The climate on Oahu during the late spring is simply ideal. The chance of a short shower is just a small possibility around Honolulu, and most days are rain free and full of sunshine. Although there is a greater chance of rain around Kailua and the rest of the northeast (windward) coast, it should not interfere with accomplishing everything on a visitor’s ambitious list of things to do. With ocean and air temperatures comfortably warm, swimming, surfing, golfing and fishing are just a few of the myriad of enjoyable outdoor activities from which to choose. Special events held each May give the visitor an opportunity to participate in a rich assortment of cultural and civic celebrations.
The large and mountainous island of Oahu has microclimates that are greatly influenced by the prevailing trade winds, which are out of the northeast. The areas on the windward coast such as Kailua tend to be more humid and cooler, and are generally wetter and greener than areas on the leeward coast.
The average May temperature range in Honolulu, on the southeastern coast of Oahu, is 70ºF (low) to 85ºF (high). The average precipitation is .99 of an inch of rain in May, one of the driest months of the year in the islands. Average wind speed is 11.6 mph. The average May humidity is 61%. Pacific water (sea surface) temperature averages 78ºF.
At Kailua, the May temperature range is 63 - 79ºF. Rainfall averages 3.43 inches.
A day dedicated to making and wearing the traditional lei takes place on May 1 each year throughout the islands. One of the biggest bashes is at Waikiki’s Queen Kapiolani Park in Honolulu. Expect to see some one-of-a-kind, breathtakingly beautiful leis. Some of the family friendly events of the day include the coronation of the lei queen and her court, band and steel guitar concerts, storytelling, lei making, craft and weaving demonstrations, and hula dancing performances. Lots of food and opportunities to shop for a variety of handcrafted treasures are always part of the scene.
Image Source http://www.flickr.com/photos/frikitiki/5678376411/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Crafters, shoppers and anyone who enjoys an outdoor fun day in the sun would have a good time at this annual May event that is held at the Hickam Air Force base just northwest of Honolulu International Airport. Live music and lots of fun things to do for kids of all ages are always part of the scene. The variety of food booth offerings include everything from exotic dishes like guava chicken to good old American fare, hot dogs. There are also craft demonstrations and artists selling jewelry, ceramics, wall art and other treasures, all handmade in Hawaii. In 2012, the fair is scheduled for May 5.
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On a Saturday early each May, the rich culture and contributions of the people of the Philippines are celebrated at Waikiki’s Queen Kapiolani Park. Entertainment features of the May 5, 2012 event include a parade, live music and dance lessons and performances. Fans of Filipino cuisine and other Asian fare will delight in the rich assortment of delicacies provided by food vendors. Artists selling all types of crafts from wooden masks to hang on the wall to woven baskets in an assortment of sizes and styles will also be on hand. Inflatable slides and other attractions just for kids make this festival fun for the whole family.
Image source http://tastyislandhawaii.com/2010/05/16/18th-annual-filipino-fiesta/
Each May, daring dancers from around the globe gather in Laie on Oahu’s north shore to compete in a dazzling spectacle of skill, artistry and athleticism. Their carefully crafted choreography must be perfect, as they make their intricate and acrobatic moves among the flames, defying death. Watching these competitors twirl the fire knife (nifo oti) is truly an amazing sight. The festival also has a lighter side and includes lots of singing, dancing and competitions among high school students in traditional arts and crafts. The event takes place May 9 - 12, 2012 at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Image source http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/samoan-fire-dance/
This holiday that falls on the last Monday of May each year is marked with both sacred commemorations and fun family celebrations in Honolulu. On the serous side, special ceremonies are held early in the morning at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl. At sundown, the scene shifts to Ala Moana Beach Park, for the moving Lantern Floating, a ceremony in which the public is invited to write memorial messages which are placed in over 3000 lit floating lanterns that are released onto the sea. Between the two events, many people attend picnics and barbeques at a variety of locations, many with parades, sports competitions, entertainment and lots of interesting things to do. In 2012, Memorial Day is May 28.
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From surfing to soaking up some sunshine on a secluded beach, the beautiful Pacific shores of Oahu are a paradise on earth. A visit to Pearl Harbor brings history to life. A diving expedition reveals an underwater world full of exotic fish and unique sea creatures that call the breathtakingly beautiful coral reefs home. Fans of golf, tennis, hiking, biking, shopping and experiencing the rich culture of the islands will find so many enticing things to do.
Ecotourism possibilities on Oahu range from relaxing to extreme. An easy first step in exploring Oahu’s natural treasures is a visit to the conveniently located Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu. It’s is a great way to see and photograph a wide array of tropical plants that include an outstanding palm collection and magnificent orchid garden. At the moderate degree-of-difficulty level are guided excursions to places like the Diamond Head Crater. Participants are rewarded for their climb to the 763-foot summit of the ancient volcano with an amazing, 360-degree view of the green mountains, turquoise Pacific and miles of Waikiki surf and shores. A more challenging tour could include hiking in the thick rainforest full of colorful birds and flowers along the trails of the Ko’olau Mountains that lead to a hidden waterfall.
Tennis courts and golf courses all across the island provide a variety of settings and challenges. Options for anglers are varied, too. Deep sea fishing charters depart from various ports along Oahu’s coast and go out to where the blue marlin, wahoo, yellow fin tuna and other big fish bite. Boats staying close to shore in search of amberjack and snapper also offer fun family cruises that combine fishing with a delicious Hawaiian- style picnic dinner and an unforgettable view of the sun setting. Other fun things to do on the beach, in the water and just above it during May’s glorious weather include volleyball, horseback riding, jet skiing, ocean kayaking, kite boarding and snorkeling. The more daring can take to the air in a glider from Oahu’s North Shore Dillingham Airfield or try parasailing over Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai, not far from Waikiki. Since May marks the end of the prime humpback whale watching season, this opportunity to grab a camera and board an excursion boat should not be missed. Ships set sail from various Oahu docks and are of varying duration.
Anyone visiting Oahu would want to sample the local cuisine and learn more about the various cultures of the island. Traditional luaus at restaurants, hotels and places like the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie on the northeast end of Oahu will provide an entertaining, enriching and tasty experience. Of course, a nice array of fine dining establishments offering an international menu can be found in Honolulu and other cities.
Lightweight casual clothes and beachwear are the uniform of the day in May. But at nightclubs and more formal restaurants, wearing something a little fancier is recommended. So is putting on some sunscreen whenever outdoors to protect the skin. For those who decide to take a hiking tour of a crater or other adventurous journey, be sure to wear comfortable and well fitting shoes that can provide for a sure-footed and safe experience. Anyone spending time on the wetter (windward) side of Oahu should have a rain poncho or jacket handy.
Interested in visting Oahu in June? See our June Oahu weather report and our list of Oahu activities and events in June.
When traveling to Oahu consider staying in a private vacation rental. They are usually much more spacious than a hotel room and a fraction of the cost.
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