November marks the start of humpback whale season here in Hawaii, making a whale watching tour a must-do activity on your upcoming island getaway! From November to May each year, pods of whales make the incredible 3,000 mile journey south from the Arctic to the warmer waters of the Hawaiian islands. Seeing these magnificent creatures up close is an unforgettable experience that’s fun for the whole family.

Humpback Whale 101


Maui is the unofficial whale watching capital of Hawaii, due to its relatively shallow waters that make regular sightings possible. Depending on whether you’re seeking a value package, an intimate tour without the crowds, or something perfect for the kids, there are tons of great sightseeing options that allow you to get up close and personal with these majestic whales. Be sure to check out this comprehensive list of tours at

While a whale watching tour is an unforgettable experience, did you know that you can also catch a glimpse of humpbacks from several points on shore around the islands? Locals and tourists alike can grab a pair of binoculars and head to these Top Ten Sites for Shoreline Whale Watching, as rated by the National Marine Sanctuaries. This is a fun and budget friendly way to spice up your trip to the beach by scouting for the telltale signs of humpback whales: blows, pec-flaps, fluke-up dives, and breaches. Just be sure to have your camera handy!