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Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

When is the best time to visit Hawaii?

The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September, when it sees the least rain and the highest temperatures. This is the perfect time to enjoy the beach or water.

However, Hawaii’s perennial warm weather makes it a good destination at any time of year, with pleasant temperatures between 23°C and 30°C. It’s wetter and marginally cooler during the rest of the year, especially at altitude. However, you may get the chance to see a tropical beach with a snow-capped volcano as a backdrop.

There are fewer visitors from October to November, lending the islands a tranquil feel, while the ocean swells of January to March bring professional surfers in search of giant waves.

Note that the islands’ west coasts are significantly drier than the east.

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Hawaii Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Big Island (Hawaii) 27°C 125mm 27°C 89mm 27°C 102mm 27°C 80mm 28°C 57mm 29°C 37mm 30°C 46mm 30°C 38mm 30°C 40mm 30°C 78mm 28°C 112mm 27°C 124mm
Kauai 25°C 349mm 24°C 284mm 24°C 337mm 25°C 327mm 26°C 296mm 27°C 195mm 28°C 291mm 28°C 301mm 28°C 218mm 27°C 293mm 26°C 368mm 25°C 370mm
Lanai 23°C 141mm 23°C 90mm 23°C 88mm 24°C 65mm 25°C 53mm 26°C 23mm 26°C 32mm 27°C 23mm 27°C 36mm 26°C 59mm 25°C 88mm 24°C 106mm
Maui 26°C 115mm 26°C 74mm 27°C 69mm 27°C 38mm 28°C 17mm 29°C 3mm 29°C 7mm 29°C 11mm 30°C 7mm 30°C 28mm 28°C 65mm 27°C 83mm
Molokai 26°C 114mm 26°C 74mm 26°C 83mm 27°C 43mm 28°C 29mm 29°C 11mm 29°C 12mm 30°C 12mm 30°C 13mm 29°C 46mm 28°C 75mm 26°C 96mm
Oahu 26°C 182mm 26°C 141mm 26°C 178mm 26°C 169mm 28°C 128mm 28°C 91mm 29°C 117mm 29°C 94mm 29°C 89mm 29°C 137mm 27°C 192mm 26°C 188mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Hawaii

Lanai, Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii in January

Outside of New Year, January is a month with some breathing space as the crowds dissipate after Christmas. However, it’s still popular with visitors jetting in from the mainland to escape the winter. This is one of the wetter months, so a longer trip offers a better chance of a good few dry days.

Events & Festivals

  • Humpback whales can be spotted around the island chain from December to May. The best time to see them is from January to March.
Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii in February

Hawaii sits in the path of trade winds, so it's breezy most of the time. But the winds can drop in winter, leading to calm days ideal for taking to the skies above the volcanic terrain in a helicopter. Conversely, the swells roll in from across the Pacific, attracting competition surfers from around the globe looking to test themselves against the waves of Oahu's North Shore.

Events & Festivals

  • Humpback whales can be spotted around the island chain from December to May. The best time to see them is from January to March.
Maui Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii in March

The mercury starts to rise, but March is still prone to the occasional winter storm, and shares the title of being the wettest month with November. Bringing a waterproof jacket and planning activities around showers will pay dividends.

Events & Festivals

  • Humpback whales can be spotted around the island chain from December to May. The best time to see them is from January to March.
Northern part of Hawaii Big Island

Visiting Hawaii in April

The air heats up noticeably in April: whereas you might have needed a sweater for the evenings in March, it’s usually comfortable to be in short sleeves throughout the following month. The tropical feel extends to the foliage, with riotous displays of flowers dotting the hillsides.

Surfboards in Paia, Maui

Visiting Hawaii in May

May is an excellent time to enjoy activities on and beside the ocean. Sea temperatures are rising and the water is calmer, though there’s still a bit of a kick should you want to have a go at learning to surf, or (for more experienced surfers) ride the waves off Oahu’s renowned North Shore without risking life and limb.

Sugar cane stand on the road to Hana, Maui

Visiting Hawaii in June

The sun is high overhead, bringing dry, hot weather and the lowest rainfall of the year. The summer crowds have not yet arrived, so a trip at this time of the year can be a more peaceful and rewarding experience.

Makena Beach, Maui

Visiting Hawaii in July - August

The high summer is busier across the archipelago as visitors flock from continental USA. But there are still plenty of places to get away from any crowds, and busier places such as Waikiki Beach are cheerfully exuberant. The surf scene moves to the south of the islands, while the northern shores are now a magnet for snorkelers and swimmers.

Dolphins in Maui

Visiting Hawaii in September

As the number of visitors falls, the islands once again have breathing space. Combined with pleasant temperatures and calm seas, this makes September an insider's choice. Underwater visibility is excellent so exploring the archipelago’s reefs and marine life is recommended.

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Visiting Hawaii in October

October often has an end-of-the-season feel, which is ideal for those who want to take advantage of lower prices without crowds. The temperatures are still warm and sunshine dominates, but there’s always the possibility of an early storm and some heavier seas.

Hana highway, Maui

Visiting Hawaii in November

The equal wettest month alongside March, November is more of a gamble but still gets its fair share of sunny days, mixed in with showers and cloud. Hawaii is an archipelago of microclimates, however, with mountains protecting pockets of land from rain, so there’s always somewhere that’s dry.

Humpback whale - Maui

Visiting Hawaii in December

December marks the start of the whale season in Hawaii — you have a chance of spotting humpback whales offshore, which migrate from Alaska to Hawaii’s waters to breed and have their young. On land, crowds are absent until the Christmas period, it's warm and dry, and there’s a festive feel around the islands.

Events & Festivals

  • Humpback whales can be spotted around the island chain from December to May. The best time to see them is from January to March.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Hawaii, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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