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Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

When is the best time to visit Hawaii?

Hawaii's perennial warm weather makes it a good destination at any time of year, but between March and September sees the least rain and highest temperatures — good for being on the beach or water.

It's wetter and marginally cooler during the rest of the year, especially at altitude, but you may get the chance to see a tropical beach with a snow-capped volcano as a backdrop. It's also the case that the islands’ west coasts are significantly drier than the east.

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

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Hawaii Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Big Island (Hawaii) 81°F 5" 81°F 4" 81°F 4" 81°F 3" 82°F 2" 84°F 1" 86°F 2" 86°F 1" 86°F 2" 86°F 3" 82°F 4" 81°F 5"
Kauai 77°F 14" 75°F 11" 75°F 13" 77°F 13" 79°F 12" 81°F 8" 82°F 11" 82°F 12" 82°F 9" 81°F 12" 79°F 14" 77°F 15"
Lanai 73°F 6" 73°F 4" 73°F 3" 75°F 3" 77°F 2" 79°F 1" 79°F 1" 81°F 1" 81°F 1" 79°F 2" 77°F 3" 75°F 4"
Maui 79°F 5" 79°F 3" 81°F 3" 81°F 1" 82°F 1" 84°F 0" 84°F 0" 84°F 0" 86°F 0" 86°F 1" 82°F 3" 81°F 3"
Molokai 79°F 4" 79°F 3" 79°F 3" 81°F 2" 82°F 1" 84°F 0" 84°F 0" 86°F 0" 86°F 1" 84°F 2" 82°F 3" 79°F 4"
Oahu 79°F 7" 79°F 6" 79°F 7" 79°F 7" 82°F 5" 82°F 4" 84°F 5" 84°F 4" 84°F 4" 84°F 5" 81°F 8" 79°F 7"

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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