Where to Stay in Hawaii to Avoid Rain

Kohala Coast

The Hawaiian Island’s volcanic mountains combined with the pleasant trade winds create such a diversity of climates.  As we’ve share with you before, each island has a wetter windward side and a drier leeward side.

As you plan your Hawaii vacation, you might want to find the best places to stay to avoid rain, particularly in the rainier, winter months. That being said, there’s a good chance that rain will not put much of a damper your vacation, even in the winter. We’ve been to Hawaii in all seasons and have rarely had rain create any vacation issues.

So where are the best places in Hawaii to avoid rain? We’ll list those resort areas by island. Here are the top resorts in Hawaii with 20 or less inches of rain per year. (To put 20 inches of rain in context, compare it to the annual amount of rain that your city or region receives per year.)

Maui – The best sunshine is on West and South Maui.  (See more details about where to stay on Maui for the best weather.)

West Maui

  • Kaanapali (Lots of hotels including a Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, Westins, Honua Kai Kaanapali Beach Hotel and many more condo resorts.)
  • Lahaina (Several smaller locally owned hotels are here.)

South Maui – gets less rainfall than West Maui, making it a better bet for sunny days. When we go to Maui in the wetter, winter months, we try to stay in South Maui.

  • Kihei (Mostly condo rentals are here.)
  • Wailea (This posh area includes a Fairmont, Four Seasons, Marriott, Grand Wailea, Andaz Maui that are all oceanfront. There are also a number of condominium/villa resorts.)

Oahu – Basically the southern and southwestern end of the island is the driest.

  • Waikiki Beach (Many, many hotel options here)
  • Kahala Beach (Kahala Resort is the one and only option.)
  • Ko’Olina (Disney Aulani, Four Seasons as well as a Marriott Residences timeshare.)

Big Island – The Kohala Coast is super sunny year round where it only receives around 10 inches of rain each year. The Kohala Coast is probably one of the best bets for places to stay to avoid rain in the state of Hawaii.

Lanai – This smaller island only has three total hotels with one of them situated on the sunny southern end.  That would be the Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay.

Kauai — what about Kauai? – We place a question mark by Kauai because this island gets more rain than the other islands, where Most of the resort areas experience more that 20 inches of rain per year. Most of that rain falls in the winter months. That being said, we’ve gone to Kauai in February and enjoyed many sunny days. Here’s an article on where to stay on Kauai for the best weather.

Rainfall Sources:

  • Revealed series of Hawaii guidebooks
  • Weather.com

Recommended reading:

  1. Here’s a comment from Evelyn at http://www.HomespunHonolulu.com that accidentally got deleted:

    Good advice, as usual! I’ll just add that, in addition to Ko’Olina, you might want to try Makaha Resort as well — if you want to stay away from the city life, etc. It’s very dry out there and a it’s just a short drive to Makaha Surfing Beach for those who are into surfing contests and the like. Just a thought. 🙂

  2. @ Erica – glad you liked the post. Sometimes finding the right location and then the right hotel can be mind boggling. So I was hoping this post would at least be a good start to help people find the best areas, particularly in the rainier winter months.

    @ Evelyn – Thanks for that suggestion! Are you a surfer, by chance? 🙂

  3. Thanks for taking this into consideration, Sheila! It’s always a good idea to know the weather if you plan to be outdoors! No, I’m not a surfer. I’m a burner! I used to do most of my tanning at the surfing beach when I was in college. If I ever get sun-induced skin cancer, I’ll know where I got it! 🙂

  4. Nice informative post.

    Before moving here to Hilo I heard about all the rain here on the ‘Windward’ side of the Big Island, but I have been surprised at the mild weather this year and lack of rainfall while the Leeward side (Kona) has gotten more rain. I am hoping winter doesn’t make up for the dry fall.

  5. @ Evelyn – I bet we were in college at the same time and back then nobody used sunscreen. I remember so many times when I looked like a lobster. I wish I knew then what I know now.

    @ Ron – color me slightly jealous that you live in Hilo. What a beautiful area! 🙂 The first time we were on the Big Island we were staying in the Volcano area and there was a deluge of rain…something like 14 inches in 24 hours. Luckily most of it fell overnight.

  6. Hello,

    I am thinking of taking my daughter to Hawaii at the end of February, but I am concerned for the rain or hurricanes. Would this be an o’kay time to go?

  7. @ Dawn – February can be a good time to escape the cold on the mainland. You won’t have to worry about hurricanes then. Just stick to the areas I mentioned in this post and you will most likely be just fine. I was in Waikiki on Oahu just this past February for a week and we didn’t have rain one day. The weather as great.

    1. Hi Chester – so glad to hear you love Hawaii despite the rain you’ve experienced. Looking on the bright side, the rain increases your chances of seeing rainbows. 🙂

  8. Hi, this will be the first time my hubby and I will be going to Kauai. Have been searching the net for months and still trying to decide where to stay. Lookign for fun activities, dolphins, romance and sun. Any help is appreciated please email me at harleyrookiebytch@yahoo.com thnak for your help…. We will be going in October 2010 for our 10th anniversary……

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