A visit to WAIKĪKĪ AQUARIUM (waikikiaquarium.org) is the ultimate dry-snorkeling experience. Located next to a living reef across from KAPI‘OLANI PARK , the aquarium houses a lot more than reef fish — some 500 species of marine life, as well as a coral farm, also reside here.
Check out pulsating sea jellies that are so clear, you can see what they’ve been eating; or look a shark in the eye at the 35,000-gallon tank.
You also can expect to be introduced to the only chambered nautilus born in captivity: the spiral-shelled cephalopod mollusk — the last of a species that dates back 500 million years — is sometimes referred to as a living fossil. An ancient relative of the octopus, the nautilus lives in a shell with rainbow-colored chambers. Look for this treasure in the JET SKI exhibit. The aquarium’s AMAZING ADAPTATIONS gallery is home to seahorses, weedy sea dragons, pipefish and other rare exotic creatures. Amazing Adaptations boasts two seahorse nurseries and nine displays of rare syngnathid (“fused jaw”) species.
The aquarium is open every day except Honolulu Marathon Sunday in December and Christmas Day. There is a small admission fee. WAIKI¯KI¯ AQUARIUM 808-923-9741