Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Beach Park.
Located on the East side of Oahu, just past Hawaii Kai, it’s a snorkeling heaven. One side of a volcanic crater fell into the ocean, then the Pacific Ocean spilled in. From violent birth, came eventual pristine beauty, and shelter to brilliant Hawaiian fish galore. If you like to snorkel, go here. You can also just stop and take a look, as long as the parking lot is open. But it’s often full and closed mornings. Best to arrive between 7 and 8am. Really.
Closed on Tuesdays. For more information – go to: http://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/regions-neighborhoods/honolulu/hanauma-bay
Location: Oahu, East side
Note: closed Tuesdays, snack bar at the top, minutes by car from Hawaii Kai with its shopping areas, restaurants, shave ice place, and Costco.
$$ Commercial tours available. (My friends just took one that left at 7am from Waikiki, provided all the gear, then picked them at noon, returning them to their hotel. They loved it. The only blip was that one of them saved a snorkeler who was in trouble, and my friend lost his own mask during the rescue. He had to pay an extra $35 for the lost equipment.)
* * * * * 5 asterisk rating (except for those avoiding sun and ocean water)