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Florida vs Hawaii: Which vacation is better?
Are you trying to decide whether to take a vacation in Florida or Hawaii? Both states offer incredible experiences, but they’re also different in many ways! Below, we’ll answer all your questions on both locations so you can make the best decision for your next vacation!
The main difference between Florida and Hawaii is that Florida is a mostly flat state, with miles and miles of coastline, whereas Hawaii is filled with clear water beaches along with varying terrain of mountains, volcanos, and rainforests.
Booking a last-minute trip to Florida or Hawaii?
If so, we have you covered. Here are some top recommended tours and experiences!
Top Tours in Florida
Florida Everglades Airboat Tour and Wild Florida Admission (With Optional Lunch)
2-Hour Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Rock Springs (Perfect for Nature Lovers!)
Kennedy Space Center Adventure with Transport from Orlando (Enjoy a space travel adventure at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center)
Top Tours in Hawaii
Night Manta Ray Adventure On The Big Island (Unique Snorkeling Experience)
Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion From Waikiki (Highest-Rated Snorkeling Tour)
Big Island In A Day: Volcanoes Waterfalls Sightseeing And History (The Best Tour In Hawaii’s Biggest Island)
Top Hotels In Orlando
Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas – (Perfect For Couples)
The Elser Hotel Miami – (Highly-Rated Located In Downtown)
Top Hotels In Hawaii
Trump International Hotel Waikiki – (Located In Best-Rated Area In Honolulu)
Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux – (Perfect For Couples)
Looking To Get Around In Florida Or Hawaii?
Check out rental car rates here! 🚗
Florida vs Hawaii: Which Is Better?
When thinking about vacation destinations, two places that come to mind for many people are Florida and Hawaii. Both locations have a lot to offer tourists, but which one is better?
Generally, this depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation and your budget.
Some people might prefer the sunny beaches and theme parks of Florida, while others might prefer the lush tropical scenery and relaxed atmosphere of Hawaii.
Below, we look at the many factors comparing each destination so that you can decide for yourself which one is right for you!
Hawaii is a US state located in the central Pacific Ocean. It is often referred to as the “Aloha State” due to the warm welcome that visitors receive.
Hawaii is home to several national parks, including the popular Haleakala National Park and the Volcanoes National Park.
The state’s diverse landscape includes volcanic mountains, tropical rainforests, and beautiful beaches.
The climate is warm and pleasant year-round, making Hawaii a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the state’s natural wonders, Hawaii has something for everyone.
Florida is known as the Sunshine State – and for good reason. The state averages over 200 days of sun a year and offers stunning beach towns and parks. This makes it a popular vacation destination for people from all over the world.
Florida is located in the southeastern region of the United States and is bordered by Alabama and Georgia.
It has a long coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. This gives Florida residents and visitors plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water, whether it’s swimming, fishing, or just relaxing on the beach.
Size Of Florida vs Hawaii: Which Is Bigger?
Florida is significantly larger than Hawaii, boasting 65,758 square miles of land coasting the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Hawaii is made up of 10,932 square miles holding eight major islands and over 100 smaller islands!
Best Places To Stay In Hawaii
- South Maui
- North Shore Kauai
- Big Island
Best Attractions In Florida
Walt Disney World And Universal Studios
Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando is a must-visit for anyone who loves Disney and fun.
There’s no other place like it on earth! Orlando is the perfect vacation destination for families or adults, with plenty of fun for everyone.
You’ve likely heard of the Everglades, but contrary to popular belief that this famous destination is a swamp, it’s actually a slow-moving river that spans 100 miles of Florida.
Hop on an airboat tour to get up close and personal with the alligators, wildlife, and unique vegetation that has made the Everglades a popular tourist destination.
No trip to Florida would be complete without spending some time in the Florida Keys – a string of islands off the southern coast of the state. Here you can enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, as well as stunning views of the ocean.
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family vacation or a quick getaway, Florida has something to offer everyone.
There’s no better way to enjoy the outdoors than by visiting one of Florida’s beautiful national parks.
Dry Tortugas National Park is perfect for a day trip, offering stunning views of the sea and plenty of opportunities for hiking and picnicking.
Biscayne National Park is another great option for a day trip, with its sparkling waters and lush mangrove forests. And Cumberland Island National Park is perfect for those who love to hike, with over 50 miles of trails to explore.
No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be a national park in Florida that’s perfect for you.
Best Attractions In Hawaii
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial was established in 1941 to honor those who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The memorial is located in Oahu, Hawaii, and features a number of exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the attack.
Visitors to the memorial can tour the grounds, view the exhibits, and learn more about this significant event in American history.
Diamond Head State Monument
Visit Diamond Head State Monument and take in the views from the summit. You can visit by hiking or hopping in a bus or rental car.
This famous crater is a picturesque staple in O’ahu.
Visit The North Shore
Head to the North Shore of Honolulu for a realistic Jurassic Park tour excursion, find your way through the garden maze to fresh Dole Soft Serve at the Dole Plantation, hit a garlic shrimp truck for lunch, and jump in the waters at Turtle Beach for some epic snorkeling.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Visit Punalu’u Black Sand Beach to see the black sand that was created from volcanos in Hawaii.
The unique formation of the sand is a result of eroded volcanic material and hot lava rapidly cooled by ocean water!
Family-Friendly Things To Do In Florida
They don’t call it the most magical place on Earth for no reason! Disney world is a must for any family looking for an unforgettable vacation with kids of all ages.
Whether the kids want to run around chatting with the famous Disney characters around the park or drink Butterbeer in Diagon Alley at Harry Potter World, no one in the family will be disappointed with this stop.
Airboat Tour In The Everglades
Kids will love searching for alligators from an airboat while touring the Everglades. This is a great way to see the animals in their natural habitat and learn more about them and the history of this massive Florida attraction.
Kennedy Space Center
If you’re looking for a fun activity the whole family can enjoy, take a trip to the Kennedy Space Center.
The Kennedy Space Center, located in Merritt Island in Central Florida, is America’s gateway to exploring, discovering, and understanding the universe.
From tours of rocket launch pads to interactive exhibits, there’s something for the whole family to learn and enjoy at the Kennedy Space Center.
Family-Friendly Things To Do In Hawaii
Come get lost with your family in the Dole Plantation Garden Maze! With three acres of maze winding through colorful native plants, you’ll have a blast finding your way through the world’s largest maze!
Snorkel tours give you a chance to experience a fun boat tour around the island and let you explore the marine life up close.
In Hawaii, you’re sure to see some friendly sea turtles (remember not to touch sea turtles in the ocean, it’s illegal) and even a few sharks and stingrays!
Islanders have been celebrating special occasions with a Luau for centuries. A Luau is a Hawaiian party that usually includes a feast, drinks, and native dancing.
Plan a cultural evening your family will never forget at a classic Hawaiian Luau!
Outdoor Activities And Water Activities
If you’re looking for some amazing snorkeling locations, you can’t go wrong with Florida or Hawaii.
In Florida, you’ll find crystal clear lakes perfect for exploring, and the Florida Keys is home to the largest coral reef system in the United States!
In Hawaii, you can swim with sea turtles and see a wide variety of colorful fish and marine life. No matter where you go, you’re sure to have an incredible snorkeling experience.
When it comes to water activities, Florida is hard to beat. The state’s endless coastline offers plenty of opportunities for boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.
And if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can head to Hawaii to catch some waves for surfing, parasailing, or diving.
No matter what your preference, there’s sure to be a water activity that’s perfect for you in Florida and Hawaii.
Sailing is a popular activity in both Florida and Hawaii. The warm climate and gentle breezes make both states ideal for spending time on the water.
In addition, sailing gives you a unique way to see each destination.
You can sail along the coasts, taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean, or head inland in Florida to explore rivers, lakes, and other waterways.
Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and there are few places more beautiful to hike than Hawaii.
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike takes hikers to sweeping views of the famous Mokulua Islands.
The Diamond Head Hike provides panoramic views of Honolulu. Additionally, while the famous Stairway to Heaven hike is illegal, it is legal to hike up the opposite side of the mountain. It may be a strenuous and long adventure, but the views are worth it!
In Florida, hikers can enjoy the beauty of the Everglades or the Ocala National Forest. Most of Florida is flat, so if you’re not interested in the steep and difficult terrain Hawaii offers, you’re sure to love Florida’s hiking trails!
Florida vs Hawaii: Most Popular Beaches
Beaches In Hawaii
- Lanikai Beach
- Pupukea Beach North Shore
- Ho’okipa Beach Park
- Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Beaches In Florida
Florida has over 100 beaches to choose from, ranging from the white-sand and clear waters of Key West to the colder, more standard beaches in Jacksonville, FL.
- Siesta Key
- Pensacola Beach
- Smathers Beach
- Bean Point
Florida vs Hawaii: Which State Has Better Surfing?
Overall, Hawaii is generally considered to be a better destination for surfing than Florida. However, both destinations have their own unique appeal and offer something different for surfers of all levels.
Considering waves and weather are two important factors in deciding whether Florida or Hawaii is better for surfing. In terms of waves, Hawaii is renowned for its big and powerful surf.
In terms of weather, Hawaii enjoys warm weather all year round, making it the perfect destination for winter surfers.
Even on colder days, a wetsuit will do the trick. Florida, on the other hand, can be quite hot and humid in summer, which can make surfing quite uncomfortable.
Florida vs Hawaii Time Difference
Florida is in Eastern Time Zone (GM-4) and Central Time Zone (GM-5), depending on your location. Hawaii is in Hawaii Standard Time Zone (GM-10).
Getting To Florida vs Hawaii
One of the major differences of Florida vs Hawaii is the availability and ease of flying into each location.
While you can find direct flights from many US airports to both Florida and Hawaii, Florida flights will be more readily available and affordable.
Getting To Florida From The US
There are multiple airports to choose from and home to many international airports, making it an easy and convenient location to fly to from just about anywhere!
Orlando International Airport
Tampa International Airport
Miami International Airport
Key West International Airport
Fort Meyers Airport
…and so many more!
Tickets from the US to Florida are generally easy and cheap with direct flights from most cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, and more.
Many of these flights you can find for under $150, making it an inexpensive and short flight.
Getting To Hawaii From The US
Over the past years, many airlines have added direct flights to Hawaii, usually hanging around $400.
Though there are small airports throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the main airport, and where most flights fly is the Honolulu International Airport. Some airlines also fly direct to Kahului Airport and Lihue Airport in Kauai.
You can fly direct to Hawaii from major cities like Atlanta, DC, Austin, Houston, LA, NY, Phoenix, Orlando, and more.
However, if you want to go some other than the island of O’ahu, you’ll have to take an additional hopper plane to get there!
That being said, you can catch a direct flight to Hawaii as easily as you can to Florida, but it will cost you more to get to Hawaii.
When is the Best Time To Visit Florida And Hawaii?
Interestingly enough, Florida and Hawaii have opposite high seasons. In Hawaii, you’ll find ideal beach weather over the summer whereas in Florida summers, you’ll likely find it to be hot, humid, and with regular passing thunderstorms.
Best Time To Visit Florida
January to April is when the weather is at its peak in the southern regions – not too hot, not too rainy!
You’ll also find warm weather and fewer crowds in October-November. July-September is when they see the most rainfall, hurricane risk, and humid heat.
Best Time To Visit Hawaii
While you can find warm weather year-round in Hawaii, April to September is the best time to visit.
Outside of this, you’ll find that the weather is still extremely pleasant, but it may be a bit breezy, temperatures can drop at night, and the water a bit too chilly to enjoy swimming in on those windy days.
Florida vs Hawaii: Which Vacation Is Cheaper?
Florida is unsurprisingly cheaper than Hawaii, with the exception of the Florida Keys, which often have higher prices.
Hawaii is an expensive state to visit and is also known to have one of the highest costs of living in America.
Many items on the island need to be imported from the states, raising prices on items you’re not used to paying a premium for like medicine and food.
- Flights to Florida average $150, whereas flights to Hawaii are closer to $400 or more.
- The average nightly hotel cost in Florida is $100, Hawaii is $360
- Food costs in Florida and Hawaii are relatively similar, with dinner for two averaging $50
Florida vs Hawaii: Which is Better For Families?
When comparing Florida vs Hawaii for a family vacation, Florida is the better choice for families.
One of the main reasons is that it’s easier, cheaper, and faster to get to Florida than most places in the United States.
That means you waste less time traveling with a crew and can start enjoying the sun and the beach right away.
Once you’re there, you’ll find that accommodation options are more affordable in Florida than in Hawaii.
And of course, no visit to Florida would be complete without spending some time at Disney World.
With its endless array of rides, shows, and attractions, Disney World is sure to keep the whole family entertained.
So if you’re looking for a sunny destination that’s fun for the whole family, Florida is the place to be.
Is the Nightlife Better In Florida Or Hawaii?
Florida and Hawaii both have lively nightlife. However, it’s hard to beat the nightlife in South Beach Miami, which makes Florida the choice for nightlife lovers.
Collins Avenue is known as the party street in Miami and is frequently visited for all-night-long club and bar hopping.
South Beach is the most popular, but Florida has even more lively nightlife areas in cities like Fort Lauderdale, Pensacola, and St Pete. Even the Florida Keys have a wide selection of bars to choose from.
Waikiki in Honolulu offers a variety of ocean-view restaurants, busy tiki bars, lounges, and nightclubs.
But, the Hawaiian vibe is going to be more relaxed than a party spot like South Beach.
Which State Has Better Weather?
Hawaii has a more consistent climate and stays warm year-round compared to the varying temperatures and weather patterns along Florida.
One of the biggest differences in terms of weather is the humidity in Florida vs Hawaii. Florida experiences much more humidity than Hawaii which can make it feel significantly hotter during the summer months.
Does it Rain More in Florida Or Hawaii?
Hawaii is one of the rainiest states in the US! The average rainfall in Florida is 53.7 inches, average rainfall in Hawaii is over 60 inches per year.
However, the rainfall in Hawaii varies drastically between islands, mountains, and coastlines.
What Part of Florida Is Most Like Hawaii?
With its white sand beaches, clear water, and island vibes, the Florida Keys are most similar to Hawaii.
The Keys are located just off the southeastern coast of Florida, stretching from Key Largo to Key West. And while they may not be as big as Hawaii, they’re still a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
Thanks to the warm weather and beautiful scenery, the Keys are a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So if you’re longing for a taste of the islands but don’t want to travel too far from home, head to the Florida Keys for a truly unique vacation experience.
Is Hawaii Overrated for Vacation?
Honolulu may be a bit touristy, but there’s so much more to Hawaii than the popular city you often hear about!
The island chain is full of diverse landscapes and cultures, making it a truly unique destination.
From the rainforests of Kauai to the black sand beaches of the Big Island, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Hawaii.
So no, Hawaii is not an overrated vacation destination and is well worth the trip.
Florida vs Hawaii: Which Vacation Is Better- Summary
So, which vacation getaway is better? Florida or Hawaii? It really depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your vacation, how far you’re willing to travel, and how much you want to spend.
No matter which of these destinations you choose, you’re in for an unforgettable vacation. So pack your bags and get ready to relax on the beach or explore some new culture – either way, you can’t go wrong when choosing Hawaii or Florida!
Book Your Next Trip! For Accommodations and short-term rentals, I recommend Booking.com as they are the best in the business when it comes to rates and places to stay.
To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!
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