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Hawaii In October: What To Expect During Your Fall Trip

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Updated: October 1, 2021

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, one of the first details to work out is the time of year you would like to travel. While Hawaii is beautiful year-round, your overall experiences will differ depending on the month that you choose to schedule your vacation. But in this article, we’ll specifically go over what to expect if you visit Hawaii in October.

Visiting the islands in October offers several advantages in terms of weather, costs, crowds, and events. Read on to learn more about what you can expect during an autumn visit to Hawaii.

How’s the Weather in Hawaii in October?

Many people visit Hawaii for its warm weather and overall tropical climate. As a result, knowing what the Hawaii weather is like during October can help you prepare for your trip, pack the right clothing, and plan your outdoor activities accordingly.

Here is some more information about Hawaii weather in October.

Temperatures

Hawaii weather experiences two primary seasons: summer and winter. While October is right on the cusp between the winter months and summer months in Hawaii, you can expect the temperatures to lean more toward summer’s hot, humid temps.

Typically, daily high temperatures during this month average in the low-to-mid 80s F, which is only a few degrees cooler than the climate the islands experience in the hottest summer months.

These slightly cooler temperatures create the perfect atmosphere to spend time outdoors at Hawaii’s beautiful beaches without overheating.

At night, you can expect temperatures to dip into the lower 70s F. This refreshingly cooler weather provides ideal conditions to gather around a beach campfire and enjoy some staple Hawaiian campfire foods, such as pineapple and barbecue chicken.

Trade Winds

Hawaii’s trade winds create a near-constant breeze throughout the islands. However, just as Hawaii weather in October is slightly milder than during the summer, you can also expect the trade winds to be less intense during this fall month.

Typically, Hawaii’s trade winds are the least frequent during September and October compared to the rest of the year.

Rain

October is the beginning of Hawaii’s winter rainy season, which spans until late April. As a result, you may experience a few mild rainstorms during your visit to the islands.

However, the island you are vacationing on will influence your exact weather conditions. If you are traveling to the Big Island’s Kohala coast, for example, you will likely experience less rain than what visitors on Kauai would see.

Kohala Coast

Honolulu experiences an average rainfall of 1.1 inches in October, whereas the average precipitation in Kailua during this month is 2 inches. Additionally, Hawaii sees most of its rainfall overnight rather than during the day, meaning that rain will probably not disrupt too many of your daily activities.

Hurricanes

The month is also the beginning of hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean. Thankfully, Hawaii does not experience many tropical storms, but you should keep in mind that there is a slight possibility of more severe weather during your trip.

If a tropical storm is nearby, you could experience more rain and heavier winds during your trip.

Be sure to check for upcoming tropical storms if you plan to visit Hawaii during hurricane season.

Ocean Conditions

One benefit to visiting Hawaii in the early fall is that the water temperatures are ideal during this month. September and October experience the warmest ocean temperatures in Hawaii, with water temps sitting around 80 degrees F each day.

However, because the fall months are the beginning of Hawaii’s hurricane season, the ocean may be a bit choppier compared to the summer. Be sure to check any safety postings near the beach entrance before swimming or surfing at any of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches.

Is Hawaii Crowded in October?

If you’re looking for one of the least crowded times to visit Hawaii, October is an excellent month to consider.

The height of Hawaii’s tourism occurs during the summer when children are out of school and families are more likely to schedule their yearly vacations. As a result, October sees fewer crowds in Hawaii as kids head back into the school year and await the winter holidays that are still several months away.

While Hawaii is plenty busy during this fall month, as it is year-round, you can expect the state to be slightly less busy compared to the summer.

Hawaii Monthly Tourism Statistics

In October, Hawaii typically welcomes around 700,000 to 780,000 visitors throughout the month. However, during a busier month such as June, the state sees approximately 950,000 visitors.

Visiting Hawaii during the fall months allows you to take in the islands’ natural beauty and participate in tourist activities with slightly less hustle and bustle around you.

The different islands also see contrasting tourism numbers throughout the year. For example, around 470,000 visitors travel to Oahu during October each year, compared to the approximately 100,000 visitors in Kauai.

Is October an Affordable Time to Visit Hawaii?

Hawaiian businesses tend to increase their rates to accommodate large crowds during the busiest tourist times. However, because October is one of the off-season times to travel to Hawaii, you can expect to save money by planning your trip during this month rather than the peak season.

The beginning of the winter months presents a more affordable time to visit the state, with more reasonable rates on airfare, car rentals, and hotels. Here is some more information about what you can expect to pay for various elements of your Hawaii island vacation.

Airfare

The exact price you can expect to pay for a flight to and from Hawaii depends on several factors:

  • Your departing location
  • Your arrival location
  • The airline you choose
  • The amount of luggage you plan to take with you

However, the time of year that you plan your Hawaii visit also impacts your airfares.

Because October is one of Hawaii’s less busy months, you can expect flight costs to reflect this decreased activity. You may be able to save a few hundred dollars in airfare by planning your trip during the off-season.

Car Rentals

Car rental costs in Hawaii fluctuate throughout the year depending on supply and demand. When more tourists visit the Hawaiian island, rental rates tend to increase. This means that you may save some money on rental costs when fewer visitors are traveling to Hawaii during the off-season.

If you are trying to decrease your overall vacation costs, we recommend scheduling your car rental as early as possible. Car rental prices have skyrocketed in Hawaii in recent years, meaning that you may end up paying several hundred dollars a day to rent a car if you do not plan ahead.

Hawaii Hotel Rates

If you’ve ever tried to book a hotel near a large event or in a busy city, you probably know that hotel rates increase depending on demand. When more people need a hotel room at the same time, hotels will increase their rates to meet this demand.

The same goes for Hawaii’s peak seasons and less busy seasons. If you travel to Hawaii during the summer or winter holidays, you can expect hotel rates to be very high. However, traveling during a less busy month can allow you to save a decent chunk of money on hotel costs.

Beach Entry

Most of Hawaii’s white-sand beaches are free to enter, making a day at the beach an affordable activity to enjoy during your vacation. Waikiki Beach, one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, always offers free entry.

If you want to rent umbrellas or beach chairs during your beach day, you may need to pay an additional fee. However, many hotels and resorts include chair rental in their overall hotel rates.

What Hawaiian Events and Activities Occur in October?

Even though October isn’t the most popular time to visit Hawaii, numerous fun events still take place during this month that can add enjoyment and whimsy to your Hawaiian vacation.

Here are a few popular events that take place during this month in Hawaii.

Big Island Chocolate Festival

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll want to check out the Big Island Chocolate Festival near Kona town.

This multi-day festival is an annual October fundraiser to support several local nonprofits across the Big Island. You can experience unlimited chocolate tastings, master classes in the culinary art of chocolate-making, silent auctions, and more at this unique festival.

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which began in 2010, showcases the best Hawaiian cuisine available on the islands. Chefs from the north shore to the west coast to the south shore gather in Honolulu to share their favorite Hawaii regional cuisine while celebrating the island’s culture.

This festival presents an excellent opportunity to experience a few elements that make Hawaii unique.

Honolulu Pride Festival

Honolulu holds its annual pride festival in October each year, sponsored by the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation. This festival features a colorful parade with more than 25,000 spectators, several cultural and educational events, and opportunities to socialize with other festival attendees.

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate diversity during your Hawaii trip, you can’t go wrong checking out this festival near the middle of the month.

Big Island Lilikoi Festival

The Big Island Lilikoi Festival takes place each fall and celebrates Hawaii’s treasured fruit, the lilikoi. This fruit, which is similar to passion fruit, is yellow in color with a naturally tart flavor.

The Lilikoi Festival is a one-day event that offers tourists and locals alike the chance to celebrate the fruit through lilikoi-centered cooking contests, demonstrations, live music, and vendors. Proceeds from this event support the Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Kauai’s Coconut Festival

Coconuts are staple Hawaiian fruits, and Kauai’s annual Coconut Festival presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate these cultural foods. During this festival, you can create coconut crafts, play coconut games, enjoy tasty coconut foods, and participate in other fun activities.

This annual festival has been taking place in Kauai for over 20 years, making it one of the island’s signature events each year.

Halloween in Hawaii

If you plan to visit toward the end of the month, you can participate in several Halloween-themed events in Hawaii. While activities differ from year to year, a few popular Halloween festivals and events in past years have included:

  • Howl-o-ween Woof-tacular: This dog costume parade is a fun event for animal lovers and Halloween enthusiasts alike.
  • Trick & Treats Fall Fest: This Halloween-themed festival in Kapolei features trick or treating, games, giveaways, and other activities for children and families.
  • Pumpkin patches: Various pumpkin patches throughout the state offer activities such as hayrides, petting zoos, pumpkin picking, and even pony rides.
  • Halloween in Lahaina: As Maui’s most popular Halloween event, this family-friendly festival features incredible food, lively music, a costume party, and other Halloween-themed activities.
  • Haunted Plantation: If you’re looking for a spooky way to celebrate Halloween in Hawaii, you’ll want to check out the Haunted Plantation in Oahu’s Hawaii Plantation Village.

If you’re a Halloween fan, you’ll have no problem finding fun ways to celebrate the holiday during your Hawaii vacation.

Final Thoughts: Is October the Best Time to Visit Hawaii?

Hawaii offers beautiful weather, rustic charm, and fun events throughout the year. However, if you are looking for the best time to visit this great state, October may be your answer.

Hawaii’s weather is milder during this month compared to the hotter temperatures of the summer season. While rainfall is slightly elevated, most of the rain occurs during the night, leaving the days clear and sunny.

Hawaii is also less crowded during this month compared to the state’s busier summer and winter holidays. Fewer crowds lead to lower prices on flights, hotels, rental cars, and other amenities, decreasing your overall trip costs significantly.

And while October is not Hawaii’s most popular tourism month, it still boasts several fun events and activities to keep you entertained during your trip. All in all, October is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit Hawaii.

Check out this guide for more information about the best times to visit the great state of Hawaii.

If you’ve visited the islands during October, leave a comment below to share your experience.

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