Headed to beautiful Maui this February? You couldn’t have picked a better time. Maui is the perfect place to warm up after a long winter and defrost while you soak up the sun on the pristine beaches. The warm temperatures have cooled to pleasant daytime highs in the upper 70s, there’s limited rainfall and the crowds are down as compared to some other winter months (except for, of course, around Valentine’s Day when all the lovebirds flock to the islands for some fun in the sun).
Beyond Valentine’s Day, though, there are tons of great events occurring on Maui in February. Here are just a few of our favorites.
This is not just some weekend festival. No, the Maui Whale Festival takes place over the entire month of February; it’s a series of events, with something for everyone, that take place during Maui’s peak humpback whale watching season. Each event within the festival, no matter if it’s a marathon or a concert, brings participants’ attention back to these magnificent creatures and their conservation.
So, what can you expect?
For one, there’s one of Maui’s largest running and walking events to kick off the month, with the Run & Walk for Whales Feb. 2. Don’t be intimidated, though — you can start off with the 1-mile course and work your way up in future years to the 5K, 10K and 10-mile courses. The coolest part? You’ll enjoy awesome scenery as you go and, if you’re lucky, maybe even see some breaching whales cheering out for you!
Traveling with children? Be sure they have some fun, too, at the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta! Similar to a rubber ducky race, this time you play racing with rubber whales down a watercourse. Sponsor a whale to race and you could take home a cool prize.
The World Whale Film Festival takes place Feb. 8, with a focus on stories that promote the protection of not only whales, but also dolphins and the ocean in general. There are two beach cleanups that take place, Feb. 2 and Feb. 16, and several different concerts, Feb. 16 and 23.
A can’t-miss, though, is the Great Whale Count, one of the world’s longest-running cetacean projects involving citizen-scientists. It might sound like a mouthful, but it’s really quite simple. Volunteers come together to watch and count whales, then report their findings to the Pacific Whale Foundation, to help them monitor changes in humpback whale sightings and the humpback whale population. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in a fun, easy conservation effort!
Enjoy Whale Season all February Long
If your travels don’t exactly lineup with any of the Maui Whale Festival events, you can still enjoy whale season in Maui. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss 10,000 giant leviathans just off shore! The Pacific Whale Foundation’s Trail of the Whale includes several different stations along the Maui shore, where you’re almost guaranteed to have a great front seat on all the whale action. These stations can be found at Ulua Beach, Papawai Point and Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
If you’d rather see some whales up close and personal, hop aboard one of several boat cruises. Pacwhale Eco-Adventures hosts a two-hour group tour that sets sail from the Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Store in
Lahaina. The marine naturalists on board will give you and your family a quick all-you-need-to-know spill on whales. The best part? Whale sightings are guaranteed, or you get another trip completely for free!
Another month-long event is Maui Open Studios. Starting Feb. 2 with an opening celebration (including live music and complimentary wine, so you know it’s going to be a good time!), every weekend in February, the talented artists of Maui are opening up their galleries and studios for you to explore. You’ll get to see a cultural side of Maui that you might not get to otherwise, and mix and mingle with the hospitable locals.
Each weekend of Maui Open Studios focuses on a separate part of the island. So, for example Feb. 9–10 highlights West, North, Central and East Maui; Feb. 16–17 highlights Upcountry; and Feb. 23–24 highlights South Maui.
While the opening celebration takes place at the Pa’ina Culinary Arts Center at the University of Hawaii Maui College, the rest of the month-long event is pretty much self-guided. If you can make the opening celebration, you’ll receive a Maui Open Studios guidebook that’ll come in handy in planning how you’ll visit each of the artists on display on a particular weekend.
The event is totally free to the public, giving you a great chance to see Maui’s artistic side, talk to the local artists and even check out some live art demonstrations.
Editorial credit: Kenneth Dedeu/Shutterstock.com
Want to support Maui art culture even more? Book your tickets now for Art Affair 2019. This annual event is a premier art auction and gala, all supporting community visual arts education throughout the upcoming year. You get to dine, drink, dance, mingle and bid on some awesome art pieces, and know that you’re having a great time all for a good cause!
The event takes place Feb. 23, 5–10 p.m. and tickets start at $195 per person. The fun theme this year? Polka dots.
Source: Hawaii on TV
You’ll find Chinese New Year celebrations occurring all over the world this February, and Maui is no exception. The first Chinese residents to immigrate to Maui came via trading and whaling ships, during the 1800s, to work on sugar plantations and in sugar mills, as well to build tunnels and irrigation systems.
As we kick off the Year of the Pig (which is intended to be a year of good luck, friendship and success), pay a visit to Lahaina, for some exciting celebrations. Maui’s Chinatown in Lahaina first extended along Front Street, and the community eventually formed the Wo Hing Society in the early 1900s, a fraternal group which supported Chinese expatriates.
Now, this structure, with its religious altar, social hall and engravings, is a public museum. During the Chinese New Year, you can enjoy free admission to the Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse, Feb. 4–7, to get a glimpse of the Chinese New Year exhibit, as well as to learn more about the area’s Chinese heritage. The Cookhouse, or community kitchen portion of the museum, showcases everyday life for Chinese immigrants, and also acts as a small theater, showing Thomas Edison’s films focusing on Maui.
After your visit, on Feb. 8, head to Front Street, where you can expect lion dances, music performances, martial arts demonstrations, presentations on the holiday and hands-on cultural activities like calligraphy. It’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in the community and celebrate the Chinese New Year in style. Sun Nien Fai Lok, or Happy New Year!
February is a perfect month to visit Maui…but then, we think every day in Maui is paradise. If you’re visiting the island this February, let us know your plans in the comments below!
We’d love to see you and say Aloha, during your visit! Check out Ali’i Resort’s winter specials. You’re sure to find a vacation rental suitable for any kind of traveler, from beach side condos with spectacular views to luxury suites with all the amenities you crave. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Ali’i Resorts Ohana!