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Best snorkeling destinations for young kids?

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Jul 27th, 2012, 03:26 PM
  #1
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Best snorkeling destinations for young kids?

We are planning a trip with our girls (8 and 11) specifically so that they can have their first experience snorkeling. We are flexible about the destination, but would prefer easy access from the southeastern U.S.

The 8 year-old loves the water but is not a strong swimmer; the 11 year-old is a decent swimmer.

Specifically, we'd like to find somewhere to stay where we can wade in and snorkel from the beach--a good protected place that would be easy for the girls. I'd like to spend as little time driving as possible, so I really want to be able to walk to the water.

One place we are considering is Secret Harbour in St. Thomas--perhaps not my favorite island, but it seems like a great beginner snorkeler spot. We tend to prefer a rental house of something less resort-y, but maybe for a first trip with the kids the trade-off would be worth it?

We haven't been to St. John and I am intrigued by this rental:
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p208763
though it's hard to tell how protected that spot is. I'm sure it would be fine for the adults, not so sure about the kids. My daughter is excited about the prospect of kayaking, though!

Fancy is not a priority--we might even consider the cabins at Cinnamon Bay.

Thanks for any suggestions!
threegirlpileup is offline  
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Jul 28th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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the choc hole house looks ok - not many st. john houses are on the water. however i'm guessing your girls will want to hang out on the beach which you won't be able to see from the house so you'll need to go with them every time (at least to me they are to young to go off by themselves)
i know a couple who go to cinna bay cabins every year & say they like it. i personally prefer a bit more luxury.
agree st. thomas is not my favorite island but secret harbour is one of my favorite places to go. the condos are large, with big patio/decks, have fully equipped kitchen, tvs. the beach is wonderful with plenty of shade when needed & gradual sandy entrance. the snorkeling is really good - my bff was just there - she has snorkeled over a dozen islands and was very happy. also has good restaurant. you can easily see from one end of the beach to the other - for keeping an eye on daughters. i have always felt totally safe there.
sh is near good grocery, red hook for ferry to st john & coral world which i think your girls are the perfect age for.

you could also look at condos on seven mile beach, grand cayman or someplace like royal west indies or the sands on provo, turks & caicos.
virginia is offline  
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Jul 29th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Besides Cinnamon, have you looked at Maho Bay Campground or Concordia? Both are child-friendly and have a bit more infrastructure than Cinnamon Bay.
eastenderusvi is offline  
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Jul 29th, 2012, 05:00 PM
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There is a very easy swim-off-the beach place on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos called CORAL GARDENS. It was only about a 10 minute walk from our hotel (West Bay Club) and right in front of SOMEWHERE Cafe ( Mexican food).
Weadles is offline  
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Jul 31st, 2012, 04:21 AM
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If geared primarily for children then several places on T&C.
StanKase is offline  
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Jul 31st, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Secret Harbour is absolutely wonderful for walk in snorkeling. Sand beach, shallow entry, sunset view,and lots of fish. Perfect for young ones. Nice restaurant.

If there was any negative for us, it was that the pool is not at the beach, but up a hill.

It's close to the Red Hook ferry so you could go over to St. John and take the Jungle Bus to Trunk Bay for a different excellent snorkeling spot---very easy.

Staying on St. John in a villa is a great experience. There are many fantastic snorkeling spots on St. John but they are in the National Park and you must drive. The homeaway house looks nice but I don't like the rock entry into the water for kids and you have to walk down to the beach and sit there to keep an eye on them. Virginia is right about the fact that you can easily watch the kids at Secret Harbour and your condo is steps away.

Our granddaughters are 7 and 11 and you just reminded us of a great spot to return for a snorkeling intro.
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