Hawaii’s sun-soaked islands may well be paradise on Earth. Golden sands met by sapphire waves, lush rainforests and dramatic volcanic peaks offer endless opportunities for respectful exploration, adventure or simply unwinding to the tune of a slack-key guitar.
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A Message from the Governor
WHEN TO GO
Dec.- April, June – Aug.: These are peak months to travel to the islands, with higher prices and bigger crowds, particularly during holidays and spring break.
May and Sept.: Shoulder season means fewer crowds, lower prices and warm, mostly sunny days.
Oct.- Nov.: Off-season months bring the lowest airfare and accommodation prices, and hotter temps.
NEED TO KNOW
Visas: Travelers from outside the United States will need a valid passport, as well as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) eligibility or a full visa.
Money: Currency is U.S. dollars and ATMs are widely available.
Travel Health: Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should check for vaccination, proof of negative COVID-19 test and face mask requirements, as well as any travel restrictions before planning their trip. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away. Hawaii’s beaches, parks, hiking trails and loads of outdoor eateries offer amples ways to social distance. The state’s health safety travel guidelines can be found here.
Getting Here: Most major airlines fly to Daniel K. Inouye International (HNL) on Oahu. If you’re traveling to another island, you’ll take a connecting flight from here. Some airlines fly direct to Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui, Lihue Airport (LIH) on Kauai, and Kona International Airport (KOA) and Hilo Airport (ITO) on the Big Island.
Getting Around: Private shuttles can get you from the airport to your hotel, but your best bet for traversing the islands is to rent a car, ideally with four-wheel drive. Taxis are pricey and public transport is spotty.
Local Lingo: English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawaii. Learn a few Hawaiian phrases before you go. Aloha: Hello or goodbye. Mahalo: Thank you. ‘Ono: Tasty. Grindz: Food or a meal. Keiki: Children. Slippahs: Sandals or flip flops.
Must-Have Apps: GyPSy Guide Hawaii Collection – GPS Tour Guide; Hawaii Revealed.
Insider Tips: Bring your appetite and dig into Hawaii’s must-eat foods, like the plate lunch, poke, shave ice, Spam musubi and malasadas.