Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the state and the most popular snorkeling site on O‘ahu.

Snorkeling Southeast and Windward O‘ahu

Southeast and Windward O‘ahu have some great snorkeling locales, but it’s up to you find the best spots dependant on weather and ocean conditions. Use these location suggestions and tips along with area and outfitter advice to craft your snorkeling day.

Lady Bird Lake in Austin

The greatest attraction Austin has to offer is the stretch of the Colorado River called Lady Bird Lake, where by taking just a few steps you can go from bustling, urban downtown to an alternative world that’s peaceful, beautiful, and natural. You can also find hike-and-bike trails that are some of the best urban trails in the country, plus crewing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding.

Aerial view of Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui.

Snorkeling Charters from Ma‘alaea Bay

If you want to snorkel the amazing underwater world of Molokini Crater, you’ll need to charter a boat from Ma‘alaea Bay. You’ll have plenty of choice in your experience, from low to high-priced trips, snorkeling or snuba, sailing or power catamarans, and excursions that incorporate other good snorkeling sites.

Windsurfing Maui on a beautiful sunny day.

Windsurfing Maui’s North Shore

Windsurfers flock to Maui’s North Shore in winter. Summer windsurfing is reserved for spots such as Kanaha Beach Park in Central Maui where wind takes precedent over waves. Here are a few more locations that make for excellent windsurfing, along with area tips and directions.

Rocky shoreline of Three Tables Beach in Oahu.

Diving and Snorkeling O‘ahu’s North Shore

During the summer, from May to September, when the ocean is flat, O‘ahu’s North Shore beaches are an amazing place to snorkel. With a mix of rocks, reef, sand, calm waters, and favorable winds, just about anywhere you jump in the water will have some interesting underwater topography, coral, and marine life. For the best snorkeling and diving experience, try these locations and outfitters.

Rocks jut out of the sand at Hanalei Bay on Kauai's northern shore.

Best Beaches in Hanalei, Kaua‘i

The best beaches in Hanalei are along Hanalei Bay & Waikoko Beach, all excellent for sun, sand, and surf. Hanalei Bay is big, popular, and full of conveniences, while Waikoko is smaller and less-crowded but still located close to Hanalei’s amenities.

Aerial view of Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui.

Snorkeling Molokini Crater

Nowhere else in Hawaii can you find waters as clear as those in Molokini Crater, a half-submerged volcanic caldera that rises from 300 feet of water. Snorkeling at Molokini is such a popular activity that if you want as much water to yourself as possible, you had best plan ahead to get there as early as possible on one of the smaller available charters.

View of an interpretive sign at the edge of Kealakekua Bay.

Beaches in the Big Island’s Captain Cook Area

Beaches near Big Island’s Captain Cook Monument are all excellent for various water sports, including rental kayaking, and two have great amenities for a full day at the beach with a packed picnic lunch. All are fairly busy beaches, even the harder-to-reach ones, so plan ahead if you’re looking for solitude.

Aerial view of the islet of Moku Ho‘oniki off Molokai.

Moloka‘i Dive Sites and Snorkeling

The only reason you haven’t heard about the amazing diving and snorkeling in Moloka‘i is because—with the exception of a few protected areas—the majority of dive and snorkel spots are best accessed from a dive boat or charter. Use these outfitters to explore Moku Ho‘oniki and other areas.

The wreck of the HMS Vixen. Photo © Gary Parker/123rf.

Bermuda Shipwreck Dive Sites

Bermuda is known as the shipwreck capital of the Atlantic. Most of these unfortunate vessels, from treasure-laden galleons to U.S. Civil War-era steamers, lie less than 60 feet deep, making accessibility a breeze.