Today we’re taking a look at visiting Hawaii in March. We’ll review all the important information you need to help you choose when is the best time for you to vacation in Hawaii.
Before we jump into the details about Hawaii in March, I want to say that just about anytime is a great time to visit Hawaii. The temperatures are warm and generally sunny year-round. If I found the right flight deal, I wouldn’t hesitate to go to Hawaii in March.
What’s the weather like in Hawaii during March?
The weather in March is quite nice — especially if you are coming from chilly, winter climates from North America. Daytime high temperatures generally average in the upper 70s to lower 80s F. You might want to bring a light sweater or jacket to wear in the evenings with an average low in the upper 60s F. (Use this link to convert temperatures to Celsius.)
Ocean temperatures in March are pleasant enough for swimming. For more details, see our article on Hawaii ocean temperatures.
March isn’t Hawaii’s rainiest month. December gets that designation. March rainfall levels tend to be on the medium-high side of the annual rainfall scale. While temperatures are fairly consistent in the resort areas of the Hawaiian Islands, rainfall varies quite a bit between islands and between the leeward and windward sides of each island.
Here are the average rainfall levels for the month of March:
Kauai – 4.61 inches – This measurement is based on Lihue’s averages per Weather.com. Lihue is located on the southeastern side of the island and is not as wet as the North Shore, but not as dry as the South Shore.
Oahu – 2.71 inches – This average is based on Honolulu’s rainfall per Weather.com. North Shore rainfall will be a little higher, while Ko Olina’s rainfall will be slightly lower.
Maui – 2.45 inches – This average is based on Kahului’s rainfall per Weather.com. Kahului is where Maui’s main airport is, but it’s not typically considered a resort area like Wailea, Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua. Kahului’s rainfall tends to be a bit higher than all the resort areas, with the exception of Hana on east Maui.
Hawaii, the Big Island – 1.49 inches – This average is based on Kailua-Kona’s weather per Weather.com. Kailua-Kona is a popular resort area. Further north on the Kohala Coast, the weather tends to be even drier with only about 10 – 12 inches of rain for the entire year! Hilo, on the east side of Hawaii Island, is another story though, with an average of 13.43 inches of rainfall for March per Weather.com.
Lanai – 2.88 inches – This average is for Lanai City in Lanai’s upcountry/highlands, which tends to get much more rain that the island’s sunny, beach resort at Manele Bay.
Molokai – 1.63 inches – This average is for the airport just west of Kaunakakai town. Weather towards the east side will be rainier.
When we created the rainfall chart, we were perplexed that there’s an uptick in rainfall from February to March. This jump is partially explained by the fact that February has 28 days (typically) while March has 31 days. We further crunched the rainfall data to determine the average rainfall per day. March had a slightly higher average rainfall per day, but not quite as dramatic as the chart appears to indicate.
I know we just covered a lot of information and data, but I want to highlight that there are plenty of places to stay in Hawaii to minimize your chances of experiencing rain in March. Additionally, Hawaii’s rain tends to fall mostly at night.
Is March a crowded time to visit Hawaii?
I evaluated 2012 and 2013 data provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority, March is one of the most popular months to visit Hawaii. That being said, I have never felt like Hawaii was crowded during our visits in March. The only exception is around spring break for school children and Easter if Easter falls in March. If you are making plans to be in Hawaii during Easter and spring break, I advise you to pre-book any activities and restaurants that you don’t want to miss.
Is March an expensive time to go to Hawaii?
From my experience, you can find hotels deals any time with the exception of holidays. Per our Hawaii hotel trends infographic of 2013 data, some accommodation costs are on the average to slightly high-side. The highest rates would coincide with spring break and/or Easter.
The other big cost component of a Hawaii vacation budget is airfare, which from my observation tends to fluctuate more than hotel rates. From our experience, we tend to book our trips when we find airfare deals. We check fares on a daily basis. We have found flight deals in March, but not very often. Unfortunately, we don’t have any specific data to point to, but anecdotally, March fares tend to be on the average to slightly high-side.
Are there any special reasons to visit Hawaii in March?
Humpback whales continue their winter birthing and breeding visit to Hawaii in March. These magnificent creatures can really captivate your attention as they surface to breath, splash or breach.
It seems that just about anytime you visit Hawaii there’s a festival or celebration going on somewhere. Hawaii’s top festivals and celebration held in March are as follows:
Oahu – Honolulu Festival
Kauai – Prince Kuhio Celebration
Hawaii, the Big Island – Annual Kona Brewers Festival
How does March compare with other months? See our article the best time to visit Hawaii.
Have you been to Hawaii in March? How was your experience?