The Hawaiian Islands: Practical Hawaii
Getting There and Getting Around
Honolulu International Airport on Oahu is the state’s major airport and the entry point for most visitors. Travel between islands is by air. All the islands have one, or sometimes two, regional airports. It would seem logical that Hawaii would have a network of water transportation between the islands, but between financial, logistical and environmental concerns, an inter-island ferry just hasn’t panned out. There is ferry service between Maui and Lanai and Maui and Molokai.
If visiting any of the islands on your own, you’ll need a rental car.
When to Go
The weather in Hawaii is really about as perfect as it gets all year long. However, Hawaii does have seasons, but only two! Winter is November – April. Highs typically are in the 70s to low 80s, with an average temperature of 78 degrees. The coldest months are February and March.
Winter is also “big surf” season. Swimming may not be allowed on certain beaches.
Summer is May – October. Highs can reach into the low 90s, with an average temperature of 85 degrees. Warmest and most humid months are August and September. Northeasterly trade winds keep the islands comfortable year-round. Also, in the summer, the big waves subside and swimming is allowed at most publicly-accessible beaches.
The most popular times to visit Hawaii are July and August, followed by the winter months of December through April. The shoulder seasons of late spring (mid-April through early June) and late fall (October and November) still offer great weather with fewer crowds and often, discounted pricing.
Hawaii is in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone. That’s 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time. So, when it’s 9 am in Hawaii, its 2pm on the East Coast.
And, Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Need to Know
Hawaii has strict regulations regarding the importation and exportation of plants and animals to and from the Islands.
Hawaii is the endangered species capital of the world with more endangered or threatened species per square mile that any other place on the planet. So, they are super-diligent about making sure nothing threatens Hawaii’s native species.
Before landing in Hawaii, you’ll be asked to fill out an Agriculture Declaration Form, declaring if you are bringing in any plants or animals. When departing, your luggage will be inspected for hitchhiking plants, insects, and so forth.\
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