The Best Time To Visit Hawaii

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Wondering when is the best time to visit this beautiful island? Look no further! In this ultimate guide, we will unveil the perfect time to explore the wonders of Hawaii.

Hawaii, with its tropical allure and diverse landscapes, is a destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. While the islands welcome visitors all year round, the experience varies depending on the season and month you choose to visit.

But when is the best time to visit Hawaii? The answer is anytime. Your visit time depends completely on your preferences, budget, and what you want to experience during your Hawaii trip. For most of Hawaii, there are only two seasons: summer and winter, and every season offers unique things to do on the Island.


Best Time to Visit Hawaii by Season


Summer (May to October)

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

The best time to visit Hawaii is Summer, as the weather is drier and more predictable. During these months, the average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85°F (29°C), dropping to around 75°F (24°C) at night.

Hawaii’s trade winds help keep the weather comfortable during the dry season, and you can expect plenty of sunshine. However, microclimates on different islands and even within different parts of an island can lead to some variations in temperature and weather conditions.

Activities and Events

  • Beach Days: With minimal rainfall and plenty of sunshine, the dry season is perfect for relaxing on Hawaii’s beautiful beaches. You can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, or simply take in the stunning coastal scenery.
  • Surfing: Hawaii is known as the birthplace of modern surfing, and the dry season offers consistent waves on many of its famous surf breaks. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, you can find suitable spots on various islands.
  • Hiking: Explore the lush landscapes and hiking trails of Hawaii during the dry season. Some popular hikes include Diamond Head on Oahu, Haleakalā on Maui, and Waimea Canyon on Kauai.
  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The clear waters during the dry season make it an ideal time for underwater adventures. Explore vibrant coral reefs, swim with marine life, and discover shipwrecks off the coast.
  • Luaus: Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau, complete with hula dancing, music, and a delicious feast. Many resorts and cultural centers host luaus that offer a glimpse into Hawaiian culture and history.
  • Festivals and Events: Hawaii hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year. While specific dates may vary, you can often find events like the Merrie Monarch Festival (Hilo, Hawaii) for hula and Hawaiian culture, the Aloha Festivals celebrating Hawaiian traditions, and local food festivals.
  • Sunset Viewing: Hawaii’s dry season is perfect for watching stunning sunsets. Head to a scenic spot like Waikiki Beach, Haleakalā National Park, or the west coast of any island for a breathtaking view.
  • Outdoor Dining: Many restaurants and food trucks in Hawaii offer outdoor dining options, allowing you to enjoy delicious local cuisine while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Winter (November to April)

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

While it’s called the “rainy” season, it doesn’t necessarily mean constant rain. There can be occasional rain showers, but the landscapes are lush and green during the winter months. Even during Hawaii’s rainy season, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your vacation. The rain often brings out the lush beauty of the islands and can create unique experiences.

The average temperature in Hawaii during the rainy season can vary depending on the specific island, location within the island, and the time of year, which basically average daily temperatures of 78°F (23°C).

It’s important to note that while these are average temperatures, Hawaii’s weather can be quite unpredictable, especially during the transition periods between seasons. Due to the ideal combination of cooler temperatures and rainfall, the winter season happens to be the cheapest season to visit Hawaii. This month also offers a tranquil time, especially along the coastlines.

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Activities and Events

  • Whale Watching: Winter is the best season for whale watching. Humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii to breed and give birth.
  • Big Wave Surfing: Oahu’s North Shore is famous for its colossal waves during this period, making it a hotspot for professional surfers and global competitions.

Best Time to Visit Hawaii by Month


January

January in Hawaii is characterized by cold weather and rainfall, with occasional cooling trade winds. Average temperatures range from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C). Due to the ideal combination of cooler temperatures and rainfall, January happens to be one of the best months to visit Hawaii. This month also offers a tranquil time, especially along the coastlines. Although the crowds tend to be fewer, you may experience higher prices due to the holiday season spillover.

Activities and Events

  • Snorkeling: Explore stunning coral reefs and beautiful sea life.
  • Surfing: Take on the waves of one of Hawaii’s best beaches.
  • Hiking: Adventure through a tropical paradise and discover hidden gems on the Road to Hana.
  • Whale Watching: Witness humpback whales playing off the coast of Maui and Big Island during their migration season.
  • Hyundai Tournament of Champions: The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is a professional golf tournament held annually at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort.
  • Ko’olina Artfest: Held annually every January, the Ko’olina Artfest celebrates Hawaiian art, music, culture, and food. You will be able to experience hands-on demonstrations and performances, as well as browse artworks and souvenirs.

February

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

February maintains the cold temperatures of January but with occasional rainfall. The month is a mix of mild and moderate sunny days and grey, gloomy ones in winter. Average temperatures range from 78°F to 80°F (25.6°C to 27°C). February could be an ideal month to visit Hawaii as the crowds are fewer and prices begin to drop. This makes February one of the cheapest months to visit Hawaii.

Activities and Events

  • Waimea Town Celebration: Kauai lights up with this cultural festivity.
  • Whale Encounters: Last of the peak months for humpback whale sightings.

March

March in Hawaii marks spring break and is characterized by milder weather with sun-filled days and cool nights by the ocean. Average temperatures range from 70°F to 82°F (21°C to 28°C). March could be a popular month to visit Hawaii, so expect higher crowds and higher flight tickets and accommodation. This is mostly due to spring break, which usually begins in mid-March.

Activities and Events

    • Honolulu Festival: Celebrate Pacific cultures with parades and dance performances.
    • Beach Time: The rain starts waning, making beach days more predictable.

April

April is one of the best months to visit Hawaii if you want to avoid crowds. The month marks the end of the rainy season, so you can enjoy lush green landscapes and blooming flowers.

Average temperatures range from 74°F to 85°F (24°C to 29.4°C). While the summer crowds are still a long way off, visitor numbers start to steadily rise in late April, particularly in hotspots like the Algarve. While the weather is warm, the ocean waters are starting to become ideal for swimming and water activities.

Activities and Events

  • Beach Relaxation: Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches. Whether you’re on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island, spend some time soaking up the sun, swimming, and building sandcastles on the golden shores.
  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: April offers excellent visibility for underwater activities. Explore colorful coral reefs and swim alongside diverse marine life. Some popular snorkeling spots include Hanauma Bay on Oahu and Molokini Crater on Maui.
  • Whale Watching: While humpback whales start to migrate away from Hawaii’s waters by April, you can still catch some of these majestic creatures before they head north. Take a whale-watching tour to witness their impressive displays.
  • Merrie Monarch Festival – Attend the world’s premier hula event.
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May

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

May in Hawaii marks the beginning of the dry season. The month is characterized by longer days, the fragrance of blooming flowers, and the anticipatory buzz of the approaching summer. Because it is the onset of the summer months, you will experience fewer crows until Memorial Day weekend attracts the first wave of summer visitors.

Average temperatures range from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29.4°C). The month of May is considered one of the best times to visit Hawaii, especially for cheaper accommodations and fewer crowds.

Activities and Events

  • Kayaking: Rent a kayak and paddle along the coast to explore hidden coves, sea caves, and shoreline wildlife. You can also take guided kayak tours for a more immersive experience.
  • Lei Day: Revel in Hawaiian traditions and lei-making contests.
  • Hiking Expeditions: Trails like Maunawili Falls on Oahu are at their scenic best during this month.

June

June in Hawaii marks the official beginning of summer, and with it comes low rainfall and high temperatures. With its perfect climate for holidays, June is one of the best months to visit Hawaii. Average temperatures range from 77°F to 88°F (25°C to 31°C). By this month, you will start seeing more crowds at popular attractions and accommodation prices start to rise.

Activities and Events

  • Sunset Cruises: Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise along the coast, complete with stunning views, entertainment, and a delicious dinner.
  • Luaus: Experience a traditional Hawaiian luau, where you can enjoy Polynesian music, hula dancing, and a feast of local cuisine.
  • The King Kamehameha Lei Draping Ceremony: This famous event takes place on the south shore in downtown Honolulu. Participants watch as those leading the ceremony adorn the 18-foot-tall bronze statue of King Kamehameha with a massive traditional lei.
  • King Kamehameha Day: Held on June 11th, natives of the Big Island chain celebrate this holiday with a food festival, multiple ceremonies, and parades.

July

July in Hawaii is deep into the summer season and is characterized by warm and sunny weather, low rainfall levels, and numerous outdoor recreation. The entire island vibrates with life and activity. Average temperatures range from 82°F to 88°F (28°C to 31°C). The city experiences large crowds, and accommodation and flight tickets increase.

Activities and Events

  • Volcano Tours: If you’re visiting the Big Island, consider taking a tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Witnessing the active lava flows and exploring the unique volcanic terrain is a memorable experience.
  • Luau: Attend a traditional Hawaiian luau to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. Enjoy hula dancing, live music, and a feast of delicious local dishes.
  • Prince Lot Hula Competition: Held every year on the third weekend of July on the island of Oahu, this event is held by the Moanalua Gardens Foundation.

August

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

August is the peak of summer in Hawaii. With temperatures often reaching their peaks, August is the best time to visit the beach in Hawaii. The island is filled with both domestic and international vacationers. Average temperatures range from 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C).

Activities and Events

  • Zip-lining and Adventure Tours: Satisfy your adventurous side by going zip-lining or taking an ATV tour through Hawaii’s lush landscapes.
  • Slack Key Magic: Attend the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival serenades Oahu.
  • Beach Activities: Engage in paddleboarding, kayaking, and more on calmer shores.

September

September is one of the best times to visit Hawaii if you prefer fewer crowds and still want to enjoy warm weather. As we enter September, the summer crowds start to thin out, but the weather remains pleasantly warm, making it a favored month for many to enjoy a quieter yet still vibrant experience. Average temperatures range from 78°F to 87°F (26°C to 31°C).

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Activities and Events

  • Aloha Festivals: Immerse in Hawaiian culture, music, and dance.
  • Adventure Pursuits: Ideal for ATV rides or zip-lining over lush landscapes.
  • Sunset Viewing: September offers stunning sunsets in Hawaii. Head to scenic spots like Waikiki Beach, Haleakalā on Maui, or the west coast of any island to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

October

October in Hawaii marks the end of the summer season. The month is characterized by milder temperatures and fewer crowds. During this month, the weather is pleasant, and you can still enjoy outdoor activities without the peak-season crowds. Average temperatures range from 75°F to 84°F (24°C to 29°C).

Activities and Events

  • Farm Tours: Hawaii has a burgeoning agricultural scene. Consider visiting a coffee farm on the Big Island or a pineapple plantation on Oahu for informative and tasty tours.
  • Ironman World Championship: Kona hosts this world-renowned triathlon.

November

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

November in Hawaii marks the onset of the winter season. This month is characterized by occasional showers and cooler temperatures. While you might experience some rain, it rarely disrupts plans completely. Average temperatures range from 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). The month of November is one the best months to visit Hawaii for lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds.

Activities and Events

  • Waterfall Tours: The rainy season ensures that waterfalls on the islands are flowing beautifully. Take a guided tour to visit some of Hawaii’s stunning waterfalls, such as Manoa Falls on Oahu or Wailua Falls on Kauai.
  • Botanical Gardens: Explore the lush botanical gardens on the islands. Many of them feature exotic plants and offer peaceful, rainforest-like environments. The Allerton Garden on Kauai and Foster Botanical Garden on Oahu are excellent options.
  • Cultural Experiences: Learn about Hawaiian history and culture by visiting museums, historic sites, and cultural centers. The Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu and the Bishop Museum are both worth exploring.
  • Bird Watching: Hawaii is home to a variety of unique bird species. Grab your binoculars and go birdwatching in places like Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the Big Island or Alakai Swamp on Kauai.

December

December is a popular time to visit Hawaii due to the holiday season. The weather is cooler than in previous months, with intermittent rainfall. While it’s technically part of the rainy season, the weather is often still quite pleasant. Average temperatures range from 69°F to 81°F (21°C to 27°C).

Activities and Events

  • Golf: Hawaii has world-class golf courses with breathtaking views. If you’re a golf enthusiast, consider booking a tee time at one of the many golf resorts.
  • Explore Local Cuisine: Savor the flavors of Hawaii by trying local dishes like poke, shaved ice, and traditional Hawaiian plate lunches. December is an excellent time to enjoy fresh seafood.
  • Sunsets and Stargazing: Hawaii offers some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Find a scenic spot on the beach or in the mountains to watch the sunset. If you’re on the Big Island, consider stargazing from the Mauna Kea summit.
  • Relax and Unwind: Hawaii is an excellent destination for relaxation. Book a spa day, take a yoga class, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the tropical ambiance.

Ready to Visit Hawaii?

The best time to visit Hawaii depends on your preference. Every season in Hawaii unveils a new facet of its charm, offering a wealth of experiences to suit every traveler’s tastes.

For beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, summer is the best time to visit Hawaii. For those interested in winter activities, the winter season is the best season for that.  In truth, Hawaii’s charm persists year-round, beckoning travelers with its diverse offerings.

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