Shoveling the snow blocking your driveway for the fourth time this week. Waking up to cold, dark mornings. Counting the days until you can hop your plane to a winter vacation in Honolulu, Kahului, Kona or Lihue. Visions of perfect blue waves, postcard-worthy beaches, and swaying of palm trees. Although everyone has their own reasons, any one of these scenarios may have you daydreaming about a move to Hawaii – the Aloha State.
Just in case you need a little push to make your move, we’ve compiled a list of 10 numbers we think will make you want to sell your winter gear and buy a one-way ticket to the Hawaiian Islands.
Let’s start with . . .
6 – The Number of Islands Waiting for You
Some people think of Honolulu—and specifically Waikiki—when imagining life on Hawaii. But the truth is that there are six inhabited islands in the 137-island chain available to new residents, each with its own personality.
Sure, if you want something resembling big-city life, Waikiki will be there for you. But maybe you’re looking for laid-back country living, in which case you might check out Kauai, the Garden Isle. Or maybe an off-the-grid lifestyle with plenty of off-roading opportunities is what you want. The Big Island might be more your speed.
Long story short, the Hawaiian islands offer a diverse range of lifestyle opportunities—often within the same island. (Just ask Maui residents who live in Kihei versus those who live in Haiku or Makawao!) Think about what your ideal Hawaii life looks like, and with a little research, you’ll find the perfect match.
Not sure which Hawaiian island is for you? We can help! Check out: “What’s the Best Hawaiian Island to Live On? And Why?”
Our next number can be a great antidote to the winter blues.
78° – The Average Daytime Winter Temperature
Forget those freezing winter temperatures and enjoy 365 days of outdoor weather in Hawaii—no winter coat required. (Unless, of course, you decide to spend some time on the summit of one of Hawaii’s awesome volcanoes like Mauna Kea or Haleakala, which often sport snow in the winter!)
You can also forget those scorching hot summers. At sea level, the average temperature in the Hawaiian islands hovers around 85°, and it’s often tempered by a cool breeze from the archipelago’s tradewinds, which blow through most of the summer months. Temperatures at night often drop by about 10°, so you can also look forward to good sleeping conditions at night. You might even need a blanket!
Now, if you don’t move for the weather, consider making your move for some of the more awesome natural sights you’ll be treated to.
5 – Colors of Sand You’ll See on Hawaii’s Beaches
Awe-inspiring waterfalls, majestic volcanoes, stunning coastal views and lush rainforests that seem right out of the dinosaur era are just a few of the natural wonders you’ll find on Hawaii—and don’t forget about its unforgettable beaches, which include sand in five different colors:
- White Sand Beaches – You’ll find white sand beaches all around these islands. If you’re looking for a postcard-worthy experience, check out Lanikai Beach on Oahu or Poipu Beach on Kauai.
- Black Sand Beaches – These beaches get their dark coloring from volcanic materials. For the most striking examples of black sand beaches, visit Punaluʻu Beach on the Big Island, Waianapanapa State Park on Maui and Awahua Beach on Molokai.
- Red Sand Beaches – The hill above Kaihalulu Beach on Maui is rich in iron deposits, which gives the beach at its foot its brick-red color. The sand’s stark contrast with the vivid blue waves that crash onshore is a sight to see.
- Green Sand Beaches – Papakolea Beach on the Big Island gets its greenish color from olivine crystals left behind after a long-ago eruption of Mauna Loa. Getting to the beach requires a drive and a hike, but we’d say this rare sight is worth it!
- Orange Sand Beaches – Some say that Papohaku Beach on Molokai sports sand of a distinctive orange hue. You’ll have to judge for yourself, but rumor has it that sunset enhances the sand to display as a vivid tangerine.
And while you’re at the beach, why not take your level of enjoyment to the next level?
$119 – The Cost of a Wavestorm Surfboard at Costco
When you move to Hawaii, you might consider adopting the sport that Hawaiians invented: surfing. Wavestorm’s partnership with Costco makes it easier than ever to get started. The Wavestorm foam surfboard’s 8′ length makes it a forgiving board to start on, and its foam construction is extremely durable, so you don’t have to worry about dinging it when you wipe out.
Worried you’ll look like a kook? You’ll see plenty of Wavestorms in the lineup, and surfers of all levels paddle out on them since they’re cheap, plentiful in the islands and fun to ride.
Insider Tip: You’ll get the best deal on this board in store. Just show up to your nearest Hawaii Costco, grab your board and head for the beach. (And if boogie boarding is more your speed, Costco has those, too.)
And speaking of things that Hawaiians invented, moving to Hawaii can introduce you to a fascinating new culture.
12 – Letters in the Hawaiian Alphabet
If the idea of living in a state that introduces you to a new culture is an exciting one, Hawaii may be the place for you. Hawaii is the only U.S. state with dual official languages—English and Hawaiian. As you’ll soon discover, the Hawaiian language only has twelve letters:
- Vowels: A, E, I, O, U
- Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W
If you pay attention as you navigate the island, you’ll start to pick up new words in Hawaiian. You’ll also discover that a word in Hawaiian can have several shades of meaning. For example, you may see the word kapu on a sign outside of a property. You could interpret that as “forbidden” or, more loosely, “keep out.” Kapu can also simply mean “sacred.” It also refers to an ancient set of laws of conduct that the Hawaiian people followed.
If you want to learn more about the people who originally settled these islands, you’ll find a rich cultural history to explore. Want some suggestions to get you started? Attend a hula show put on by a local halau. Head to a traditional slack-key guitar performance. Pick up a copy of Shoal of Time, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen or another Hawaiian history book. And, if your neighbors invite you to a baby luau, make sure to go!
And if you’re wondering what other local customs you might want to embrace, we’ve got some ideas on that front, too.
2 – Number of Fingers in the Shaka
Well…technically it’s only one if you don’t count the thumb… No matter where you move, it might take you a little while to adopt the local habits. In Hawaii, you might wonder whether to embrace customs like saying “aloha” when you walk into a store and taking off your shoes before entering someone’s house.
Our advice? Try it! And if you’re wondering whether to throw Hawaii’s most famous hand gesture, we’ve got an insider’s tip: Don’t be afraid to throw a shaka when driving.
Here’s what we mean: When you move to Hawaii, you’ll want to leave your mainland driving habits behind. Honking can be considered rude in many places, and most people stop to let pedestrians cross the road. It’s also commonplace to stop and allow someone to make a left turn or to get out of a tricky driveway.
Now, when someone gives you a break on the mainland, it’s common to acknowledge it with a wave. When you’re in Hawaii, try throwing a shaka instead. It’s a great way to say thank you and spread some aloha at the same time.
Maybe we have Hawaii’s gentler driving habits to thank for our next number. (Although, just for the record, all bets are off when you’re on one of Oahu’s busy highways!)
81 – Years is the Life Expectancy of the Average Hawaii Resident
Hawaii has long held the crown for the state with the longest life expectancy. While the United States average sits around 78.6 years, Hawaii recently clocked in at 81.
This number may come as a surprise to anyone who assumes that Hawaii residents live on a diet of Spam, kalua pork and white rice. However, Hawaii also has the second-lowest number of residents without health insurance, which may explain the state’s high life expectancy. That—or a life lived with aloha!
Aloha is also served in pint glasses in the Hawaiian islands, as our next stat will show you.
20 – Number of Craft Breweries in the Hawaiian Islands
As the craft brew craze continues in the mainland, the Hawaiian islands have kept pace. At the time of this article, there were 20 craft breweries scattered across the Hawaiian islands, so if you want to get your fix of local brews when you move to Hawaii, you won’t have to look far.
If beer isn’t your speed, don’t worry: Many of these breweries are also keeping up with the mainland’s hard seltzer trend. Many have started brewing their own, as well as creating pre-mixed cocktails in cans. Hawaii may have a reputation for a laid-back lifestyle, but our craft breweries aren’t sleeping on new trends, by any means.
We highly recommend you try them all, but our favorite Hawaii craft breweries include:
- Beer Lab, Oahu
- Ola Brew, Big Island
- Maui Brew Co., Maui
- Kauai Beer Co., Kauai
And finally, if these eight numbers weren’t enough to tip the tides, we have one more for you, focused on a natural phenomenon that’s sure to brighten your mornings and afternoons.
7 – Colors You’ll See in Hawaii’s Frequent Rainbows
There’s a reason that Hawaii’s also been nicknamed the Rainbow State. Although we can’t guarantee you’ll see a rainbow every day, depending on where you live, you might get pretty darn close. Additionally, the rainbows you’ll see in Hawaii are some of the most vivid you’ll experience, and they often feature the coveted “double rainbow” effect.
Interestingly enough, it’s the unique geography of the islands that make them particularly fertile grounds for rainbows. Hawaii’s trade winds blow in, bringing moisture from the Pacific Ocean. These winds encounter the steep sides of the island’s mountains, creating sheets of moisture just waiting for the sun to light them up. Scientists tell us that the salt in the air is what allows Hawaii’s rainbows to appear so vibrant.
Insider Tip: The morning and the afternoon are the best times to see rainbows when the sun is lower in the sky. There’s just nothing like a rainbow to put a smile on your face during your AM or PM commute.
Ready to Make Your Move to Hawaii?
If winter weather has descended on your area, now might be the right time to make your move. In our experience, almost no one feels 100% ready to make the move. There’s always a little uncertainty involved with moving to a new location, especially one that might be very different from your current home. However, if you immerse yourself in the local culture, customs and lifestyle once you arrive, you’ll find that Hawaii can feel like home pretty quickly.