Is October a good month to go to Hawaii?

Hawaii October

When factoring weather, costs and low crowds, October is one of the best months to visit Hawaii. Let’s examine the details showing why October is an excellent month for a Hawaii vacation.

What’s Hawaii’s weather like in October?

After Hawaii’s warmest months of August and September, October temperatures cool down only slightly. Daytime high temperatures at most beach resorts average in the mid to upper 80s F. Nighttime temperatures only dip into the lower 70s F.

October rainfall levels in Hawaii are generally low — especially when compared to the wetter, winter months. However, in comparison to the drier, summer months, October rainfall levels are higher. Even though October rainfall levels are typically edging higher than the drier summer months, rain mostly falls at night in Hawaii.

Here are the average rainfall levels by island for the month of October:

Kauai – 3.82 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 – 2.33 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 – 1.20 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 – 0.88 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 9.77 inches of rainfall for October per Weather.com.

Lanai – 2.51 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 – 1.39 inches – This average, per Weather.com, is for the airport just west of Kaunakakai town. Weather towards the east side will be rainier.

Hawaii-rainfall-chart
This chart indicates the average rainfall trends. Data was collected from the major Hawaii airports. For the Big Island, data is shown from the Kona airport only.

Generally, Hawaii’s ocean temperatures are the warmest in September and October, which make it more pleasant for swimming.

Tropical storms are rare events in Hawaii, but we feel we should note that October is during the official hurricane season. Learn more by reading these FAQs on Hawaii’s hurricane season.

Is October a crowded time to visit Hawaii?

Per our analysis of Hawaii Tourism Authority monthly visitor statistics, October is a month with below average number of visitors. In fact, October is one of the least visited months after September.

Is October a cheap or expensive month for a Hawaii vacation?

Per our analysis of Hawaii hotel rates, October is an excellent month to save money on accommodations. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest times of the year as you can see from the following graph.

 

The cost of flights is a bit less predictable but tends to follow the same trends as hotel rates. Anecdotally, we tend to travel to Hawaii when we find low airfare and we have visited Hawaii in October quite a bit. See our tips for finding the cheapest airfare to Hawaii.

Are there any special festivals or reasons to visit Hawaii in October?

You can almost always find a celebration of some sort in Hawaii. The Aloha Festivals continue on from September. If you’re visiting Hawaii over Halloween on October 31st, you can find fun events for all ages. See our article on Halloween in Hawaii.

For more ideas of what events take place in October, check out our most recent page of top events. Another source to find events is by using the search feature on GoHawaii.com.

Have you been to Hawaii in October? How was your experience?

This article is part of our month-by-month analysis of visiting Hawaii. For other months, see this link: best times to visit Hawaii.

41 comments
  1. Hi Sheila,
    I am planning a family holiday and can’t decide between September or October to you have any advice?

    Cheers Vanessa

  2. Hello!!!!
    I’ll be there in October for my honeymoon… I can’t wait!!!!!!
    Is October a good month for visit Hawaii??
    Is October a rainy month?? hope NO 😉

  3. We are starting the planning process of visiting Hawaii in October 17. We were really hesitant due to weather but your article was exactly what we needed; concise & helpful. Thank you! We want to stay in Kona district. Any suggestions?

    1. The Ironman in Hawaii is only on the Big Island. We’ve never been on the island during the actual event, but we’ve arrived there the day or two after Ironman and we didn’t have any trouble getting a room. The island didn’t seem crowded at all.

  4. Is October still a good month for going to the beach (Oahu) and swimming? I know you said mid to high 80’s, but as a Michigander, Lake Michigan is very very cold so the outside temp has to be into the 90’s before it’s really comfortable to swim. Thanks!

  5. Hey guys my fiance and I were planning to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon in October 2018 do you have any personal favorite resorts that we could check out.

  6. Hi, my sister and I are going to Honolulu end of October 2017 (from Australia). Will Halloween be a big thing there?
    Thanks.

    1. If you’re staying in Waikiki, you’ll likely people of all ages in costumes. Some restaurants and bars will probably host costume contests.

  7. Thank you for the information. However, one thing I would like to read about in your articles that I feel is missing is the water information. I realize there are a lot of things to do in Hawaii that doesn’t include the water but there are a lot of people (me included) that would like to know water temperatures, seasonal jellyfish/man-o-war issues, etc. We visited the Waimanalo area in Sep 2011 and I was stung by a Portuguese Man-o-war. Not fun. If you could add that info to your articles, it would be awesome and appreciated. Thanks for the info.

    1. This article discusses all the seasonal aspects to consider when traveling to Hawaii in October and comparing one month to another. It’s about Octobers in Hawaii in general and is not year specific.

      The jellyfish arrive every month, not just October. We cover jellyfish in this article: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2013/05/16/lets-talk-hawaii-water-safety-again/

      The water temperature only vary by 5 degrees F throughout the year as stated in the FAQs here: https://www.govisithawaii.com/hawaii-weather/

  8. I know Oct is a good time to go to hawaii but when is a good time to purchase a low cost package trip? ive heard late aug due to school being back in session. Is this true?

  9. Hello

    Thank you so much for helpful information!

    I just found that award tickets became available from my frequent flyer program and I want to use this chance that will help us to invest in resort/hotel more than we were thinking. Time is Oct 25 and return flight is on Nov 7..

    From above I can see October is good but what about late Oct – early Nov? This is the first trip to Hawai and we will be traveling with 4 kids, so swimming outdoor is a big deal.

    Thanks!

    1. There’s really not a great deal of difference between October and November. Hawaii is located close to the equator, so there aren’t vast swings in weather. Weather conditions are unpredictable, though, as are ocean conditions.

      Read our article on November in Hawaii: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2014/10/14/is-november-a-good-month-to-go-to-hawaii/

      See our article on the best places to stay with kids with swimming in mind: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2016/02/10/where-are-the-best-places-for-family-vacations-in-hawaii/

  10. I’ve heard that Halloween in Waikiki is fun and festive. We mistakenly booked our trip to be there on Halloween and our 3 year old will likely be a bit sad we won’t be home to trick or treat. Are there neighborhoods near Waikiki/Pearl City where people hand out candy? We’ll have a rental car so getting around shouldn’t be a problem

    1. That’s such a localized question about neighborhoods for trick or treating that it would best be answered by the concierge at your hotel or other knowledgeable local.

      As the time draws nearer, look into any special Halloween events that the Waikiki (or beyond) shopping centers may offer. That may be safer, convenient and easier option compared to finding and going into an unfamiliar neighborhood. In Waikiki, there’s the International Marketplace, Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Beachwalk shopping centers.

      Additionally check the local paper for special events for kids.

  11. Going to Hawaii this October (staying on the big island) and can’t decide which other island for two-day visit. Which do you suggest and activities?

  12. We love the idea of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival! We are planning a trip to the islands in fall 2018 and wonder if you know on which dates the Festival will take place?

    1. We do not have that information. Check directly with the organizers. Probably later this year or early next year they will have announced the 2018 dates and locations.

  13. Hi, we are planning to visit Hawaii in October 2018. We travel as a family of 7, husband,wife, 3 kids( 6,5,2) and 2 grandparents. We like to have some freedom and comfort like home. To cook a small simple meal here and there. Do you have any rental idea or condos that would for our needs? We also plan on renting a car. Is that a bad idea?

    1. There are loads of rentals/condos that fit your needs. These article will help you discover and narrow down your options:

      https://www.govisithawaii.com/2017/05/03/how-to-choose-a-hawaii-hotel-condo-or-villa/
      https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/02/01/tips-for-selecting-a-hawaii-vacation-rental/
      https://www.govisithawaii.com/2016/02/10/where-are-the-best-places-for-family-vacations-in-hawaii/

      We almost always recommend renting a car. See these money saving tips for renting a car in Hawaii: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/01/19/7-hawaii-car-rental-money-saving-ideas/

  14. Hi! Our trip to the big island (Kona) starts October 25th, 2018…yep, week after next. I see that rain is in the forecast almost every day. Do you know, by way of recent experience, is rain mostly night or day????

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