The climate on the Big Island of Hawaii during the late spring is always pleasant but varies somewhat from region to region. Temperatures are mild throughout the island. Showers are frequent on the eastern side and rare around Kona and other western locations. With ocean and air temperatures all around the island comfortably warm, exploring the lava fields, photographing colorful undersea creatures and accomplishing everything on a things to do list are no problem. The special events calendar for May presents a nice assortment of traditional and cultural celebrations.
The Big Island of Hawaii has a vast variety of microclimates in its seven main regions that reflect exposure to trade winds and topographical features. The areas on the windward (eastern) coast are humid and get considerable amounts of precipitation. Those on the leeward (western) coast get little rainfall.
The average May temperature range in Hilo, on the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, is 67ºF (low) to 81ºF (high). Although May is one of the driest months of the year, the average precipitation is 8.1 inches of rain, resulting in high humidity and a very lush landscape. Average wind speed is 7.4 mph. Sea surface temperature averages 72ºF.
At Kona, sometimes called Kailua Kona, on the western side of the island, the temperature range is 71ºF - 85ºF. Rainfall is a scant .7 of an inch and humidity is usually low.
All over Hawaii, May 1 is the day that celebrates the history and heritage of the lei. The largest celebration on the Big Island of Hawaii takes place in Kalákaua Park in Downtown Hilo. Throughout the day there are lei crafting demonstrations, hula performances, storytelling, music concerts and contests. There is always lots of food and a great selection of fine arts and crafts for sale.
Image Source http://www.wholesalehawaiianleis.com/
Caffeine reigns supreme each May at this fun event. The highly acclaimed local coffee beans from the Kau district are in the spotlight on May 12 -13, 2012 at the Community Center of Pahala, near the southern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii. The annual celebration of award-winning Kau coffees includes contests, music, hula performances, educational presentations, farm and mill tours, tastings and lots of tantalizing local foods.
Image Source http://www.hawaii247.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/KauCoffeeFestival2011_t.jpg
Both filmmakers and fans of narrative films gather each May to celebrate the art of moviemaking. Scheduled for Memorial Day weekend - May 24 - 28, 2012 - the festival is being held at Mauna Lani Drive on the Kohala Coast in the northwest part of the Big Island. This event is basically a night-and-day deal, with daytime showings indoors at the Fairmont Orchid in the Amphitheater, and evening presentations outside at Plantation Estates. Special family friendly films are also scheduled for the outdoor theater. Additional festival events include receptions, an awards brunch, filmmakers workshops, a concert and a silent auction, which benefits families of military service members and veterans who are receiving medical treatment locally.
Image Source http://www.bigislandfilmfestival.com/
Native Americans come to Wailoa River State Park in Hilo each Memorial Day weekend to celebrate their culture and history. The May 26 -28, 2012 event showcases the rich traditions of tribal communities and is always packed with entertainment. Dancing, drumming, singing and storytelling for all ages are scheduled throughout the 3-day event. Food and nonalcoholic beverages are available for purchase. Shoppers looking for unique and beautifully handcrafted treasures that range from jewelry to home decorations will be delighted to check out the offerings at this festival.
Image source http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/photogallery/hawaiis-hilo-inter-tribal-powwow
From golf on a gorgeous course peppered with eucalyptus and monkeypod trees to a photo safari along the Wailuku River and its remarkable Rainbow Falls, May on the Big Island of Hawaii is full of fascination. The abundance of lush rainforests, majestic mountains, beautiful beaches and countless water activities makes this vacation destination a top choice.
Beach lovers should head to the Kohala Coast at the northwestern part of the island. Hapuna Beach is famous for its soft sand, aquamarine water, gentle surf and spectacular sunsets. It’s a great beach for a game of volleyball or Frisbee. Another Kohala favorite is Kaunaoa Beach, which has sparkling white sand and sections of shoreline that are favorable for snorkeling and surfing.
For anglers and water sports enthusiasts, the Kona Coast is the place to be in May. Charter boats to nearby fertile fishing grounds virtually guarantee a successful catch. Big game like blue marlin, yellow fin "ahi" tuna and shortbill spearfish are regularly reeled in by sports fishermen during the late spring. Kealakekua Bay has exceptionally clear water and coral reefs teeming with dolphins, sea turtles and butterfly fish. The area close to the Captain Cook monument is a favorite of snorkelers, scuba divers and sea kayakers.
Among the most compelling attractions of the Big Island of Hawaii are its volcanoes, past and present. Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983 and is on every visitor’s must-see list. While there are numerous safe places from which to watch and photograph the fiery spectacle, one that should not be overlooked is a volcano boat tour. Panoramic views of Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, the extinct volcano, are just the beginning. Getting close to the geological action and its resulting ocean lava tubes, evolving sea arches and newly formed beaches is an awe-inspiring experience.
Ecotourism adventures into the rainforest are exotic and exciting. Hikes along nature trails into the dense forest are rewarded with sensational views of towering volcanoes, cascading waterfalls and bubbling brooks. Rides across the canopy on the various zip lines that crisscross some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island are quite exhilarating. World Botanical Gardens in Hakalau, 16 miles north of Hilo, is loaded with wild orchids, exotic palms, banana plants, hibiscus and dozens of varieties of native Hawaiian vegetation. It also has some amazing zip lines, Kamaee Falls, a swinging suspension bridge and a herbaceous maze, something kids of all ages really get a kick out of conquering.
Beachwear and lightweight casual clothes are fine for most May activities. Evenings out on the town at nightclubs and more formal restaurants require some fancier outfits. For exploring some of the more rugged terrain, clothes that cover the arms and legs, and shoes that provide better foot protection and grip on slippery slopes are the way to go. Anyone spending time on the wetter (windward) side of the Big Island of Hawaii should bring along a rain poncho or jacket. May -
Interested in visting the Big Island in June? See our June Big Island weather report and our list of June activities and events on the Big Island
When traveling to the Big Island consider staying in a private vacation rental. They are usually much more spacious than a hotel room and often a fraction of the cost per person.
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