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Nothing screams “summer vacation” like a trip to Hawaii, and if you’re dying for some ideal summertime weather and beach fun, then the islands are just the place for you. The summer months in Hawaii are sunny with warmer ocean temperatures and trade winds blowing for just the right amount of coolness. With such consistent weather in Hawaii year round, there are really only two seasons, summer and winter. Winter lasts from November to April and summer is from May through October. Average summertime temperature is 85 degrees, with evenings staying consistently in the 70’s. (Yeah, we won’t lie, we love it here).
However, there are wetter and cooler places on each island that may surprise some tourists. For example, Wahiawa, Oahu’s pineapple town located directly in the center of the island, is at a much higher elevation than the beach areas. This means the temperature can be cooler by about 10 degrees than the lower lying lands. You’d be surprised to know that many Wahiawa residents even have chimneys and wood burning stoves! The record low for Wahiawa is 52 degrees one winter, but if you’re traveling here for summertime, chances are you’ll head to this town to seek refuge from the humidity!
Summertime also impacts the ocean conditions, and if you’re traveling to Hawaii for a surf trip in the summer, be advised you won’t be surfing any famous north shore breaks. Systems and storms travel down from the northwest during the wintertime, hitting the north and western facing shores of the island chain. Winter brings huge waves to these shores, thus the surfing season being from October through May. But when you have big waves on the north shore, it usually means you’ve got a flat lake on the south side. And in the summertime, these roles switch.
North shores of Hawaii are absolutely stunning during the summer months. Calm waters make for perfect swimming beaches and snorkeling is at an all-time high. Clarity is usually great, and you can stay in the water for hours. The golden sand warms up and can sometimes be hot to the touch. The sun is harshest at noon however, so be sure to protect against the summer rays and come prepared with sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, water, and maybe even a beach umbrella. Some beaches don’t have shade and when that summer sun is beating down on you, you’ll be wishing for some shelter! But there is nothing like a perfect beach day on the north shore during a hot summer day, it is simply unbeatable. We usually like to pack a cooler too with adult refreshments… hehe, just don’t let the lifeguards see.
Packing a suitcase for your Hawaii vacation in the summer may vary slightly than if you were packing for winter. We usually suggest a light sweater for summer months and a rain jacket for winter months. But keep in mind the summertime is much more humid, so you’ll want to pack your shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. A few different swimsuits are always recommended too, since no one likes having to shimmy into a wet bikini! For example, if you only bring one swimsuit and you’re at the beach all day long, but then want to jump in the hot tub later that evening with cocktails, you’ll be happy you brought that extra suit, instead of putting on your old damp one!
Just because its summer though, this doesn’t mean Hawaii won’t get a little rain. This is a topic that usually shocks travelers, “what do you mean it’ll rain during my vacation?!” There is a reason Hawaii stays so green and lush, and while the rainy season is from November through April, the islands still tend to get some light rains in the summer months too. But there’s nothing like a summer rain the cool you off from the hot sun while sitting on the beach. Seriously, rain in Hawaii in the summer time is incredible, and you can usually do all your regular activities in it anyways. A hike in the rain is a totally new adventure, just like swimming in the ocean during a passing rain storm is something you might never have thought to experience. It’s pretty amazing though.
The key to any vacation is to humble your expectations. Don’t let something like weather ruin your good time, because there is no sense in feeling upset over something you have no control over. Also keep in mind that researching your destination prior to the vacation is a good idea. You’ll want to know the best beach to visit during the summertime, the most popular cocktail bar, or the best way to avoid summer traffic. Knowing what to expect helps with the planning and packing process, but we can’t deny that a little bit of spontaneity and unforeseen happenings make for quite the exciting adventure!