend venturing into the sea for some of the best snorkeling in Oahu at these three tropical locales:

Queen’s Beach

After renting top-of-the-line equipment at Snorkel Bob’s on Kapahulu Avenue, head down to Queen’s Beach for an afternoon of beach relaxation, swimming, and, of course, some of the best snorkeling in Oahu. Queen’s Beach is located along the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District, so you’re bound to spot a wide variety of colorful underwater sea creatures, including sea turtles, colorful fish, and occasionally lively coral. Most visitors combine a snorkeling trip to Queen’s Beach with a short trek to the Honolulu ZooDiamond Head State Monument, or the Shangri La Museum.

Hanauma Bay

The genuinely jaw-dropping Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is home to some of the best snorkeling in Oahu as well as a popular sandy beach. Hanauma Bay is known for having the highest concentration of fish in Hawaii, making it a premier snorkeling hot spot. Although many sunbathers, snorkelers, and paddleboarders frequent this beautiful locale, it has the allure of a secluded beach thanks to the bay’s crescent shape. This bay is known for its Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaii’s state fish) as well as yellow tangs, trumpetfish, millet butterflyfish, and angelfish. Green sea turtles are also thriving here, so you’ll likely get to meet some during your underwater adventures!

Kahe Point Beach Park

Kahe Point Beach Park rests approximately 26 miles from Prince Waikiki along the island’s southwest coast. This magical state park provides visitors with the best snorkeling in Oahu. While not as convenient as Queen’s Beach or as beautiful as Hanauma Bay, Kahe Point Beach Park has a thriving spinner dolphin population! The lack of beach space and occasionally heavy currents typically keep families with young children away. The unusually warm water draws sea turtles, spinner dolphins, and schools of fish close to the shoreline, making Kahe Point Beach Park one of Oahu’s best-kept secrets!

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