Hawaii vs. California

Hawaii and California are the top choices when looking for summer destinations on the United States' east coast. For starters, both destinations are situated right along the Pacific Ocean. This very strategic location provides both places with warm and tropical waters. These conditions are perfect for some swimming, water activities, and sunbathing.
Hawaii vs. California

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Both places also offer more than warm beaches and sunny coastlines. Recreational activities, camping and hiking sites, and many others can be found and enjoyed in Hawaii and California. You’ll have plenty of sun and fun in both the Golden State and the Aloha State.

Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States of America. It is known to be a major tourist destination not just in the country but in the whole world. The island nation is home to numerous islands that offer pristine beaches, exciting hiking trails, and much more. Hawaii’s rich and protected flora and fauna make it the freshest state in the whole of America.

On the other hand, California is known to be the entertainment capital of the United States. It is home to Hollywood, where almost every movie or TV series is being shot and produced. Being a premier destination, a lot of celebrities and billionaires have built their homes all over California. This also makes California a top destination for tourists all over the world.


Hawaii will be your best destination if you want a more laid-back vacation with a natural and picturesque environment. The island state’s majestic active volcanoes, lush rainforests, tall mountains, and miles of shoreline make it a top destination for travelers worldwide.

What Makes Hawaii Unique?

Relaxing Beaches and Islands

Hawaii isn’t Hawaii without its stunning beaches. Every Hawaiian Island boasts a fantastic beach, unique from other beaches on the other islands. Diversity is also flourishing on every coast in Hawaii.

Oahu Island

The island of Oahu is the third largest island in Hawaii and is also the most developed of all the islands. It boasts 227 miles (365 kilometers) of shoreline lined with spectacular white-sand beaches and waves perfect for surfing.

If you want to experience Oahu’s modern and urban life, the Waikiki district in Honolulu is very near the beach. The streets of Waikiki are lined with luxurious shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It is also known as Hawaii’s tourism and surf culture center. Learn how to surf and dive just after shopping for luxury bags and gear next door.

Maui Island

If you want a more laid-back and quaint vacation, you might love staying on Maui Island. You will start your adventure on Maui Island in Kahului, the island’s central hub. It is just your usual neighborhood with stores and eateries, where you can pack up with essentials as you start your Maui Island adventure.

It would be best to visit Lahaina while on Maui Island. Known as the “Waikiki” of Maui, the area is filled with celebrity-endorsed restaurants, family-run hangout places and breweries, and luxury and budget hotels. The long stretch of white-sand beach is a few steps from the commercial area. It also features idyllic countryside vibes and spectacular views of nature and sunset.

Incredible Marine Life

Marine life is flourishing in Hawaii. You can surely see bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, sea lions, and giant sea turtles from the coastline swimming around the waters. You will be greeted by colorful fishes, healthy coral reefs, sting rays, and other aquatic creatures as you dive into the deep Hawaiian waters.

Hawaii is among the best scuba diving, free diving, and snorkeling destinations. Try at least one of them on your trip to Hawaii.

Natural Attractions

Of course, Hawaii’s beaches and pristine water are already excellent. However, Hawaii has more natural wonders to offer. For starters, Hawaii’s flora and fauna are exceptionally kept and maintained. Everyone can indeed wander its incredible mountains, cliffs, and jungles. Hiking is also becoming a popular activity in Hawaii.

There are a lot of places where you can experience the wonders of Hawaii’s natural and protected areas. Once you visit Hawaii, do not forget to include the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kauai Island’s Napali Coast, and Oahu Island’s Koko Crater Trail in your itinerary.

Hawaiian Culture

Hawaii might be a part of the United States and share the same language and currency. However, what makes Hawaii stand out from other destinations is its vibrant culture that everyone wants to experience. Experience authentic Hawaiian culture firsthand by meeting with the locals.

Before you leave Hawaii with all your experiences, make sure to bring home some souvenirs. Choose souvenirs that will remind you of Hawaii and share them with your friends and relatives. You may bring home some floral shirts, leis, and shell jewelry, learn a couple of Hawaiian words, or even get a Hawaiian or Polynesian tattoo!


California, or the Golden State, is usually frequented by tourists. It is known to be the home of the world’s most famous and renowned celebrities and socialites. Millions of tourists worldwide flock to California, hoping to see them in person and experience being a celebrity for just a day.

However, California also has stunning natural destinations, man-made attractions, and other experiences that will make your stay in the state worthwhile.

What Makes California Unique?

Fantastic Theme Parks

California is home to numerous theme and amusement parks. California has the greatest number of theme and amusement parks in the United States. These theme parks offer different kinds of fun and adventure to people from all walks of life. That is why you need to visit one when you’re in California.


A trip to California won’t be complete without stepping into Disneyland’s world of magic and fantasy. First opened to the public in 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is the first Disney theme park in the world. It is also the only one that Walt Disney himself designed and inaugurated.

Get to see and interact with your beloved Disney characters as you walk through the brick-lined streets of Disneyland. Grab your Fast Passes and do not miss riding Disneyland’s most renowned rides, such as the Space Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain.

End your day in Disneyland with mouthwatering food and drink on-site. Also, don’t forget to watch the spectacular fireworks above Sleeping Beauty’s castle!

Universal Studios Hollywood

Get to experience in real life what you see in movies before as you visit the 400-acre (161 ha) Universal Studios Hollywood. Situated right in the heart of Los Angeles, you get to learn how movies are being made and how they can be thrilling yet captivating at the same time.

Step inside the real-life and virtual film and TV studios and sets. Experience exhilarating rides inspired by your all-time favorite movies.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is yet another fantastic theme park in California. It can also be a great alternative to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. It started as a real berry farm in the 1920s and became California’s first amusement park, which opened in the 1940s.

Today, Knott’s Berry Farm is home to the spookiest ghost town, the most death-defying roller coasters, and unique, enjoyable rides which are perfect for kids and the kids at heart.

Center of the World’s Entertainment Industry

California is also home to Hollywood where celebrities are usually found and movies and TV shows are usually filmed. Go and experience being a celebrity, even for just a day! Aside from the sprawling studios, luxurious hotels and boutiques, and expensive restaurants and wineries, Hollywood is also lined with movie theaters and attractions so you can experience a day in the life of a celebrity.

Start your Hollywood experience by taking a selfie in front of the iconic HOLLYWOOD sign along the hills of Mount Hollywood. Make sure to walk along and find your idol’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hollywood Boulevard. And, of course, a trip to Hollywood won’t be complete without being one of the studio audiences on games and talk shows.

Iconic Beaches

California is famous for its beautiful golden beaches. The first beach destination in California that you should visit is the famous Venice beach. It is a bustling district in California known for its iconic boardwalk and shoreline lined with great food trucks and amateur talent shows.

Malibu will be the perfect place for you if you’re into upscale and luxurious beach destinations. The famous beach is known for its 22-mile (35.40-kilometer) stretch of fabulous beaches with a view of the Santa Monica Mountains. Make sure to order a glass of authentic California wine and the freshest seafood during your stay in Malibu.

Another unique beach in California is Glass Beach. You can get used to powdery white or golden sands when you are in California or even in other beach destinations, but what makes Glass beach unique is its beautiful sea glass formed due to the dumping of broken glass pieces hundreds of years ago.

Breathtaking National Parks

California’s national parks are home to the world’s most preserved and breathtaking scenery. They are the best places to visit if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can see it all in California’s National Parks – from the tallest mountains to roaring rivers, majestic waterfalls, and grand landscapes.

There are a lot of national parks that you can visit in California. Some are as famous as the other popular tourist spots in the state. These must-visit national parks include Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park.

Which Is Better – Hawaii or California?

Both Hawaii and California are great destinations, whatever the season is. They offer unforgettable adventures and great experiences for people from all walks of life. However, it all boils down to your preferences, budget, and the time and effort you can exert as you travel to either destination.

There are a lot of differences when it comes to the places you can visit and the activities you can experience. With its majestic islands, natural wonders, and splendid beaches, Hawaii is leaning toward a new and idyllic experience for travelers. On the other hand, California offers a more modern and exhilarating experience with its fun and lovely gigantic theme parks, rich activities, and iconic natural attractions.

While both places belong to the United States, the cultures can be quite different from one another. Being secluded from the mainland, Hawaii is known for its tropical-island living. The Hawaiian and Polynesian heritage also make the island state unique. On the contrary, California can share the same culture and way of living as the rest of the US mainland.

You might also need a higher budget when traveling to Hawaii than California, especially from the mainland United States. It would be best if you ride a plane to reach Hawaii, which means a separate budget for your airfare. You can get to California by land if you’re from the mainland. And we all know that traveling by land, either taking a bus or having your car with you, can be much cheaper.

It takes different travel methods to get to these two destinations. That is why you also need to consider the time and effort you need to reach them. While California can be reached by land, it could take several hours to a few days, especially when you’re from the other side of the United States. On the other hand, Hawaii can be reached by plane in at least five hours, depending on where you are from.


How Is California Similar to Hawaii?

California and Hawaii boast natural attractions such as magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, majestic mountains, and incredible natural parks. Luxurious resorts, shops, hotels, and resorts can also be found in both destinations.

Places Like Hawaii in California

Hawaii has its share of luxurious hotels, high-end boutiques, Michelin-starred restaurants, and entertainment places just like in California.

The gorgeous beaches of San Diego are also frequently likened to those in Hawaii, making the city “the Hawaii of Southern California.”

If you love visiting Hawaii because of its laid-back vibe, you’ll also want to visit Capitola Beach. It is located in Northern California, just south of Santa Cruz. The nearby Capitola Village also has unique eateries and shops that replicate those in Hawaii.

Is Hawaii Safer Than California?

Hawaii is safer than California based on the latest metrics released by World Population Review. There are fewer crimes in Hawaii than in California, which is among the highest crime rates in the United States. Hawaii is regarded as one of the safest states in the United States, boasting a safety score of 60.29 versus California’s, which is just 49.26.

Common crimes in Hawaii are minor, like petty thefts and offenses related to illegal drugs. On the other hand, common crimes in California include DUIs (driving under the influence), drug possession, theft and robbery, physical assault, and even trespassing.

Hawaii vs. California Crime Rate

According to the latest statistics, Hawaii’s crime rate is set at 2.5 incidents per 1,000 people. Meanwhile, California’s crime rate is set at 466 per 100,000 people.

Is Hawaii More Expensive Than California?

The cost of living in Hawaii is significantly higher than the cost of living in California. This includes the cost of utilities, groceries, and health-related expenses. On the contrary, California’s housing and transportation costs are higher than Hawaii’s.

California vs. Hawaii Weather

California has the greatest range of climates in the United States. On the other hand, Hawaii’s weather is tropical throughout. But it experiences wide variations in elevation that affect temperature and rainfall patterns.

July is considered the hottest month in California, having an average temperature of 71°F to 86°F (21.6°C to 30°C). On the contrary, their winter season starts in December and ends in March with an average of 30°F to 44°F (-1°C to 7°C).

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s summer season starts in May and ends in October with an average temperature of 85°F (29.4°C). While their winter season lasts five months, starting from November to April, with an average daytime temperature of 78°F (25.6°C).

California vs. Hawaii Beaches

Hawaii has fine white-sand beaches that vary wildly in popularity. The beaches range from crowded commercial resorts to remote and stunningly beautiful spots where you’ll have the place all to yourself!

California beaches range in character from palm-lined white-sand scenes that look like a classic surf movie. They have rugged rocky shorelines with towering boulders, jagged rocks, and redwood-lined shores. There are many good surfing and diving spots here, especially for those who love giant kelp forests!

Is the Water in Hawaii Warmer Than California?

Yes, Hawaii’s water temperature is warmer than California, which is why it is popular with tourists. The climate in Hawaii is consistently warm, and its water temperature ranges from moderately cool to pleasantly warm.

Are There More Shark Attacks in Hawaii or California?

There are more occurrences of Shark attacks in Hawaii than in California. However, it is less likely to happen, with a chance of less than one in one million.

Based on statistics, Hawaii comes second to the most significant number of shark attacks in the United States. Hawaii has recorded 230 unprovoked attacks since the 1900s. California came in third with 187 unprovoked shark attacks.

California vs. Hawaii for Surfing?

If you like to surf in a wetsuit, you should go to California. But if you prefer not wearing one, Hawaii is the best place to surf. That is because the water temperature in Hawaii is more optimal than California’s. There are also bigger waves in Hawaii compared to California.

Additionally, reef breaks in Hawaii are well-defined curls and shoulders. In comparison to California’s regular beach breaks, which are ever-changing. Although there are some excellent point breaks in California, they tend to be crowded and competitive.

Why Are Waves Bigger in Hawaii Than California?

Waves in Hawaii are bigger compared to the waves in California because of their difference in location. California has a continental shelf to lessen the wave energy before reaching shore. While Hawaii, as an isolated archipelago, has no continental shelf like California. Hence, there is no way to dissipate the energy of the big waves before it reaches the shore.

Getting Married in Hawaii vs. California

Hawaii has not only been a top destination for honeymoons but also for wedding ceremonies itself. A lot of resorts in Hawaii now offer venues for weddings of all sizes, even right at the beachside. Hawaii’s fresh and delicious food and tropical vibe make it a perfect place to get married.

However, intimate weddings with only your closest family and friends would be ideal in Hawaii, especially if you’re on a budget. Transporting your guests to the island state would be your most tremendous expense if you decide to get married in Hawaii. If you’re on a budget but still want a beach wedding, you might want to consider getting married in California instead.

Can I Get Married in Hawaii if I Live in California?

Yes, marrying in Hawaii is legal even if you live in California. However, presenting a valid marriage license to the officiant is required.

Is a Hawaii Marriage License Valid in California?

A marriage license from Hawaii is not valid in California. But if you want to get married in California, the law requires you to have a separate ceremony performed within the State of California.

Is Hawaii Part of California?

Hawaii is not a part of California. Hawaii is considered an independent state and is among the 50 states of the United States of America.

Is Hawaii Close to California?

Hawaii is far from California and the mainland US. However, Hawaii is only separated from California by the Pacific Ocean.

How Far Is Hawaii From California?

The Hawaiian Islands lie 2,397 miles (3,857 kilometers) east of San Francisco, California.

Can You See Hawaii From California?

The vast distance of Hawaii from the mainland US makes it virtually impossible to see it from California with the naked eye.

Can You See Hawaii From California With a Telescope?

You cannot see Hawaii from California, even with a telescope. This is mainly due to the curvature of the Earth.

Is Hawaii Off the Coast of California?

Hawaii is located off California’s coast, just across the Pacific Ocean.

What Ocean Is Between California and Hawaii?

The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on Earth, lies between California and Hawaii.

How Deep Is the Ocean Between Hawaii and California?

The waters between Hawaii and California have a depth of over 20,700 feet (6,300 meters). These deep waters make the high surfing waves of Hawaii possible.

What City in California Is Closest to Hawaii?

San Francisco is the closest city in California to Hawaii, with a distance of 2,397 miles (3,857 kilometers). Meanwhile, Los Angeles to Hawaii has a distance of 2,497 miles (3,990 kilometers).

What Island of Hawaii Is Closest to California?

The Big Island is the Hawaiian island closest to California and the US west coast.

Hawaii vs. California Size Comparison

Hawaii has a total area of 10,931 square miles (28,311 square kilometers). Meanwhile, California has a total area of 163,696 square miles (423,970 square kilometers). Thus, California is bigger than Hawaii.

Time Difference Between California and Hawaii

California is 2 hours ahead of Hawaii. However, it becomes 3 hours earlier due to the daylight-saving time (DST) during summer.

Is Hawaii Always 3 Hours Behind California?

Hawaii becomes 3 hours behind California only during winter. That is the time when daylight saving time is not being observed.

California to Hawaii

The most common way to get to Hawaii from California is by plane. However, you may also try to sail, book a chartered boat, or join a cruise to get to the islands.

California to Hawaii Flight

Many flights from different airlines come from various airports in California. You can always book a flight to Hawaii, wherever you are in California.

Is California to Hawaii a Domestic Flight?

California to Hawaii is considered a domestic flight as Hawaii is also a part of the United States.

California to Hawaii Flight Time

There are a lot of factors to consider when calculating the flight time between California to Hawaii. The duration of the flight may be affected by the location of your original airport in California, weather conditions, flight path, and air traffic. However, the average flight time from California to Hawaii is around 6 hours and 10 minutes.

What Airlines Fly to Hawaii From California?

Almost all major airlines in the United States fly directly to Hawaii from California. The airlines with the most significant number of trips to Hawaii from California include Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta.

Which California Airports Fly to Hawaii?

Almost all major international airports in California also serve as gateways to Hawaii. You may depart from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and John Wayne Airport (SNA).

Which California Airport Is Closest to Hawaii?

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the closest among the California airports with flights to Hawaii. The 2,393-mile (3,851.16-kilometer) flight would take about 5 hours and 30 minutes.

What Is the Best City in California to Fly to Hawaii?

Flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seem the best choice when flying out to Hawaii. The flight time might seem a bit longer than flying out from San Francisco. However, flying out to Hawaii from LAX offers cheaper flights, more flight and airline options, and in-airport amenities while waiting for boarding.

Where Do You Fly to Hawaii From California?

As mentioned, there are a lot of airports in California that fly direct to Hawaii. Some of these airports include Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and John Wayne Airport (SNA).

Are There Any Airports Between California and Hawaii?

All flights from California to Hawaii are direct/nonstop flights. Hence, there are no airports between California and Hawaii.

Is There Any Place to Land Between California and Hawaii?

There are no places or islands to land between California and Hawaii, as flights between California and Hawaii are direct/nonstop.

Can Dogs Fly From California to Hawaii?

It is possible to bring your dogs on your flight to Hawaii from California. However, there are some requirements that you need to comply with for you to bring your furry pet along on your Hawaiian vacation.

  1. Make sure that your dog is implanted with a working microchip. This will be used to identify your dog upon arrival in Hawaii.
  2. Get your dog vaccinated with two rabies shots. Hawaii is the only state in the United States which is rabies-free, and they intend to keep it that way.
  3. Have your dog undergo the FAVN antibody test. This is to ensure that the antibodies your dog needs are present in his system.
  4. Bring your dog to a health check 14 days before traveling to Hawaii.

When you have completed these requirements, you need to work with a local veterinarian in Hawaii to assist you in applying for the permit. But as long as you have completed all the requirements and paperwork, you can surely bring your pet to Hawaii.

California to Hawaii Flight Price

The price of flying to Hawaii from California depends on your originating airport, your preferred airline, where among the Hawaiian Islands you want to visit, and what time of the year you intend to have your vacation in Hawaii. On average, round-trip flights to Hawaii from California can range from as low as USD 250 to more than USD 2,500.

Can You Drive to Hawaii From California?

Driving to Hawaii from California is not possible. Your option is to have your car shipped to Hawaii by a freight service or get a rental car as soon as you arrive in Hawaii.

Can You Take a Ferry to Hawaii From California?

Taking a ferry to Hawaii from California is not possible. This is because no ferries or ships are servicing the Hawaii–California route.

Car Ferry to Hawaii From California

You have two choices to ferry your car to Hawaii from California. You may choose an open car hauler, which is the cheaper option. If you want peace of mind that your car would be safe from any external elements for a price, then a closed car hauler would be perfect.

Boat to Hawaii From California

You can reach Hawaii from California if you have your sailboat, yacht, or chartered boat. However, traveling to Hawaii from California can be perilous and take a long time. The distance and the unpredictable waters of the Pacific Ocean make traveling to Hawaii by boat difficult.

How Far Is Hawaii From California by Boat?

Hawaii is 2,300 miles (3,701.50 kilometers) away from California when traveling by boat.

California to Hawaii in Nautical Miles

Hawaii is 2,500 nautical miles away from California.

How Long Is a Boat Ride From California to Hawaii?

A boat ride to Hawaii from California can take 2 to 4 weeks, given that the weather and sea conditions are good.

How Hard Is It to Sail From California to Hawaii?

The start of your sailing journey from California to Hawaii can be cold and slow. However, as you continue your trip, you’ll be able to catch up with the trade winds. This makes the following weeks of your sailing journey better until you arrive in Hawaii.

Is It Dangerous to Sail From California to Hawaii?

Sailing from California to Hawaii can be a very dangerous one. If you wish to sail from California to Hawaii, it will require the best sailors with the right skills and enough sailing experience.

How Big of a Boat Do You Need to Go From California to Hawaii?

The best boat sailing from California to Hawaii would be a vessel that measures around 30 to 36 feet (9 to 10 meters).

Best Time to Sail From Hawaii to California

The best time to sail from Hawaii to California is the start of the summer, which is in June. During June, the temperatures are calmer and more stable, and hurricanes are less likely to occur.

Private Boat From California to Hawaii

There are a lot of private boats that can take you from California to Hawaii. However, you must ensure that the private boat you rent can withstand the journey ahead. Also, ensure that the best and most skilled sailors operate the boat.

Cruise to Hawaii From California

Yes, there are a lot of cruise trips from California to Hawaii. This can be a great way to reach Hawaii and have a better perspective on your journey to the islands.

How Long Is a Cruise From California to Hawaii?

A cruise from California to Hawaii can take up to fifteen days because of the remoteness of the island’s location. Be ready to spend a lot of time aboard the ship.

How Much Is a Cruise From California to Hawaii?

A 14- to 16-day cruise from either Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego would cost around USD 1,200 to USD 5,050. The price depends on the accommodation, cruise line, embarkation point, sailing date, and amenities you can enjoy while on the cruise ship.

Which Cruise Lines Go From California to Hawaii?

Almost all major cruise lines offer a journey from California to Hawaii. Some cruise lines include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Explora Journeys, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Line.