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Best Oahu Family Activities

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Snorkel Hanauma Bay
Best Oahu Family Activities

Hanauma Bay Marine Life Conservation District

Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com

Located about 10 miles east of Waikiki just off the main coastal road (Kalaniana'ole Highway, Route 72). Hanauma Bay is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the State of Hawaii. In 2004 Hanauma Bay was named America's Best Beach for 2004 in the annual list compiled by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman.

In an interview for USA Today, Leatherman explained his choice - "Hanauma Bay Beach Park provides the best snorkeling in Hawaii in the safe, calm waters protected by an offshore reef. This is the top place in the country to go swimming with fish. The small, palm-studded beach is situated in the crater of a ocean-breached volcano, making for an idyllic place to spend the day sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. The white coral sand is accentuated by the azure blue water and underwater coral in the nearshore area."

A nine minute film is required to be seen to be granted beach access.

For the summer session, Hanauma Bay is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. except on Tuesdays. They are closed all day on Tuesdays. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, Hanauma Bay remains open until 10:00 p.m.

For the winter session, Hanauma Bay is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. except on Tuesdays. They are closed all day on Tuesdays. On the second Saturday of each month, Hanauma Bay remains open until 10:00 p.m.

It costs $1.00 per car to park and $7.50 per person to enter the Preserve. The entrance fee is waived for children under 13 and for residents of Hawaii with proof of residency.

Plan to get to the bay early. The parking lot often fills early and you will be turned away if it is full. By getting an extra early start you will avoid long lines at the ticket booth and snorkel concession.

If you aren't driving you can catch the number 22 bus from Waikiki, it runs down Kuhio Avenue. For information on routes and timetables call TheBus at (808) 848-5555.

View our photos of Hanauma Bay.

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