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Hawaii in November

November in Hawaii is a beautiful time to visit the islands. The first whale sightings trickle in as pods of humpback whales make their winter migrations to Hawaii. (They’ve got the right idea!)

Early November is still a part of the off-season, so you’ll find some great deals on travel to the islands if you can time your flights before the Holiday rush. Starting just around Thanksgiving, rooms start to fill up and flights get much more expensive. Often flying on the actual holiday can be an option if you want to avoid paying the much higher fares.

Veteran’s day is commemorated at many sites around the state, including the memorials at Pearl Harbor. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to check out the world-class dining options in the islands as many restaurants have special menus during the holidays. The day after thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. If you find yourself in the islands, you can get a jump on your holiday shopping at Ala Moana Shopping Center, the largest open-air shopping mall in the world.

Whatever you choose, November is a wonderful time to visit Hawaii. See below for a rundown of just some of the options for things to do in Hawaii in November.

Veteran’s Day Events in Hawaii

11/6 – Kauai Veteran’s Day Parade – Entertainment, food booths, and parade leading to Kapaa Beach Park (Kauai)

11/10 – Free B&B stays for veterans on 11/10 limited availability, details here. (Big Island)

11/10 – Battleship Missouri Veterans Day Sunset Ceremony at Pearl Harbor. Free and open to the public with reservations, the program runs from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., on the ship’s fantail. To make reservations, call (808) 455-1600 ext. 222 or visit ussmissouri.org. (Oahu)

11/13 – 6th Annual US Vets Patriot 5k Run/Walk – 8am at the Waterfront at Puuloa. For more information, see the event website. (Oahu)


11/15 – 11/21 – The week before Thanksgiving, Restaurant Week Hawaii menus are available at participating restaurants on Oahu and Maui and it’s a great time to explore Hawaii’s diverse culinary offerings. Visit the official Restaurant Week Hawaii 2010 site for more details. (Oahu & Maui)

11/25 – Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise by the Pacific Whale Foundation – details can be found here. (Maui)

If you find yourself in the islands over the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be hundreds of restaurants with special menus for your family to feast on.

However, if you’d like to go a little more casual, and do-it-yourself, consider takeout from Zippy’s, a local plate-lunch chain of restaurants which does their ever popular meals to go option for the holiday. Place an order a few days ahead and you can have a ready-to-warm turkey dinner with all the trimmings waiting at the location nearest you on Oahu or Maui.

Whole Foods also does online ordering, and there are now two locations in Hawaii – Kahala, Oahu and Kahului, Maui. View their Holiday Menu here.

11/25 – Turkey Trot 10 miler – You can run off some of those calories with this fun run on Thanksgiving morning. Entry is just $3 and the winner isn’t the fastest runner – it’s the one who comes closest to his or her predicted finish time. Fun!

Other November Events

11/5 – First Friday – 6-9pm Chinatown/Downtown Honolulu art walk at various art galleries. Details here. (Oahu) *There is also a monthly First Friday celebration on Market Street in Wailuku, Maui.

11/5 – 11/14 – Kona Coffee Cultural Festival – Billed as Hawaii’s oldest Food Festival, this annual event showcases the Kona region, famed for producing amazing coffee. (Big Island)

11/11 – Haleakala National Park Fee Free Day – Enjoy free entrance to the park, and enjoy the view from over 10,000 ft above sea level. Info can be found on the park’s Facebook page. (Maui)

11/11 – 11/28 – A Christmas Carol at the Manoa Valley Theater (Oahu)

11/12 – 12/20 – Vans Triple Crown of Surfing – the pros descend on the North Shore. Event info can be found here. (Oahu)

11/14 – Slack Key Guitar Festival – This free event takes place at the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (Kauai)

11/21 – Kokua Kailua Village Stroll – Alii Drive in Kona is closed to traffic for this monthly street fair, including live music. (Big Island)

>> Know of an event not listed here? Please feel free to drop me a line to let me know!

photo by Big Blue Ocean