The best time to visit Hawaii
A month-by-month guide to the best time to visit Hawaii for great weather and events.
The best time to visit Hawaii: a month-by-month guide
Hawaii is a truly luxurious travel destination, a collection of tropical paradise islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich culture, Hawaii tops many people’s bucket lists and conjures up images of endless swathes of white sand and palm-fringed beaches, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and breathtaking natural beauty. But when is the best time to go to Hawaii? The answer largely depends on your priorities as a traveler.
The weather in Hawaii is consistently pleasant throughout the year, oscillating between mild and hot temperatures. This means you’ll likely enjoy some fantastic weather and spells of sunshine whenever you visit Hawaii. However, there are certain times of the year that may be better suited for different types of travelers. For example, if you're a surfer, you will probably want to visit during the winter months, when the swells peak and large rolling breakers tempt world-class surfers from around the globe. On the other hand, if you're looking to hike or explore the islands' natural beauty, you may want to visit during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild, and tropical flowers are in full bloom.
If you’re a first-timer, many travelers believe that the best months to visit Hawaii are April, May, and October when the weather is warm and dry, and the crowds are smaller than during the peak summer months. However, other visitors swear by the winter months, when the islands come alive with holiday festivities and big waves. Ultimately, the best time to visit Hawaii depends on your travel preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the best time to visit Hawaii in our month-by-month breakdown, or see our quick guide below for an overview of our top picks for the best months to visit Hawaii.
A quick guide to the best months to visit Hawaii
When is hurricane season in Hawaii?
The Pacific hurricane season lasts from June through November. Hurricanes are rare in Hawaii, but if it does happen, it is most likely in July, August, and September.
When is the rainy season in Hawaii?
November through March is Hawaii’s rainy season, although even the rainy season can be dry. If you’re wanting to see the rainforests and scenery at its lushest, then the rainy season could be the best time to travel to Hawaii.
When is the best weather in Hawaii?
The best weather in Hawaii can be found in April, May, and October.
When is the cheapest time to go to Hawaii?
February through March is the cheapest time to visit Hawaii. During this time you’ll be able to find deals on airfares and discover attractions and events that are far less busy than later in the year.
When is whale season in Hawaii?
Whales are most commonly seen around Hawaii from December through March, when humpback whales migrate to the Pacific islands to breed and give birth.
When is off-season in Hawaii?
Spring and fall are the quietest seasons in Hawaii. April through May and September through November see the fewest number of visitors, and, for many people, these months are the best time of year to visit Hawaii.
When is winter in Hawaii?
November through April constitutes winter in Hawaii.
When is mango season in Hawaii?
Mango season goes from May through October in Hawaii. During this period, you’ll find these sweet tropical fruits growing on trees and piled high on market stalls across the state.
The best time to go to Hawaii: a month-by-month guide
January in Hawaii
Hawaii in January is a beautiful time, and January is a great month to visit these beautiful islands. The weather is mild and pleasant, with average daytime temperatures of 78°F (25.5°C). After dark, temperatures drop to around 65°F (18°C). There is also plenty of sunshine, although January can see rain showers, particularly on the eastern islands.
Showers can be heavy while they last but usually clear away quickly. If you’re in the mood for some water-based adventures in the Pacific, the sea temperature in Hawaii in January is pleasant. It’s worth bearing in mind that seas can be quite rough from December through March in Hawaii - making it an excellent time for surfing, and other wind-based water sports, but a little more challenging for activities such as swimming and snorkeling.
On the subject of the sea, January is a great time to visit Hawaii to see the migration of majestic humpback whales. These beautiful creatures make a stop in the waters off of Hawaii during January to breed and give birth, offering visitors and locals alike the chance to see one of nature’s greatest marvels in the wild. There is even an annual event that takes place in January called, The Maui Whale Festival. The event celebrates the annual migration and features educational and cultural exhibits including whale-watching excursions, concerts, and environmental workshops. Overall, visiting Hawaii in January is ideal for those looking for mild weather, perfect sea conditions, and wildlife-watching opportunities.
Hawaii in February
Visiting Hawaii in February is perfect for escaping the cold and gloomy weather that often dominates other destinations during this month. The weather in Hawaii in February is usually pleasant, continuing the mild conditions that the islands enjoy in January. Average daytime temperatures hover between 70 and 80°F (20 - 26°C), with things feeling a bit cooler during the evenings. February can also see rain showers, as it falls within what is technically Hawaii’s rainy season (November through March), so pack a jacket and umbrella just in case.
Don’t let the possibility of a bit of rain put you off, February in Hawaii is still a wonderful time to visit to enjoy outdoor activities. Hiking is particularly good, with mild temperatures providing much more pleasant conditions than the high heat of the summer months. Ocean temperatures are also comfortable in Hawaii in February, offering opportunities to explore the technicolor world below the Pacific waves, although there can still be occasional rough waters.
Hawaii in March
March heralds the beginning of spring and is a wonderful time to take a trip to this Pacific paradise. Hawaii weather in March brings sunny weather and warm temperatures, averaging 78°F (26°C) during the day and 68°F (20°C) at night. March is the final month of Hawaii’s rainy season, so pack a jacket and umbrellas, but you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine during your stay. Ocean temperatures are comfortable enough for most people to enjoy the many water activities on offer.
Outdoor activities are very popular in Hawaii in March, with hiking and visiting national parks, amongst the top experiences to enjoy in the great outdoors. March is also a great time for a more relaxing vacation, with Hawaii’s world-famous beaches offering sunbathing, swimming, and fun family days out, while the thronging crowds of summer are still several months away.
Hawaii in April
Tropical blooms, abundant wildlife, and lush landscapes are the hallmarks of a Hawaii vacation in April. Spring brings an explosion of color to the islands, and visiting Hawaii in April is a wonderful time to see the breathtaking landscapes at their very best. The weather in Hawaii in April is often warm and bright, with average daytime temperatures of 80°F (27°C) and 70°F (21°C) after sundown. For beach vacations and for those interested in exploring Hawaii’s majestic landscapes, April is a fantastic month to visit.
April in Hawaii is the perfect time for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, snorkeling, and wildlife watching. Water temperatures are mild, the weather overall is dry and skies are generally clear, both during the day and at night time. April is a fantastic time to do a bit of exploring beyond terra firma. Cast your eyes upwards as the sun slips below the horizon and prepare to be dazzled as millions of stars glimmer amongst the backdrop of a velvet-blue sky.
Hawaii in May
As the islands roll towards summer, things begin to heat up in Hawaii in May. May is one of our favorite months to visit Hawaii, with average daily temperatures hitting 82°F (28°C) and nighttime temperatures of 72°F (22°C). With clear skies and many hours of sunshine each day, Hawaii truly lives up to its reputation as a tropical paradise during May.
Languid days spent lazing on the beach, buzzy cultural events and adventurous outdoor activities are all on the cards in May, making it one of the best months to visit for those who want a little bit of everything from their Hawaii vacation. It is also the last month of the spring shoulder season before the crowds descend for the long days of the heady months of summer, making May the ideal time to visit Hawaii to experience these incredible islands.
Hawaii in June
The first month of summer in Hawaii ushers in high temperatures, humidity, and plenty of festivals and events. Temperatures sit in the high 80s (around 30°C) during the day, but high humidity can make it feel warmer. June also sees some more dramatic weather conditions, with thunderstorms occasionally breaking out, and bringing some heavy spells of rain.
June is a very popular time to visit Hawaii. There are plenty of events and festivals throughout the month. June is also a great month for experiencing Hawaii’s staggering natural attractions, with the island’s rainforests and waterfalls being particularly spectacular at this time. As a result, June is one of the busiest months in Hawaii, marking the start of the summer tourist season, so prepare to share your adventures with visitors from all over the world.
Hawaii in July
July is a beautiful month to visit Hawaii. The Hawaiian weather in July is generally warm and sunny, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 30°C). This makes it an ideal time to enjoy the Aloha state's incredible beaches, hike through lush forests, and participate in outdoor activities like surfing and snorkeling. Despite the warm weather, Hawaii in July is also known for its brisk trade winds blowing in off of the Pacific, which helps to keep temperatures comfortable throughout the day. Outdoor activities like kite surfing or windsurfing are particularly good during July because of these winds, so don’t forget your swimming gear.
One of the biggest draws of Hawaii in July is the many cultural events and festivals that take place during the month. The annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival is a popular event that attracts foodies from around the world, showcasing the unique culinary offerings of Hawaii. Additionally, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival and the Pan-Pacific Festival are just a few of the many cultural events that take place in July and celebrate the rich heritage of the state and its people.
Hawaii in August
August is one of the most popular times to visit Hawaii, particularly for families, with schools being out for the summer. The Hawaiian weather in August is generally glorious, with plenty of hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine, not to mention high humidity levels. Daytime temperatures in Hawaii in August hover in the high 80s (31°C), making it amongst the warmest months of the year. The trade winds that cooled things down in July are still present in August and help to keep things feeling comfortable.
In addition to the state’s myriad outdoor activities, all of which are throughout the month, August in Hawaii is also a great time to immerse yourself in Aloha State’s unique culture and history. From the annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival to the glittering Hawaii International Film Festival, there are numerous events that take place throughout August.
Hawaii in September
As the summer crowds begin to disperse, September sees a return to the more relaxed and laid-back vibes of island life. The Hawaiian weather in September is warm and pleasant with an average temperature of around 80°F (around 26°C), just a bit cooler than in previous months. Visitors can expect plenty of sunshine, comfortable humidity levels, and refreshing trade winds, which help to keep the temperature in check. Those winds can also blow in more inclement weather conditions, with occasional tropical storms making landfall, so be prepared for some potential rain and wind.
Lower temperatures and humidity make September a great month for enjoying some outdoor activities in Hawaii, from exploring national parks to trekking through forests. The waters around Hawaii still retain their summer warmth, making ocean activities such as diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding and more pleasurable during September. There are still plenty of events and festivals throughout the month, including the month-long Aloha Festivals, which celebrate Hawaiian music, dance, and culture.
Hawaii in October
While much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere prepares for winter, Hawaii still basks in 80°F (26°C) temperatures in October. While there might still be the odd rain shower, October is also one of the driest months in the state. The temperatures in Hawaii in October are typically warm but not excessively hot, making it one of the best times to visit Hawaii if beaches and outdoor activities are on your itinerary.
October’s cultural calendar shows no signs of slowing down in October, with events such as the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival and the Honolulu Festival being just a couple of highlights. Overall, October is another of our top choices for Hawaii vacations, as it offers a fantastic balance between mild, sunny weather, plenty of activities and events to enjoy, and low crowd levels.
Hawaii in November
Swap snowfall and wind-chapped cheeks for beach lounging and flaming sunsets when you visit Hawaii in November. Hawaiian weather in November typically offers visitors an average temperature of around 78°F (25.5°C). While November can be rainier than some other months, visitors to Hawaii can still expect plenty of warm, sunny days and comfortable humidity levels.
During November, visitors can attend the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, celebrating the island's famous coffee industry with tastings, live music, and other events. The annual Honolulu Marathon, one of the largest marathons in the world, also takes place in November, attracting runners from around the globe keen to slip on their running shows in what has to be one of the most scenic marathon courses in the world.
Hawaii in December
Holiday season in Hawaii looks a little different from most other places. If you fancy a tropical festive break, where, instead of bedecked fir trees with can see palms trees twinkling with flashing lights, and instead of comedically ugly sweaters and thick trousers, your Christmas uniform can be shorts and t-shirts, then Hawaii in December is just the place. Hawaiian weather in December is typically mild and comfortable, with temperatures averaging around 75°F (23.8°C). This balmy weather draws in the crowds, and December is one of the busiest months in Hawaii, as many visitors come to the islands to escape the colder weather in other parts of the world and to celebrate the holiday season.
December is also a great time to experience the state's unique cultural scene. Visitors can attend the annual Honolulu City Lights festival, a month-long celebration of the holiday season featuring light displays, live music, and food vendors. The Maui Film Festival also takes place in December, offering visitors a chance to see some of the world's top independent films in a beautiful outdoor setting.
So, when is the best time to visit Hawaii?
As you have probably noticed, any time is a great time to visit Hawaii. Generally, the months of April, May, October, and November are our top choices, for incredible weather, mild temperatures, and plenty of activities and events. The best time to go to Hawaii ultimately depends on what you want to experience, but overall, Hawaii is truly a fabulous vacation destination all year round.
Once you’ve chosen when to go to Hawaii, you’ll want to find somewhere fantastic to stay. That’s where we come in. Here at Top Villas, we have got a beautiful range of luxury Hawaii vacation rentals in several beautiful Hawaiian locations, including Big Island and Maui. These stunning homes are within moments of golden sand beaches and are ideal for family breaks, romantic retreats, and golf vacations.