Picture yourself snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of 3 Tables Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. In this captivating video by Bill Johnson, you’ll be introduced to the marine wonders that lie beneath the surface. From the vibrant Cauliflower Coral to the mesmerizing Moorish Idol, this underwater adventure promises to be a visual delight. Get ready to encounter an array of fascinating species, including the ephemeral Surgeon Fish and the elusive Clown Fish. With its diverse range of marine life, this snorkeling expedition in August 2021 is sure to leave you in awe. So grab your snorkel gear and prepare for an unforgettable underwater experience at 3 Tables Beach.

Join renowned videographer Bill Johnson as he takes you on a virtual tour of the mesmerizing world beneath the waves at 3 Tables Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Saddleback Wrasse and the delicate Christmas Wrasse, as they gracefully swim through the coral formations. Marvel at the exquisite Four Spot Butterfly Fish, with its intricate markings and vivid colors. This video, brought to you by Hawaii Activities and Tours, provides a captivating glimpse into the underwater paradise that awaits you. So get ready to be enchanted by the stunning marine life of 3 Tables Beach in August 2021.

3 Tables Beach Snorkeling, Oahu, Hawaii August 2021

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The Three Tables Beach Snorkeling

Welcome to Three Tables Beach, a beautiful snorkeling destination located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. In this comprehensive article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about Snorkeling at Three Tables Beach. From an overview of the beach to the best time to snorkel, snorkeling conditions and safety, the marine life you can expect to encounter, and the equipment you’ll need for your adventure. So grab your snorkel gear and get ready for an unforgettable underwater experience!

Overview of Three Tables Beach

Location and Access

Three Tables Beach is situated on the iconic North Shore of Oahu, just a short drive away from the bustling town of Haleiwa. The beach can be easily accessed from Kamehameha Highway, and there is ample parking available in the nearby area. As you make your way to the beach, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the turquoise waters and the stunning coastline.

Beach Facilities

Three Tables Beach offers a range of facilities to enhance your snorkeling experience. You’ll find clean restrooms and showers where you can rinse off the saltwater after your snorkeling adventure. There are also picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a delicious beachside meal. For added safety, lifeguard services are available on the beach, ensuring that you can snorkel with peace of mind.

Popular Activities at Three Tables Beach

While snorkeling is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit to Three Tables Beach, there are also plenty of other activities to enjoy. Bodyboarding is a popular choice among thrill-seekers, as the beach is known for its impressive waves. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the tide pools and discover the fascinating marine life that inhabits them. And of course, don’t forget to simply unwind, soak up the sun, and take in the natural beauty of the beach.

Best Time to Snorkel at Three Tables Beach

Weather and Seasonal Considerations

The best time to snorkel at Three Tables Beach is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warm and the ocean conditions are generally calm. During this time, you can expect clear skies and temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit. However, it’s always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before heading out to ensure optimal snorkeling conditions.

Water Visibility

One of the factors that make Three Tables Beach an excellent snorkeling spot is its crystal-clear waters. The visibility in the water can vary depending on the day and conditions, but on average, you can expect to see up to 30 to 50 feet underwater. This impressive water clarity allows for a truly immersive snorkeling experience, where you can observe the vibrant marine life and stunning coral formations in all their glory.

Tide Conditions

When planning your snorkeling adventure at Three Tables Beach, it’s important to be mindful of the tide conditions. Snorkeling during high tide is generally recommended, as it provides better access to the underwater world and minimizes the risk of injury from sharp corals or rocks. However, it’s crucial to be aware of any sudden changes in tide and to avoid snorkeling during extreme high or low tides, as these conditions can be challenging and potentially dangerous.

Snorkeling Conditions and Safety

Currents and Wave Conditions

Three Tables Beach is known for its relatively calm and shallow waters, making it an ideal snorkeling spot for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. However, as with any ocean activity, it’s essential to be aware of the natural elements that can affect your safety. Keep an eye out for currents and waves, especially during high surf conditions, as they can create strong underwater currents. It’s always wise to snorkel with a buddy and to stay close to shore to minimize any risks.

Possible Hazards

While snorkeling at Three Tables Beach is generally safe, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards. The beach is lined with stunning coral formations, but these can be sharp and pose a risk of injury if you accidentally brush against them. Additionally, be cautious of sea urchins and other marine creatures that can deliver painful stings. Lastly, always be mindful of your surroundings and respect the marine environment to ensure your safety and the preservation of this natural treasure.

Safety Tips

To ensure a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience at Three Tables Beach, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:

  • Before entering the water, assess the conditions and familiarize yourself with the layout of the beach.
  • Always snorkel with a buddy, as this provides an extra layer of safety and allows for assistance if needed.
  • Avoid touching or standing on coral, as it is easily damaged and can cause significant harm to the delicate ecosystem.
  • Use reef-friendly sunscreen to protect your skin without harming the marine life.
  • Stay hydrated and take breaks when needed to prevent exhaustion or dehydration.

Marine Life at Three Tables Beach

Cauliflower Coral

Underneath the glistening waves of Three Tables Beach, you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of marine life, including magnificent cauliflower coral. This type of coral forms stunning, intricate structures resembling cauliflower heads. Admire the vibrant colors and delicate shapes of this underwater marvel, and be sure to practice responsible snorkeling by admiring from a distance and taking care not to disturb their delicate ecosystem.

Saddleback Wrasse

Another fascinating species you’re likely to encounter while snorkeling at Three Tables Beach is the saddleback wrasse. These small, colorful fish are known for their distinctive saddle-shaped markings on their bodies. Keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures as they gracefully swim around the coral reefs, adding a splash of color to the underwater landscape.

Four Spot Butterflyfish

The four spot butterflyfish is a common sight at Three Tables Beach, thanks to its striking appearance and friendly nature. With its vibrant yellow color, black spot patterns, and graceful movements, this fish is truly a delight to observe. Watch as they flutter around the coral reefs, feeding on algae and small invertebrates, and adding a touch of elegance to your snorkeling adventure.


Made famous by the beloved animated movie, Finding Nemo, clownfish are a common inhabitant of the coral reefs at Three Tables Beach. These charismatic fish, with their bright orange bodies and distinctive white stripes, are sure to capture your attention. Keep your eyes peeled for these playful creatures as they dart in and out of their anemone homes, showcasing their unique symbiotic relationship.

Moorish Idol

The Moorish idol, with its striking black, white, and yellow coloration, is another eye-catching species you may encounter while snorkeling at Three Tables Beach. These elegant fish are known for their elongated dorsal fin and slender body shape. Spotting a Moorish idol gracefully swimming through the water is undoubtedly a memorable experience that adds to the allure of snorkeling at Three Tables Beach.

Christmas Wrasse

Adding to the diversity of marine life at Three Tables Beach is the Christmas wrasse, named for its vibrant and festive red and green coloration. These wrasses are known for their distinct color change as they mature. Juvenile Christmas wrasses display a vibrant green hue, which gradually transitions to a stunning red as they reach adulthood. Keep your eyes open for these stunning fish as they dart in and out of the coral, bringing the underwater world to life.

Surgeon Fish

The surgeon fish, with its vibrant yellow and blue coloring, is a common sight at Three Tables Beach. These fish earned their name from the sharp spines located near their tail, resembling a surgeon’s scalpel. They use these spines for defense and are typically seen grazing on algae near the coral reefs. Take a moment to observe these unique fish as they gracefully glide through the water, showcasing their vivid colors and distinct markings.

Other Notable Species

In addition to the aforementioned marine life, Three Tables Beach is home to various other fascinating species. Keep an eye out for colorful parrotfish, graceful sea turtles, playful dolphins, and even the majestic manta rays that occasionally visit the area. The diversity of marine life at Three Tables Beach ensures that every snorkeling excursion is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Equipment Needed for Snorkeling at Three Tables Beach

Mask and Snorkel

A high-quality mask and snorkel are essential for your snorkeling adventure at Three Tables Beach. Look for a mask that provides a comfortable fit and has a wide field of vision. Ensure that the snorkel has a purge valve to easily clear any water that enters the tube. It’s also helpful to choose a snorkel with a splash guard to prevent water from entering while on the surface.


Investing in a good pair of fins will greatly enhance your snorkeling experience, allowing you to glide effortlessly through the water. Look for fins that fit snugly but comfortably, providing propulsion while minimizing leg fatigue. Choose fins made from durable materials to ensure they withstand the rigors of the ocean environment.

Wetsuit or Rashguard

While the water at Three Tables Beach is generally warm, wearing a wetsuit or rashguard can provide added protection against the sun and potential scrapes from coral or rocks. A wetsuit will also provide a layer of insulation if you’re particularly sensitive to cooler water temperatures. Opt for a suit or rashguard made from UV-protective materials for added sun safety.

Underwater Camera or GoPro

Capture the memories of your snorkeling adventure at Three Tables Beach with an underwater camera or GoPro. These devices allow you to document the breathtaking marine life and vibrant coral reefs you encounter during your snorkeling excursion. Be sure to purchase a camera that is specifically designed for underwater use and learn how to use it effectively before your trip.

Safety Equipment

While snorkeling is generally a safe activity, it’s always wise to be prepared for any unexpected situations. Consider carrying safety equipment such as a life jacket or floatation device, which can provide added peace of mind, especially for less confident swimmers. Additionally, having an emergency whistle or signaling device and a basic first aid kit on hand is crucial in case of any unforeseen incidents.

Location and Access

Geographical Location of Three Tables Beach

Three Tables Beach is located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It is nestled between Waimea Bay and Sharks Cove, offering a stunning coastal landscape and abundant marine life. The beach is easily accessible from Kamehameha Highway, making it a convenient destination for locals and tourists alike.

How to Access the Beach

To access Three Tables Beach, simply follow Kamehameha Highway until you reach the designated beach access point. You’ll find a pathway leading directly to the beach, allowing for easy entry and exit. Once you’ve arrived at the beach, take a moment to soak in the beauty of the surrounding area before embarking on your snorkeling adventure.

Parking Options

Parking options near Three Tables Beach are plentiful, but it’s essential to arrive early, especially during peak seasons or weekends. You’ll find various parking lots and street parking available in the nearby area. Be sure to adhere to any parking regulations and take note of any parking fees that may apply. It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for parking fees if necessary.

Beach Facilities

Restrooms and Showers

Three Tables Beach offers convenient restroom and shower facilities for visitors. After your snorkeling adventure, you can rinse off the saltwater and sand in the showers, ensuring you leave the beach feeling refreshed. The availability of restrooms and showers adds to the overall comfort and convenience of your visit to Three Tables Beach.

Picnic Areas

If you’re planning to spend a full day at Three Tables Beach, you’ll be pleased to know that there are picnic areas available. These spots offer a perfect setting to relax, enjoy a meal, and recharge before or after your snorkeling escapades. Pack a delicious picnic lunch and savor the flavors while taking in the breathtaking surroundings.

Lifeguard Services

For added peace of mind and safety, lifeguard services are provided at Three Tables Beach. These trained professionals are there to ensure the well-being of beach visitors and can provide assistance in case of emergencies. It’s always advisable to swim in areas monitored by lifeguards and to obey any instructions or warnings they may provide.

Popular Activities at Three Tables Beach


Undoubtedly, the most popular activity at Three Tables Beach is snorkeling. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, the beach offers a snorkeling experience like no other. Explore the underwater world and immerse yourself in the beauty of the ocean, encountering a diverse array of fish and coral formations along the way.


For those seeking a thrill, bodyboarding is a popular activity at Three Tables Beach. The beach is known for its impressive waves, making it an ideal spot for bodyboarding enthusiasts. Grab your board, catch a wave, and experience the adrenaline rush as you ride the swell towards the shore. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bodyboarder, Three Tables Beach offers waves suitable for all skill levels.

Tide Pool Exploration

Tide pools are natural wonders that provide a fascinating glimpse into the diverse marine life that inhabits the coastal areas. At Three Tables Beach, you’ll find numerous tide pools waiting to be explored. Grab your snorkel gear and venture into these shallow pools to observe unique creatures such as hermit crabs, sea anemones, and small fish. It’s a wonderful opportunity to witness the fascinating adaptations and behaviors of these coastal organisms.

Sunbathing and Relaxing

If you simply wish to unwind and soak up the sun, Three Tables Beach is the perfect destination. Find a spot on the golden sands, set up your beach towel, and let the warm Hawaiian sun envelop you. Take a leisurely swim in the calm waters, read a book, or simply close your eyes and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves. The peaceful ambiance of Three Tables Beach makes it an ideal place to relax and recharge.

Safety Equipment

Life Jacket or Floatation Device

While snorkeling at Three Tables Beach is generally a safe activity, it’s always wise to prioritize safety. For individuals who are less confident in their swimming abilities, wearing a life jacket or using a floatation device is highly recommended. These devices provide additional buoyancy and peace of mind, ensuring a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience.

Emergency Whistle or Signal Device

In case of an emergency or if you find yourself in need of assistance, having an emergency whistle or signal device can be invaluable. These tools allow you to attract attention and communicate distress signals to those nearby. It’s a simple yet effective safety measure that can help in garnering assistance when needed.

First Aid Kit

Carrying a basic first aid kit is always a wise decision when participating in any outdoor activities. Whether it’s a minor scrape, a sunburn, or a jellyfish sting, having the necessary supplies to administer first aid can make a significant difference. Stock your kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, sunscreen, and any personal medications you may require.

As you can see, Three Tables Beach offers a complete package for snorkeling enthusiasts. From its stunning underwater landscape, including vibrant coral formations and an abundance of marine life, to its convenient beach facilities and popular activities, this destination has it all. So grab your snorkeling gear, dive into the crystal-clear waters of Three Tables Beach, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Oahu’s underwater paradise. Happy snorkeling!