Maui is gorgeous at any time of the year, but December is an excellent time to visit. If you go before schools get out for the holidays, the island has fewer tourists, so your outdoor activities will be more enjoyable. Carry sunscreen and a hat with you to avoid sunburn.
Ka'anapali Beach Area
Ka'anapali Beach offers excellent snorkeling at the northern end of the beach near Black Rock, which is close to the Sheraton Hotel. You'll see rays, sea turtles, eels and fish of every color swimming in the clear blue water. Watch for strong currents. It's illegal to touch turtles. Other water activities include sailing on a catamaran, parasailing and scuba diving. Visit the Whalers Village Museum after you've had your share of frolicking in the ocean. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features a free audio tour available in different languages and entertainment such as hula dancing, music and cooking demonstrations.
Whalers Village Museum
2435 Ka'anapali Parkway, Building H-6
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761
Rafting Whale Watching Trips
Whale watching is at its best in the early winter months. Book a rafting whale-watching tour instead of going on a large boat. Fewer people on the rafts provides a more relaxing experience. You can combine a whale-watch trip with snorkeling. Many companies offer these trips to view the pods of humpback whales, including mothers and their calves. Marine naturalists narrate information about the whales. The trips last about two hours and include drinks and snacks.
If you're looking for an adventure and are in excellent physical condition, Kaupo Road (Highway 31) on Maui offers an unparalleled mountain biking opportunity. The trip from start to finish on this unpaved road is 40 miles, so it's best to make arrangements for transportation at one end or the other. You'll ride along ocean cliffs and through valleys. Charles Lindbergh's grave is behind the small Palapala Hoomau Congregational Church. This is an exciting ride that will test your strength and endurance while giving you the chance to see stunning and wild terrain. Mountain bikes are available for rent at many locations in Maui.