TravelWhy This Year Is The Best Time to Visit Hawaii
21:00 11 february 2019
21:00 11 february 2019 Source:
Hawaii Experiences Boost in Tourism Numbers
More travelers continue to choose Hawaii as a vacation destination.
It seemed like Hawaii couldn’t catch a break in 2018. In April, 50 inches of rain fell in Kauai in less than 24 hours, causing massive flooding and damage on the North Shore. The Big Island’s Kilauea volcano had a massive explosive event in May, displacing thousands of residents and forcing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to close for four months. In August, Hurricane Lane swept over the archipelago, causing further flooding.
Although most of the state wasn’t affected by these natural disasters, many businesses throughout the state experienced a slow summer season, with visitor arrivals to the Big Island dropping 2.5 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. But with a string of exciting hotel openings and upcoming events—plus more airlines offering flights to the islands—this year is an ideal time to visit Hawaii. Here’s why you should go now.
The Shutdown Isn’t Stopping Tourists From Flocking to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The government shutdown hasn’t stopped people from visiting national parks, and across the US, the administration’s decision to leave the parks open while the government that cares for them is shut down has created havoc. In Hawaii, one of the most visited parks in the US, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is still seeing a strong influx of visitors. With the shutdown leaving the park without any visitor services, no one is collecting entrance fees. Tourists are still coming in large numbers to the park to catch a glimpse of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald.
Airfare should get cheaper when Southwest introduces new routes
Airfare to Hawaii from West Coast cities is already hovering in the $300s over the next few months—and that could get even more affordable once Southwest officially launches flights to Hawaii later this year. In early February, the airline flew its first test flight to Hawaii and ticket sales are rumored to launch February 14 for flights as early as March 2019. Even better? Southwest is also planning on flying between the islands, which should also bring down inter-island fares. But that’s not all. In April 2019, Hawaiian Airlines is launching a new direct flight between Boston and Honolulu—making it the longest direct flight within the United States and making it easier to get there from the East Coast.
Hawaii has new black sand beach thanks to Kilauea's lava flow
The lava flow left behind a new black sand beach at Isaac Hale Beach Park, also known as Pohoiki, for visitors and residents to enjoy.
The Big Island’s resorts are ready to welcome visitors
Even though Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was closed from May to September last year because of the eruption, the Big Island’s resorts never had to. However, many hotels on the island’s west coast saw visitor numbers dip after the news of the volcano—which is located more than 100 miles away—scared them off. This year, there are exclusive new experiences and great deals to be had on the Big Island, so there’s no reason to stay away.
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii’s Kohala Coast underwent a $46 million renovation in 2018 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To commemorate these events, the hotel is offering two packages for guests, including an over-the-top Silver Jubilee package, which for $25,000 gets you private helicopter transportation, unlimited golf, a Jeep rental car, and more for a full week. The 25th Anniversary package offers 25 percent off room rates as well as beach rentals and activities.
Airline Battle for Hawaii Picks Up as Sun Country Adds Flights
Sun Country Airlines Inc. will begin service from San Francisco to Hawaii on May 18 for the peak summer season, bulking up its service to the island state just as Southwest Airlines Co. plans to jump into the market. Fares to Honolulu will start at $259 each way. The average one-way fare on the route is $339 during the summer travel season, June 8 to mid-August, a Sun Country spokeswoman said Tuesday. Sun Country also flies to Honolulu from Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, with its fleet of Boeing Co. 737s.
Anyone interested in sustainable food and travel should consider booking the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s exclusive Hawaiian Kanpachi Farming and Culinary Experience. In addition to a private tour of Blue Ocean Mariculture—the country’s only open-ocean fish farm and sole producers of Hawaiian kanpachi, a native fin fish—you’ll get to take a boat out to witness the feeding of the fish and dine on five courses of kanpachi prepared multiple ways.
Snag a coveted permit to watch the sunrise from Mount Haleakala
In 2017, the National Park Service implemented a new fee and reservation system at Haleakala National Park on Maui to help cut back on the crowds that flocked to the mountaintop before dawn to watch the sunrise. Now visitors who are lucky enough to snag a permit—find out how here—can enjoy the magical views in peace.
The effects of the Kauai floods are still there, but there’s no reason to not go
Last April’s flooding washed out Kauai’s Kuhio Highway just past Hanalei and the road remains closed indefinitely, cutting off the island’s famed Napali Coast and the Kalalau Trail for the time being. But an entire island is still left to explore. Find out more in our guide to what’s open (and what’s not) on Kauai.
Shutdown Stalls Southwest Airlines Plan to Begin Hawaii Service
Efforts by Southwest Airlines Co. to begin flights to Hawaii have fallen victim to the government shutdown. The carrier has done all it can to secure certification to begin service but can’t move forward without approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for extended flights over water, or ETOPS, the Dallas-based airline said in a statement Monday. Southwest set no new timeline for selling tickets or beginning Hawaii flights. “The groups within the FAA that oversee ETOPS authorizations are furloughed, and our next steps require their direct participation and oversight,” the carrier said.
More to look forward to in Oahu . . .
Waikiki’s ‘Alohilani Resort, a 839-room hotel designed by David Rockwell, was the buzzy opening in Honolulu in 2018. But there’s more coming soon for Oahu. Not only is the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger expected to complete a $35 million renovation this spring, but the White Sands Hotel is also finalizing its own renovation project that will let the property’s midcentury modern history shine once again. The hotel remains open to guests now, but to see the finished project in all of its retro glory, you’ll have to wait until late spring or early summer 2019.
Will Southwest Sell Tickets to Hawaii Next Week? No, But Here’s What Is Planned..
This was (finally) the week that we saw a Southwest Airlines plane land in Hawaii with iconic Diamond Head in the background. On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines flight 8275 landed at 2:50pm at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) after flying from California’s Oakland International Airport (OAK) with only FAA inspectors and Southwest ETOPS crew on …
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