best snorkeling spots on Kauai for kids

What Are The Best Places to Snorkel in Kauai with Kids?

We loved Hawaii To me, it’s one of the best vacations you can take your kids on. We go to experience Maui so next on our family bucket list was Kauai.

Traveling to Kauai was one of the best vacations our family has ever taken. This Hawaiian Island has everything you need for the trip of a lifetime!

The adventures in Kauai are endless. We went river tubing through the rainforest. We took a boat ride to the most unbelievable scenery. Or even take a kayak ride to a giant, secret waterfall.

But what Kauai is most known for… is their gorgeous beaches and epic snorkeling!

When my daughter and I traveled to Kauai, I had all sorts of activities planned to keep her busy. But every day, she asked me the same question… when can we go snorkeling?

Snorkeling on Kauai was my daughter’s favorite activity. So much so, that we ended up snorkeling every single day. And we made it our mission to go to every beach on Kauai to find the best snorkeling spots.

Here is our list of what we think are the Best Places to Snorkel in Kauai with Kids And where not to bother going at all.

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Best Beaches On Kauai For Snorkeling With Kids

I’ve ranked these beaches in order starting with our favorite. Even though all these beaches are great!

1 – Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is located on the south shore of Kauai, in the town of Poipu. This is hands down the best beach in Kauai for kids to both swim at and snorkel at.

The water here is calm, and a rock wall breaks up a small beachy swimming area from the slightly more rocky snorkeling area. We snorkeled here almost every day! We saw tons of colorful fish and even a few sea turtles.

Poipu Beach has a free parking lot, with plenty of parking. There are bathrooms and even a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch.

Poipu beach snorkeling with kids. Kauai
Poipu Beach

2 – Anini Beach

Anini Beach is located on the north shore of Kauai and is another of our favorite spots to snorkel. The beach area is massive. You can lay out, play in the sand, go swimming, or snorkel anywhere. The water is warm and calm.

We saw plenty of sea turtles while snorkeling here! This beach stays relatively shallow as well, so we could snorkel pretty far out, and it never got too deep. We also started at one end and slowly made our way down the beach, snorkeling at different spots as we went.

Anini Beach has some parking lots and plenty of street parking as well. There are ramadas and bathrooms here and tons of grass to spread out on. You can bring a picnic and spend the entire day here.

Anini Beach, Kauai
Anini Beach

3 – Tunnel Beach

Tunnel Beach is probably one of the prettiest beaches in Kauai. It also has great snorkeling! Just like the beaches above, it has warm, calm water which makes it a great place for kids to snorkel. There is plenty of fish and this beach has lots of coral too.

The reason I listed it as our third favorite is because of two things. Number one, its location is pretty far. It’s located on the north shore, but all the way to the west, basically as far as you can go before the road ends. So it takes a while to get to.

Number two, there is barely any parking. There is one small lot that fills up pretty quickly. So if you want to check out Tunnel Beach, go early in the morning.

But if you do make it over this way, the beach itself is stunning. And the scenery around you (parts of the Napali coast) is breathtaking.

4 – Baby Beach

You don’t see many people mention Baby Beach, but we happened to have found this small beach on the south shore of Kauai and really loved it!

Parking isn’t the greatest here either. You have to find street parking, but at least it’s free! And the beach itself isn’t very big either. So its probably not the best place to stay the whole day and lounge around.

But Baby Beach has some amazing sealife! We saw turtles every single time we snorkeled here. And the fish were everywhere! I had bright-colored fish swim right up to my camera and almost bonk me on my mask. You don’t even have to snorkel far. The water is calm and the fish and turtles are very close to the shore.

Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms or ramadas here. But there is plenty of food within walking distance.

Turtle at Baby Beach Kauai
Turtle at Baby Beach

5 – Kiahuna Beach

Located near Poipu Beach on the south shore, Kiahuna Beach is a great place to go snorkeling. It’s actually located on the property we stayed at so we could just walk right to the beach area and go swimming and snorkeling.

There are bathrooms here and even an outdoor shower, but no restaurants or food. Parking is easy and plentiful.

Kiahuna is listed as our 5th favorite place to snorkel on Kauai because although the location is great and the beach is beautiful, there are not a lot of turtles or fish here. So if you want to just swim and practice snorkeling, this is a great place to do it!

6 – Lyndgate Beach

Lyndgate Beach deserves an honorable mention even though it wasn’t our favorite place to snorkel on Kauai. The beach itself is very pretty, and it’s located on the east shore near several popular resorts.

However, because it’s on the east shore, it gets a lot of waves and dangerous water. Lyndate Beach constructed a rock wall to break up the waves and you’ll find a nice shallow swimming pool here because of that.

But you also won’t find a lot of sea life. Sometimes you might get lucky and some fish get in, but definitely not any sea turtles.

So if you have really young kids that just want to snorkel to see underwater, this is a great place. But if you have older kids who want to see turtles and fish, head to one of the other beaches listed above.

Beaches In Kauai to Avoid Snorkeling At

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck Beach is an amazing beach! The scenery here is unreal. It’s actually one of the most popular spots on Kauai to do family photos because of the cliffs in the background and big waves.

But because of those big waves, the water is very dangerous. I would never even let my young kids attempt to swim here. My daughter and I tried to just wade out to our knees and got knocked down by the waves each and every time.

It is a great place to watch surfers and play in the sand though!

Kauai Photographer
Our family photo on the cliffs of Shipwreck Beach

Ke’e Beach

Although this beach looks really pretty, the water is rough and not a great place for kids to go snorkeling. The location is pretty close to Anini Beach, so I would head there instead if you are staying on the north shore of Kauai.

Kapa’a Beach Park

Located on the east shore, this beach area is known for its crashing, intense waves. Which makes it not a good place for snorkeling and not even that great for swimming. The beach area is also really short and doesn’t offer much in terms of laying out or playing in the sand.

As I previously stated, pretty much any beach on the east shore of Kauai is going to have big waves and rough waters. If you are looking for the best places to snorkel in Kauai with kids, I would avoid this entire area.

Snorkeling Gear For Kids

When traveling to Kauai, we love to rent our gear through Snorkel Bob’s! Snorkel Bob’s has two locations, one on the north shore and one on the south shore. They are open almost every day from 8 am – 5 pm and you can rent your snorkeling equipment here so you don’t have to pack any.

The prices are super reasonable also. We rented our snorkel equipment for 8 days and paid approximately $80 total for both of us (kids’ masks and fins are even cheaper).

What I really love about them is that you can reserve your snorkel gear before you come to Kauai, so you know they will have equipment waiting for you and not run out.

But even better, the employees at Snorkel Bob’s are super helpful! They help fit you to the right size swim mask and fins and even give you a tote bag and some lens defogger to use.

We kept our snorkeling equipment in our car so we always had it on hand. That way, we could just pull over and go snorkeling in Kauai any time we wanted to!

Save yourself the headache and the luggage space and rent your snorkeling gear from Snorkel Bob’s!

Tips for Snorkeling with Kids

Getting kids the proper snorkel equipment is essential. Make sure it’s fitted correctly so they dont end up getting salt water in their eyes, or water in their mouth.

We started by using this cool flotation device around my daughter’s waist. It was lightweight but kept her body floating in the right position to snorkel with barely any effort.

Always practice before attempting to snorkel in the ocean. Take turns snorkeling in a pool so your kids can get a feel for how to breathe correctly, and what to do when they get water in their snorkel.

Snorkeling WIth Sea Turtle In Kauai

I wanted to include this reminder because it’s so important! Please remember that touching or grabbing sea turtles in any way is illegal and dangerous in Hawaii. The general rule is to stay at least 10 feet away from them.

Please remind your kids about this rule! You could face a major fine if you touch a sea turtle. And for their well being too, do not touch them and do not feed them.

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Best Beaches on Kauai for snorkeling with kids. Where is the best place to snorkel in Kauai with kids? #kauai #snorkeling #kids #families

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