Hawaii Trip Planning Guide

Travel Info

Best time to visit Hawaii

It's always a good time to visit, but we can help you select the best time.

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Above: Seasonal rainfall differences have an effect on waterfalls such as Rainbow Falls on Hawaii Island, shown here in the summer.

It's always a good time to visit Hawaii, but here's some information to help you decide.


At a glance

Hawaii is blessed with sunshine virtually all year-round, so any time would be a great time for a visit. Temperature changes are minor: During the summer, the average daytime temperature is 85°; in the winter, it’s 78°. Even near-shore ocean temperatures don’t vary that much, averaging 74° throughout the year.

December (except for the first week), January and February are the busiest months, when prices for airfare and accommodations are at their highest. In particular, the last two weeks of December and the first week of January are prime times for travel, and hotels and flights are often booked to capacity. Summer and mid-spring—during breaks from school—are also peak periods. In general, you’ll find cheaper rates and fewer visitors in late spring and fall (before Thanksgiving).


tunnels

Above: Visitors flock to Hawaii's warm, sunny beaches year round.

Although Hawaii’s rainy season is November through March, showers can fall anytime, mostly on the windward (northeastern) side of the Islands. Those sprinkles shouldn’t spoil your vacation fun because they usually don’t last long and they’re often localized, meaning even if it’s raining where you are, there likely will be clear skies elsewhere on the same island.

Hurricane season runs from June through November (since 1950, when accurate data collection began, only a handful of hurricanes have caused significant damage). Nature also demonstrates her might during the winter when storms in the Pacific drive ocean swells toward north-facing shores of the Islands. Only experienced surfers should get into the water and try riding those monster waves. Everyone else, grab a front-row seat on the beach and marvel at their courage and athleticism.

For some people, the best time to visit is when their favorite Hawaii event is happening. Following is a list of popular annual events; please note dates are subject to change.


January
Average high: 80°
Average low: 66°

Oahu:
Ohana Festival, Sony Open

Maui:
Sentry Tournament of Champions

Hawaii Island:
Iolani Luahine Hula Festival, Mitsubishi Electric Golf Championship, Waimea Ocean Film Festival

Kauai:
E Kanikapila Kakou (through March)

Molokai:
Ka Molokai Makahiki
February
Average high: 81°
Average low: 65°

Oahu:
Great Aloha Run, Pow! Wow! Hawaii, Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

Maui:
Maui Open Studios, Maui Whale Festival

Hawaii Island:
Avocado Festival, Panaewa Stampede Rodeo, Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, Wiliwili Festival

Kauai:
Kauai Quilt Show, Waimea Town Celebration
March
Average high: 82°
Average low: 67°

Oahu:
Honolulu Festival

Maui:
Celebration of the Arts (Easter weekend; could be in April)

Hawaii Island:
Kona Brewers Festival, Merrie Monarch Festival (the week after Easter; could be in April)

Kauai:
Prince Kuhio Day celebrations
April
Average high: 83°
Average low: 68°

Oahu:
I Love Kailua Town Party, Spring Hawaii International Film Festival, Waikiki Spam Jam

Maui:
East Maui Taro Festival, Kite Festival, Haiku Hoolaulea and Flower Festival

Hawaii Island:
Big Island Chocolate Festival, Kau Coffee Festival, Laupahoehoe Music Festival

Kauai:
Spring Fantasy Orchid Show

lanterns

Above: Held annually on Memorial Day on Oahu's south shore, Lantern Floating Hawaii brings together over 50,000 people on the beach in a moment of remembrance.


May
Average high: 85°
Average low: 70°

Oahu:
Filipino Festival, Hawaii Book and Music Festival, Lei Day Celebration, Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii

Maui:
Maui Matsuri, Maui Brewers Festival

Hawaii Island:
Honokaa Western Week

Kauai:
Banana Poka Round Up

Molokai:
Molokai Ka Hula Piko
June
Average high: 87°
Average low: 72°

Oahu:
King Kamehameha Celebration, Mango Jam, Pan-Pacific Festival

Maui:
Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, Maui Agricultural Festival, Maui Film Festival

Hawaii Island:
Hilo Orchid Show, King Kamehameha Celebration, Puuhonua O Honaunau Cultural Festival

Kauai:
Taste of Hawaii
July
Average high: 88°
Average low: 74°

Oahu:
Ala Moana Center Fireworks Show, Hawaii State Farm Fair, Joy of Sake, Prince Lot Hula Festival, Ukulele Festival Hawaii

Maui:
Makawao Rodeo and Paniolo Parade

Hawaii Island:
Mango Festival, Parker Ranch Horse Races and Rodeo

Kauai:
Concert in the Sky, Koloa Plantation Days

Lanai:
Pineapple Festival
August
Average high: 89°
Average low: 75°

Oahu:
Duke’s OceanFest, Korean Festival, Made in Hawaii Festival, Na Hula Festival

Maui:
Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival, Hana Cultural Center and Museum Hoolaulea

Hawaii Island:
Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, Mai Tai Festival, Puukohola Heiau Establishment Day Cultural Festival

Kauai:
Heiva I Kauai, Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair, Lawai International Center Pilgrimage of Compassion

whale

Above: The peak of whale watching season is January through March.


September
Average high: 89°
Average low: 74°

Oahu:
Aloha Festivals, Okinawan Festival, Rice Fest

Maui:
Chinese Moon Festival, Festivals of Aloha, Hawaii’s Woodshow, Honolulu Century Ride

Hawaii Island:
A Taste of the Hawaiian Range, Hawaii Island Festival, Hawaii Island Festival of Birds, Hawaii Kupuna Hula Festival

Kauai:
Kauai Marathon, Kauai Mokihana Festival

Molokai:
Kulaia Hoolaulea, Na Wahine O Ke Kai Molokai to Oahu
October
Average high: 87°
Average low: 73°

Oahu:
Hawaii Food and Wine Festival

Maui:
Halloween in Lahaina, Maui Fair, XTERRA World Championship Off-Road Triathlon

Hawaii Island:
Ironman World Championship

Kauai:
Eo e Emalani i Alakai, Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival

Molokai:
Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe Canoe Race
November
Average high: 84°
Average low: 71°

Each year, humpbacks make the 3,000-mile trek from Alaska to Hawaii’s warm waters to breed, calve and nurse their young. Whale season runs from November through May. Maui, Molokai and Lanai offer the best whale-watching opportunities. The peak of the season is January through March.

Oahu:
Fall Hawaii International Film Festival, Vans World Cup of Surfing

Maui:
Chinese Heritage Festival, Hula O Na Keiki, Made in Maui County Festival

Hawaii Island:
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Volcano Village Artists Hui Studio Tour and Sale

Kauai:
Poipu Food and Wine Festival
December
Average high: 82°
Average low: 68°

Oahu:
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu City Lights, Honolulu Marathon, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Maui:
Na Mele O Maui

Hawaii Island:
Wailea Village Mochi Pounding, Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade

Kauai:
Festival of Lights, Lights on Rice Parade

Molokai:
Merry Molokai Christmas