Is Hawaii a good honeymoon destination in August?
August 10, 2013 3:57 AM   Subscribe

My fiancée and I are thinking of planning our honeymoon in Hawaii in August 2014. Would that be a good idea?
posted by Busco to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I went in late July a few years ago, and it was lovely. It was in the middle of a heat wave; some places were a bit warm, but nothing like a humid, stagnant Midatlantic summer. My room at Volcanoes National Park didn't even have (or need) air conditioning, and the hike across the lava fields (at sea level) wasn't brutally hot. Rained only when we were in the car! It's a fine time to go, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:02 AM on August 10, 2013

We got married on Oahu and spent a week there in August many years ago. There really isn't a bad time to go weather wise. Summer may be a little cheaper too as I think HI is more popular when its cold on the mainland.
posted by COD at 6:12 AM on August 10, 2013

Oh my goodness, yes.

My wife and I went to the island of Kauai for our honeymoon in August just three years ago. Our anniversary is coming up!

My only complaint is that we only could afford a week.

It was magical and wonderful and beautiful and amazing. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was never too hot. In my mind, every day was 82 degrees and blue sky and warm breeze and awesome people and I cannot come up with enough other superlatives for the experience except to say that I came close to openly weeping when I had to schlep back to Detroit.
posted by kbanas at 6:23 AM on August 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

From my research during planning our week long trip to Maui a few years ago, it became apparent that the "high price" season is generally when schools on the US mainland (and Japan I think but I know nothing about their schools) are on vacation. It was very easy to find a place during October when we went but difficult during the summer and more so during Christmas. As far as the seasons on the islands it has more to do with where you are - windward or lee side and possibly elevation. It's pretty stable otherwise over the course of the year. Would highly recommend one of the "Maui Revealed" type books too for whatever island you go with.
posted by Big_B at 7:18 AM on August 10, 2013

I love Hawaii in July and August, even if it's a little crowded.

And another vote for Kauai as 'best island.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:38 AM on August 10, 2013

Any time is a good time. Hawaii's weather is pretty much the same through-out the year. The only thing that changes is sometimes it is partly cloudy and other times it is partly sunny.

Here is the permanent weather forcast for Oahu:

High in the mid 80's, low in the mid 70's with slight chances of morning showers mostly in the windward and mauka areas

Kauai is a wonderful island because there is very little to do. This is exactly why you want to go there. Go for the beauty and the paradise
posted by 2manyusernames at 9:00 AM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I divide my time between Hawaii and the Mainland. I won't travel to HI in July or August. Don't get me wrong; it's still a great place to spend time, but I just find the autumn shoulder-season months to be so superior that it's worth waiting to travel till then.

However, it really comes down to what type of experience you and your partner are looking for. Can you describe what you're after -- what types of things you want to do (or avoid)?

Everyone I know who has honeymooned on Kauai has loved it, for exactly the reasons 2manyusernames has stated. If you stay put in one small area, sloooooooow down to local speed internally, and get in touch with the rhythm of the place, you'll have a lovely time. (Vs. trying to cram a multi-island sight-seeing extravaganza into a short stay.)
posted by nacho fries at 9:21 AM on August 10, 2013

If you've never been, then ANY time is a good time to go. And depending on the island and specific location you hit or miss the crowds. For instance, don't even think about renting a place on the north shore of Oahu in the winter (big wave season). In August though? You could have the beaches practically to yourself.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

My wife and I honeymooned in Hawaii in August a few years ago, and loved it! It's never too hot, and there was always a nice breeze. Kauai was just amazing.
posted by reformedjerk at 12:51 PM on August 10, 2013

Sweet Jesus, yes you should go. i just got back from Kauai and it was freaking fantastic. We did a little shopping, visited some majestic vistas, and LAID AROUND. It was GORGEOUS and wonderful.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

As one who grew up in Hawaii, I would endorse 1) the August visit and 2) Kauai (even though I lived on Oahu). True, it is a bit crowded during that time of year, but the remoteness of Kauai will mitigate that. And kayaking along the Na Pali coast (bring a picnic!) is an experience unlike anything else you could imagine.
posted by Quaversalis at 5:21 PM on August 10, 2013


Kauai is full of chickens. Like, everywhere, just wild chickens walking around.

This is the best picture I've ever taken in my life, and is of the Na Pali coast during a helicopter trip.

posted by kbanas at 8:40 PM on August 10, 2013

We got married on Maui and then honeymooned on Kauai. I'm not a big fan of tourist type places, but Hawaii is pretty great. Kauai is so slow and relaxed that it's awesome for honeymooners.
posted by 26.2 at 10:28 PM on August 10, 2013

Response by poster: Wow, this is my first post on here, and it's helped our honeymoon planning a lot.

It sounds like the perfect place for us - we are Brits, so travel like soft fruit, and struggle with intense heat, so Hawaii would suit.

We want a mixture of slowing down, but also exploring and learning about the place. Would that be possible on Kauai or would the Big Island offer more to see and do, plus laying around?

Thanks everyone!
posted by Busco at 1:43 PM on August 12, 2013

There is lots to see and do on Kauai in the way of exploration and learning, especially if you haven't been there before. Also, the Big Island is the least tropical and least conventionally 'hawaiian' of the islands, despite having the name. And it's bigness can make it tricky planning-wise.

Kauai is the most lush ("the Garden Island.")

I'd suggest starting your trip on the North Shore , maybe spending a few days at one of the fancier hotels up there in Princeville proper (ideally the St. Regis, these days) or Hanalei if you want funkier and then winding up at a hotel or condo on the South Shore, probably in Poipu (too many to go through, and there's overlap with which property companies have units at which developments, feel free to memail for details).

If you do that, you can do a Na'Pali coast tour and a visit to the Limahuli Gardens right off the bat, which is a great introduction to the ecology and the arrival of the Polynesians, and some of their mythology. The wet and dry caves are up there, as are some of the famous and/or otherwise not to be missed beaches.

You can then work your way down, sightseeing wise, covering the area down to around Kilauea before you switch bases to the South Shore (getting all the way back to Princeville can be tiring at the end of the day if you're ranging further south). At that point you'll want to shift your attention to the Kapaa/Wailua area as your northern boundary and explore that and points south and west, eventually working your way around to Hanapepe, Waimea Canyon and finally Barking Sands.

I could write pages on various places and things to see, visit, try, eat and so forth but I'll wait and see what specifics others may post before I go on and on.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:34 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I strongly suggest the Big Island, since that's where the volcano is. There is plenty of other stuff to do, or not to do, as you wish, but seeing lava enter the ocean at night is magical.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:57 AM on August 13, 2013

Kauai is fantastic, but they have serious chickens. Like, bring ear plugs as they will be up early!
posted by Twicketface at 6:01 PM on August 13, 2013

You know, Maui might be a good option - a lot to do but also a good place to just chill. I'd stay off the Big Island and Oahu. The other thing is that flights between the islands can be CHEAP (however, luggage is expensive so travel light). If you really want to head over to see the volcano, but could certainly make that happen even if you stayed on another island.
posted by 26.2 at 6:11 PM on August 13, 2013

How long will you be staying? If it's just a week, I'd go with Kauai. If you have more time, I'll put in a plug for the Big Island. To me, it's an enormously interesting place -- geologically, culturally, historically. It's extraordinarily diverse in terms of terrain and climate zones (and contrary to a statement made upthread, it is ever-so-tropical on the windward side of the island). Gorgeous watefalls, zillions of streams, rainforest. Vistas of black lavafields. Active volcanic rifts.

The Kona side (the dry side) will be blistering hot, but you can escape upslope to cooler temps, or cruise over to the Hamakua Coast (the wet side), or up to Volcano, which is almost always pleasantly cool. Hiking up at Volcano is off the chains -- stunning.

The beauty and challenge of the Big Island are the distances and expansiveness of the place. If you like long drives through eye-popping scenery that changes dramatically, you'll like the Big Island.

If you want to explore historic sites, the Kona side has lots to offer. You can snorkel out where Captain Cook met his maker (lots of dolphins out there); you can visit the City of Refuge; you can look at petroglyphs. You can also go for a night dive/snorkel to mingle with manta rays.

You can go up to the top of Mauna Kea and do some star-gazing, or just see a mind-bending sunset from the summit.

For just lounging around, you'd probably want one of the spendy resorts on the Kona side; but again, it's going to be balls-hot in Kona, so you'd want to plan accordingly.

That's just scratching the surface, but I think it gives you an idea that the Big Island might warrant a longer trip, whereas Kauai might be more satisfying if your stay will be shorter, or if lolling around and not driving all over creation feels like more of a honeymoon junket.
posted by nacho fries at 8:48 PM on August 13, 2013

Also: rent a convertible! It's worth it. (Unless you're planning a veg-on-the-beach trip, which it sounds like you are not.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:15 AM on August 14, 2013

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