Hawaii in October: Your Ultimate Guide to Weather, Costs, and Crowds

Welcome to your definitive guide to Hawaii in October. If you’ve ever dreamed of sipping a Mai Tai as you watch a gorgeous sunset, feeling the warmth of the sand beneath your feet, or diving into the crystal-clear azure waters of the Pacific, Hawaii is calling your name.

October presents a unique opportunity to experience the islands, where the tropical hum of summer gives way to a serene autumn calmness.

We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of planning your Hawaiian dream vacation in October, from the weather to the cost, what to pack, and what to do!

Is October a Good Month to Visit Hawaii? - Hawaiianly

October in Hawaii Snapshot

  • ????️ Daytime temperatures in Hawaii in October average in the mid-80s F (around 29 C), while evenings cool down to the low 70s F (22 C).
  • ????️ October sees brief and refreshing showers, with moderate humidity.
  • ✈️ On average, round-trip flight costs to Hawaii in October range from $400 to $600 from the continental U.S.
  • ???? Accommodation costs in October tend to drop, with mid-range hotels averaging $150 to $250 per night.
  • ????‍♀️ The Big Island hosts the women’s Ironman World Championships triathlon in October.
  • ???? October in Hawaii is a shoulder season, which means fewer crowds compared to the summer months.
  • ????️ October’s mild climate is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking in Volcano National Park or riding horseback in Waipi’o Valley.
  • ????️ Enjoy the beautiful beaches in October, such as Poipu Beach on Kauai, Banzai Pipeline on Oahu, and Hapuna Beach on the Big Island.
  • ????️ Indulge in Hawaii’s local cuisine at places like Tin Roof Maui, or Koko Head Cafe.

Weather in Hawaii in October: What to Expect for Your Trip

Are you ready for a dash of paradise? If you’re planning your trip to Hawaii in October, pack your bags for a splash of sunshine and a gentle whisper of the tropics.

The Aloha state serves a delightful cocktail of warm temperatures, mild rainfall, and plenty of sun this month.

Average Temperatures

October ushers in a delightful blend of warmth and comfort in Hawaii. Daytime temperatures hover around the mid-80s (Fahrenheit), while the evenings cool down to the low 70s.

So, whether you’re up for a sun-kissed beach day or a chill evening by the shore, October is easily one of the best months to visit Hawaii!

Rainfall & Humidity

While October does see a bit of rainfall, it’s nothing that could dampen your tropical adventure. The showers are usually brief yet refreshing – a real treat in the Hawaiian heat.

The humidity is moderate too, making your sun-soaked days pleasantly balmy rather than uncomfortably sticky.

Short October rains bring pretty rainbows just past the Kauai Lighthouse

Flights and Accommodations in Hawaii in October: How to Save Money on Your Bookings

October is a noteworthy month for travel to the Aloha State, and savvy explorers can secure some serious savings. Let’s dive into how you can keep your pockets lined while planning your trip to paradise.

Book Your Flight Early

When securing affordable flights, the early bird truly does get the worm. Monitor flight deals and be ready to pounce. Airlines often release their lowest fares about four months before, so start your search!

Consider Off-Peak Travel

Traveling in the off-peak periods, like mid-week or late-night flights, often yield cheaper fares. Plus, you’ll avoid the weekend rush and guarantee a more relaxed travel experience.

Average October Flight Costs

With the onset of autumn, flight costs to Hawaii start to dip. While prices can fluctuate due to various factors, you can generally expect to pay somewhere in the range of $400 to $600 for a round-trip ticket from the continental U.S.

Keep your eyes open for deals, as airlines occasionally offer killer sales during this time! But if you don’t feel like refreshing your airline booking app all day every day, sign up for Matt’s Flights newsletter and let someone else do that painstaking work for you.

Speaking of painstaking work…

I spent about five hours on a recent Saturday (July 8, 2023 to be precise), researching round-trip flight costs to Hawaii in October to give you a better idea of what you might expect as you plan your vacation.

Obviously I don’t know where you live, so I did the next best thing and picked three major US cities to depart from – Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD and MDW), and New York (various airports).

Also since I don’t know which island in Hawaii you will be visiting in October, I searched flights to four of the most popular airports – Honolulu Oahu (HNL), Kahalui Maui(OGG), Lihue Kauai (LIH), and Kona Big Island (KOA).

And guess what, I don’t know your airline of choice, so why not look at multiple options to give us as broad of an overview as possible. That’s why I went with four airlines most of us Hawaii travelers frequently utilize – United, Southwest (no flights from New York), Alaska, and last but not least, Hawaiian airlines (no flights from Chicago).

See how time consuming this can be!

But there was one easy part, the dates I chose were consistent across the board – October 17-23, 2023. There are a couple caveats though since in two instances you will see below using those dates meant a big increase in flight cost so I adjusted them slightly.

That only highlights the fact that the days you choose to fly can greatly impact how much you will end up paying.

(Note: On mobile you will need to scroll side-to-side to view the entire table)

UnitedSouthwest
LAXORDNew YorkLAXMDW
HNL (Oahu)$338.00$580.00$588.00$490.00$650.00
OGG (Maui)$285.00$536.00$519.00$446.00$700.00
LIH (Kauai)$340.00$589.00$510.00$474.00$740.00
KOA (Big Island)$340.00$576.00$510.00$469.00$670.00

Round-trip Cost of Flights to Hawaii (Oct. 2023) via United and Southwest Airlines

AlaskaHawaiian
LAXORDNew YorkLAXNew York
HNL (Oahu)$332.00$617.00$607.00$247.00$831.00
OGG (Maui)$257.00$669.00$561.00$242.00$581.00
LIH (Kauai)$625.00$768 (Oct 19-26 since $400 cheaper)$638 (Oct 18-24 since $500 cheaper)$340.00$744.00
KOA (Big Island)$489.00$566.00$554.00$329.00$539.00

Round-trip Cost of Flights to Hawaii (Oct. 2023) via Alaska and Hawaiian airlines

What is the Eco Impact of Flights to Hawaii in October

As Andrew and I become more eco-conscious travelers, we have found ourselves researching the carbon emission costs of the various forms of transportation we use.

I will admit currently there is no easy way to completely reduce our carbon footprint especially utilizing air travel – other than not flying anywhere. But we can at least look for flight options that may expend less carbon emissions than others.

That’s why while I was looking up the different cost of flights, I also looked at the estimated carbon emission costs per passenger (represented in kg CO2) on each round-trip flight.

People much smarter than I am can better explain how to come up with these numbers, but I used Google Flights and here is their methodology.

Of the four airlines I researched, only United shows the carbon emissions of each leg of your flight.

Southwest airlines has an estimator calculator but it does not show a precise number for a specific flight. You can only input a departure and arrival city, but this does not take into account if you have a connecting flight or layover.

(Note: On mobile you will need to scroll side-to-side to view the entire table)

UnitedSouthwest
LAXORDNew YorkLAXMDW
HNL (Oahu)6509411230474817
OGG (Maui)6588961150462787
LIH (Kauai)67611811310607832
KOA (Big Island)55210671122595772

Est. Carbon Emissions (kg CO2) per passenger of United and Southwest round-trip flights to Hawaii

AlaskaHawaiian
LAXORDNew YorkLAXNew York
HNL (Oahu)4939259455661140
OGG (Maui)4998479636191230
LIH (Kauai)84697811066351228
KOA (Big Island)74790510056531250

Est. Carbon Emissions (kg CO2) per passenger of Alaska and Hawaiian round-trip flights to Hawaii

On all of the different flight data you just looked through, my aim was to find a happy medium between flight cost and travel time and often times this resulted in a lower estimated carbon emissions cost.

I also attempted to avoid any extra long layovers so you could spend more time in Hawaii and less time hoping no one sits next to you in the airport!

Average October Accommodation Costs 

As with flights, Hawaii’s accommodation costs tend to drop a bit in October. You can score a room in a mid-range hotel for around $150 to $250 per night.

If you’re feeling fancy and want to splurge on a luxury resort, be prepared to dish out anywhere from $300 to $600 per night on the low end.

Of course, these are average costs. Prices can vary depending on the specific islands you’re visiting, the exact dates, and how far in advance you book.

So, it always helps to plan ahead and watch for any special offers or discounts!

Booking.com

Think Beyond Hotels

While hotels offer convenience, they can also come with a hefty price tag. Try looking at vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, or boutique hotels.

They often offer competitive rates and give a unique twist to your Hawaiian experience. But make sure they are fully licensed!

Top Tip: Accommodation prices tend to drop after Labor Day in September. This means that October can be a goldmine for great deals. So be sure to check out your options!

Look for Package Deals

Package deals can sometimes be your best friend. Travel companies offer airfare and accommodation bundle deals that save you a pretty penny. Just ensure you’re comparing costs before you book.

Remember, the key to saving on your Hawaiian vacation in October is planning, being flexible, and thinking outside the box.

Crowds and Festivals in Hawaii in October: What to Know to Avoid Them

As summer fades, the hustle and bustle of the tourist season in Hawaii begins to mellow. October brings a charming tranquility as the crowds of sun-worshippers start to thin out.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking the islands fall silent.

Feast on Festivals

October sees a delightful explosion of cultural festivals. The Aloha Festivals, a series of free cultural events, usually wrap up in late September, but the echoes of vibrant Hawaiian music and dance can still be felt in early October.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is another October spectacle, enticing foodies from far and wide to indulge in local delicacies.

If you considered visiting the Big Island in October, you should think again, unless you are a diehard triathlete. On October 14, the Big Island will host the women’s Ironman World Championships triathlon.

So leading up to and after that date, the Big Island will be full of athletes and spectators taking in this annual event.

It may be less crowded than in previous years since 2023 marks the first year the men’s Ironman World Championship race will be held at a different time and location. Instead, the men visit Nice, France, a month earlier.

Keeping the Crowds at Bay

While these festivals and events attract crowds, they are typically smaller and more manageable than the summer throngs, minus the Big Island, as we just learned.

For those seeking solitude, plan around these events and consider visiting less touristy islands like Lanai and Molokai

One word of advice: Book your accommodations and flights early. Even though October is a shoulder season, the festivals can cause certain areas to fill up quickly.

So, plan ahead, and you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds – the electric energy of Hawaii’s cultural events and the serene beauty of its landscapes, crowd-free-ish!

Things to Do in Hawaii in October That You Don’t Need a Swimsuit For

October in Hawaii is akin to a treasure chest, chock-full of fun-filled activities for everyone.

I realize not everyone is a beach bum – if you are, I didn’t forget about all the amazing water options, hang tight – so here are some other options for the rest of our adventurous friends.

Outdoor Wonders

October’s mild climate is perfect for exploring Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty. Hiking in Volcano National Park will allow you to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of active volcanoes.

Alternatively, ride horseback in the lush Waipi’o Valley or a scenic drive along the Road to Hana. Just remember your camera!

The Road to Hana has great views in October of Maui's coastline

Cultural Immersion

Immerse yourself in the rich Hawaiian culture with the Annual Coconut Festival held in October.

Enjoy traditional music, dance, art, and plenty of mouth-watering coconut treats.

History buffs would also love a visit to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial for a glimpse into a significant chapter of American history.

Hawaii’s Best Beaches in October: Where to Go for Sun, Sand, and Surf

October brings a unique charm to Hawaii’s beaches. While the summer crowds have dwindled, the radiant sun still reigns over the island, making it the perfect time for an unforgettable beach vacation.

Find Your Bliss at Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is located on the sunny side of Kauai, which is ideal for those seeking a serene escape. With its pristine waters and golden sands, it’s no surprise that it’s often ranked among the world’s best beaches.

Ride the Waves at the Banzai Pipeline

Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline is not to be missed for the thrill-seekers among you. October marks the beginning of the big wave season, making it a surfer’s paradise.

Go surfing at Oahu's North Shore Banzai Pipeline in October

Experience the Magic of Hapuna Beach

With its expansive white sand coastline, Hapuna Beach on the Big Island offers a classic Hawaii beach experience. Perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and even occasional turtle sightings!

Remember, October is a transitional period for Hawaii’s weather. While the days can be gloriously sunny, expect occasional showers. So, pack your waterproof gear along with your swimsuits and sunblock.

Remember to respect Hawaii’s natural resources. Leave only footprints and take only memories from these beautiful beaches.

Hawaii’s Best Snorkeling Spots in October: Where to Find Amazing Underwater Life

Experience Bountiful Marine Life

October in Hawaii offers a unique chance to swim with an array of vividly hued creatures. It’s a captivating underwater spectacle that you can’t afford to miss. The waters are calm, the visibility is crystal clear, and the marine life is abundant.

Top Snorkeling Spots to Explore

Choosing where to snorkel can be tough with Hawaii’s countless underwater havens. But fret not, we’ve listed some top-notch snorkeling spots perfect for your October visit:

  1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (Oahu): This is one of Hawaii’s most iconic snorkeling spots. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, allowing nature to take a breather from eager snorkelers.
  2. Kealakekua Bay (Big Island): History and marine life blend in this bay where Captain Cook first set foot in Hawaii. Dolphins are regular visitors here, so keep your eyes peeled!
  3. Molokini Crater (Maui): This crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater provides a habitat for about 250 fish species. It’s an underwater Eden that’s simply breathtaking.
  4. Tunnels Beach (Kauai): Picture labyrinthine reef formations teeming with exotic marine life. That’s Tunnels Beach for you, an absolute snorkeling paradise.
October is a great time for snorkeling in Hawaii

What to Expect

October’s temperatures hover around a comfortable 75-85°F, making it perfect for snorkeling. But what’s the sea without its surprises? Always be prepared for the occasional tropical shower to keep the islands lush and green.

Also, it’s worth noting that most snorkeling spots can get crowded, especially at midday. So, if you’re after a serene underwater experience, aim for an early morning or late afternoon dive.

Remember, the sea is a wild and wonderful place. Always respect its residents and leave the ocean better than you found it. Happy snorkeling!

Hawaii’s Best Hikes in October: Trails for Every Fitness Level and Scenery Preference

The Easy-ish Option: Diamond Head Summit Trail

Not in the mood for a strenuous workout but still yearning for breathtaking vistas? The Diamond Head Summit Trail is your perfect match. A mere 1.6 miles round-trip, the hike rewards you with panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean.

The Middle Ground: Pipiwai Trail

Looking for a bit more of a challenge? Try the Pipiwai Trail. This 4-mile round-trip hike takes you through lush bamboo forests and past towering waterfalls. Plus, a banyan tree is practically begging for a photo op.

The Challenge: Kalalau Trail

Are you feeling adventurous? The Kalalau Trail on Kauai is considered one of the world’s most beautiful – and challenging – hikes. This 22-mile round-trip trail along the Na Pali Coast will test your endurance but reward you with breathtaking views you won’t find anywhere else.

October on Kauai Hawaii is a great time to hike the Kalalau Trail
  • Pro tip: October is a less-crowded time to hike these trails, but always remember to respect the land and stay safe. Pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.

In short, October is a hiker’s paradise in Hawaii. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll, a moderate trek, or a strenuous workout, there’s a trail for you. So, pack those hiking boots and hit the trail!

Hawaii’s Best Restaurants in October: Where to Satisfy Your Cravings with Local Cuisine

Why Hawaii’s Local Cuisine is a Must-Try

When you visit Hawaii in October, you’re not just signing up for breathtaking views and warm, sunny beaches. You’re also in for a feast of flavors that will awaken your palate like never before. Hawaii is where food is a celebration of life, culture, and community.

The Local Favorites

  • Helena’s Hawaiian Food: This gem has been a Honolulu staple since 1946, serving up traditional Hawaiian food like laulau, kalua pig, and pipikaula. In 2000, Helena’s was awarded a James Beard Foundation Award for being an American classic, and it’s easy to see why.
  • Tin Roof Maui: A casual lunch shop in Kahalui, Maui, owned by Chef Sheldon Simeon, offering dishes such as mochiko chicken, poke bowl, and pork belly.
  • Koko Head Cafe: Headed by Chef Lee Anne Wong, this brunch spot in Honolulu is a hit with locals and tourists alike. Their uniquely Hawaiian takes on brunch classics are a must-try.

High-End Hawaiian Dining

Are you craving something a bit more refined? There is a wealth of high-end restaurants in Hawaii serving exquisite dishes, often with a view to match.

  • The Beach House Restaurant Kauai: The Beach House Restaurant in Koloa, Hawaii, offers a Pacific Rim food experience with Hawaiian hospitality, emphasizing local ingredients and an unbeatable oceanfront location.
  • La Mer: Situated in the Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu, La Mer offers a dining experience like no other. It’s garnered countless awards for its exceptional gourmet cuisine and stunning ocean views.

Hawaii’s Best Shopping in October: Where to Find the Top Deals on Island Souvenirs

October in Hawaii is a shopper’s paradise, teeming with unique finds and unbeatable deals. Whether it’s handmade jewelry from local artisans or the world-famous Kona coffee, there’s a souvenir to remind you of the island’s charm.

Hit the Local Markets

For an authentic Hawaiian shopping experience, visit the local markets. Maui Swap Meet (take a guess which island) and Alii Gardens Marketplace on the Big Island are popular spots.

They offer everything from fresh produce and Hawaiian shirts to handcrafted keepsakes at affordable prices.

Surf the Boutiques

Don’t miss out on the boutique shopping scene, especially in Honolulu’s Waikiki and Kailua neighborhoods. From chic boutiques to high-end fashion, these places are definitely worth a visit…

  • Waikiki Shopping Plaza: A one-stop shop for clothing, accessories, beauty products, and dining.
  • Global Village: A Kailua’s favorite, this boutique sells eco-friendly clothing, island-inspired home decor, and unique gifts.
Go shopping in Waikiki in October at the International Market Place

Duty-Free and Outlet Shopping

For the big-brand lovers, Waikele Premium Outlets and T Galleria by DFS, Hawaii’s largest duty-free store, are the places to be. They offer a wide range of luxury items at discounted prices.

Support Local Artisans

Lastly, nothing compares to taking home a piece of Hawaii handmade by a local artisan. Visit the Green Room Art Gallery in Waikiki for unique artwork, or stop by the Nohea Gallery for handmade wood items.

So whether it’s a keepsake for yourself or a gift for someone special, shopping in Hawaii in October is sure to be a memorable experience.

What to Pack for Your Hawaii Vacation in October

October in Hawaii calls for a unique blend of wardrobe essentials. Think light, breezy, and comfortable, with a dash of warmth for those slightly cooler evenings. Here’s a handy packing list for your adventure.

Daytime Essentials

  • Swimwear: The Hawaiian sun is still plenty warm in October, perfect for a beach day or a dip in the pool. It should go without saying, but don’t forget your swimwear if you are a beach bum like me!
  • Light Clothing: Tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and breathable t-shirts are a must. Embrace the tropical vibe with your favorite Hawaiian shirt.
  • Sun Protection: Reef-safe Sunscreen with a high SPF, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protective sunglasses will protect you from the sun’s rays.

Evening Staples

  • Light Jacket or Sweater: Evenings can be slightly cooler, so pack a light jacket or sweater.
  • Smart Casual Attire: Pack a nice outfit if you plan to dine in fine restaurants or attend a luau. A maxi dress for the ladies, khaki shorts, and a button-down for the gents works great.

Other Necessities

Remember, keeping it light and versatile is the key to packing for Hawaii in October. With these items in your suitcase, you’ll be well-equipped for a fantastic Hawaiian vacation.

Wrapping It Up…

Alright, adventurers, it’s time to bid you bon voyage as you prep for your Hawaiian getaway.

October in Hawaii is like finding a hidden gem – moderate weather, less crowd, and budget-friendly options await. This is the time when you can experience Hawaii in its most authentic form.

A Few Parting Tips

  • Pick your flights and accommodations wisely and early to get the best prices.
  • Make sure you pack smartly, keeping the weather and activities in mind.
  • Keep a flexible itinerary to fully experience the Aloha spirit.
  • Don’t skip on the local food – it’s a gastronomic delight!

With this handy guide, you’re all set to make the most of Hawaii in October. The islands are ready to welcome you with their Aloha spirit, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture.

So, pack your bags and Live Hawaiianly!

If October isn’t the best month for you check out our other detailed monthly guides to visiting Hawaii…
Visiting Hawaii in September
What is the Weather Like in Hawaii in November
Is December a Good Time to Go to Hawaii

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