Images Provided by Down The Hatch:

We've all got to eat, so we may as well enjoy it as much as we can. When you're on vacation, it can be hard to know which restaurants are worth trying and which could end up a disappointment. That's why it helps to get the inside scoop from local residents. Seeing as we operate our Maui ocean tour business from the scenic Lahaina Harbor in Lahaina Town, we have some suggestions for nearby restaurants to try while you're in this wonderful part of the island. We'll start with the top affordable options and work our way up in price.

Affordable Lahaina Restaurants – You don't have to spend a lot of money to experience amazing cuisine in the Lahaina area. In fact, some of the island's favorite places boast low prices and delicious flavors. Here are some places you don't want to miss.

808 Grindz Cafe – Want to experience fantastic local breakfast fare? This casual cafe features some artfully prepared island favorites that keep residents and visitors alike coming back again and again. Considering that most plates are under $10, why not swing by and see if it becomes your new favorite breakfast spot in Lahaina?

Local Food – When it's time for lunch, you might want to swing by this laid back little gem and try something from another delightful array of local dishes, prepared to perfection by cooks who really know what they're doing. An inconspicuous little hole in the wall, it's easy to miss, but you really shouldn't!

Ono Tacos – For those days when you're craving tacos and you don't want to pick a place that will overcharge you, try this little place. Just as diminutive as the others in this price range, this place is no slouch when it comes to flavor.

Moderately Priced Lahaina Restaurants – Sometimes we're in the mood for a scenic restaurant with ambiance and character along with tasty food. These tend to fall into the moderately priced dining tier, like the following much loved restaurants of Lahaina.

Lahaina Luna Cafe – An ideal candidate for lunch, you'll find a nice mix of flavors at this innovative fusion cafe. You'll find Hawaiian, American and seafood dining options, including burgers, fries and traditional local dishes.

Shark Pit Social – A great place for towering burgers, colorful tacos and a lively mix of unexpected choices, this is the place to go when you feel like trying something new or a little adventurous.

Down The Hatch – A bit more upscale than the others but still in the same general price range, this restaurant features a vibrant array of local flavors combined with American basics. The quality of their ingredients is matched by their beautiful presentation.

Where to Splurge on Lahaina Food – If you're looking to splurge at a place where you're sure to get your money's worth, there's one restaurant in particular that has garnered the best reception from local and visiting diners alike.

Lahaina Grill – Voted one of the top 100 places to eat in the U.S., this lovely contemporary bistro features a casual and yet elegant atmosphere. As you might imagine, the cuisine combines the finest, flavorful ingredients into gourmet dishes with dazzling presentation.

We hope you discover some new favorite places to eat in Lahaina during your stay. Perhaps you'll try them in conjunction with our Maui ocean tours for an unforgettable day. We hope to see you aboard with us soon! Mahalo!

For those of you who are planning a Maui vacation for any time during the month of April, we'd like to share a friendly reminder that whale watching season concludes at the end of that month. It's your last chance to enjoy this awe inspiring experience that keeps guests returning during the winter and spring months.

Conveniently, whale migration doesn't all happen at once. In fact, scientists have discovered that whales migrate at different times depending on age and gender. For example, adult males have their own migration pattern, as do pregnant females, etc. So there are sightings even at the end of the season.

If you read our blog, you may have noticed that we're very enthusiastic about our Maui Whale Watch Tours. That's not because they are somehow better than our snorkel tours and dinner cruises. It's because of the unique opportunity the whale watch tours provide. Did you know that Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. where humpbacks give birth, mate and nurse their young? Think about the fact that Hawaii is the only state where you can see newborn baby humpbacks. They've grown a great deal by the time they arrive off Alaska's coast to feed.

Although baby humpbacks are enormous even at birth, at 10-15 feet long, when you see them next to their mothers, you get full picture of how little they are by comparison. Like all other curious babies, their antics are a lot of fun to watch, and you may end up observing some interesting mother-calf behaviors and interactions. We are all very lucky to have the chance to witness these tender, early moments in the baby whales' lives.

If you would like to see off some of the last whales of the season before they head to their summer feeding areas up north, you could very well spot some of the calves as they get ready for the first migration of their lives. To book a tour with us, visit our Maui Whale Watch Tours page. If you have any questions, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We hope you won't miss this opportunity! Mahalo!

This week, we want to highlight the incredible photographs shared with us by a guest of our Maui ocean tours. From March 3rd to the 22nd this year, Nigel joined us for what can only be described as a photographic marathon of our Maui Whale Watch Tours. When we say marathon, we’re talking about multiple 7-trip passes that he purchased. This is also Nigel’s fourth year of visiting Lahaina from England for whale photography. During that time, he has become a familiar, friendly face to our crew members.

Nigel is exactly the kind of guest that inspires us about the work that we do here in Lahaina. That’s not just because of the extraordinary images he has captured with his photographic talents, but also because of his passion for these experiences and the bond that it has fostered with us over the years. We’d like to offer our sincere gratitude to Nigel for his loyal friendship, and for sharing these images with us so that we can share them with all of you.


If you haven’t tried one of our Maui Whale Watch Tours yet, we hope that his images will give you a good sense of what to expect from these remarkable outings. Humpbacks are the most acrobatic of the baleen whales, as you may have noticed by now. Hawaii is also blessed with a rich population of dolphins, which are also known for their aerial prowess.

If you have a passion for marine mammals, you won’t want to miss these tours, and the photo opportunities they provide. If you’d prefer to get in the water with us to explore the reefs, we have snorkeling tours that you’re sure to enjoy as well. These adventures are ideal whether you’re on a family vacation with your kids, a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, or a vacation with friends.  Our fleet includes some of the most stable boats that you can find here on Maui.

We hope to see you aboard one of our tours soon. In the meantime, enjoy these wonderful images, and if you need assistance with your booking or you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

Just when you think Hawaii is out of ecological surprises, someone finds a deep ocean octopus that is very likely to be a new species. As with the new algae species discoveries that we blogged about recently, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is involved in this discovery as well. Earlier this year, their ship, the Okeanos Explorer, was out on a mission to collect geological samples when its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) discovered a really cute white octopus.

An enthusiast on social media suggested that the octopus be named Casper because its white, partially transparent appearance is a bit ghostlike. The diminutive but charming creature has gotten a lot of attention recently, and is just one more exciting find that NOAA has shared from its ROV's explorations over the years.

The octopus was discovered at a depth of over 2.6 miles (4.3 kilometers) to the northeast of Necker Island (Mokumanamana) in the Hawaiian archipelago. As the ROV was cruising over a flat area of rock and sediment, it happened upon the white octopus, just sitting on the bottom, dusted in a fine layer of sediment.

NOAA scientists noted that the octopod was very different from any other species among the published records. Among its unique physical features are its lack of pigment and the single series of suckers on its arms as opposed to the usual two. It is also the deepest-dwelling finless octopod ever found.

Once again, Hawaii's biodiversity has proven to be seemingly boundless. That's why we're so lucky to invite guests aboard our Maui ocean activity tours, like our Lanai and Molokini Snorkeling Tours. Everyone who is interested in the marine life of Hawaii should be able to see it for themselves. We hope you won't pass up that opportunity, should it arise. And as always, if you need our assistance booking your adventure, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

While some of us like a vibrant social experience on our vacation outings, others prefer something more private and intimate with just a few people. If you're thinking about going on a Maui snorkeling tour, it can be hard to know which of them will offer the former or the latter. That's where we can help.

Most of the snorkel spots around Maui get pretty crowded, including Molokini, which is just fine if you like sharing the water with a fair number of other snorkelers. Who knows, you might meet some new friends this way! But for something more uncrowded, you'll want to try our Lanai Snorkel Tour.

Step aboard the 'Kaulana' of Maui, our two-story, 70' double-decker catamaran, for a stable and comfortable ride to the neighboring island of Lanai. We see playful pods of spinner dolphins regularly as we make the trip there and back. You never know for sure if they'll show up on any given day, but that's part of the fun. During this time of year, whale sightings are very likely, until May when they begin their migration home. The trip itself is an amazing opportunity to take in the sights of the ocean and the neighboring islands. You'll also have the opportunity to fuel your morning with the continental breakfast that we will provide.

Once we arrive, we'll get you outfitted with the right snorkel gear, provide you with instruction if you need it, and then you will be free to explore the beautiful coral reefs below the silky surface of the azure ocean off Lanai's shoreline. These areas are widely considered the best snorkel spots in Hawaii, and we will choose two locations on our tour. Not only are spinner dolphins commonly sighted in these areas, but so are Hawaiian green sea turtles and a rainbow of Hawaiian fish species. We recommend that you try out our slide into the water from the upper deck for some extra fun. When you're spent and ready to relax, we'll provide a tasty barbecue buffet lunch to refresh you.

For this trip, you'll be departing from the scenic Lahaina Harbor, which should be pretty convenient for all of you who are staying in West Maui. We will depart at 7:30am and should return around 12-12:30pm. Our breakfast generally includes assorted muffins, tropical fruit, coffee and juices. Our barbecue buffet style lunch comes with burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chicken breast with all the extras, macaroni salad, chips and cookies. The menus can vary depending on availability. Check our Lanai Snorkeling Tour page to find out our current ticket prices. If you have any other questions, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!