Maui whale watching

Insane Maui whale watch!

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Now that our whales are officially home for the winter, we thought we’d share our favorite whale watch from last season.  Here we are off the coast of Maalaea with a group of humpback whales that mugged our boat for over 30 minutes.  We saw over a dozen breaches, and this playful pod observed us with incredible proximity.

This is one of the live videos we shot from the boat.  It starts getting really fun around 60 seconds into the video:

 

Photographer Natalie Brown was onboard and shot these amazing shots below.

humpback whales

They swam below the boat over 10 times!  It was as exciting as it gets.

Maui whale watch

Are you ready to go on a whale watch?  Check out these Maui whale watch boats.

amazing whale watch

This is going to be another amazing season with record number of returning humpback whales, we can just feel it!  Having been on a sunset cruise last week and seeing 3 breaches and plenty of whales so early, we’re confident it’ll be a season to remember.

whales Maui

Find the right whale watch for you and your family by calling (808) 419-3065 and speaking with an expert.

Maui whale watching

hawaii snakes

Are There Snakes in Hawaii?

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Hawaii is paradise in more ways than one. Not only is the weather perennially sublime, but the islands are also literally peaceful—at least when it comes to the animal kingdom.

Endemic flies are flightless. The native spider—fittingly called the Happy Face Spider—is non-poisonous; the cave cricket is blind. Even flora in the 50th state is passive: raspberries are thorn-less, nettles are nettle-less, and mint is mint-less—mint being, of course, an evolutionary strategy to ward off potential hunters.

Does Hawaii have snakes?

 

But even amid all this natural diplomacy, one of the biggest questions visitors ask is: Are there snakes in Hawaii?

Technically, yes—but not necessarily in the way you’re probably thinking of. Read More

aloha olympics

Aloha Olympics

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We’re not sure about you, but the Summer Olympics are one of our favorite things to watch! And as much as we support all of our U.S. teams and athletes, we can’t deny our excitement for the Aloha Olympics, open only to Hawaii residents.

So without further ado, we present the Aloha Olympics.

volcano volleyball

Volcano Volleyball 

This Aloha Olympics team sport begins with a qualifier round on flat ground to see who will be given the advantage of the higher elevation side of the net once the official games begin on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano. The two teams of 6 will be challenged not only by the intensely sloping ground, which must be played at elevation levels of no less than 8,000 feet, but the added challenges of occasional fly-by clouds or Nene goose visitors.

Read More

sailing around Maui

Treat Yo Self!

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luxury resortRaise your hand if money has ever stopped you from doing something absolutely amazing.

Right.

Now assuming you’re not Larry Ellison, and everyone else has answered in the affirmative, let’s now assume that you have the opportunity to explore Maui with the ultimate ‘treat yo’self’ mantra in mind. You don’t need to be Ellison to enjoy some luxurious Maui experiences.  It’s worth holding back on consistent and extravagant vacation indulging in order to enjoy one or two truly sumptuous life long memories.

While everyone’s list would obviously vary based on their specific desires and interests, we hope you enjoy the following treat yo’self suggestions! And get a +1 to join you. Ahem.

Read More

Maalaea boats

Maalaea Webcam

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Come back soon to see a live feed from our new Maalaea webcam.  This web camera will show the boats in the harbor, any potential surf, and show current weather conditions.


Maalaea Video

In the meantime, check out our aerial video of Maalaea Harbor.

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

Look, no waves!

“I was really excited to check out the webcam to see if there were any waves at Freight Trains or Buzz’s.  Then I remembered that it only breaks once every 100 years.  HAHA!”

Justin Cooper – Wailuku

Nicole Portman

“I look forward to checking the weather before we go on our boat trip out of Maalaea Harbor.  We’re on the fence whether to do a sunset cruise or a luau. Now we can make that decision before driving down there!”

Nicole Portman – Quebec, Canada

Have questions?  Give us a shout!

accommdations in Maalaea

Maalaea Harbor Map

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Finding Maalaea is a cinch.  It’s one of the most central spots on Maui.  But finding your boat slip, parking, or your restaurant is much easier with these Maalaea Maps.

Maalaea Harbor Map

 

Maalaea MapDirections from Central & North Maui

Areas: Kahului, Wailuku, Waikapu, Paia

Approximate Time: 20 minutes

From Central and North Maui, take Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30) and go south until you reach the stoplight near Carls Jr. and the Maui Ocean Center. Make a left and drive down into the parking area for the harbor.

 

Directions from West Maui

Areas: Olowalu, Lahaina, Ka’anapali, Napili, Kapalua

Approximate Time: 30 minutes

From West Maui, take Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30) and go southeast. After passing through the tunnel, you’ll see a sign for Maalaea Harbor. Turn right at the sign near Buzz’s Wharf, and arrive at the parking area for the harbor.

 

Directions from South Maui

Areas: Kihei, Wailea, Makena

Approximate Time: 15 minutes

From South Maui, take Pi’ilani Highway (Hwy 31) and go north. Alternately, you can also follow South Kihei Road to Hwy 31 until you get to the stoplight. Turn left towards Lahaina onto Honoapi’ilani Highway (Hwy 30), and make another left at the stoplight near Carls Jr. and the Maui Ocean Center.


Types of Boat Tours Available

Maalaea Harbor has a huge variety of ocean tours available, including snorkeling, scuba diving, SNUBA, bottom fishing, sailing and more. Slip numbers are listed on the piers. Even numbers are further out on the ocean side, while odd numbers are on the land side. To book these boats, call (808) 892-3177.

Slip #37: Aloha Blue Charters – Snorkeling, Whale Watching

Slip #42: Island Star Excursions – Snorkeling, Whale Watching, Sailing

Slip #44: Quicksilver – Snorkeling, Whale Watching, Sunset Dinner Cruising

Slip #47: Mahana Naia – Snorkeling

Slip #55: Maui Magic – Snorkeling, Whale Watching

Slip #55: Pacific Whale Foundation – Whale Watching

Slip #56: Alii Nui – Sunset Cocktail Cruising

Slip #62: Trilogy – Whale Watching

Slip #65: Maui Fun Charters – Bottom Fishing on the Pamela

Slip #68: Pride of Maui – Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, SNUBA, Whale Watching, Sunset Cocktail Cruising

Slip #68: Leilani – Snorkeling, Whale Watching, Sunset Cruising

Slip #68: Maalaea Sportfishing – Sportfishing

Slip #70: Shadowfax – Private Snorkeling, Whale Watching, SUP, Sunset, Live Aboard and Sailing Cruises

Slip #72: Paragon Sailing Charters – Snorkeling, Sailing

Slip #76: Lani Kai – Snorkeling, SNUBA, Whale Watching

Slip #80: Four Winds II – Snorkeling, Whale Watching

Slip #88: Malolo Charters – Snorkeling, Whale Watching

Slip #97: Maui Fun Charters – Bottom Fishing on the Marjorie Ann

Slip #99: Trilogy – Whale Watching

Looking to book a snorkel trip to Molokini Crater or Coral Garden?  Call (808) 892-3177.

Ferries to Neighbor Islands

For travelers and residents who would like to visit Maui’s neighbor islands of Lanai and Molokai, the only current departure sites for the respective ferries is from Lahaina Harbor, though Expeditions’ Maalaea to Lanai ferry is set to reopen sometime in 2016.

 

Maalaea Lodging

Hotels, Resorts, Condos in Maalaea

Maalaea Restaurants

Quick Grinds and Dining in Maalaea

Maalaea Beaches

Sun, Sand & Surf!

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

The Center of Things to do in Maui

“We went to to Molokini for our anniversary. The snorkeling was superb and the crew really fun. We also did a sunset cruise, which turned into a whale watch! It was unreal! So many whales. February apparently is the best time to go. NOTE TO SELF.”

Frankie Smits – California

Great Food!

“We ate at Beach Bums as well as the Oceanside Restaurant. Beach Bums was fun and perfect for hanging with friends with beers. Oceanside was something completely different. Each dish was other worldly! We ate there 4 times in 6 days. SO GOOD!”

Jenny Henderson – Georgia

Have questions? Give us a shout!

whale watching

Maalaea Activities

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While Maalaea is often overlooked as a full day destination, there’s actually a ton of wonderful activities and attractions worth exploring. From departing on one of Maui’s best boat tours to seeing Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles up close and personal, there’s plenty of fun to be had for every member of your group.

 

Some of our favorite Maalaea activities include:

 

Snorkeling, Scuba Diving & SNUBA at Molokini Crater

Departing daily from Maalaea Harbor, snorkel boats are perfect for travelers looking to explore some of Maui’s best snorkeling and scuba diving destinations, including Molokini Crater and South Maui’s Turtle Town. Whether you want to snorkel, scuba dive or give SNUBA a try, they offer options for every preference. Their most popular morning tours usually include snorkeling at Molokini and Turtle Town (with optional scuba and snuba), all necessary gear, complimentary BBQ and lunch, fully stocked open bar, impeccable service, spacious boat decks, top safety standards and optional underwater photo and video services. Highly recommended for all ages!snorkel and scuba in Maui

Book your seats on a Molokini snorkeling tour or call (808) 892-3177.

 

Whale Watching

From December 15th to April 15th, Maui is one of the best places in the world to whale watch! Trilogy offers daily whale watching tours from Maalaea Harbor aboard their comfortable catamarans, offering perfect views for a fun day on the water with friends and family. Their staff of expert naturalists share valuable information about the most popular humpback whale behaviors, and even have hydrophones on board to allow guests to hear as the males sing underwater! Tours include breakfast and lunch, cocktails, sodas and water, and they limit tour sizes to only 40 people for better viewing purposes.
Maui whale watching

Book your seats on a whale watch by calling (808) 892-3177.

 

Surfing, Stand Up and more…

Maalaea is pretty much the most central spot for any surfer.  If the waves at Freight Trains or Buzz’s aren’t working, you’ve got plenty of options from 5-30 minutes in any direction.  And who needs waves if you’ve got a stand up board?  Some of our favorite ocean experiences have involved being on a SUP with calm waters and plenty of beautiful views (above and below the surface.)  No matter where you’re staying, the best option for convenience and price can be found when renting from Island Surfboard Rentals.  They offer free delivery and pick up and every 3rd board is 50% off.
surfing Maui, Hawaii

Rent surfboards from Island Surfboard Rentals by calling (808) 281-9835.

 

See Marine Life at Maui Ocean Center

The largest and most prestigious aquarium in Hawaii, Maui Ocean Center is an excellent place to learn more about Hawaii’s variety of marine life, spend a rainy afternoon with the kids, attend a special talk from one of Hawaii’s marine specialists, or even scuba dive in the 750,000 gallon saltwater shark tank! Located in the heart of Maalaea, guests will enjoy seeing special exhibits like the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Lagoon, Hammerhead Harbor, Sea Jelly Gallery, Marine Mammal Discovery Center, The Tide Pool, Hawaiians & The Sea, and more. Keep an eye on their events calendar for unique opportunities and tours!
Maui Ocean Center

By your tickets by calling (808) 892-3177.

 

Bottom Fishing

Like the idea of catching your own dinner, or interested in seeing what Maui’s marine life has to offer? Head out for a day on the water with the bottom fishing pros at Maui Fun Charters. The 4 hour morning tour aboard the Marjorie Ann or Pamela departs from Maalaea Harbor, and includes personal attention from the crew, as well as an opportunity to try a greater variety of fishing styles, thanks to the small group sizes on each tour. This makes for the perfect family activity, and the views can’t be beat! They also use the newest electronics and offer plenty of comfortable seating for all guests.
fishing in Maui

Book your Maui fishing trip by calling (808) 572-2345.

 

Sunset Dinner & Cocktail Cruise

One of the best budget-friendly evening boat tours on Maui, Quicksilver offers a fun sunset and dinner cruise departing directly from Maalaea Harbor. Cruise along the Pali coast while enjoying spectacular sunset views, and enjoy live music entertainment and dancing aboard their spacious double-decker boat. Tours include table seating, full dinner, tropical cocktails, beer, wine, and epic sunset views, and whale watching during winter months! Children 6 and under are free, and service is always friendly and welcoming.
Maui sunset cruises

 

BE A MERMAID!

Visiting Maui is always memorable.  But learning to swim like a mermaid will set this trip apart from the others with great memories and incredible photos.  Spend 2 hours learning to swim with your tail as your instructor takes you through it step by step.  You won’t regret it!be a mermaid

Book your mermaid swim lesson by calling (808) 492-8919.

 

 

Flying High at Maui Zipline

Located only a 5 to 10 minute drive from Maalaea Harbor, Maui Zipline is one of our favorite activities in central Maui. Hosting guests anywhere from 5 to 88 years of age, you’ll be treated to a 5-line zip tour over some of Maui’s prettiest, most stunning areas. Guides are all very patient and safety-conscious, and we especially love that each line is side-by-side, giving you the opportunity to ride alongside your friends and family! Check out the amazing views of the nearby West Maui Mountains and swaying palm trees, tropical grounds and sparkling lagoon of Maui Tropical Plantation, as well as distant views of Maui’s Haleakala Volcano. Then continue exploring the property, home to The Mill House restaurant, Kumu Farms fruit stand, Tropical Tram Tour, shopping and more.
Maui zipline

Book your seats on a sail by calling (808) 892-3177.

 

Mini Golfing at Maui Golf & Sports Park

Also located conveniently in Maalaea, Maui Golf & Sports Park is a fun, kid-friendly place to test your adventurous side. Play a round of mini golf, or choose from one of their other onsite activities, including rock climbing, bumper boats and x-treme bungee trampoline. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, this makes for a great midday break (and workout).

 

Maalaea Lodging

Hotels, Resorts, Condos in Maalaea

Maalaea Restaurants

Quick Grinds and Dining in Maalaea

Maalaea Beaches

Sun, Sand & Surf!

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

Maui Ocean Center Rocks!

“We stay on Maui for 2 months every winter.  My family bought the annual passes because we end up going to the aquarium so much.  What a great spot!”

Renee Hopkins – North Carolina

Great snorkeling at Coral Gardens

“I’ve been to Molokini twice.  I was really impressed with how good the snorkeling was at Coral Gardens too.  Protected by the sea cliffs, this spot was teaming with turtles.  So much fun.”

Mike Johnson – Victoria, Canada

Have questions? Give us a shout!

Maalaea Beach

Maalaea Beaches

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While not known as the most beautiful or swimmer-friendly beaches on Maui, Maalaea and the nearby stretches of beach provide great areas for walking, sunset viewing, whale watching and lounging. Enjoy our list of the best beaches around Maalaea, and be sure to practice the proper safety precautions when opting to swim in the ocean!

Maalaea Beach

Maalaea Harbor Baby Beach

Located at the eastern area of the harbor, this beach is protected from waves and boat hazards, making it perfect for small children or inexperienced swimmers staying nearby.

  • Calm conditions
  • Small parking area
  • Convenience store nearby
  • Near Coast Guard station
  • No lifeguard on duty

 

Maalaea Beach

Just east of Maalaea Harbor, Maalaea Beach is ideal for sunset walks, shell collecting and relaxed days spent enjoying the sun in an uncrowded area of Maui.

  • Secluded and quiet
  • Lots of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
  • When conditions are right, great for watching surfers
  • Often windy with choppy waves, especially in afternoon hours
  • No lifeguard on duty
  • Street parking – be sure to keep valuables out of sight

 

Haycraft Beach Park

Connecting Maalaea Beach and Sugar Beach, this County Beach Park is a great place to enjoy an afternoon picnic or take a peaceful walk.

  • Small parking area
  • Shower and restroom facilities
  • Picnic tables
  • No lifeguard on duty
  • Good for relaxed swimming, but beware of sporadic rocks and reef
  • Access point to ‘Freight Trains’ surf break

 

Sugar Beach

Including Maalaea and Haycraft Beach Park, this is longest uninterrupted stretch of beach on Maui. Though swimming isn’t great here, it’s a perfect place to enjoy the views and natural surroundings in paradise.

  • Reef just offshore
  • Watch for Kiawe thorns!
  • Street parking and small lots, depending on which area of the beach you begin from
  • Restroom and picnic facilities
  • Take-off point for outrigger canoes
  • Decent snorkeling opportunities with lots of marine life and turtles
  • No lifeguard on duty

 

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

Quiet Maui Beaches

“Living here, you get to know the beaches.  Some of my favorite spots are near Maalaea.  You can always find a beach to yourself!”

Jason Hacker – Maui

Easy Access

“My kids and I were on our way back from lunch, and we jumped in the ocean right off the road.  It was nice to have a quick dip without much walking.  No one at the beach too!”

Frankie Harper – Illinois

Have questions? Give us a shout!

Maalaea Restaurants

Maalaea Restaurants

By | Hawaii, Maalaea, Maui | No Comments

 

Often overlooked for its dining options, Maalaea and its surrounding areas are home to several quality restaurants and eateries. Whether you’re fueling up after an exciting day of snorkeling, or seeking a great spot for cocktails and dinner, Maalaea offers several worthy options.

 

Seascape Maalaea Restaurant

Located at the Maui Ocean Center, Seascape Maalaea offers scenic views of the harbor and southern shoreline, as well as a variety of fresh, delicious dishes, perfect for an afternoon lunch or dinner after exploring the aquarium. Service is friendly and welcoming, and we love the Mango-Hoisin baby back ribs, Local Boy Club Sandwich and Coconut Shrimp. They also have a great cocktail menu and selection of local beers!

Seascape Maalaea RestaurantFor more information, please visit  Seascape Restaurant, call 808.270.7068 or visit 192 Maalaea Rd., Maalaea.

 

Oceanside Restaurant

Recently opened in December 2015, Oceanside Restaurant focuses on farm-to-table dining with the freshest flavors of Maui. Open daily for lunch and dinner, we love the Beet Salad with pistachio and red mustard greens, Malama Farms Pork Bahn Mi, Kampachi Crudo with watermelon radish, Casarecce Pasta and more. Great service and delicious, beautiful presentation.

Oceanside RestaurantFor more information, please visit  Oceanside Restaurant, call 808.868.3481 or visit 300 Maaalea Rd., Maalaea.

 

Malaaea General Store

For a slightly more relaxed meal, we recommend a trip to Maalaea General Store’s delicious deli and cafe. Choose from one of their breakfast menu items, including the Spicy Avocado Egg Toast or Acai Bowl, or go with their wide variety of lunch menu items like the Reuben Sandwich, General’s Chop Salad, Mahi Mahi Tacos, Jalapeño Jack Burger or Kalua Pork Tacos. Large portions, and perfect for a laid-back meal in paradise.

Maalaea General StoreFor more information, please visit Maalaea General Store, call 808.242.8900 or visit 132 Maalaea Rd., Maalaea.

 

Beach Bums BBQ & Grill

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Beach Bums is a great place to kick back and enjoy a cold beverage, mingle and listen to live music. Try the Portuguese Sausage Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary for breakfast, or the Prime Rib and Blackened Fish Tacos for lunch and dinner. Happy Hour is daily from 3pm to 6pm, with live music from 5pm to 8pm.

Beach BumsFor more information, please visit Beach Bums, call 808.243.2286 or visit 300 Maalaea Rd. #1M, Maalaea.

 

The Mill House Restaurant

Located in the heart of the gorgeous Maui Tropical Plantation only a few minutes from Maalaea Harbor, The Mill House is one of the most respected restaurants on The Valley Isle. Executive Chef Jeff Scheer creates innovative menus focusing on local, organic and sustainable ingredients, and the views from the dining area can’t be beat. Open daily for lunch and dinner, we recommend the House Pickles, Cubano Pork, Beef Ragu Gnocchi, Pizzeta Harissa and Cioppino, though the menu changes regularly depending on what’s in season. Don’t miss the cocktail menu, and catch Happy Hour daily from 3 to 5pm!

Mill House RestaurantFor more information, please visit The Mill House, call 808.270.0333 or visit 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., Waikapu.

 

Maui Chef’s Table

This unique Maui dining event, held each Friday and Saturday evening at The Mill House, is one of the best ways to celebrate a romantic evening on Maui with a loved one. Reserve a table on the outdoor lanai overlooking the sparkling lagoon and West Maui Mountains, and be treated to craft cocktails and 7 unique courses of the best local ingredients available. Watch as expert chefs, including award-winning Chef Jeff Scheer, prepare memorable dishes in the open-air kitchen concept, and be treated to an intimate experience unlike any other on Maui.

Maui Chef's TableFor more information, please visit  Maui Chef’s Table, call 808.270.0333 or visit 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., Waikapu.

 

Maalaea Activities

Things to do in Maalaea

Maalaea History

A quick look into the past

Maalaea Harbor Map

Slip Numbers, Parking and More!

Fun spot!

“We ended up at Beach Bums after a snorkel trip and had a blast.  Delicious BBQ and great beers.”

Taj Billings – Vancouver, Canada

Unexpected Dining Experience

“After a long day traveling the Road to Hana, we stopped in Maalaea on the way home to our rental in Ka’anapali.  We heard Oceanside was great.  We were far from disappointed.  Every dish was exceptional.  We ended up traveling back to Maalaea just to have another meal.  UNREAL!”

Charles Dory – Florida

Have questions? Give us a shout!