Did you know that Lahaina was once the royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom before it was moved to Honolulu in 1845? At that time is was also the center of whaling in Hawaii (1825 to 1860). During that time, Lahaina was known as the Pacific’s most significant whaling port. At its peak, whalers were hunting thousands of whales each year—to the point of near extinction. Today, conservation has helped to save whales and increase the overall whale population – and Maui is the best place to see them.
It is whale season now (until around April) so this is a great time to visit Maui and experience the amazement of the majestic North Pacific Humpback Whales. There are many reasons Humpback Whales spend the summer in Maui. They come to breed and give birth but they also put on a great show. If you want to see these amazing creatures up-close then treat yourself to scenic ocean views as expert guides take you to the best spots to observe whales playfully surfacing, tail slapping, or blowing spouts in the air. But remember – regulations prohibit boats from approaching within 100 yards of a whale and you should never swim with or touch whales or any other marine mammals.
A great way to find a whale watching tour is to visit Lahaina Harbor. A short drive from Kaanapali Alii you will find whale watching kiosks lining the harbor with a variety of whale watching options. There you will find a wide range of whale watching tours from charter boats to passenger rafts. Tours last roughly 2-4 hours long and some even offer early bird specials.
To explore more of Lahaina’s whaling past, the harbor offers many opportunities (delete “there”) as well. Echoes of the past can be found from the modest Lahaina Lighthouse (the oldest lighthouse in the Pacific) to Hale Paahao, the Old Lahaina Prison, where rowdy sailors were rounded up for the night in the 1850’s. A short stroll from Kaanapali Alii is Whaler’s Village with an extensive Whaling Museum that is free to the public.
These are just a few of the reasons to give yourself time to explore the fascinating town of Lahaina. And there’s no better place to stay than Kaanapali Alii where all the adventures of Lahaina Town are just a stone’s throw away!