I live near the ocean and exercise on an ocean path or go to the beach at least once each day. 10 years ago I would have seen dolphins swimming and jumping near shore about once a month. It’s hard to judge pod size from shore, but I have seen pods that I would judge to be as small as 10 dolphins up to as big as 75 dolphins. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve seen a pod of dolphins from shore in 3 or 4 years. I haven’t heard of any major decline of dolphins in Hawaiian waters, so I think they must be avoiding areas heavily-trafficked by humans.
I know many people have dreams of swimming with dolpins when they visit Hawaii, and I think that’s getting harder to do. You can guarantee you’ll get to see a captive dolphin up close and maybe touch and get in the water with it if you shell out $150 or more at the Dolphin Quest at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island or the Kahala Hotel on Oahu. There is also a program at Sea Life Park that may let you take a ride holding onto the dolphins fins if he or she feels like it.
If you want more, there are still some beach parks you can hang out at in Hawaii and some
boat trips you can take to give yourself a fighting chance at getting in the open ocean
with a pod of wild dolphins. Try:
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Anywhere along the Na Pali Coast, any Na Pali Coast Boat Trip. I am partial to the rafting trips (wow, fantastic job on the new website look captain!), because you are so close to the water.