Maui Whale Watching From Shore


If you're not a fan of boats or your Maui vacation budget doesn't leave room for a whale watching cruise, don't worry, you can still observe these majestic giants from many convenient shoreline locations. They tend to favor the calmer South and West Maui shores. Here are our suggestions for good whale watching spots in those areas:

McGregor Point Lookout & Lighthouse - This location, also called Papawai Point, is probably the most popular spot for shoreline whale watching. It is situated on a cliff overlooking the beautiful Pacific. Every day between 8:30am-3:30pm, from December 1st to May 15th, the Pacific Whale Foundation will be manning their Whale Information Station. You can ask a knowledgeable naturalist any questions you might have about these magnificent creatures. Call (808) 879-8860 for more information. If you are visiting before December 1st, you may still sight some whales, as their migration takes place on their own clock, and varies from year to year. This location is south of Lahaina between mile markers 7 and 8. There is a parking lot.

Pohaku Beach Park - This scenic beach is located 15 minutes north of Lahaina at Kahana, and is another convenient spot from which you can view whales.

Ma'alaea Harbor Shops - This area is convenient for shopping, dining, and watching whales. The Maui Ocean Center has spotting scopes for this purpose, because its views of the Ma'alaea Bay are excellent.

Kamaole Beaches - Located in Kihei, these beaches offer broad stretches of sand with sweeping views of the ocean. Kamaole Three offers sloping, grassy lawns where you can set down chairs with plenty of space to observe the ocean.

Aside from these beaches and lookouts, there are oceanfront Maui vacation rentals with stunning views, so you won't have to go further than your balcony for whale watching. You should also keep your eyes open for oceanfront restaurants. For example, Kimo's and Bubba Gump on Front Street in Lahaina offer excellent ocean view seating. Of course, no matter where you are, binoculars are a worthy investment. Lastly, when you are trying to locate the whales, scan the horizon for spouts and other activity. They come back up for air about every 7-15 minutes, so be patient. Boats that are sitting out on the ocean for long periods are also a good indicator of whales. Either they are watching the whales, or they can't maneuver because the whales are too close to the boat. Yes, it happens.

We hope our advice has been helpful! Mahalo for reading this week!