TIDE POOLS are MINI-ECOSYSTEMS boasting everything from moray eels to coral reef life and fi sh. These pools tend to be shallow with calm, clear waters for casual snorkeling or toe dipping, and Hawai‘i Island has numerous great spots to splash around.
KIKAUA POINT BEACH, near Kailua- Kona, is a kid-friendly option with a sand-bottom pool only around 3 feet deep. Arrive early, since there is limited parking, and check in with the golf resort’s security, so that they can give you a hangtag and directions. The beach is located on Kūki‘o Nui Road, near the 87-mile marker.
WAWALOLI BEACH is more of a SHELTERED SWIMMING HOLE, perfect for when the surf is high. This spot offers tide pools that boast fi sh, anemones and scuttling crabs. This beach park also features benches, trees, restrooms and plenty of space to picnic or rest, though it doesn’t have a lifeguard. It is located in Kalaoa on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway, near the 94-mile marker.
Warning: Tide pools near the open ocean are fronted by powerful waves. Never turn your back on the ocean. Don’t walk on rocks that look wet near breaking surf.