We’re often asked: when is the best time to visit Hawaii? There are multiple answers to that question. In our opinion, there’s really not a bad time to go to Hawaii. Just about any month is a great time to visit Hawaii.
You’ll always be able to find warm, tropical weather in Hawaii. Due to Hawaii’s proximity to the equator, temperatures don’t vary drastically from season to season like they do in North America, Europe, etc.
In summer months, daytime high temperatures range from mid to upper 80s. In the winter months, daytime highs average in the upper 70s to lower 80s. (For readers who are more familiar with temperatures in Celsius, 78F is about 25.6C and 85F is 29.4C.)
Ocean temperatures around Hawaii allow for year-round swimming and ocean activities. Though, you should always check ocean conditions before going out.
For more island specific weather details see these guides:
Rainfall from season to season varies slightly more than the temperatures do. Summer months tend to be drier while winter months tend to get more rain. We created a graph that shows how average rainfall levels vary month by month.
Even though winter months (November – March) tend to be a tad rainier, chances are you won’t have to contend with much rain throughout your entire trip. We’ve been to Hawaii in all the seasons and very rarely has rain caused us to change our plans. We wouldn’t hesitate to hop on a plane to Hawaii any day of the year, even in the wetter wintertime. We make sure we pack quick drying clothes so a passing shower won’t hamper our sightseeing adventures. Usually rain showers are short lived and you are treated to a rainbow afterwards. If you are concerned about rain in Hawaii, particularly in winter months, see our article with advice for where to stay in Hawaii to avoid rain.
Hawaii Vacation Prices (& Crowds)
Generally speaking crowds and rates tend to trend together. When there’s lots of visitors to Hawaii, hotels can charge higher rates for the higher demand. In contrast, where there’s low demand, hotel rates tend to be cheaper. We analyzed 2013 Hawaii hotel rates to create the following graph showing how the rates fluctuate throughout the year.
As you can see, holidays tend to draw higher prices and demand. We have been to Hawaii over several holidays and we generally did not feel like the beaches were crowded at all.
Putting It All Together – Weather, Prices, Crowds
We’ve developed the following decision matrix that helps you compare all those key factors. We’re going to use Kauai as an example of average high temperatures (F) and average rainfall levels (inches) so that you can get an idea of overall trends that will generally be true across Hawaii.
|December||79||4.8||Low & High ****||Low/High|
* Exception in April is that if Easter falls in April, the weeks around Easter can be higher.
** Generally high until the week after Labor Day, then low.
*** Exception is the weekend of Thanksgiving.
**** Crowds are very low until approximately December 20th, then very high through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
***** Exceptions in February is around Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day.
From the table, you can see that May and September are optimal times for best weather, least crowds, and lowest costs. The end of April and the whole month of October are also quite good. Another great time to consider is the very beginning of June before kids get out of school in the U.S.
We created month-by-month guides to help you choose when to go to Hawaii. These guides go into more detail and include top festivals held annually. These guides are listed as follows: