We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
21,940 posts
87 reviews
Save Topic
Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Hi, we have been to Kaui and Oahu( about 6 or 7 times now) and love both islands. We are considering trying Maui out now.

We are going with another couple. Their number one request is lots of snorkling.

They would also apprieciate a hotel with a nice beach bar.

We bascially want a place like Dukes in Waikiki to drink and dine in, and a place like Hanauma Bay to snorkle in. We will have a car and look forward to exploring island, but will not really want a 4 hour drive to snorkle. We are only novices so prefer shore snorkling, but we have all done off boat snorkling ( in Caribbean) .

We have heard of Black Rock, is this a good snorkle place. Our trip is later in April, so hopefully winter waves will not be a huge issue.

A hotel near good snorkling would be ideal. We don't want a condo,, my friend and I like being taken out to dinner every night, we have 5 kids between us ( staying at home) and we are sick of housework, so a hotel seems like best fit.

Any suggestions. Will consider other islands, but since we haven't been to Maui we thought it sounded like a good fit. Kaui was a bit too quiet for us, although it is the most amazingly beautiful place !

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
134 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Sheraton is very nice. Black Rock is right in fron of it.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
13,655 posts
308 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Maui. Kaanapali area is lively like you say is wanted. Black Rock is OK. There are other spots like Airport Beach and Dumps that are a short and long drive away if you are experienced snorkelers.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,440 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

well is sounds like you are not that much into snorkeling....but want a good party bar rather

I cant help you there.

I will answer where the best snorkeling is in the state ,which you asked...

Best is the Big Island, Hawaii on the south Kona Coast Kahaluu bay by the Outrigger hotel in Keauhou... which has a bar overlooking the lagoon.... And Place Of Refuge, 20 miles south of Kona.. no bar or hotel however.

It is against the law here to have a bar on a beach or drink.. The Four Seasons has one but poor snorkeling

If you are or were impressed with Hanauma bay you are in for a HUGE suprise on the big island.

The Kona coast has 57% of all the coral and ocean life in the entire state. We dont have any place as poor as Hanauma which by our standards is a poor..beat and trashed excuse for a reef with very little life and even less coral..

We have nothing like Dukes on this Island

However..We are very rural and not as developed as the other islands... BUT....we do have the very best diving and snorkeling of all.... so much better you cant comprehend it unless you see it. Nothing in Maui comes close..... However Maui is where you will find your Bars We do have at the Royal Kona a don the beachcomber.... overlooking the ocean but not on a beach.

So Maui for bars, BigIsland for Snorkeling

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
Level Contributor
4,080 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

One of the best snorkeling spots in Hawai'i is Hulopo'e Beach on Lana'i. This is the beach right in front of the Four Seasons Manele Bay, and there is easy access by walking right in from the beach. Also the resort provides complementary snorkel gear. If you don't want to stay on Lana'i, you can take either Trilogy or Paragon over from Maui and they put you right on Hulopo'e Beach.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
43,982 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Sheraton Maui sounds ideal, as Black Rock is right in front. Mornings are best. You can snorkel north of Black Rock as well. Honolua Bay or Olawalu (sp?) are other good West Maui sites. We enjoy snorkeling from a catamaran - away from shore. Easy to get in and out of the water.

Sheraton Maui has a couple excellent beach bars -- right on the beach by the pool. Also - you can walk down the paved beach walk, past a couple resorts, to Whaler's Village. There are two restaurants there (Hula Grill and Leilani's) that are owned by the same company that owns Duke's. Both have indoor seating and outdoor (barefoot bar-type) seating with a lighter/cheaper menu outside. www.tsrestaurants.net/index.cfm…

Go to the bottom of the page.

Lahaina is a short drive or shuttle ride away -- also with restaurants and shops.

As mentioned above, Lanai, across the channel, also has excellent snorkeling. You can take the ferry -- or a catamaran ride is great fun.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
21,940 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Haiwaii Dan.,, we do not "party" at all, we are all almost 50 ,, and our idea of a good time is having a glass of wine by the pool around 4 pm,, which we did 3 or 4 times in a week at Outrigger Waikiki,, which was our idea of a beach bar I suppose. Plus Dukes serves drinks on the patio, which is on the beach too.

We then would have a before dinner drink at Dukes ,, thats it, bed by 10 or so everynight, hardly party animals.

So far most of our experiences with snorkling were actually in the Caribbean, which seems to have clearer water,, we have only done HB in Hawaii.. so you are saying there are places as good as Grand Caymans and the Bahamas and Playa Del Carman in Hawaii!! Great!

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
13,655 posts
308 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

If you want the "beach bar" then you do need Maui. Snorkeling is better in some places on the Big Island but shore access is harder and problematic in winter. April is still iffy wrt waves stirring things up and making it hard to enter/exit. So Maui is a safer choice because there are more beach (not rock) entry spots.

Waycross, Ga
Level Contributor
6 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

We have been to Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. We are not into the drinking in bars, but prefer poolside or ocean sunset drinks of wine. We are in our early 40's. We go to Hawaii each year for the past five. The best place for snorkeling on the Big Island is Capt.Cook's Monument. The best on Maui is Kapalua ( the same as the famous golf tournament) and Hapuna. Hapuna has the slight edge. In Kauai, our favorite island, is Tunnels by far. There you can swim with turtles, etc.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
21,940 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

Hi, thanks for ideas,, although at 350-500 dollars a night we will not be staying at the Sheraton,, I am sure I can find a hotel nearby for 200-250 a night.

Near that Black Rock place I saw a hotel called the Royal Lahaina, which is more in our budget range, although it does seem a little less um,, nice, then we would like.

I have to look and see whats around Hapuna,, anyone suggest a hotel in area. We will have a car, but it is nice to be able to walk to beach and go back to room for shower and lunch without a drive.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,618 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Best snorkling from shore , which island , where?

You know, if you book a condo there's no rental clause that says you must *cook* anything. LOL

You will find condos in your price range on and near good swimming and snorkeling beaches in South Maui. (I doubt you will find a hotel under $250/night anywhere on Maui -- maybe a 'special' at the Prince.) Look at Sugar Beach, Hale Pau Hana, Wailea Ekahi and Ekolu.

Less expensive and across the road from good beaches: In Kihei -- Kamaole Sands, Maui Kamaole; In Wailea -- The Palms.

West Maui's Kaanapali is 'buzzier'. People like to shop at Whaler Mall and along Front Street in Lahaina. Wailea (and along the S. Kihei border with it) tends to be more laid-back, quieter. My problem with Black Rock in West Maui is that it is 'the' place to snorkel. People come there from all the big condos and hotels in the area that are built 'on sand', but not on swimming or snorkeling beaches.

You will find much better snorkeling from Maui than from Kauai or Oahu. Best is off Big Island, but there is a more limited choice of lodgings there. Maui has the widest choice of lodgings and restaurants outside of Honolulu.