If you are in Lahaina walking around and not sure what to do...as you walk up and down the main shopping street you will see little shops with signs that give big discount on all the touristy stuff like snorkeling, etc. We were kind of bored and saw a sign for whale watching. Since you are right on the harbor we thought that might be fun. So we went inside and booked a boat ride out to go see some whales. I think we got it for $20 per person. It was about a total of 1 to 1.5 hours on the boat. There were not that many people on the boat with us, maybe 15, and it was one of the bigger boats. We did get to see some whales, a family of three, and the boat ride was a nice relaxation from the busy Lahaina street scene.
My wife and I didn't have to go far for some whale watching. We pulled into Lahaina aboard the Celebrity Century in the early morning hours of my 40th Birthday. From our suite's balcony we watched a large group of humpback wales jumping out of the water, diving and waving their flippers. It was an amazing sight to see and so close to us. This started my birthday off right.
The waters of Maui are ideal for whlaes with the clear and shallower water. Humpbacks can be seen easily from the beach and boats during whale watching season from December to May. We arrived in February and saw so many whales both on the boat and on shore it was amazing.
There a many places to shop in Lahaina. If you are looking for general things like T-shirts, postcards, souvenirs, etc., you might consider spending your money here instead of one of the common places. This is a non profit organization dedicated to protecting whales and their ocean home. They organize and run fundraisers for the local schools and have many other ways to help worthy causes. They offer whale watching tours and other excursions similar to many of the companies on the island.
Whale Watching (Mid December- April)
See the Humpback whales is a fantastic experience. If you are planing to travel to Hawaii, plan on going to see the whales. They are only in Hawaii mid-December to April.
I was doing some videography on Maui and went on a Molokini Snorkel Tour with Trilogy Excursions on the first day and then on a Whale Watch the second day. Pretty spectacular. All I can say is if you get a little sea sick, make sure you take something ahead of time. 99 percent of the people were fine, but the 1 or 2 that got sick, were not happy. If you have never whale watched in Hawaii and you are visiting during the right season (between Dec and Apr), then you have to. Mind equals blown! Very cool.