We thought this might be the time we finally spent the bucks to take a boat out to Molokini. But after snorkeing at these three great close-in spots, we didn't feel the need. We felt even better with our decision after a couple we met took a boat to Molokini and reported that half the people on board "shared" their breakfast with the marine life.
Keawakapu Beach: Just to the right of our condo at Hale Hui Kai, there are some rocks in front of the Mana Kai condos that offered some spectacular close in snorkeling. Lots of colorful fish, particularly the humuhumu. The water was calmest in the morning. Later in our stay the south swells came in and really churned up the water so it was time to put away the snorkels and break out the boogie boards.
Black Rock: This spot adjacent to the Sheraton in Kaanapali is legendary and it's easy to see why. Lots of fish and the occasional turtle. It gets fairly crowded when the water is calm and the activity is complicated by the crazy people diving off Black Rock. There is a small public garage between the Sheraton and Kaanapali Beach Hotel but it fills up fast. The currents can sometimes be strong but my wife and son had no problems circling all the way around the point and back. You're more likely to see a turtle the further out you go.
Kahekili Beach Park: This small beach park just south of the Embassy Resort and adjacent to the under construction Westin Resort turned out to be an unexpected surprise. Great close-in snorkeling in calm waters at a nice uncrowded beach park. Showers, bathrooms, covered picnic areas, adequate parking and a nice lawn made this a very enjoyable spot. Lots of fish but at one point my wife and son were spooked by "something large" coming at them. Checking the reef fish guide later, they determined that it was a spinner dolphin!