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With its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Hawaii is a dream destination for many travelers. But before you book your tickets, you may be wondering: is there a time difference in Hawaii? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, most of Hawaii does observe Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time, which is UTC-10, putting it 2 hours behind Pacific Time and 3 hours behind Mountain Time. The exception is the westernmost island chain, which follows Alaska Time. Now let’s dive deeper into the details of Hawaiian time zones and daylight saving time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about time differences across the Hawaiian islands. You’ll learn about the two main time zones observed, how daylight saving time works in Hawaii, tips for avoiding confusion when planning your island-hopping adventure, and more.

The Two Main Hawaii Time Zones

When it comes to time zones, Hawaii has two main ones: Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time and Alaska Time Zone. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time

Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time, also known as HAST, is the time zone used by most of the Hawaiian Islands. It is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10:00). This means that when it is noon in Hawaii, it is 10:00 PM in London. So if you’re planning to call someone in Hawaii, make sure to take this time difference into account. HAST is also observed in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Alaska Time Zone

The Alaska Time Zone, also known as AKT, is used in certain parts of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands. It is one hour behind Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (UTC-9:00). So when it is noon in Hawaii, it is 1:00 PM in Alaska. It’s important to note that not all of Alaska follows this time zone, as the state spans across multiple time zones.

While Hawaii and Alaska are both part of the United States, their geographical locations result in a time difference between the two. The time zones are determined based on the Earth’s rotation and the position of each location relative to the Prime Meridian.

For more information on time zones and their effects, you can visit the Time and Date website, which provides a comprehensive guide to time zones around the world.

Daylight Saving Time in Hawaii

History of DST in Hawaii

Contrary to many other states in the United States, Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The decision to not participate in DST dates back to the 1960s when the state legislature voted against it. One of the main reasons behind this decision was the fact that Hawaii is located close to the equator and experiences minimal variation in daylight throughout the year. As a result, implementing DST was deemed unnecessary and inconvenient for the residents of the islands.

It’s interesting to note that Hawaii did observe DST for a brief period during World War II. The state implemented DST in order to align their clocks with the rest of the country and facilitate communication and coordination with the mainland. However, once the war ended, Hawaii reverted back to standard time and has not observed DST since then.

Current DST Policy

Currently, Hawaii remains one of the few places in the United States that does not observe DST. This means that the clocks in Hawaii remain the same throughout the year, without any adjustments for Daylight Saving Time.

The lack of time change in Hawaii has its pros and cons. On one hand, it provides a sense of consistency and eliminates the need for residents to adjust their schedules twice a year. On the other hand, it can sometimes lead to confusion for visitors from other states who are accustomed to DST.

It’s important to keep in mind that the decision to observe or not observe DST is made at the state level. So, while Hawaii does not participate in DST, other states in the U.S. do. If you’re planning to visit or communicate with someone in Hawaii, it’s a good idea to be aware of the time difference between your location and Hawaii, especially if you need to schedule meetings or coordinate activities across different time zones.

For more information about time zones and DST, you can visit the official website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at

Tips for Managing Time Zone Differences

Traveling to different time zones can be exciting, but it can also be a bit confusing to adjust your schedule. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, it’s important to know that there is a time difference from many other parts of the world. Here are some helpful tips to manage time zone differences:

Use Technology to Track Time Zones

One of the easiest ways to keep track of time zone differences is by using technology. There are numerous apps and websites available that can help you determine the current time in Hawaii and compare it to your home time zone. Some popular options include Time and Date and World Time Buddy. These tools can not only display the current time but also provide information on daylight saving time and any upcoming time changes.

Pay Attention to Flight Departure Times

When booking your flight to Hawaii, it’s important to pay attention to the departure times. Airlines typically provide departure and arrival times in the local time zone of the departure airport. This means that if you’re flying from New York to Hawaii, the departure time will be listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Make sure to double-check the time difference and adjust your schedule accordingly to avoid any confusion or missed flights.

Confirm Event and Restaurant Times

Whether you’re attending a conference, concert, or planning a dinner reservation, it’s crucial to confirm the event or restaurant times in the local time zone. Don’t rely solely on your own calculations; instead, reach out to the organizers or establishments to confirm the time in Hawaii. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any planned activities or reservations due to time zone misunderstandings.

By using technology to track time zones, paying attention to flight departure times, and confirming event and restaurant times, you can effectively manage the time zone differences when visiting Hawaii. This will help you make the most of your trip without any unnecessary confusion or scheduling mishaps.

Unique Aspects of Time in Hawaii

When it comes to time in Hawaii, there are a few unique aspects that set it apart from other places. From the Hawaiian words for different times of the day to the concept of “island time,” Hawaii offers a fascinating perspective on the passage of time.

Hawaiian Words for Time of Day

In the Hawaiian language, there are specific words to describe different times of the day. For example, “Aloha awakea” refers to the time of day when the sun is directly overhead, commonly known as noon. “Aloha ahiahi” is used to describe the time just before sunset, while “Aloha auinala” refers to the afternoon. These unique words not only capture the essence of different times of the day but also reflect the deep connection between the Hawaiian people and their natural surroundings.

Island Time vs. Mainland Time

One of the most significant differences in time perception between Hawaii and the mainland United States is the concept of “island time.” This refers to the more relaxed and laid-back attitude towards punctuality and schedules that is commonly observed in Hawaii. While mainlanders tend to value efficiency and promptness, Hawaiians embrace a slower pace of life, prioritizing enjoyment and relaxation. This cultural difference can be seen in various aspects of daily life, from the way people approach meetings and appointments to the general attitude towards time.

It is important to note that while there may be a cultural difference in time perception, Hawaii still operates within the same time zones as the mainland United States. The state of Hawaii is divided into two time zones: Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST) and Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time (HDT) during daylight saving time. The time difference between Hawaii and the mainland varies depending on the time of year. For example, when it is 12:00 PM in Hawaii, it is 3:00 PM on the west coast of the mainland during standard time.

Understanding the unique aspects of time in Hawaii can enhance your experience when visiting the islands. Embracing the Hawaiian concept of “island time” can help you relax and immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of the islands. So, the next time you find yourself in Hawaii, take a moment to appreciate the different words used to describe the time of day and enjoy the slower pace of life that the islands offer.


With its tropical climate and intoxicating natural beauty, Hawaii captures the hearts of visitors from around the world. By understanding the island chain’s time zone quirks and daylight saving policies, you can maximize your Hawaiian getaway. Adopt an easygoing “island time” mindset, use technology to track time differences, and confirm timing details in advance. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on Hawaiian time in no time. The aloha spirit awaits – start planning your unforgettable islands escape today!

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