The picturesque town of Lahaina in West Maui is the starting point for many an ocean adventure—first and foremost whale watching. The channel off Lahaina’s coast is one of the best places in the world to spot humpbacks during whale-watching season (from December to May). With a mission to support and promote Hawaiian marine research, Hawaii Ocean Project is the perfect outfitter for experiencing whale watching on large, comfortable yachts. Its certified naturalists discuss humpback whale behavior and migration as well as the relationship between native Hawaiians and these magnificent mammals. Expect to witness the awe-inspiring scene of mother whales swimming with their calves or whales breaching or spyhopping (rising vertically out of the water headfirst to look around). Hawaii Ocean Project also offers snorkeling expeditions to Lanai and Molokini Crater year-round.