Although it can be argued that there is never a bad time to visit Hawaii, summer is definitely the most popular, and for good reason! There’s more sunshine and less rain in the summer than during the rest of the year. Unfortunately, this also means that during the summer, attractions and accommodations will be more crowded. If you will be visiting during this peak travel period, booking at least your must-do activities in advance will help to avoid disappointment as many tours and activities do sell out in advance.
Weather in Summer in Hawaii
There are only two real “seasons” in Hawaii – rainy and dry. Summer falls squarely into the “dry” season, although you will still catch a tradewind shower or two during this time. (How else would we get those beautiful rainbows?) High temperatures during the summer hover in the mid- to high-80’s, occasionally pushing 90 degrees. The typical tradewind patterns bring cooling breezes to make sure that you aren’t sweating it out too badly. And if it gets really sticky out there, do what the locals do – hop in the ocean!
Hawaiian sun can be quite intense, so don’t skimp on the sunscreen. Even cloudy days bring opportunities for a good sunburn, and nothing ruins a vacation faster! You’ll also want to be sure to stay hydrated to avoid heatstroke or heat exhaustion, especially when doing outdoor activities.
>> More information on Weather in Hawaii
What to do in Hawaii in Summer
Hit the Beach – Of course, the beautiful summer sun makes it a great season to take advantage of Hawaii’s beaches. Surf’s up in the summer on the south shores of most islands, so it’s a great time for learning to surf or stand up paddle boarding. If you’re looking for calmer waters for snorkeling or swimming, try the north shores. You can also wade in the tide pools or just soak up the sun on the shore.
Bon Dances – Summer is also obon season in the Japanese culture, celebrated all over Hawaii by bon dances held at the local churches. These popular festivals are free and open to the public. While definitely a cultural celebration of ancestral spirits, they are just as famous nowadays for their food. Each bon dance has a specialty, as evidenced by this excellent roundup by NonStop Honolulu.
Take a Hike – There are tons of beautiful hiking trails around the islands, for outdoor ethusiasts of all skill levels. From easy to moderate waterfall hikes, or the strenous (but stunningly beautiful Na Pali Coast on Kauai), you will be rewarded with beautiful green foliage, bird’s eye views, and just the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle and out into nature. Be sure to stay on marked paths and heed all warnings signs for a safe and enjoyable hike.
Here’s a video from the Soto Mission of Aiea-Taiheiji Bon Dance, an example of a popular summertime (and family friendly!) activitiy for locals in Hawaii.