Explore The Best Places To See Sea Lions In Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth filled with sandy beaches, lush greenery, and a vast array of wildlife. One of the most fascinating creatures you can encounter in Hawaii is the sea lions. These creatures are a must-see for any visitor to Hawaii. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii and want to explore the best places to see sea lions, then you’ve come to the right place.

Types of Sea Lions Found in Hawaii

There are two types of sea lions that you can find in Hawaii – the Hawaiian monk seal and the California sea lion. Both these sea lions are amazing to look at and have their unique features that make them special.

Hawaiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest seals in the world, with an estimated population of around 1,100 individuals. They’re found only in the Hawaiian Islands and nowhere else in the world. They’re a protected species, and it’s illegal to harass, disturb or approach them in any way. If you spot a Hawaiian monk seal on the beach or near the shoreline, do not approach them, and keep a safe distance.

California Sea Lion

The California sea lion is a common sight in Hawaii. They’re found throughout the west coast of North America, and they migrate to Hawaii during the winter months. They’re less protected than the Hawaiian monk seal, and you’re more likely to see them off the coast of Hawaii.

Best Places To See Sea Lions In Hawaii

There are several spots in Hawaii where you can see sea lions, whether you’re on land or out on the ocean.

1. Keauhou Bay, Big Island

Keauhou Bay, on the western side of the Big Island, is a popular spot for sea lions. The crystal clear waters in Keauhou Bay make it easy to spot sea lions swimming in the water. Kayaking or stand-up paddling in Keauhou Bay is a great way to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.

2. Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Waikiki Beach is a popular tourist destination, and it’s also home to a colony of sea lions. You can spot them sunbathing on the rocks near the Waikiki Aquarium. Keep a safe distance when viewing them and avoid disturbing them.

3. Halapē, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Halapē Beach, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is a secluded spot that’s great for spotting Hawaiian monk seals. This beach is only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and you must obtain a permit to visit the area.

4. West Shore, Kauai

The west shore of Kauai is a great place to spot sea lions. You can often see them lounging on the rocks at Hanapepe Bay or in the water near the Na Pali Coast.

5. Napali Coast, Kauai

The Napali Coast is a majestic stretch of coastline that’s home to a variety of wildlife, including sea lions. Book a boat tour along the Napali Coast to increase your chances of seeing these amazing creatures.


In conclusion, seeing sea lions in Hawaii is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that every visitor should try. Whether you’re on the Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, or any of the other Hawaiian Islands, there are plenty of opportunities to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Keep in mind that it’s important to respect these animals and avoid disturbing them. With the right mindset and an open heart, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

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