Hawaii November 29, 2018
9 Extraordinary Places In Hawaii To Whale Watch This Season
Each year, from December through April, majestic humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate, give birth, and care for their newborn calves. In fact, the Hawaiian Islands are considered to be one of the best destinations in the world for spotting these giant creatures, and each winter, you’ll find an onslaught of advertisements for whale watching cruises departing from harbors across the state. Not everyone realizes, however, that you don’t need to pay for an expensive boat tour to see whales. From lookout points and trails to beaches and bays, these nine spots are some of the best for whale watching. So, pack up your beach bag or hiking backpack, grab your binoculars and camera, and let’s go whale watching!
1. Makapu’u Lighthouse, Oahu
Located between the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail and Makapu’u Beach on Oahu’s southeastern tip, this lookout point is the perfect spot to stop if you’re short on time, but still want to experience the beauty that is Oahu’s windward coast. Not only are the mountains here positively stunning, but the sparkling turquoise water is an absolute dream.
2. Ka’anapali Beach, Maui
Once the vacation retreat of choice for Hawaiian royalty, today Kaanapali is one of the island’s most popular expanses of white sands, surrounded by luxury hotels and resorts. Particularly popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, this west Maui gem is paradise for watersport enthusiasts of all kinds.
3. Lapakahi State Historical Park, Hawaii Island
Found within the rugged 262-acre oceanfront park on Hawaii Island’s remote coast is an easy one-mile loop trail through the partially restored remains of an ancient coastal fishing settlement, with a variety of historic structures to check out throughout the carefully-placed footpath.
4. Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai
Located on Kauai’s north shore is 203 acres of protected land, where the Pacific golden plover, Laysan albatross, and the nene — the Hawaii state bird — live. The Kilauea lighthouse is just a short walk from the parking lot. First illuminated on May 1, 1913, it is the northernmost point of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands.
5. Kaena Point, Oahu
The northwestern tip of Oahu is home to Kaena Point State Park, a magical place full of hidden gems, including heart-shaped rocks, tide pools, stunning cliff faces, and a natural reserve area created to protect nesting albatrosses, Hawaiian monk seals, and the fragile native vegetation. According to ancient Hawaiian lore, Kaena Point is the "jumping off" point for souls leaving this world.
6. Papawai Scenic Overlook, Maui
This stunning little lookout point, located on Maui’s western coast near Lahaina, is home to sweeping views of the vast Pacific Ocean — and killer sunsets. The area off the coast is designated as a Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and you’re sure to spot whales frolicking off the coast during the winter months.
7. Hilo Bay, Hawaii Island
Nestled along the eastern coast of Hawaii Island, Hilo Bay is one of Hawaii's most scenic and serene bays. From the right spot, you can even see Mauna Kea in the background, and during the winter months, you might catch a glimpse of a whale or two.
8. Poipu Beach, Kauai
Poipu was once named America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel and is easily the most popular beach on Kauai’s southern shore. In fact, many tourists and locals alike claim Poipu as their favorite Hawaiian beach. So, what exactly makes this beach so amazing, you ask? Well, Poipu Beach is one of Kauai’s largest stretches of fine white sand at approximately 1,000 feet long and 50 feet wide.
9. Halona Blowhole, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s southeastern shore, the Halona Blowhole is perhaps the most popular rock formation of its kind found in Hawaii. During periods of high tide and strong winds, rolling waves crash into the shore and shoot sea spray into the air through a cave, acting as a sort of geyser. You’ll also have phenomenal views of the Pacific and whales frolicking off the coast.
Have you ever witnessed whales frolicking off the Hawaiian coast? You might want to share your photographs with us in our
Hawaii Nature Lovers Facebook group!
If you’d love to get up close and personal with the marine life you’ll find in Hawaii’s waters, consider checking out
these 13 snorkel spots perfect for beginners!