The Best Time to Visit Hawaii; A Month by Month Weather & Events Guide

by | Dec 21, 2022

If you’re anything like me and love the hot weather, a great atmosphere due to lots of jovial holidaymakers and loads to do, then in my opinion the best time to visit Hawaii is in July/August, which is when we went (and had an awesome time).

However as a country that sports beautiful weather all year round, visiting Hawaii greatly depends on personal preference.

So let’s dig a little deeper…

best time to visit hawaii - Aloha surf boardslittle plant | Unsplash

A Bit About Hawaii

Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean and is made up of eight main islands, which are Kaua’i, Niʻihau, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and the island of Hawaiʻi (the largest and youngest). The Hawaiian Islands are some of the most isolated in the world, making them unique and interesting places to visit.

The islands were first settled by Polynesian voyagers sometime between 300 and 800 AD. These settlers brought with them a rich culture that is still evident today in the language, music, food, and traditions of Hawaii. European explorers first arrived in the 1700s and Hawaii was eventually annexed by the United States in 1898.

Today, Hawaii is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world who come to enjoy its stunning natural scenery, warm climate, and diverse culture.

Image of Hawaii Huts and BeachesCristian Guerrero | Unsplash

The Best Time to Visit Hawaii

If you’re looking to soak up some sunshine and relax on the beach, then the best time to visit Hawaii is during the summer months, June – September. This is when temperatures are at their warmest. However, they’re also some of the most crowded months as tourists head to the Islands for their summer holidays.

If you’re a nature lover or enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities, then springtime is best. The weather is milder, with plenty of sunshine and pleasant ocean breezes, but it’s also prime season for plant growth in Hawaii. You’ll be able to see a variety of beautiful flowers as well as native animals like whales and dolphins.

If you’re looking to hit the shops or explore all that Hawaii has to offer in terms of culture and entertainment, the best time to visit is during the fall/autumn and winter months, when temperatures are more moderate. This is also a great time to take advantage of Hawaii’s many festivals and events, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in local culture.

December through February are generally considered the best months weather-wise if you’re hoping for sunshine and warmer temperatures during your stay, however, these months also tend to be some of the busiest times for tourism due largely in part because they correspond with winter break for many schools across North America.

Probably the best time to visit Hawaii overall, is in the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October. The weather is warm and sunny, with occasional showers, the surf is typically calm and it’s not too crowded. Rates are also lower during these months, making it a great time to plan your trip.

best time to visit hawaii - Summer in HawaiiKenneth Oh | Unsplash

The Climate in Hawaii

The climate in Hawaii is tropical, meaning that it’s hot and humid all year round. Temperatures usually stay in the 80s or 90s, but it can get a bit cooler on the Big Island or Maui.

The humidity is reportedly high year-round (although we found it fine when there in July), so it’s best to bring clothes that will keep you cool and comfortable. Hawaii doesn’t have much rainfall, but it does rain occasionally. The best time to visit if you’re looking for dry weather is during the winter months, October – March.

Average min and max temperatures in Honolulu, Hawaii

What is the Best Month to Visit Hawaii?

The best month to visit Hawaii depends on what you want to do while you’re there. If you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, spring or fall/autumn is the best time.

If you prefer the heat and sunshine of summer then July/August will be best. Ultimately, the best time to visit Hawaii will depend on your personal preferences and travel plans.

Here’s a month by month breakdown of climate and events across the islands of Hawaii;

Visiting Hawaii in January

January is one of the cooler months in Hawaii, with temperatures averaging in the mid-70s. This makes it a good month to visit if you’re looking for milder weather, although it’s still relatively warm compared to other places in the US.

January is also a great time to visit because there are fewer crowds and prices are lower than in the summer months. There are plenty of things to do in Hawaii in January, including hiking, swimming, sunbathing, and attending local festivals and events.

Some of the notable events that take place in Hawaii in January include the Waikiki New Year’s Eve fireworks show (NYE), and the PGA Golf – Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui. There are also a number of smaller festivals and events that take place on different islands throughout the month.

best time to visit hawaii - Fireworks ShowImage source: thehawaiiadmirer.com

Visiting Hawaii in February

February is another mild month in Hawaii, with temperatures averaging in the mid-70s. Like January, it’s a good month to visit if you’re looking for milder weather and don’t want to deal with the crowds and high prices of the summer months.

Plus February/March are great months for whale watching.

Notable events include the Valentine’s Day Chocolate Festival, the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and late February/early March is the annual Maui Whale Festival.

Whale Watching In HawaiiBrigitte Werner | Pixabay

Visiting Hawaii in March

The temperature starts to warm up a bit in March with temperatures averaging in the low 80s. However, expect it to be busy due to spring break.

There are a number of events and festivals happening throughout the month including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Waikiki, the Prince Kuhio Day Celebration on Maui, the Honolulu Festival and the Kona Brewers Festival.

best time to visit hawaii - Lion DanceImage source: Yoshi Canopus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in April

April is a good time to visit Hawaii. While temperatures start to climb into the mid 80’s, crowds thin out after winter holidays and before summer holidays. This means flights and accommodation will be more affordable and you won’t be battling crowds.

If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to attend the Big Island Chocolate Festival.

Big Island Chocolate FestivalImage source: bigislandchocolatefestival.com

Visiting Hawaii in May

May is quite possibly one of the best months to visit Hawaii. With temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, it’s classed as the start of the dry season.

As a slow month for tourism, accommodation and flight prices should be reasonable and there are plenty of things to do, from exploring the islands’ natural beauty to getting involved in the Lei Day Celebrations on Oahu.

What are the Lei Day celebrations, I hear you ask?

A lei is a necklace made of flowers, leaves, shells, or other natural materials. Leis are traditionally given as a sign of appreciation or affection and are often worn on special occasions.

The Lei Day Celebrations are a series of events that take place in May each year to celebrate the tradition of wearing leis. The celebrations include a parade, a hula competition, and a lei-making contest.

Fun for all the family!

best time to visit hawaii - Lei Day CelebrationImage source: NAVFAC, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in June

In June, the climate is warm and sunny with average temperatures in the high 80s. This makes it a great month to visit if you’re looking for good weather, but it will start to get more crowded and prices start to ramp up.

However, event wise there’s loads going on.

Some of the events that are on in Hawaii in June include the King Kamehameha Day Parade, the Kapalua Food & Wine Festival and the Hawaii Kuauli Pacific and Asia Cultural Festival.

Particularly notable is the King Kamehameha Day Parade. This is a parade that takes place in Honolulu, Hawaii on the second Saturday in June each year. The parade celebrates the life of King Kamehameha, who was the first king of Hawaii. The parade features dancers, musicians, and floats, and attracts thousands of spectators each year.

King Kamehameha ParadeImage source: Daniel Ramirez from Honolulu, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in July

July is hot, hot, hot! Also expect it to be a little rainier this month (although not enough to ruin your day).

It is summer holidays across most of the Western Hemisphere, so it’s one of the more expensive months to visit and more crowded.

This is a great time to lounge around on the beach, dip your toe into the pacific and of course, enjoy the 4th July fireworks celebrations!

best time to visit hawaii - 4th of July fireworksVicki Schofield | Unsplash

Visiting Hawaii in August

Temperatures in August range from the mid-80s to the low 90s, and it can be quite humid. It’s also the most popular month to visit Hawaii, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.

Some of the events that are on in Hawaii in August include the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, and the unmissable Duke’s Oceanfest Watersports Festival in Waikiki.

(If you haven’t yet visited Duke’s, I highly recommend it. Great food, fantastic atmosphere and right on the beach. Can’t get better than that!)

Festival in WaikikiImage source: Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in September

Tourism starts to slow down in September as kids return to school and adults to normal life!

With temperatures still in the high 80’s even touching low 90’s for digital nomads who love the heat, but hate the crowds, this might be a good time to visit Hawaii as prices for hotels and airfare will start to decline.

There’s also quite a lot going on in September with the statewide Aloha Festivals, the Waikiki Surf Film Festival and the Kauai Marathon.

best time to visit hawaii - Keiki Marathon HawaiiImage source: Kristen Wong, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in October

October follows September in that it’s a nice shoulder month to visit Hawaii between the busier summer and winter months. Temperatures start to decrease a little back into the mid 80’s and it should be a more affordable time to visit.

It’s also a busy month for events, including the Honolulu Pride parades, the Kauai Coffee & Chocolate Festivals (they love their chocolate), and the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in Maui & on the big island.

Honolulu Pride ParadeImage source: Daniel Ramirez from Honolulu, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in November

November is one of the rainiest months in Hawaii, but as with most tropical countries, the rain comes hard and heavy and is followed by quick drying sunshine!

The temperature remains steady in the mid to lower 80’s and the crowds start to gently pick up again in preparation for the winter holidays.

Another event filled month, you can experience the Oahu version of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, the Made in Maui County Festival and the Hawaii International Film Festival.

best time to visit hawaii - Kona Coffee Cultural FestivalImage source: Gerardolagunes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Hawaii in December

In December, the average temperatures reach late 70’s, making it a very comfortable time of the year to visit Hawaii. Like November there’s also a higher chance of rainfall during this time of year, so be prepared for possible showers.

Similar to the summer months, December is considered the peak season for tourism in Hawaii, so prices for flights and hotels may be higher than usual. But if you love to surf, hike, run marathons or watch whales, December is one of the best times to visit Hawaii.

The main events in Hawaii in December include the Honolulu Marathon, the Honolulu City lights and of course all sorts of Christmas celebrations and Santa arriving by canoe!

best time to visit hawaii - santaImage Credit: Kaanapali Beach Resort

When to Visit Hawaii for the Most Sunshine

If you’re looking for the most sunshine for your visit to Hawaii, aim for the months of April through October. These months boast the warmest temperatures and lowest rainfall of the year.

When to Visit Hawaii to Avoid the Crowds

Planning a trip to Hawaii but dread the thought of dealing with large crowds?

You’re not alone – many people want to enjoy the stunning scenery and amazing weather that the islands have to offer, but without the hassle of fighting for space on the beach or jostling for position at popular tourist attractions.

Luckily, there are plenty of times throughout the year when Hawaii is quieter and less crowded, so you can still enjoy all that the islands have to offer without the crowds.

The winter months, from mid-December to late Feb, are typically quite crowded, as people escape the cold weather elsewhere and look to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve away from their hometown.

Also the summer holidays from late June to early September will be crowded and pricey as people enjoy family trips to Hawaii.

If you’re looking for a quieter trip, consider visiting during the shoulder months of April-May or September-November. These months are less crowded & cheaper, plus the weather is still beautiful during these times and you’ll be able to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer without the hustle and bustle of peak season.

Drone image of Hawaii beachesMichael Olsen | Unsplash

Best Time of Year to Visit Hawaii for Low Prices

As anyone who’s ever tried to book a vacation knows, there’s no one “best” time to travel. Prices fluctuate throughout the year depending on demand.

And while there are definitely some expensive times to visit Hawaii, there are also some great deals to be had – if you know when to look.

Here are a few tips on finding the best time of year to visit Hawaii for low prices:

1. Travel in the Shoulder Seasons.

The shoulder seasons are the months of April, May, September, and October. These months are typically cheaper than the peak summer months, but still offer good weather and plenty of activities.

2. Avoid Peak Travel Times.

The last two weeks of December and the first week of January are generally the most expensive times to visit Hawaii. That’s because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Other peak travel times are when kids are out of school for spring break and summer vacation.

3. Book Your Flights on Weekdays.

Weekend flights tend to be more expensive than weekday flights. So, if you can travel mid-week, you’ll likely save some money on airfare.

4. Look for Deals and Discounts.

There are often deals and discounts available for Hawaii travel. Check with travel websites, airlines, and hotels to see what’s currently being offered.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find the best time of year to visit Hawaii for low prices.

Hawaii BeachCosmin Serban | Unsplash

Best Times to Go Surfing in Hawaii

When most people think of Hawaii, they think of sandy beaches, tropical drinks, and, of course, surfing.

The waves in Hawaii are some of the best in the world, but they can also be some of the most dangerous and not necessarily beginner friendly depending on the time of year.

Generally speaking, for experienced surfers, the best time to go surfing in Hawaii is during the winter months. November through to February are when the waves are at their biggest, so it’s definitely not the time for beginners.

If you want to learn to surf (as my daughter and husband did when we went), the summer months of July, August & September are best when the surf is at its calmest.

Just be sure to take all the necessary precautions, like checking the weather and swell forecast before you head out, and always surf with a buddy or a trained professional. With a little bit of planning, you can have the time of your life surfing in Hawaii.

best time to visit hawaii - Surfer in HawaiiTom Henderson | Unsplash

Best Times to Go Whale Watching in Hawaii

Looking to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s largest mammals in their natural habitat? Then you’ll want to plan a trip to Hawaii between December and early May.

This is when humpback whales can be found swimming off the islands’ coasts. Each year between December and April, humpback whales migrate to Hawaii’s warm waters to mate and give birth.

The best island to see whales in Hawaii is Maui.The town of Lahaina, Maui offers a number of whale-watching cruises and tours, ensuring you’re taken to the best spots to witness these majestic creatures.

whale watchingTodd Craven | Unplash

The Cheapest Months to Visit Hawaii

The best time to visit Hawaii is during the shoulder seasons, from March through to the beginning of May, and from September through to November.

However, spring break and the beginning of September can mean higher traffic and higher prices, too, so look carefully before booking.

How Much Does It Cost To Vacation In Hawaii?

When it comes to finding out how much your Hawaiian vacation might cost, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration, such as airfare and lodging.

For airfare, if you’re coming from the US mainland, you can expect to spend at least $500-$700 per person round-trip.

However, prices may be lower if you fly into Honolulu as opposed to other airports, such as Maui or Kauai. As for lodging, there are plenty of accommodation options available in Hawaii, ranging from luxury resorts and hotels to more budget-friendly options.

Prices will vary depending on the type of lodging you choose, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$500 per night. Keep in mind that these are just estimates – your actual costs may be higher or lower depending on your specific travel plans.

But by considering these factors, you can get a better idea of what to expect when budgeting for your trip to Hawaii.

best time to visit hawaii - The beautiful Island of HawaiiPeter Thomas | Unsplash

The Overall Best Time to Visit Hawaii

The weather in Hawaii is pretty consistent throughout the year, with only slight variations in temperature and rainfall from one month to the next. That means that there’s really no “bad” time to visit Hawaii.

However, there are definitely some times that are better than others.

If you’re looking for the best deals on airfare and accommodation, travel to Hawaii between April-May and September-October. You’ll find that prices are lower during these months, but the weather is still quite pleasant.

This is also the time when fewer people are visiting the islands, so you’ll have a better chance of scoring deals on accommodations and activities.

Keep in mind, though, that the weather is a bit cooler and wetter during this time of year.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Hawaii will depend on your budget, your travel style, and what you want to do while you’re on the islands. No matter when you go, you’re sure to have a fantastic time in this tropical paradise.

Beach drone imageBalazs Busznyak | Unsplash

FAQs in Relation to The Best Time to Visit Hawaii

What is the most popular month to go to Hawaii?

The most popular months to go to Hawaii are July & December.

What is the best time of year to visit the Hawaiian Islands?

This depends on your travel preferences. For reduced crowds and lower prices, April-May & Sept-Oct are best. For maximum sunshine, July & August are best. For surfing and whale watching, December to February is best.

How many days do you need in Hawaii?

We spent two weeks there and didn’t even scratch the surface! There’s so much to see and do! Personally I could spend 6 months living there to experience all the different festivals and events and take in everything Hawaii has to offer and I still probably wouldn’t do everything I wanted to.

Depending on what it is you want to do and see, will depend on how long you stay there. See the month by month breakdown above for more details.

Is Hawaii Safe?

Hawaii is generally a safe place to visit, although there are some safety considerations to keep in mind.

Petty crime such as pickpocketing or purse-snatching can be common in busy areas, so it’s best to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables secure. Additionally, care should always be taken when swimming or surfing at the beach, as strong currents and waves can pose a danger.

That said, with proper precautions and planning, Hawaii is a great destination for travelers of all ages and backgrounds.

Nevertheless, always ensure you have travel insurance wherever you go as it will protect you against theft, injury, illness or cancelations. Use the form below to get your personalized quote.

Why Visit Hawaii?

Why wouldn’t you visit Hawaii is a more apt question!

With its warm weather year-round, beautiful scenery, and friendly locals, Hawaii is one of the top travel destinations in the world! Stunning natural beauty, endless outdoor adventures, vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage, all come together to form an incredible journey exploring these amazing islands.

lu'au-hawaii

Myself & my daughter at a Lu’au in Hawaii

Best Time to Visit Hawaii – Summary

In case you hadn’t guessed I am a big fan of Hawaii and can’t wait to return to explore the islands further and experience more of the Hawaiian culture.

A fantastic place to visit year round, the best time to visit Hawaii is simply based on your own personal preferences of what you prefer to do or experience.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous outdoor experience or just want to relax on the beach, I have no doubt you’ll have an amazing time on this beautiful island paradise!

jo barnes boat cartoon

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