News, Culture & Society

How to Get to Hawaii (and What to Do There)

Hawaii is an isolated state. It’s almost 2,400 miles from the West Coast, yet millions of visitors go there on vacation every year. Nearly 10 million people visited the Hawaiian islands in 2018, and a big chunk of them came from the U.S mainland. After all, Americans don’t need a passport to take a vacation there, and that alone makes it worth the trip for a lot of weary travelers who are seeking warm weather and sandy beaches. Read on for the basics of how to take a Hawaiian vacation, as well as a few ideas about what you should do once you arrive in our nation’s 50th state.

Picking a Time to Visit

Flexibility is nice when you’re visiting a place as popular as Hawaii. But if you don’t have much of that, you might have to visit during a busy time like July or August. January and February are also considered high season. You can blame the brutal winters in the continental U.S. for that. As long as it’s cold and snowy in places like Boston and Minneapolis, then you can expect to find plenty of people joining you on that flight to Hawaii.

But when spring comes, the weather moderates a bit, and so does the urge to get the heck out of dodge and find a warmer place. Visiting right after the Easter holiday is a good time. It’s not too crowded, and prices are likely going to be better than if you tried to go during spring break in March.

What about autumn? If you can get time off work, the fall months are an ideal time to see Hawaii. September and October are preferable to November and December. Wind and rainstorms tend to start popping up sometime around November. And if you want until close to Christmas, you’re going to be fighting holiday crowds.

What to Do In Hawaii

Many travelers focus on the island of Oahu. That’s where the majority of Hawaiian residents live, so tourists figure that there’s more to do there. There is a lot to do, but you don’t want to discount the other islands as well. If possible, you’re better off visiting more than one island on your trip to Hawaii.

Take Maui, for instance. It’s got less than 200,000 residents, but there’s definitely no shortage of activities that are both relaxing and invigorating. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to do in Maui, that’s probably because you haven’t really done much looking.

The most obvious starting point is the beaches. Kamaole Beach Park is one of the best beaches in the entire state. In fact, it’s actually three beaches, so if one beach doesn’t work for you, you can move on to another one. The water is great for swimming, surfing, or some combination of the two. And if you don’t like to get wet, you can still soak up plenty of sun. Not surprisingly, Hawaii is a very sunny state. The state capital of Honolulu on Oahu averages 271 days of sun every year, well above the U.S. average. If your doctor says you’ve got low Vitamin D levels, you can fix that quickly with a stay in Hawaii. Sun is good for the mood, which might explain why the locals here are known for being friendly and pleasant. You can also expect to see a fair amount of residential solar panels on Hawaiian homes.

There’s a ton to do beyond the beaches as well. When you run out of sunblock, head to a restaurant for some of the freshest seafood in the world. If you go a little overboard on the fish and chips, don’t worry: head to a Frisbee Golf course to work off some calories, or just take a hike on one of Maui’s gorgeous trails.

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