When is the best time to visit Hawaii?
While travelers from around the world visit Hawaii for its jaw-dropping scenery, golden strips of sand, and a plethora of adventure trails, it’s the island’s irresistible ‘Aloha’ spirit that charms you most. To make the most of your visit, find out the best time to visit Hawaii from our experts below.
Though Hawaii is a year-round destination, the period from December to March and the summer months of July and August are its busiest. The island’s quieter months coincide with the best weather conditions making the period from April to June and the months of September and October the best time to travel to Hawaii.
This is one of the rainiest months of the year, and also one of the busiest. The rains bring out the striking greens of the islands. Temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 80s.
- Watch the best surfers in the world ‘hang ten’ on Oahu’s North Shore
- Catch spellbinding sunsets at Mauna Kea at the Big Island and stay back for some stargazing
Rainfall levels drop and day temperatures hover in the 70s. The tourist season continues with more travelers visiting the islands on Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day
- It’s the best time for whale watching in Maui
- Drive through the Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
- Visit the Polynesian Culture Center in Oahu
The spring break crowds descend upon the islands making this month a busy one. The mountain tops may see a light dusting of snow while the coasts see pleasant temperatures with the occasional rain shower.
- Gain insights into the island’s history, culture, and arts at the Honolulu Festival
- Catch some sun and surf at Kaanapali Beach in Maui
Thanks to warm temperatures and low rainfall levels, this is a great month to visit Hawaii. Expect quiet beaches and a burst of springtime flowers if you are visiting during this time.
- Some of the most stunning vistas await you on the Road to Lana in Maui
- Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, known for its active volcanoes
Temperatures start to inch up with day time averages now in the low to mid-80s. Overall, it’s a quiet time to visit though the Memorial Day Weekend and holidays in Japan see an increase in travelers during those periods.
- The Lantern Floating Festival in Oahu is a unique way to observe Memorial Day
- Be part of the Lei Day events that every island celebrates in its own special way
It’s the driest month of the year, and daytime temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. Expect plenty of sunshine-filled days. With the summertime crowds yet to arrive, it’s the best time to visit Hawaii.
- Get a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking Napali Coast in Kauai on a helicopter tour
- Spend the day working on your tan at Kaunaoa Beach in the Big Island
The arrival of summer vacationers lends the islands a festive air. Day time temperatures are consistently in the 80s, and sunny days and clear skies are the norms.
- Swim among colorful fishes and corals at the Tunnels Beach in Kauai
- Hike to Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls at Akaka Falls State Park in the Big Island
August is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other underwater activities. Day time temperatures in the 80s call for sunglasses and sunscreen. Evenings and nights are pleasant with temperatures in the 70s – perfect for late-night strolls on the beach.
- Catch a spellbinding sunrise at the Haleakala Crater in Haleakala National Park in Maui
- For jaw-dropping views of the ocean, cliffs, and mountains, hike the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail in Kauai
The crowds leave but dry weather conditions continue, making September another great month to visit Hawaii. The water is at its warmest and clearest during the month which means you can explore the island’s colorful underwater treasures.
- Witness the Hawaiian Royal Court procession and be part of the many cultural events surrounding the Aloha Festival
- Go horseback riding through Waipio Valley
It’s the last dry month of the season before the rains kick in. Day time highs are still in the 80s, and the water is warm. These factors coupled with the thinning crowds make October a great time to visit the islands.
- Explore Waianapanapa State Park in Maui for its black sand beach and freshwater caves
- Learn surfing at Waikiki Beach in Oahu
It’s the start of the rainy season, and temperatures drop by a few degrees, but it’s still warm and pleasant. Expect a mix of cloudy days with sudden, short bursts of rain and sunny days. It’s best to pack an umbrella if you are visiting during this month.
- Get up close to the island’s underwater inhabitants at the Maui Ocean Center
- Catch sight of a rainbow at Wailua Falls in Kauai
- Hike up Diamond Head in Oahu for sweeping views of the island
It’s one of the wettest times of the year and the start of the whale migration season. The islands get busy during the second half of the month, with crowds arriving to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
- Celebrate Christmas with sunset cruises and vibrant luau performances
- Take a tour of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
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Seasons in Hawaii
Summer – Hawaii’s summer season runs from July to August and sees plenty of tourists thronging its many beaches. Temperatures are typically in the low to mid-80s, and evening temperatures are pleasant and in the high 70s. It’s the best time to visit Hawaii with ideal snorkeling and diving conditions and calm and clear waters.
Fall – The months of September to November see slightly cooler air temperatures but experience some of the warmest water temperatures. Days are dry and clear, making it a great time to visit Hawaii. It is officially known as hurricane season, but big storms are rare and with some careful planning you should be able to avoid most of these.
Winter – The winter season that extends from December to March brings the heaviest rainfall although rain spells are usually brief and typically in the night. It is also the busiest time of the year in the islands. If you are thinking of visiting the islands during this time, we advise you to plan a few months in advance. We can also help you pick hotels and resorts that lie on the leeward side of the islands so you can avoid the heaviest of the rain and have some sunny days during your trip.
Spring – By April, rainfall levels abate, leaving behind lush green surroundings and full waterfalls. Dry weather conditions and quieter surroundings make April, May, and June a lovely period to visit Hawaii.
What to Pack
Hawaii is a destination with activities for every kind of traveler, so what you pack for Hawaii depends on what you are planning to do.
Those seeking some seaside fun will need to pack swimsuits/swim shorts, sarongs or coverups, sunglasses, sunhats, and plenty of sunscreen lotion. We recommend waterproof floaters – they work well on and off the beach and aboard boats as you go island hopping and head out for water adventures.
Hawaii has plenty to offer by way of land activities too. If you plan to trek to the island’s many waterfalls, we recommend waterproof trekking shoes and clothing. Those planning to go mountain trekking or visit the island’s active volcanoes will need to pack some warmer clothes. Temperatures are considerably cooler up in the mountains, so we recommend that you bring along a light jacket and full pants.
Day time temperatures fall in the mid-70s to 80s throughout the year, so it’s best to pack clothing made from breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton. Dresses, cotton t-shirts, and shorts work well with Hawaii’s relaxed, island vibe.
If you are visiting during the rainy season, we recommend packing some rainwear or umbrellas. During these seasons, the nighttime temperature can drop into the 60s, so it’s best to bring along a cardigan or light jacket.
Get in touch with our travel experts to find the best times to visit Hawaii and for a tailor-made itinerary that matches your interests.
Big Island, also called the Island of Hawaii, is the largest and youngest island in the archipelago, and a place of many stories and legends.
Big Island of Hawaii
‘The Valley Isle,’ as Maui is also known, is the second-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, renowned for its world-famous beaches and incredible scenery.
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