October can be one of the best months to travel to Hawaii, especially if you are looking for deals. As part of the shoulder season which runs from Labor Day until the holidays, you will often see fewer crowds, shorter lines, and lower rates on accommodation during this time of year. Although the rainy season may just start to pick up in late October, you’ll still enjoy temperatures in the 80s and warm ocean waters.
Weather in Hawaii in October
Average high temperatures in Hawaii in October hover in the mid to upper 80’s, with lows in the mid 70’s. You can expect cooling tradewind breezes most of the time, although weather patterns change quite frequently. If you’ll be heading to upper elevations, keep in mind that the change in elevation will influence the temperatures and you may want to pack a light sweater for the evenings.
Windward sides (North/East) of the islands will usually experience a few more passing tradewind showers than the leeward sides (South/West). October is typically when the rainy season begins to pick up so you may get a bit more clouds than in the summer or dry season, but that just means more rainbows!
Things to Do in Hawaii in October
The first humpback whale this season was spotted September 26, 2011 off the coast of the Big Island, which is quite early – typically the first sighting occurs in October! So although the whale watching season doesn’t peak for a few more months, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for whales from shore.
This is a great season to enjoy Hawaii’s many great farmers markets to check out the seasonal fruits and vegetables. You may even find a pumpkin patch or two for the keiki!
Get into the mood for Halloween early in the month by taking a ride on the Haunted Lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center or being spooked by classics such as A Clockwork Orange or The Shining at Masters of Horror series at the Doris Duke theater.
>> More information on Celebrating Halloween in Hawaii.
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October 2011 Events and Festivals
10/1 – Portuguese Festival – Portuguese immigrants were among various ethnic groups to settle in Hawaii, and this event will showcase their heritage, cuisine and culture. Enjoy cultural demonstrations, agricultural products, food booths featuring Portuguese favorites, entertainment as well as historical exhibits. Details here. (Big Island)
9/29 – 10/2 – Maui County Fair – The Maui County Fair is an annual tradition for adults and keiki alike. A parade on Kaahumanu Avneue kicks off the weekend’s festivities, which include an EK Fernandez Joy Zone of all your favorite rides, community exhibits, and of course delicious food. A full schedule of entertainment takes place over the weekend as well, including a Maui Fire Department chili cookoff! Details here. (Maui)
10/5 – 10th Annual Chopsticks and Wine – This event, hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center just outside of Waikiki. The evening is a “taste of” style event featuring fine dining samples from some of Hawaii’s best chefs, along with wine tastings. The theme this year is “Let the Good Times Roll.” Details here. (Oahu)
10/7 – 10/8 – Turtle Bay Resort Seafood Festival – Turtle Bay again hosts the 7th Annual Seafood Festival. Lineup includes Taste of the North Shore Shrimp Trucks on Friday night, the popular Sam Choy Poke Contest on Saturday afternoon, and the finale Chefs Under the Stars on Saturday evening. Details here. (Oahu)
10/8 – Ford Ironman World Championships – The Ironman triathalon will feature almost 2,000 athletes from around the world as they complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike ride, and on top of that, a 26.2 mile run! Kailua-Kona is host to the athletes, their families and tons of spectators, so be sure to plan ahead if you’d like to watch the action! Details here. (Big Island)
10/8 – 10/9 – Hilo Wayfinding and Navigation Festival – Held over three days in mid-October, the festival features daily hands-on activities that include wayfinding and navigation skills, knot tying, planetarium shows, garden tours, canoe exhibits, cultural exhibits, documentaries, and speaker presentations. Details here. (Big Island)
10/9 – Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival – This free and family-friendly event will feature over 100 vendors where you can learn about Hawaii’s freshest seafood, just steps from the famous Honolulu Fish Auction at Pier 38. The first 300 keiki receive free bamboo fishing poles. Details here. (Oahu)
10/9 – Molokai Hoe Canoe Race – The most prestigious men’s outrigger canoe race takes place annually across 38 miles of ocean in the Ka’iwi channel which separates the islands of Molokai and Oahu. If you’d like to watch the exciting finish, head down to the Hilton Hawaiian Village to grab a spot on the sand. The first boats are expected around 12:30pm. Details here. (Oahu)
10/13 – 10/23 – Hawaii International Film Festival – This year’s festival will showcase more than 200 films from 45 countries, with an emphasis on those from Asia and the Pacific. Here’s an excellent roundup of “must sees” including trailers by NonStop Honolulu. Visit the official website here. (Oahu)
10/16 – Maui Ukulele Festival – The annual Maui Ukulele Festival is a full afternoon of ukulele music at the first-class venue, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Bring your lawn chairs or roll out a blanket on the lawn and enjoy some of the islands’ favorite ukulele players. Details here. (Maui)
10/20 – 10/22 – Lahaina Plantation Days 2011 – Festivities include a movie night, food booths, games, and entertainment, all celebrating West Maui’s roots as a plantation town. Details here. (Maui)
10/22 – University of Hawaii Homecoming Game – The UH Warriors play New Mexico State for their homecoming game this year at Aloha Stadium, 6pm. Gates begin opening at 1pm and 2pm for tailgaiting – a popular pasttime for many UH fans. Details here. (Oahu)
10/30 – Oktoberfest Street Festival – Get ready for a rowdy block party in Downtown Honolulu, celebrating Oktoberfest with street performers, great food, St. Pauli girls, stein hoisting competition, and of course, beer. Details here. (Oahu)
>> Know of an event not listed here? Feel free to leave us a comment below!