Hawaii’s Big Island – The western shore of Big Island is home to Kailua-Kona Town. A remarkable variety of fish coexist in the water off the seashore here. From November to May, humpback whales stay here, and birth their baby whales off the coast of Kona. Now, many beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii are marked by rip tides and strong undertows; not the best spot for offshore snorkeling. However, the Kohala Coast is beautiful, and it’s the best The Big Island has to offer scuba and snorkel fans. The popular Hapuna Beach State Rec Area, a top destination for beach activities, is part of the Kohala Coast. Near the Kona coast, the Sea Caves off Honaunau have calm water for snorkeling as well.

Maui – Many experienced divers agree that Maui has the best scuba and snorkel opportunities of all of the Hawaiian islands. The luxury resort area of Wailea has an accessible coastline with top off-the-beach snorkeling, in water so gentle that many young kids get their first snorkel experiences in Wailea. The best site of all of Maui, though, has got to be the Molokini Crater. It’s a 25-minute boat ride to this extinct volcanic crater, also called a caldera, which is recognized as one of the top dive sites in the world. In as such, it’s best to book an early-morning boat trip from Maui, as later in the day Molokini can be overrun with scuba and snorkel day trippers.

Away from the luxury resort area of Wailea, West Maui also has some great dive sites. Try Napili Bay, Olowalu, and Kapalua Bay: All are an easy drive from the popular tourist town of Lahaina.