For thousands of years, people have been snorkeling in some way or another. Since long before recorded history, skin and freedivers have been diving into the sea to find food, pearls and shipwrecks. Aristotle is the first Westerner to mention snorkeling. He told stories of how Greek soldiers hid from Persian soldiers by using reeds.
It was not until the 1920s off the coast of southern France that European freedivers like Jacques O’Marchal started to experiment with breathing tubes and masks. This is what we know today as modern-day snorkel. Soon divers and beachgoers from all over the globe were looking for the best snorkeling spots. There are many places to snorkel in the United States.
Snorkeling is a great activity because it’s not like other activities. Scuba diving You don’t require much training or equipment, and you are at comparatively lower risk. You can’t travel everywhere scuba divers do, but there are plenty of places to snorkel. Not only can you go along the 95,471 mile coast and shoreline in the United States, but also in the lakes. Rivers , as well as flooded volcanic calderas or craters.
Some Basic Things You Might Need Before Going Snorkeling
- Snorkelling Fins
- Life Vest
- Snorking Camera
- Wet Suit or Rash Guard
Cinnamon Bay ,Virgin Islands , U.S.
Cinnamon Bay looks like it was built to be a great place to snorkel in the United States or the Carribbean. You don’t even need a charter boat to reach beautiful tropical fish habitats in the shallow waters. The entire Cay is surrounded underwater by reef so there are plenty of things to do.
It’s been nearly two years since the Category 5 storm, and although you can still enjoy snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay today it hasn’t fully recovered. The campground was sold to a new owner in May 2019. He would make extensive renovations to make it better for 2020, which is not too far away. Save Cinnamon Bay to your bucket list. Then, count down to when camping close to one of the most beautiful places to snorkel in Virgin Islands will be back and better than ever!
About Camp : Cinnamon Bay Campground
Anacapa Island , California , U.S.
California is known for its surf, but it’s less well-known for its snorkeling. It’s unfortunate, especially since Anacapa Island has wild kelp forests that make it one of the most popular spots to snorkel on the west side. Anacapa is lonely, remote and inhabited mostly by seabirds. However, the surrounding ocean and tidepools are full of sea stars, sea urchins, Garibaldi and other day-glo orange Garibaldi.
Anacapa is remote so you need to ensure your backcountry camping skills and that you have enough food before you leave Santa Barbara. To keep the gulls and mice away, bring plenty of water and food. You can also enjoy Anacapa’s trails, which run through the area, such as the one that leads to an old lighthouse, which was built in 1930s. It is still used today for snorkeling and exploring tide pools.
About Camp : Anacapa Backcountry Campground
More Detail About Anacapa Island
Location : Pacific Ocean
Papalaua Wayside , Hawaii, U.S.
Papalaua Wayside Park in Hawaii offers something different than other places you can snorkel in the Aloha State. Clear waters allow you to spot sea turtles and tropical fish in the water, while whales might be passing by. The real secret to Papalaua’s snorkeling is not from the beach. Instead, you can go forty minutes south to Molokini to see the whales.
About Camp : Papalaua Campground
After your snorkel session, drive back to Papalaua for some prime Hawaii beach camping. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the only days that campers are not welcome. Otherwise, you can camp for free with the purchase of a $10 permit to adult mainlanders. There are no designated campsites, so you can set up wherever suits your needs. To protect your food, you should bring a bear container. You can also bring extra toilet paper.
More Details About Paplaua Wayside
Location : 1840 HI-30, Lahaina, HI 96761, United States
Ho’okena Beach Park , Hawaii, U.S.
It’s also not terribly surprising that Hawaii is yet another state with more than its fair share of the best places to snorkel. Hookena Beach on the Big Island isn’t as crowded as some of the other favorite surf and snorkel spots on the island, and there’s a place to rent snorkel equipment right on the beach if you didn’t bring your own. Proceeds from the rentals go to the Friends of Ho’okena Beach Park to fund preservation efforts.
About Camp : Ho’okena Beach Park Campground
The amenities are basic but you have access to a sink, outdoor showers and a toilet. There is also a grill pit. After you reserve your campsite, you can buy WiFi separately. Like many Hawaiian campgrounds in Hawaii, the rates for residents and those from the mainland are different. Pets are not permitted. Ho’okena does not allow RVs or hammocks, so tent camping is the best option.
More Details About Ho’okena Beach
Location : 86-4322 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704, United States
Bahia Honda State Park , Florida , U.S.
So it should not surprise that Florida is home to many of the most popular snorkeling spots. Bahia Honda is popular for its snorkel set but also for scuba divers and sea kayakers. You’ll find hawksbill sea turtles and octopuses in the shallow Atlantic waters. Looe Reef is another popular spot in the area for snorkelers.
Bahia Hodna offers sites for RV and tent campers as well as slips to boat-in campers. The Buttonwood camping area has RV sites that have electricity, water and a picnic table, and access to toilets, hot showers, and a dump station. The Bayside area sites are smaller and non-electric. Bahia Honda State Park is not suitable for RVs larger than 50 feet.
About Bahia : Bahia Honda State Park Campground
More Details About Bahia Honda State Park
Location : Monroe County, Florida, United States
Elliot Key ,Florida ,U.S.
Elliot Key is a part of Biscayne National park, close to Miami. It offers snorkelers a unique opportunity to not only explore reefs and schools, but also a series sunken shipwrecks that form the Florida Maritime Heritage Trail. Special ecotourism offers are also offered by park rangers, such as guided tours of the shipwrecks or other areas of this 95%-waterpark. This is in addition to self-guided snorkeling trips of Biscayne, and several licensed charters which will take divers and snorkelers to different parts the park.
Your boat is the only way to reach Elliot Key. Therefore, your slip fee will be added to your camping permit. Access to toilets with cold water showers and sinks is included with all tent sites. Basic amenities such as picnic tables and grills are also available. You can sit at the campfire with a portable fireplace pit. Ground fires are prohibited in Elliot Key group campsites.
About Camp : Elliot Campground
More Details About Elliot Key
Location : Atlantic Ocean
Punalu’u Beach State Park, Hawaii, U.S.
Punaluu Beach is located just southwest of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. It is one of Hawaii’s most famous black sand beaches and is home to hawksbill turtles as large as your coffee table. The beach is beautiful and located near Hilo’s amazing restaurants and farmers market, but it’s also one the best places to snorkel in Hawaii. Ninole Cove is a safe and gentle spot to get in the water before you dive in for corals, fish, or more turtles.
It’s no surprise that snorkeling is excellent at Punalu’u. A small pond is located just behind the beach. There are dense groves and trees near the shore. Pay attention to the pavillions near the petroglyphs and ancient Kii pohaku. These were left by native Hawaiians many years ago.
About Camp : Punalu’u Beach Camping
Location : 96-884 Mountain View,, 96-884 Government Rd, Mountain View, HI 96771, United States