North America's Best Whale-Watching Spots
Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures
The arrival of the humpback whale each December is one of the few events that mark time in fair-weather Maui. Indeed, the creature’s seasonal debut would be hard to miss—as many as 3,000 whales come to mate and give birth in the warm and protected waters that flow between Maui, Molokai, and the Lanai islands. This tropical setting is one of the few spots to hear humpbacks serenading potential mates; many captains will drop a hydrophone below the boat to share the sound with passengers.
Season: December to April.
Go Whale Watching: The Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit conservation group running daily whale-watch cruises.