September is a fantastic month to visit Hawaii. It’s a relatively quiet time in the Hawaiian Islands; hotel rates are less expensive and the weather is great. In this article, we’ll review all these important details in deciding if September is the best month for you to vacation in Hawaii.
What’s Hawaii’s weather like in September?
August and September are two of the hottest months in Hawaii. September weather in the Hawaiian Islands can be described as very summer-like with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. Daytime high temperatures at most beach resorts average in the mid to upper 80s F. Nighttime temperatures only dip into the 70s F.
September rainfall levels in Hawaii are generally low — especially when compared to the wetter, winter months. The lowest rainfall averages are normally in June. Though September rainfall levels are just a tad higher than June, they’re still low in comparison. Here are the average rainfall levels by island for the month of September with a description of where they’re measured as well as a graph for quick visual comparison:
- Kauai – 2.12 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 – 1.02 inches – This average is based on Honolulu’s rainfall per Weather.com, which will include Waikiki Beach. North Shore rainfall will be a little higher, while Ko Olina’s rainfall will be slightly lower.
- Maui – 0.38 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 – 0.80 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 9.94 inches of rainfall for September per Weather.com.
- Lanai – 2.09 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. Data sourced from Weather.com.
- Molokai – 0.93 inches – This average, per Weather.com, is for the airport just west of Kaunakakai town. Weather towards the east side will be rainier.
June, July and August are three of Hawaii’s driest months as a whole. September isn’t too much wetter by comparison. By September, the drier conditions tend to lessen the flow on some waterfalls. You should still be able to see waterfalls on the islands, however they may be less dramatic depending upon recent rainfall.
Generally, Hawaii’s ocean temperatures are the most pleasant and highest in September and October. For more details, see our article on Hawaii ocean temperatures.
It’s worth mentioning that August and September are the “peak” months of the Pacific hurricane season. That being said, hurricanes are relatively rare events in Hawaii and we personally wouldn’t hesitate to book a trip to Hawaii in either August or September or any part of the official hurricane season.
Is September a popular time to visit Hawaii?
Per our analysis of Hawaii Tourism Authority visitor statistics, September is the month with the least amount of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. Why is September the least crowded month to visit Hawaii? The big reason is that summer vacation is over for families with school-aged children.
Labor Day weekend, the first weekend of the month, is a popular time for Americans to take long weekend trips. We have been to Hawaii over Labor Day weekend. That weekend did feel a little bit more crowded, but not overly so. After the weekend, we felt that the crowds disappeared.
Is September a cheap or expensive time for a Hawaii vacation?
Per our thorough analysis of the cycle of Hawaii hotel rates, September is a very inexpensive time to visit Hawaii.
The cost of flights is not as predictable. With September being a slow time for demand, it’s likely that the cost of flights will be below average. Anecdotally, as we’ve covered Hawaii travel for nearly eight years, we tend to see fall fare sales begin in late July. By mid-August, fall fare sales tend to take another slight reduction. See our strategies for saving money on airfare to Hawaii for more information.
Are there any special festivals or reason to visit Hawaii in September?
Hawaii loves to celebrate music, food, dancing and art. The Aloha Festivals begin in September and continue on through October. Take a look at our most recently published list of cultural festivals in September for an example of events. In addition check the events search feature on GoHawaii.com.
In summary, is September a good month for a Hawaii vacation?
The answer to that question isa resounding yes! With some of the key factors in making a great vacation — low hotel rates, low rainfall levels and no crowds – September is definitely one of the best months to go visit Hawaii.
Have you been to Hawaii in September? How was your visit?
This article is part of our month-by-month analysis helping you to identify the best time for you to visit Hawaii. See this article, Best times to visit Hawaii, for links to other months.