While much of the rest of the United States gets ready for the cold winter, temperatures on the islands of Hawaii only drop to an average of 78 degrees—making Hawaii an ideal winter vacation destination. Besides enjoying the warm weather, winter is also the season to enjoy activities such as whale watching—and several special events that occur in the winter months in Hawaii.
The Triple Crown of Surfing: North Shore – Oahu, Hawaii
Every November and December the world’s best surfers head for the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu—where winter swells regularly reach up to fifty feet in height– to compete against each other and some of the biggest waves in the world in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The event is the culmination of the annual ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) world tour, and it decides who will be crowned the world champions.
There are three events, each lasting four days. First up is The Reef Hawaiian Pro for men and women at Haleiwa Allil Beach. The men’s O’Neill World Cup and women’s Roxy PRO are both at Sunset Beach. The final men’s Billabong Pipeline Masters is held at the Banzai Pipeline, and the women’s Billabong is at Honolua on the island of Maui.
World Invitational Hula Festival: Honolulu – Oahu, Hawaii
Since 1991 the World Invitational Hula Festival has been held on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. For one weekend in November, hula—traditional dance of Hawaii—artists from 16 different countries come together at Honolulu’s Waikiki Shell amphitheatre in celebration of the culture of Hawaii. The festival’s events emphasize the cultural importance of Hawaiian language, costume, music and dance—and awards are presented for achievements in each.
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival: Kona – Big Island, Hawaii
America’s only coffee festival, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, has been held every year since 1970 in the Kona district of the island of Hawaii (also known as “Big Island.”) Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee. The Kona district has an ideal climate for growing coffee and Kona coffee is considered one of the premium specialty coffees of the world. For ten days in early November, the community celebrates Kona coffee with events such as cupping—coffee tasting—competitions, lantern parades, educational workshops, the Little Miss Kona Coffee Berry Pageant, hulu performances and a coffee picking race—Lonely Planet Hawaii states that a recent winner picked more than 23lb in three minutes.