Hoping to do some snorkeling on Kauai? Here are the 9 best places for Kauai snorkeling you’ll want to add to your Kauai itinerary, keep scrolling down for all the info!

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When it comes to snorkeling, finding the best spots while visiting can be a lot of research.

If you’re planning a trip to Kauai, one of Hawaii’s islands, you’ll be excited to know that you’re actually headed to an island with some of the best beaches and snorkeling destinations in the world.

With this good news, the only thing you need to worry about is where you’re headed. Lucky for you, we get our source from the best advice out there from a local.

Here are 9 of the best Kauai snorkeling spots that you will find.Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Want to snorkel on Kauai? Here are the best Kauai snorkeing spots on the island for all ages and abilities. There are a few secret Kauai snorkel locations plus one that's super kid-friendly!

The Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai

1. TUNNELS BEACH

On the northern seashores of Kauai, lies Tunnels Beach, (Makua Beach) a horseshoe shaped bay filled with huge coral formations.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Tunnels Beach is one of the best places to snorkel on Kauai
Tunnels Beach on the Island of Kauai.

This is considered an advanced snorkeling location because of the size and power of the strong currents.

If you’re there snorkeling at the right time, you might catch schools of colorful fish of all different species and even a visit from galapagos sharks.

This snorkeling destination is a seasonal location because in the winter, strong winds and currents make it much more dangerous.

Be aware that Tunnels Beach can get overwhelming and crowded with visitors, so plan to get to the beach early.

One last important note: make sure that you use the restroom and plan to bring some food beforehand. There are no restaurants or restrooms anywhere nearby.

2. POIPU

A great snorkeling beach for both beginners and advanced individuals alike would be Poipu Beach Park.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Poipu Beach is a great place to see sea turtles and monk seals, plus it's a popular snorkeling on Kauai spot
Monk seal resting on Poipu Beach.

It’s actually two beaches that’s separated by a tombolo with a tiny island not to far out to sea.

While this snorkeling spot doesn’t have as much sea life around as some ideal snorkeling spots, you will still see the occasional seal or sea turtles and other species of fish.

Believe it or not, the summertime is actually the worst time to snorkel in this area, so check with a lifeguard on the conditions of the currents.

3. HEAD TO NUALOLO KAI BEACH FOR SNORKELING ON KAUAI

Located close to an ancient fishing village on the Na Pali coast, Nualolo Kai Beach is a unique snorkeling destination.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: The Na Pali Coast has lots of amazing Kauai snorkeling.
View on Na Pali Coast on Kauai.

That’s because there’s only one way of getting there, by an authorized boat landing.

Not only does that make this experience more intimate, but the water itself seems to be clearer around this point of the beach.

The majestic towering mountains that are above you in this beach makes this spot even more incredible.

With the colorful fish, plentiful coral and surrounding beauty,this very well might be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

4. PALI KE KUA BEACH (HIDEAWAY BEACH)

Some people call Pali Ke Kua Beach, Hideaway Beach, perhaps because it’s easier to say, or how you get there.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Hideway Beach is a top Kauai snorkeling beach
Hideaway Beach on Kauai.

To reach this location, you’ll have to be willing to go for a bit of a hike and climbing, using rope. I

f you can get past all that, this beach has shallow clear-blue water with teeming with fish.

5. HANALEI BAY

Hanalei Bay isn’t the most ideal location on this list for best snorkeling spots in Kauai, but still has beautiful features none-the-less.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Hanalei Bay is a popular North Shore Kauai snorkeling beach
Hanalei Bay on Kauai.

Because of the sandy bottom and lack of reefs along the ocean floor, many locals would tell you to snorkel elsewhere.

For a little secret, the best location for snorkeling in the area can be found along the western edge of the bay.

But you don’t have to take my word for it if you want to explore.

6. QUEEN’S BATH

Queen’s Bath is by far, the most challenging snorkeling spot to get to on Kauai. In fact, it’s downright dangerous. That’s what makes this secluded spot even more special.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Queen's Bath is a dangerous snorkeling Kauai spot in Princeville
Snorkeling swimmer in Queens Bath near Princeville, Kauai.

You’ll have to take a muddy and slippery hike through all kinds of terrain. Always be cautious.

Once you get there, there’s a large pool created and surrounded by countless rocks and lava formations.

This enclosed tide pool is neat, and something you don’t see everyday.

There’s also decent snorkeling spots in areas around the pool for you to see under the water.

7. LAWAI BEACH

Lawai Beach is sometimes referred to as the Beach House Beach because of the Beach House Restaurant.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: You can see monk seals on Lawai Beach on Kauai.
Monk Seal on Lawai Beach.

That reason alone is enough for you to head to this beach. Plan your meal time reservations for around sunset for a gorgeous dinnertime setting.

Lawai Beach is a small, rocky beach with perfect conditions and beautiful surroundings.

The snorkeling here is great too because of the large rock wall and calmer waters, ideal for spotting different colorful species of fish, seals, and sea turtles.

8. KE`E BEACH FOR SOME OF THE BEST SNORKELING ON KAUAI

Another beach along the northern shores of Kauai, resides Ke’e Beach.

This beach is in a far more secluded area because of the long scenic drive, yet still brings in huge crowds.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kee Beach is a popular snorkeling Kauai beach at the end of the road on Kauai
Kee Beach on Kauai, Hawaii.

It’s actually the perfect snorkeling spot for beginners and less-experienced snorkelers because of the calmer currents, due to the protective reef formations.

Always be attentive on where the reef is, so that you don’t get taken too far out to sea.

At the right times you may notice green sea turtles, parrotfish, raccoon butterfly fish, triggerfish, yellow tang and many more.

9. LYDGATE BEACH PARK

Your whole family, young or old can enjoy snorkeling at the  Lydgate Beach Park.

Top 9 Places for the Best Snorkeling on Kauai featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Lydgate Beach Park is a great Kauai snorkeling spot for families.
Lydgate Beach Park. Photo credit: Ron Cogswell

That’s because two pools were created by closing them off from the ocean and from strong currents.

While this might seem disappointing to some, there are openings for fish to still come in and out so that you can swim alongside them.

For the more expert snorkelers, there are spots beyond the pools where you can swim, but you should know, this area is not covered in sea life and fish like other great snorkeling areas.

These are 9 spots for the best snorkeling on Kauai.

If you’re planning a visit soon, where will you head to get your Kauai snorkeling fix?

If you’ve already visited Kauai, or are a local, what other snorkeling spots would you point out to someone? Let me know in a comment below!

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