With so many great festivals, cultural activities and events taking place on the islands of Hawaii this autumn, you’ve got no excuse not to island hop with us! Island Air helps you see more of Hawaii for less—and these six events are the perfect reasons to fly with us this fall. From a world class film festival to world renowned athletic competitions, we’ve got you covered for inspiring ways to catch the aloha spirit this autumn. Now all you’ve got to do is catch your flight.


1. Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF)


Film buffs around the globe should gear up for the 35th annual Hawaii International Film Festival, which runs November 12-22. Attracting 70,000 filmmakers and fans annually, HIFF is a premier east meets west cultural event celebrating emerging talent from diverse filmmakers. According to their mission, HIFF is “is unique in discovering features, documentaries and shorts from Asia made by Asians, films about the Pacific made by Pacific Islanders, and films made by Hawai`i filmmakers that present Hawai`i in a culturally accurate way.” Blockbusters like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Shall We Dance? had their debut at HIFF. This year’s film lineup hasn’t been released yet, so be sure to check HIFF’s site for emerging details and to purchase tickets. Films are shown across the state, with screenings in Honolulu, Waikiki and Kaneohe.

2. Maui Festivals of Aloha

Hula Photo Shoot


It’s not too late to catch the final events of the Festivals of Aloha, a month long celebration honoring native Hawaiian culture passed down through generations of islanders. This year’s celebration culminates in beautiful Hana, a pristine small town in Maui known for its untouched beauty. From October 3-10, Hana will be bustling with great events, including a parade, luau, hula dancing, a fishing tournament and a carnival. Check out the full schedule of events on the Festivals of Aloha website.

3. IRONMAN World Championship


If you’re looking to compete with top athletes in the world or just get inspired by their amazing strength and endurance, be sure to check out the IRONMAN World Championship on October 10th. The ultimate test of body, mind and spirit, the IRONMAN triathalon combines a grueling 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run across lava field terrain on the Big Island of Hawaii. Dreamt up by Honolulu-based Navy couple Judy and John Collins as the ultimate challenge back in 1978, the event has since grown from 15 brave souls to over 2,000 slated to compete in this year’s competition.

4. Maui Ukelele Festival


After all that endurance training, you just might want to kick back and unwind with some laid back island music at the Maui Ukelele Festival on October 11th. Held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the 10th annual festival features an impressive lineup of Hawaii’s top ukelele players, plus food booths, prizes, lessons, and other fun activities for kupunu and keiki (elders and kids).


5. 63rd Annual Moloka’i Hoe outrigger race



Meanwhile on the Kaiwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu, the world’s premier men’s outrigger canoe race promises to be an impressive site. The 41-mile outrigger race begins at 7:00 am at Hale O Lono Harbor and finishes at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki. This year marks the 63rd running of the Moloka’i Hoe, and will feature over 1,000 paddlers hoping to take home the coveted prize.  Catch the finale at Duke Kahanamoku Beach.


6. Duke exhibit at Bishop Museum


Speaking of Duke, be sure to check out this Hawaii legend’s exhibit on display at the Bishop Museum through early next year. From his Olympic swimming career to his role in making surfing a mainstream sport to his celebrity status, Duke Kahanamoku is a larger than life figure in Hawaiian history. Underlying all his accomplishments are the island values of Aloha, love and sportsmanship. The Bishop Museum brings the legend back to life with interactive displays and media highlighting this inspiring islander’s many contributions to society.


Photo credits: Ryan Ozawa; Peter Liu; Chris McCormack; Anthony Georgeff; Kanaka Menehune; Son of Groucho