They’re one of the most beautiful elements in nature, as they stretch across the skies and add color to the hues of blues and whites. Rainbows can brighten anyone’s day and have become a much sought-after item by tourists visiting the Hawaiian Islands.

Known as the Rainbow State, Hawaii never falls short of these spectral bands of beauty. It’s all thanks to the islands’ light trade showers and sunny skies that rainbows show up on a daily basis. In fact, they’re so common that you’re likely to see two rainbows at once.

Why? First, a quick science breakdown: When sunlight passes through water droplets (like the mist after a light rain shower), it bends and shows several colors at once. This bent light forms an arc, or a rainbow. Luckily for the Hawaiian Islands, this duo of rain and sunshine happens very often. That’s why we like to say that, “When it rains in Hawaii, it rainbows!”

The process can reverse during the late afternoons or early mornings; basically anytime the temperatures get cooler. A light mist may form near the mountains, as the sun starts to set (or right before it rises). Temperatures lower, rain clouds form and wah-lah, you’ve got a rainbow.

You can see rainbows from almost anywhere in Hawaii – whether it be from inside of your hotel room or outside during a hike. And the best part is, you won’t need any special gear to view them; just the naked eye. And if you’re planning on chasing rainbows during your vacation, watch out for those sneaky menehune guarding the pot of gold!

Photo Credit: Bruce Fisher


  1. When my nephew from the DC area was here a month ago he saw more rainbows in a week than he has seen in his whole 30 year life. he said that back in DC if a rainbow appears it actually stops traffic on the beltway its so unusual

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