5 Ways to Whale Watch on Maui That Don't Require a Boat!

Posted by Mapuana Andrade on Friday, February 10th, 2023 at 3:02pm

It's no secret that Hawaii has some of the best whale watching in the world. For centuries, whales have been migrating to the Maui channels because of the warm and shallow waters that keep their young safe. It's estimated that more than half of the humpback whale population migrates to Maui for breeding every winter. The waters between Maui, Lanai, and Kahoolawe are also protected sanctuaries for these seasonal visitors. While keeping the population of humpback whales safeguarded is of the utmost importance, we all know that nothing is better than marveling as they flip and breach along the Hawaiian coastline! 

Here are the best ways to whale watch that don't require booking a tour!


Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

Right along South Kihei road is Maui's beloved whale sanctuary visitor center! This sanctuary is on a mission to protect Hawai'i humpback whales and this extremely important habitat and offers education, research, and resource protection efforts. From November through April, visitors to the sanctuary can see whales from shore and at sea.


McGregor Point Lookout

The infamous McGregor Point Lookout is about halfway between Lahaina and Maalea, right off the Honoapiilani Highway. The best way to spot whales from off the pali! There is a small parking lot and fenced-off viewing platform right on the cliff, allowing you to see everywhere from the South Kihei shoreline to Central Maui and Kaho'olawe.


Lahaina Pali Trailhead

If you're looking for a physical challenge that is equally rewarding with stunning views of Haleakala and the wide-open Maalaea coastline, then look no further. The steep terrain looks out upon the entire Haleakala mountain, Kihei, and Maalaea coastline, as well as the peaks of Lahaina when you reach the top.



Located on the Honoapiilani Highway, right in front of the Olowalu General Store and Leoda's Kitchen, Olowalu has excellent stretches of beach that are quiet and perfect for spotting a whale or two while also grabbing a delicious Leoda's pie.


Kaanapali Beach Walking Path

Possibly the most beautiful morning or sunset walk in the world, this 4.4-mile boardwalk runs along Kaanapali Beach and gazes out onto the horizon. Perfect for those who find peace in a scenic walk while surrounded by views of the crystal clear Kaanapali waters and humpback whales breaching in the distance. 


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