Are you planning a trip and struggling to decide between Hawaii and Alaska? Both Hawaii and Alaska are American states. However, apart from this, these two states differ significantly. What are the differences between Hawaii and Alaska, and which state should you visit first?
Hawaii is North America’s southernmost state, while Alaska is the country’s northernmost state. The weather in Hawaii is tropical, and you will experience sunny days and hot weather in Hawaii. On the contrary, Alaska offers a much cooler climate, and you can visit the glaciers in Alaska.
Deciding which state to visit first may seem like a challenge. However, suppose you know the differences between Hawaii and Alaska and the best time to visit each state. In that case, you can determine whether you want to go to Hawaii or Alaska first.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Weather
Of course, the weather is a significant consideration when comparing Hawaii and Alaska as travel destinations. Hawaii, the most southern state in America, has moderate temperatures year-round. You can expect temperatures between 71°F – 85°F (22°C – 29°C) in the summer and 62°F – 78°F (16°C – 25°C) in the winter.
Hawaii also gets infrequent rainstorms throughout the year and has considerable humidity, especially in the hot summer months. Overall, you can expect the weather to change abruptly when visiting Hawaii. So, it’s best to come prepared and embrace the tropical climate.
On the contrary, Alaska experiences far cooler temperatures. Being in the north of America, Alaska experiences cooler temperatures throughout the year. Winter temperatures are generally between 0°F and -30°F (-18°C and -34°C), while you will experience temperatures between 40°F and 60°F (4°C to 15°C) in the summer.
Because of its location, Alaska also experiences 24 hours of daylight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter. Of course, you will see snow in the summer and winter in Alaska, but you will be pleasantly surprised to know that apart from the snowstorms, the skies are generally clear.
So, whether you visit Hawaii or Alaska ultimately depends on what type of climate and environment you prefer. Alaska is the place to be if you like the clean, cool air and a frosted winter. But if you prefer hot and humid summer days, head over to Hawaii.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Attractions
Another significant factor determining where you should go the attractions available in each state. Hawaii is a tropical island that allows you to swim, surf, and spend your days lounging on beach chairs and sipping cocktails.
Of course, you can also make hiking trails in Hawaii, and the cultural experiences are excellent. Furthermore, you can visit the Pearl Harbor Museum, swim with the dolphins, and attend a Hawaiian-style BBQ. For the island-style experience, Hawaii is the best place to go.
In Alaska, however, you will experience a lot more untouched nature. Being the largest state with the smallest population, many open pieces of land humans haven’t inhabited in Alaska. Here, you can explore the wild, spot wild bears, eat Caribou steak, hike to one of the many glaciers, and enjoy the northern lights.
Hawaii and Alaska may offer totally different experiences regarding scenery and lifestyle. Still, both are well suited to people who prefer spending time outdoors and appreciate the beauty of nature. So, which state you visit in this regard depends on whether you want to be closer to the ocean or wake up to the view of a frozen lake and snow-covered mountains.
Hawaii promises a life of partying and busy days, while Alaska will give you peace and quiet away from the chaotic everyday life.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Food
Regarding the food, there is a lot to be said about both Hawaiian and Alaskan cuisine. Hawaii is a cultural hotspot, and you can find dishes from around the globe here. Many of Hawaii’s cuisine draws inspiration from Japan, as they were subject to Japanese rule.
Therefore, you can find some fantastic Japanese-inspired seafood, Ramen, and Poké bowls in Hawaii. But, of course, the traditional Hawaiian dishes have not been forgotten. You can also try Hawaiian-style barbeque and traditional Hawaiian-style breakfast dishes in Hawaii.
Finally, since Hawaii is an island is located in the tropics, there are so many types of seafood to choose from in Hawaii. And you cannot forget to try some local tropical fruits while on the island. Hawaii offers a great variety of food and is sure to be a foodie’s dream destination.
But this doesn’t mean you can discard Alaskan cuisine. Since Alaska is also surrounded by water, it is no surprise that you will find a variety of seafood on the menu. Specifically, Alaskan salmon, king crab, and oysters. These staples make up some of the most delicious seafood dishes in Alaska.
In addition to the seafood, you can also try some reindeer (caribou) sausage when traveling to Alaska. Furthermore, suppose you are lucky enough to come across it. In that case, you can try some local Alaskan Akutaq, a native dish consisting of animal fat and meat.
Although there aren’t as many exotic fruits to try in Alaska as in Hawaii, you can still try the local berries that grow in the area. Also, Alaskan dishes are richer and more fat than Hawaiian dishes, as they are meant to keep people warm.
Regardless of which cuisine sounds more appealing, you will surely be surprised and delighted by the variety of foods available in Hawaii and Alaska. If you enjoy eating seafood or trying new dishes, either state will offer you a unique culinary experience.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Price
Another significant difference between Hawaii and Alaska is the money you need to visit. Hawaii is the most expensive American state, and you need to budget a significant amount per person for each day you visit. The average daily cost you must prepare when visiting Hawaii is $274 per person.
You need between $170 and $340 per day for accommodation, depending on where you lodge. You’ll also need about $61 per person per day for food, $29 for transport, and $31 per person for each day’s entertainment. This is a substantial amount and makes a trip to Hawaii considerably expensive.
On the contrary, Alaska is a more affordable state to visit, with an average daily allowance of $195 per person, almost $100 cheaper than Hawaii. You’ll need approximately $108 to $216 for accommodation, $45 for food, $41 for transportation, and $52 for entertainment per day in Alaska.
Although the entertainment and transportation are more expensive, food and lodging are more affordable, making Alaska a more affordable travel destination. However, the prices of Hawaii and Alaska differ greatly depending on when you choose to visit. First, you must consider when the peak travel times are in each state. Then, you can compare the prices fairly.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit each state influence the prices you will pay for accommodation and entertainment. As Hawaii has more temperate weather, you can visit the island at any time of the year. However, the best time to travel here would be between December and March.
The weather is at its best during this time in December. However, the rates are also more expensive. Fortunately, you can visit Hawaii out of season and still experience great weather while paying less for your accommodation and flights.
The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer, in May, June, July, September, and October. You will have 24 hours of daytime in Alaska during the summer. But you will also experience the beautiful blossoms and can hike to the glaciers at this time.
However, if you wish to see the northern lights, you must visit Alaska in the winter. You will experience much colder temperatures but can also enjoy reasonably priced flights and accommodation. When choosing which state to visit, you must first consider what you want to do and when you can go, so you can enjoy what the state offers at a particular time.
Hawaii Vs. Alaska: Size And Population
Hawaii is a big state, roughly the same size as the state of Illinois and New York. However, compared to other states, Hawaii isn’t as populated as the metropolis states. Hawaii currently (2022) has a population of 1.42 billion residents, placing it 40th in terms of US state populations.
Alaska, however, is the biggest American state, and nine other states can fit into Alaska. Despite this, Alaska only has a population of 736 990, according to the 2020 Census, making it the least populated state in America. This is because much of Alaska is uninhabited due to rough terrain and poor conditions.
This means that if you want to be around many people and stay in populated cities, where the nightlife is active, and you constantly hear the city noises, Hawaii is the place to be. However, suppose you prefer peace and quiet and wish to escape the hordes of people you see daily. In that case, Alaska is the perfect holiday destination.
Hawaii and Alaska differ significantly, so choosing which state to visit depends on what type of holiday you are looking for, when you want to go, and how much you wish to spend.
We’ve compared Hawaii and Alaska in terms of weather, attractions, food, price, the best time to visit, and population. These states are vastly different, as Hawaii is the southernmost state of America, while Alaska is the state most north. In addition, Hawaii has a tropical climate, whereas Alaska’s climate can be described more as the arctic.
The best time to visit Hawaii is any time of the year, but the prices are more reasonable in the winter. On the contrary, the weather is more suitable for most people in the summer when traveling to Alaska. Finally, Hawaii is much more populated than Alaska, which may make you want to visit one state more than the other, depending on your preference.