7 Reasons Hawaii Has the Best Summers in the United States

Written by Eliana Riley
Published: July 11, 2023
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Introduction

Due to Hawaii’s favorable climate, mild temperatures, incredible landscapes, diverse wildlife, and fascinating activities, this state claims the best summers in the United States. From volcanoes to beaches, from humpback whales to Hawaiian geese, the various features of Hawaii are unique to the state, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Discover seven reasons why Hawaii has the best summers in the U.S. and find out the best and worst times to visit the state.

#1 Climate and Weather

An opening in the rain forest near Hilo, Hawaii on a rocky beach shore reveals high cliffs overlooking the vast blue Pacific Ocean.

Hawaii has some of the most favorable weather conditions in the country, making it ideal for a summer trip.

©MH Anderson Photography/Shutterstock.com

Hawaii’s incredible climate and weather make it the perfect place to spend the summertime. Hawaii experiences two main seasons: summer and winter. However, the state does not see the extremes of either season as other states may experience them. Rather, Hawaii’s climate is mild and does not vary greatly between seasons. During the year’s hottest months, average temperature highs lie around 80ºF.

While this state can suffer intense heat during summer, heat waves are rarely severe. Moisture in the atmosphere deriving from the surrounding ocean helps regulate temperatures, and northeast trade winds bring cool breezes to Hawaii during hot summer days. In addition, Hawaii experiences the heaviest and most abundant rainfall during winter. Therefore, the lack of summer precipitation and Hawaii’s mild temperatures make it ideal for summer relaxation.

#2 Summer Fruit

mangos

Unique and flavorful summer fruits in this state make eating and drinking there a delight!

©Maks Narodenko/Shutterstock.com

Hawaii is home to many incredible summer fruits, including mangoes, passion fruit, jackfruit, and more. In this state, mangoes rank as one of Hawaii’s most popular and best summer fruits. Mangoes are incorporated into recipes, restaurant menus, drinks, smoothies, and more. During summer, it’s easy to see why mangoes are all the rage, as Hawaii’s climate is optimal for mango production.

#3 Daylight

The Summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii - The Coldest Place in Hawaii

Hawaii receives plentiful daylight in the summer, allowing for more activities during the day.

©Chris Finch Photography/Shutterstock.com

June and July are the perfect months for a visit to Hawaii. Not only are these months characterized by mild temperatures, but Hawaii also experiences its longest days during June and July. The longest day in Hawaii lasts 13.5 hours while the shortest day lasts 11 hours.

By comparison, the shortest day in other states may only last between eight and 10 hours. Year-round Hawaii experiences a great amount of daylight, making it the perfect spot for summer days. Thus, visitors and residents of this state can partake in more activities during summertime when daylight lasts longer.

#4 Outdoor Activities

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is considered one of the best snorkeling spots on Oahu.

©Sanchai Kumar/Shutterstock.com

Having some of the best weather in the nation, Hawaii features a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy. For instance, hikers can find incredible trails on the island of Oahu. One popular hike on the island is Diamond Head Crater. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, a volcanic eruption resulted in the formation of this crater, and Diamond Head remains a stunning landmark in Hawaii. Furthermore, the hike to Diamond Head has been described as moderate, meaning it won’t pose a challenge to most individuals familiar with hiking.

Another popular activity in Hawaii is snorkeling, and visitors of the state can snorkel in various places across the island chain. Near Honolulu, many people recommend snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay features hundreds of species of fish as well as octopus, eels, crabs, and more. In addition, Hanauma Bay rents snorkeling gear to visitors so that they don’t need to bring their own.

Below outlines other popular summer outdoor activities in Hawaii:

  • Waterfalls (Maunawili Falls, Waimoku Falls, Hanakapiai Falls, and more)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Surfing
  • Sunrise at Haleakala Volcano
  • Waimea Canyon
  • Cliff jumping
  • Road trip on the Road to Hana
  • Swim with marine animals (sea turtles, manta rays, and more)

#5 Festivals, Parades, and Events

Three Strong Men Juggling Fire in Hawaii - Fire Dancers

Hawaiian luaus often feature talented dancers, some of which can juggle fire!

©Deborah Kolb/Shutterstock.com

During summer, Hawaii features incredible parades, events, and festivals every month. For example, Lei Day occurs on May 1st every year and features food, games, music, dancing, and lei-making competitions. This event takes place in Honolulu, and tourists and residents alike enjoy celebrating the Hawaiian lei. In addition to Lei Day, Hawaii holds various other kinds of parades and festivals that celebrate culture, music, history, and dance.

Other events common to the state include concerts, performances, fireworks, and luaus. In fact, many Hawaiian resorts create opportunities for guests to enjoy a luau, and traditional Hawaiian food may be served during this event. Some luau food may include haupia, a type of coconut pudding, or poke, which describes a combination of raw fish, vegetables, and other delicious ingredients.

#6 Family Time

The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on Oahu could be an educational family activity enjoyed by summer visitors.

©iStock.com/bennymarty

Hawaii during summer is the opportune time for family visits. While the kids are off from school, the whole family can travel to this tropical paradise. Many family-friendly activities are available in this state; some are as educational as they are relaxing. For instance, the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial honors the lives lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Kids and parents can learn about the nation’s history while enjoying some incredible Hawaii sunshine.

Other family-friendly activities in Hawaii during summer include snorkeling, whale watching, ziplining, helicopter rides, and more. Summer events like these can bring the family closer together and create new memories to reflect on for years to come. Hawaii might be the perfect spot for a family trip this summer due to its many attractions and activities.

#7 Wildlife

Hawaiian goose

The Hawaiian goose (Nēnē) is the official state bird of Hawaii.

©Wunson/Shutterstock.com

Marine animals and birds are Hawaii’s most fascinating creatures by far, and several opportunities for observing these creatures are available in this state. For instance, whale watching is a popular activity for tourists in Hawaii. Humpback whales are the most common type of whale that navigates waters around Hawaii. In addition, fin whales, blue whales, and other whale species have been spotted near the coast of this state.

Hawaii’s bird populations are diverse and beautiful. While some of these birds are native, others were introduced to the state over time. Some examples of Hawaiian birds include golden plovers, sparrows, cardinals, and nēnē. Nēnē describes the official state bird of Hawaii: The Hawaiian goose. Hawaiian geese were once severely endangered and on the verge of extinction, but recovery efforts increased nēnē population numbers, resulting in the flourishing species cherished by Hawaiians today. 

When is the Worst Time to Visit Hawaii?

Rainy Hawaii

Hawaii’s rainy season could be the worst time to visit the state, but it can be the cheapest time to visit, too.

©iStock.com/Michelle M Chan

Summer is the best season to visit Hawaii, but when is the worst time to plan a visit to this state? While many opinions differ over which times are best and worst for visiting Hawaii, plenty of people agree that the rainy season poses challenges for tourists.

Most of Hawaii’s best attractions are found outdoors. Whether snorkeling, hiking, surfing, or scuba diving, it’s crucial that the weather remains clear and sunny for these activities. Hawaii’s rainy season usually lasts from November to March with some variation depending on the year. Therefore, these winter months are usually the worst months for a Hawaii vacation.

However, months within the rainy season, specifically February or March, show exceptionally cheaper prices for flights, hotels, and attractions. Since few tourists choose to visit Hawaii during months with poor weather conditions, prices fall significantly. Thus, the rainy season could also be the best time to visit this state, as it is the cheapest season for visitors.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © SCStock/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Eliana Riley is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on geography, travel, and landmarks. Eliana is a second-year student at Miami University majoring in English Education and Spanish. A resident of Tennessee and Ohio, Eliana enjoys traveling to national and state parks, hiking, kayaking, and camping.

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