Episode 123: Hawaii in the Summertime: Top Activities and Events You Can’t Miss

by | May 23, 2024


Ever wonder what it’s like to experience Hawaii in the summertime? This episode is your ultimate guide to making the most of your Hawaiian summer vacation.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip, this episode has something for everyone. Let’s explore Hawaii together and discover how to enjoy the best of the islands during the summer months.

In this episode, we’re exploring everything about Hawaii during the summertime.

We’ll break down the must-do summer activities, the best local events, and give you tips on how to experience true Hawaiian culture.

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

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This post gives general info and isn’t legal or authoritative advice. It helps travelers with tips but can’t replace personal abilities, fitness, experience, or local knowledge. Marine activities have risks; assess conditions and follow local laws.

Weather Overview

Let’s start by talking about the weather in Hawaii during the summer. It’s warm and sunny, with average temperatures around a comfortable 85°F.

Summer in Hawaii runs from May to October, offering plenty of daylight to enjoy all the activities the islands have to offer. One of the great things about being in Hawaii during the summer is the cooling trade winds that balance the hot days with fresh, salty air.

These winds make it perfect for outdoor adventures without feeling too hot.

Another advantage of summer is that it’s the drier season. You’ll experience fewer tropical downpours, making it easier to plan and enjoy outdoor activities.

Even if you do get caught in a brief rain shower, it’s usually warm and refreshing.

Top Summer Activities

There’s so much more to Hawaii than just relaxing on the beach. Let’s dive into some of the top activities you can enjoy in Hawaii during the summer.


Hawaii is a snorkeler’s paradise, offering some of the clearest waters and vibrant marine life you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Summer is the perfect time for snorkeling, with calm waters providing excellent visibility. Spots like Hanauma Bay on Oahu and Sharks Cove on the North Shore are must-visit locations.

Remember, if you encounter marine life, keep your distance and don’t pursue them. Capture the moment with your camera, but respect their space.


If you prefer to stay on land, Hawaii offers some top-notch hiking trails. On Maui, the Kapalua Coastal Trail is a family-friendly hike with stunning views.

On the Big Island, explore the trails around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can witness new earth being formed.

Check the park’s Instagram for the latest updates on eruptions and trail conditions.

Historical Sites

A visit to Pearl Harbor on Oahu is a must. This site offers a moving experience, reflecting on the events of December 7, 1941.

The longer summer days give you plenty of time to explore the USS Arizona Memorial and museum exhibitions, making it a day well spent.

Adventure Activities

For adventure seekers, Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s east side is a fantastic destination. You can go horseback riding, take an ATV tour through the valleys, or zip line through the lush landscapes.

This iconic location has been featured in many famous movies like Jurassic Park, making it a unique experience.

snorkeling in the summer in hawaii

Summer Events & Festivals

Hawaii’s summer is also packed with vibrant events and festivals that showcase the local culture.

Aloha Stadium Hawaii State Farm Fair

Held at the Aloha Stadium, this fair is a must-visit for anyone interested in local agriculture and culinary traditions.

You’ll meet local farmers, check out livestock, and taste incredible produce. It’s a family-friendly event that supports local farmers and families.

Foamtastic Color Fun Run (Kauai)

This fun run takes place in August and is perfect for families. The route is filled with colorful foam stations, music, and food, making it a memorable experience for everyone.

Cultural Festivals

Don’t miss the King Kamehameha Celebration in early June and the Prince Lot Hula Festival in mid-July. These festivals honor Hawaii’s history with stunning parades, hula performances, and traditional Hawaiian music.

We’ve covered King Kamehameha Day in a previous episode, so be sure to check that out for more details.

Made in Hawaii Festival

Held in August at the Honolulu Convention Center, this festival showcases all things local.

From crafts and clothing to unique foods and artwork, it’s the perfect place to pick up authentic Hawaiian gifts and support local artisans.

Packing Essentials

Packing for a summer vacation in Hawaii is all about being prepared for the sun, sea, and everything in between.


Pack light, breathable fabrics like shorts, tees, and swimsuits. Sundresses are great for the ladies, and an Aloha shirt for a night out is a must.

Don’t forget a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings, especially if you plan to visit higher elevations like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Sun Protection

ReefSafe sunscreen is crucial to protect Hawaii’s marine life. Check out our blog post on the best ReefSafe sunscreens, which you can find on Amazon. Also, pack a hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun.


As you can see, summertime in Hawaii is truly special. With warm weather, endless activities, and vibrant cultural events, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re planning to visit Hawaii in the summertime, we hope you have an amazing time. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram at @Hawaiis.Best and share your experiences with us.

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123_Hawaii in Summertime_01

[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy: Ever wonder what it's like to experience Hawaii during the summertime? Well join me as we explore everything that makes Hawaii in the summer so special. From endless sunny days to vibrant island culture events and unforgettable activities. So whether you're a seasoned traveler or planning your very first trip to Hawaii, To Hawaii, this episode is your ultimate guide to making the most out of your Hawaiian summer vacation.

[00:00:26] Bryan Murphy: Let's

[00:00:27] Announcement: go. Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii's best here. You'll learn what to know before traveling. As we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Hawaii, one of the most incredible places in the world. And now. Your host, Brian Murphy.

[00:00:46] Bryan Murphy: Aloha and welcome to Hawaii's best. And today, like I mentioned, we're exploring everything about Hawaii during the summertime.

[00:00:53] Bryan: Now, if you've ever thought about visiting Hawaii during the summer, you're in the right place. I'm going to break down everything from the must do [00:01:00] summer activities to the best local events that really show what Hawaiian culture is all about. So whether you're traveling for the first time, or you've been to the islands many times.

[00:01:10] Bryan: I think this episode will have something for everyone, and I think it might be obvious if you found this podcast, if you'd listened to a few episodes, visiting Hawaii, it's not just about working on that tan, you know, at the beach, at the pool, though, let's be honest that, you know, that's a big part of it and that's fun.

[00:01:29] Bryan: You're on vacation. That's awesome. But there's so much more to Hawaii. And I want to be able to unpack that today and we do that in previous episodes as well, but it's really about the pulse of Island life, the festivals, the fresh produce, you know, hitting the markets, local vendors. Supporting local and those amazing cool trade winds that perfectly balance the hot summer days In hawaii, so I think first up we should probably just talk a [00:02:00] little bit about those hot summer days Talk about the weather in hawaii during summer.

[00:02:04] Bryan: So it's obviously it's warm. It's sunny The average temperature is around a comfortable 85 degrees. Now. It's actually important to define You When summer is in hawaii for most of hawaii, there are only two seasons really it's summer, you know Between may and october actually and winter between october and april And just a little fun fact the highest temperature ever recorded in hawaii Was a hundred degrees at pahala on the big island of hawaii on april 27th 1931 It's warm.

[00:02:41] Bryan: Yes, but it's not that You Heat that you may be trying to experience from the continental u. s. Especially the you know, southern california arizona Utah area, you know those places can get really hot on top of the warm weather in hawaii What's nice about being? On the [00:03:00] islands is that you get these cooling Winds called the trade winds and these breezes not only help keep, you know things comfortable But also brings that fresh salty air and days are also longer during the summer in hawaii This means more sunshine to enjoy all the activities the island has to offer Whether you're up for an early morning hike a midday surf or sunset luau.

[00:03:22] Bryan: You've got Plenty of time to fit it all in without feeling rushed, but just a little pro tip. You don't want to stuff your itinerary I see so many of them and it's like do this and do that every minute feels planned and but you know It's it's important to have a plan when you're going to Hawaii, but it's also important to Leave room and leave space to just be able to experience the island, you know, those fruit stands off the side of the road, the local farmers markets, stuff like that.

[00:03:52] Bryan: It's important to just. Be on island time a little bit on vacation and not just Schedule every little [00:04:00] minute and every little second that you are in hawaii Another plus about hawaii in summer is that there is less rainfall. So Summer is the drier season in hawaii. So those sudden Tropical downpours are fewer and farther between, so that really helps, you know, being able to really book some of those activities that are outdoors, going to festivals.

[00:04:25] Bryan: More often than not, those aren't going to be rained out and, and really, if you know, you get some rain in Hawaii, that's just that warm tropical rain. There's nothing better. So now let's go ahead and we're going to dive into some of the best activities you can find during Hawaii during these summer months.

[00:04:43] Bryan: If you're coming to Hawaii and you want to do more than just chill at the beach You want to make some memories you want to get out and experience some culture Experience some wildlife and those once in a lifetime activities that many people come to the islands for so first up It's [00:05:00] kind of an obvious one.

[00:05:00] Bryan: It's snorkeling. Hawaii is basically a snorkelers paradise for beginners and for advance and Hawaii has some of the clearest waters and most vibrant marine life You'll find really anywhere in the world, and especially in the summer months. Now, come winter, the visibility is a lot lower and very unsafe in spots like Sharks Cove on the North Shore of Oahu.

[00:05:26] Bryan: So be aware that if you are visiting, happen to be visiting in the winter months, and you hear about Sharks Cove being a snorkelers spot, it's That's not so during, uh, winter, but during summer it is, and also places like Hanama Bay on Oahu are iconic, but every island has those gems and those snorkel spots.

[00:05:49] Bryan: So the calm summer waters makes visibility incredible. So you're likely to spot everything from colorful coral to sea turtles, [00:06:00] maybe even a. Dolphin, if you're lucky, I have to add in here though, you, if you come across marine life, please keep your distance. Don't pursue, don't chase. Sometimes you may see marine life and they may get close, but don't pursue after them.

[00:06:18] Bryan: Don't try to startle them. You know, maybe grab your camera, capture that memory, but please keep your distance. Now if you prefer to stay dry and explore the land. The hiking in Hawaii is top notch. Over on Maui, the Kapalua Coastal Trail is a nice family hike that is about 1. 9 miles on a relatively flat trail in West Maui with paved sections and great views.

[00:06:45] Bryan: And if you're on the Big Island of Hawaii, check out the trails around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can literally hike around the craters and see Earth, like new Earth being formed, which is pretty cool and mind blowing. And when you go to Hawaii [00:07:00] Volcanoes National Park, sometimes it's erupting and sometimes it's, it's quiet.

[00:07:05] Bryan: So just be aware. Don't get your hopes up. Be sure to follow their Instagram account, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and you can get all up to dates about current eruptions and what to know and best viewing spots and, and parking and all that good stuff. Another must do is on the island of Oahu and it's visiting Pearl Harbor.

[00:07:25] Bryan: Uh, this site packs so much historical significance in one visit, and during summer, the longer days allow for plenty of more time to explore, um, the USS Arizona Memorial and the museum exhibitions. It's a moving experience, reflecting on the events of December 7th, 1919. 1941 where incredible bravery and sacrifice was shown.

[00:07:47] Bryan: So it's it's not just a tourist spot It's a place of remembrance and education. I would highly recommend visiting Pearl Harbor at least once when visiting Oahu and Don't forget about [00:08:00] Kualoa Ranch on Oahu on the east side This place is incredible whether you want to do some horseback riding ATV through valleys and this is kind of where a spot where a lot of famous movies were filmed think Jurassic Park Park lost and you can do zip line, you know, all that stuff and a good place to grab a bite also on the east side of Oahu.

[00:08:22] Bryan: All right, now let's talk about some of the summer events and festivals that you can expect if you're visiting during the summer months at the Aloha Stadium. You got the Hawaii State Farm Fair. And it's a must visit for anyone interested in local agriculture and the culinary traditions of Hawaii. And you'll get to meet local farmers, check out livestock, and even taste some incredible produce as well.

[00:08:44] Bryan: It's a family friendly event, so know that you, when you go with your family, you're supporting local farmers. Yeah, as well as local families as well. And, uh, you get to taste kind of the island and something just out of the ordinary than your typical [00:09:00] beach day. If you're looking for something more active, check out the foam, tastic color, fun run or walk on Kauai in August.

[00:09:08] Bryan: It's a run or walk through scenic routes filled with colorful foam stations. It's perfect for families and just a great time with music and food as well. Everything's surrounded by great music and great food. Also, if you want to take a deeper dive into Hawaiian culture, you can't miss the King Kamehameha celebration early June.

[00:09:29] Bryan: And Prince Lot Hula Festival, uh, the third weekend in July. These festivals honor Hawaii's history with stunning parades, hula performances, and Hawaiian music as well. And we've done a whole episode about King Kamehameha and King Kamehameha Day, so I'll be sure to link that in the episode's description.

[00:09:50] Bryan: And also lastly, a fun festival. It's the Made in Hawaii Festival in August. We've done episodes on this as well, so I'll be sure to link that. But this is an [00:10:00] amazing time if you're visiting late in the summer. It's held at the Honolulu Convention Center and it showcases all things local. All across all the islands from crafts and clothing to unique foods and artwork and music.

[00:10:15] Bryan: It's a perfect place to pick up authentic Hawaiian gifts and support local artisans. All right, so packing for your summer vacation in Hawaii is all about preparing for the sun, the sea, and pretty much everything in between. First, let's talk about clothing. You're going to want to keep things light and breathable.

[00:10:36] Bryan: fabrics. That'll let your skin breathe as you soak up the sun, but also think about packing some sun shirts, things that are sun protectant, so you're not using so much sunscreen. You want to pack plenty of shorts, tees, and of course swimsuits and also sundresses are great and an Aloha shirt for a [00:11:00] night out would be cool too.

[00:11:01] Bryan: Don't forget to pack a light jacket, sweater. Even though it's summer, things can cool off in the evening, especially if you're on Hawaii Island, the big island with higher elevations at the Volcano National Park. You want to make sure you have things ready to go for that and those can also be kind of breezy days with the trade winds as well.

[00:11:23] Bryan: ReefSafe sunscreen is absolutely crucial. You want to check out our blog posts about the 10 best ReefSafe sunscreens. Um, some of them support local, most of them you can buy on Amazon and I'll link that below as well. You also want to get a hat, sunglasses, something that'll just help protect you from the sun lathering yourself in sunscreen, having that SPF clothing as well will be helpful.

[00:11:53] Bryan: All right, so we've covered a lot today and as you can see summer time in Hawaii is truly a special time And if you're [00:12:00] looking for more tips Be sure to go to hawaiisbesttravel. com where we got some travel guides And some of the things that we mentioned in today's episode will also be linked below If you are planning on visiting hawaii in the summertime, I hope you have an amazing time Be sure to tag us on our Instagram at Hawaii's dot best, and I hope you get to visit Hawaii soon.

[00:12:21] Bryan: So until next time, my friends, be well. Aloha.

[00:12:26] Announcement: Mahalo for listening to this episode of Hawaii's Best. To stay up to date on future episodes, please subscribe and visit us at Hawaii's Best Travel dot com.