Today is the first day of fall, a fact that I discovered thanks to the Google doodle that showed a cute hedgehog that rained leaves when I clicked it. Unlike many of my friends and family members, I cannot see the signs of fall IRL because I live on Maui and there is no typical autumn weather in Hawaii. I am not here to complain about living in a tropical paradise, but I will share a few ways that you can enjoy a taste of autumn on the islands!
Visit the Pumpkin Patch at Kula Country Farms
To my surprise, pumpkins can grow on Maui! In fact, Kula Country Farms grows thousands of them and has this wonderful Pumpkin Patch that you can explore for just $5 per person. Pumpkins are suprisingly afordable too, for as little as $15 for a large pumpkin and less for smaller ones.
Although the Pumkin Patch is geared towards children, it has amazing fall and Halloween-themed treats and products for people of all ages. Plus, the views of the island are breathtaking! You can buy a delicious PSL here and check out the pet tortoise that lives with cute bunnies.
Leaves Changing Color on Maui
If you are coming from a place like New England, where something as natural as leaves changing color brings hordes of leaf-peeping tourists, you will be wildly disappointed by autumn on Maui. Most plants and flowers here are evergreen or everred for that matter. The local flora and fauna comes in every shade of color imaginable and most doesn’t wilt at this time of year.
However, some trees do shed leaves and change in a way that mildly resembles that typical fall landscape. If you look for something hard enough, you will find it! These pictures are borrowed from a wonderful blog, the Aloha Journal, make sure to check out their full selection of photos of fall colors on Maui.
I actually experienced some of this first hand at Paia Bowls, they had great coffee too, although they didn’t offer the next thing on my list (although it wasn’t technically autumn yet!)
Pumpkin Spice Drinks
So many coffee shops, coffee trucks, and cafes keep their regular menus throughout fall, but it’s not impossible to find something pumpkin-spiced. Of course, there is always Starbucks and their overpriced mainstream beverages. If you want something more local, I definitely recommend Maui Coffee Roasters.
They have different daily specials so you can call ahead and see if or when they’ll be offering pumpkin-spiced drinks, otherwise they do sell bags of Pumpkin Spice coffee that you can brew at home!
When I asked several locals about Halloween, they told me it wasn’t really celebrated in Hawaii. Maybe they didn’t intend to lie, but this turned out to be untrue. Of course, Halloween isn’t a cultural Hawaiian holiday and you should really try celebrating something local instead, like Aloha Festivals Month. But, if you are itching to dress up and beg for candy (I know, I am!) then head over to Lahaina.
According to Maui Accommodations, Halloween in Lahaina is comparable to Mardi Gras of the Pacific. There is an annual celebration that draws 25,000 people every year, that’s a fourth of the population of Maui, although visitors likely make up a large part of it. There are kid-friendly activities but also a Halloween Costume Parade.
There is even an adult costume contest and other events that are geared towards adults later on. It sounds like a lot of fun and I hope to attend! Do keep in mind that the parade may be canceled in 2021 due to COVID.
In addition to the parade, there are also haunted houses and other spooktacular events organized by local businesses. I’m still trying to convince my husband to take me to the Maui Haunted Hunt, but he apparently doesn’t enjoy being chased and scared while laser shooting monsters like I do.
Even here on Maui, it does get colder during fall. This doesn’t mean you’ll need a coat unless you are going up to Haleakala where it is freezing all year round. If you are by the beach somewhere, you won’t notice the temperature change just yet. But upcountry in Kula or Haiku, the lower temperature can be felt, especially in the mornings and evenings.
What to Expect on Maui During Autumn
There are many ways to recreate fall on Maui, but what should you actually expect during this time period? There are generally fewer tourists and it is hurricane season (June 1st – November 30th.) It may rain more than it does in the summer, but the rainy season doesn’t officially begin until mid-November.
It should be noted that the rainy season is also rainbow season here in Hawaii! The temperature difference is noticeable, even on the first day of fall, but if you are coming from the mainland you won’t really notice. Locals, on the other hand, may begin wearing warmer clothes.
Isaac works in Kula and needs to wear a jacket and pants to stay warm in the mornings as he is mostly outdoors. Don’t mock, acclimation happens fast and even though we’ve only been here for two months, our bodies are already used to tropical weather where a low of 71°F (21°C) in the evening in Haiku feels chilly!
Summary: Experiencing Fall on Maui
You won’t experience true fall here on Maui, which is a little sad, but it’s the price you pay to live in this tropical paradise. For a better fall destination consider New England, the more you go north, the better. However, if you are living here like me and feel nostalgic, there are ways to get into the autumn spirit, such as wearing fall-themed earrings!
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