Northeast of Hanalei on Kauai, the snorkeling at Sea Lodge Beach (Kaweonui Beach) is well known for its shallow slotted coral formations. While snorkeling at the secluded Sea Lodge Beach, you may encounter green sea turtles, ornate butterflyfish, parrotfish, cornetfish, moray eels, rainbow cleaner wrasse, yellowstripe cloris and humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish). The califlower coral and mushroom coral provide great marine life habitat. Since it is very shallow, the best snorkeling off Hideaways is about 1 hour before and after high tide. From September through May, the surf off Sea Lodge Beach is affected by seasonal northwest swells that kickup the large waves and generate strong currents so make sure to exercise caution.
To reach the snorkeling in Kauai by air, fly into the Lihue airport (LIH). There are direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and Honolulu. While most visitors to the island rent a car, it is possible to use the public bus but keep in mind that its small and slow. Plus, most of the main snorkeling beaches are well off the bus route requiring some hiking. If you do rent a car, make sure to leave the inside empty when at the beach to avoid attracting break-ins.
To reach the snorkeling at Sea Lodge Beach, head west on Kuhio Highway (SR56) through Kapa'a towards Hanalei. At Princeville, turn right heading north on Ka Haku Road into Princeville Resort for 0.7 miles. Turn right heading north on Kamehameha Road to the end. The steep trail starts at the northwest end of the Sea Lodge Condos between buildings B and C, and runs 0.25 miles down to Kaweonui Beach. Note: There is no public parking near the Sea Lodge Condos.
Before snorkeling at Sea Lodge Beach, make sure to check the current surf report. The waters off Kauai are known for potentially strong currents, high surf and rogue waves. Luckily, there are excellent up-to-date surf reports that can provide guidance on these adverse conditions. WIth the usually rolling surf, it is strongly discouraged to use open-tube snorkels which are common at snorkel rental locations -- only use snorkels with a dry-top splash-guard and a sump purge-valve in the mouth piece. In addition to changing surf conditions, a Sea Lodge Beach snorkeling dive may expose you to sharp coral reefs and you may encounter sharks, such as whitetip reef sharks, galapagos sharks and tiger sharks. Most snorkeling shark attacks in Hawaiian waters tend to occur near spear-fishing snorkelers, so be aware of the activities of others in the water.
Overall, Sea Lodge Beach is the 17th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 23 snorkeling dives in Kauai.