What to expect during the winter months in Hawaii

winter in hawaii
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > What to expect during the winter months in Hawaii

If you’re looking to escape the snow and chilly weather of winter, then Hawaii is the perfect retreat. With delightfully mild days of sunshine and rainfall, Hawaii is the ideal winter vacation destination and offers visitors respite from snow shoveling and wind chapped lips. Wintertime is high season for tourism- up and up with summertime- so if you haven’t booked your tickets and accommodations yet for this year then you might be in trouble… Hotels book up fast and airfare becomes criminal so unless you have money to burn, a last minute vacation to Hawaii this winter might prove difficult.

But not to worry! We’re always ready to find the best possible deals on airfare, car rentals and accommodations, even if it IS last minute. While we definitely don’t recommend last minute planning, this doesn’t mean we can’t make it happen. We’re here to scour out the best prices for your Hawaii vacation this winter, but we have to act fast, so call us today to book!

Continuing on about today’s topic, I’d like to talk about winter in Hawaii, what it’s like and what the highlights are. There is much to see and do during the Christmas season and Hawaii is usually ideal weather for any activity. While the beaches, swells and waves change drastically from the summer months, the outdoor adventures are still plentiful.

One of the most incredible activities to witness in the islands during this time of year is whale watching. The very first sightings are usuallyin October, but the real whale watching begins in late November and lasts through mid-April. Each year over 6,000 humpback whales migrate to the islands to mate, give birth and care for their young, traveling approximately 5,000 miles from their feeding grounds in the waters off Alaska.

Maui is touted as the best island for whale watching due to its shielded, shallow and clear waters and thus has the largest concentration of the mammals. However whales can be seen from every island during migration. Each island has various landmarks that are ideal for whale watching, but it’s on the boat tours where you’ll really get an up-close-and-personal experience of these incredible creatures.

The Hawaiian word for humpback whale is kohala’ and many native Hawaiians believed the creatures were amakua’ or family guardians, making the whales a highly respected creature of the islands. If you go for a swim during whale season, be sure to listen for the deep and eerie songs of the male humpback whale. These melodies can be heard underwater from up to twelve miles away!

Another popular sport of Hawaii during the winter months is surfing. From November to December, Oahu’s north shore plays host to the most prestigious surfing events of the industry, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. This is a fantastic display of the world’s top surfers testing their mettle in the relentless ocean conditions of the famed north shore. Surf breaks like Pipeline, Sunset and Waimea are heralded as being the best waves in the world, and visitors come every year to watch the show unfold before their very eyes.

Something to keep in mind about Hawaii’s big wave season is that is happens on west and north facing shores and often times presents ocean conditions that are too hazardous to swim in, for tourists and residents alike. If ocean activities are what you pine for this Christmas, consider booking accommodations on the south and east sides of the island. But this doesn’t mean you are doomed out of beach activity if you stay on the north shore. Long swell lulls are common, which means the ocean returns to a flat and relatively calm state. But you can guarantee that the undertow will still be pretty strong. In any conditions, it’s always a good idea to check with a lifeguard before entering the water.

Another great (and extremely unique!) thing about Hawaii is you can snowboard the mountains and surf the Pacific all in a day! Well, if you’re vacationing on Big Island that is. Bet you didn’t even know that is snows in Hawaii! Mauna Kea (Hawaiian for ‘white mountain’) is a 13,796-foot volcanic mountain whose summit gathers enough snow in the wintertime for decent ski conditions. Temperatures range from 25 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the wind chill and high altitude, it often times feels much colder!

There are no lifts, no grooming and no resort, but a road goes to the summit (must have 4-wheel drive) which serves as your “lift” to the top. Mauna Kea is the tallest sea mountain in the world and stargazing is another incredible activity to enjoy at this summit on the Big Island.

Hawaii is a popular winter vacation destination mostly because it offers respite from the mainland chill, so seeing snow on your Hawaii getaway might not sound ideal. Winter temperatures in the islands are around 78 degrees in the daytime and drop around 10 degrees in the evenings. Remember though, trade winds are a classic characteristic of Hawaii winters and can make 75 degree weather feel much cooler, which is why we always recommend packing a light sweater or two when vacationing here during this time of year.

Water temperatures are around 74 degrees so swimming is a year round activity here in Hawaii. If you’re looking into boating, snorkeling, surfing or any other Hawaii activity this winter, be sure to book as soon as possible! These popular activities fill up quick, but luckily we have the insider connections to get you in at the last minute. The ideal Christmas vacation destination, the Hawaiian Islands offer all types of R&R for any type of traveler. Whether it’s spa days and lounging poolside or adventurous activities and enjoying the outdoors, Hawaii is a great getaway for anyone.

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