When is the best time to visit Hawaii?
If you want the best weather and are fine with crowds, the dry season (April to October) is ideal. For a quieter experience, consider the shoulder seasons (April, May, September, and October).
To witness humpback whales, plan your visit between December and April, as this is when these majestic creatures migrate to Hawaiian waters, especially in Maui.
Overall, Hawaii is a beautiful destination year-round, so there’s no “wrong” time to go; it just depends on your personal preferences.
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Month-by-month guide for traveling in Hawaii
Visiting Hawaii in January - March
January to March is considered the winter season in Hawaii, but the term “winter” is relative. Hawaii experiences mild, tropical weather year-round.
Temperatures generally range from the mid-60s to mid-80s°F (18-30°C), making it a comfortable time to visit.
It’s the rainy season on some islands, particularly the windward sides, so you may encounter occasional rain showers.
January to March is prime whale-watching season in Hawaii, especially on the islands of Maui and Hawaii (the Big Island).
Events & Festivals
Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival (February): This festival is held in Waimea on the Big Island and celebrates cherry blossoms with cultural events, food, and live entertainment.
Honolulu Festival (March): Taking place in Honolulu, this festival promotes cultural exchange and understanding among the people of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. It includes parades, performances, and art exhibitions.
Hawaii Chocolate Festival (March): Held in Oahu, this festival is a treat for chocolate lovers, featuring chocolate tastings, demonstrations, and more.
Chinese New Year (January or February): Celebrations are held throughout Hawaii, particularly in Honolulu’s Chinatown, with lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, and cultural performances.
Hula and Music Festivals: Throughout the year, you can find various hula and music festivals celebrating traditional Hawaiian culture. While not limited to January to March, some events may coincide with your visit.
Visiting Hawaii in April - June
April to June is considered spring in Hawaii, and the weather during this time is generally warm and comfortable.
Average temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-30°C), making it ideal for outdoor activities.
You may encounter occasional rain showers, but they are usually brief and followed by sunshine.
Events & Festivals
Merrie Monarch Festival (April): This is one of the most significant hula festivals in Hawaii, held in Hilo on the Big Island. It celebrates the art of hula with a week of performances, competitions, and cultural exhibitions.
Lei Day (May 1st): Lei Day is a statewide celebration of Hawaiian culture and the giving of leis. You can find lei-making contests, hula performances, and festivals on many islands.
Lantern Floating Hawaii (Memorial Day): Held on Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park on Oahu, this event features the floating of thousands of lanterns in the ocean to honor loved ones and promote peace and harmony.
Kamehameha Day (June 11th): Celebrated on all the islands, this holiday honors King Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands. Festivities include parades, hula performances, and floral parades.
Ukulele Festival (June): The Ukulele Festival Hawaii takes place in Honolulu and showcases the beloved Hawaiian instrument. You can enjoy live ukulele performances and join in the fun.
Aloha Festivals (June): The Aloha Festivals are a series of events across the Hawaiian Islands celebrating Hawaiian culture and history. They typically feature parades, music, hula, and arts and crafts.
Visiting Hawaii in July - September
July through September is the peak of summer in Hawaii. The weather is typically warm and sunny, with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to low 90s °F (29-34°C).
The water is warm and great for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
There’s less chance of rain during these months, making it an excellent time for outdoor adventures.
Summer is one of the busiest times for tourism in Hawaii, especially during school vacation periods and holidays.
Popular tourist destinations, like Waikiki in Oahu and Lahaina in Maui, can be quite crowded, so plan your activities accordingly.
Events & Festivals
We’ll let you know about local events and festivals on your chosen island(s)
Visiting Hawaii in October - December
October is a transition month, with warm temperatures and relatively low rainfall. It’s an excellent time for outdoor activities and beach days.
November and December are considered the fall and early winter months in Hawaii. While temperatures remain mild, there may be occasional rain showers, especially in the windward (northeastern) sides of the islands. The water is still warm for swimming and snorkeling.
December marks the beginning of humpback whale season in Hawaii. Whale watching tours are popular on Maui, Hawaii Island, and other locations.
Festivals & Events
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (October): This annual event takes place on various islands and features renowned chefs and winemakers, showcasing Hawaii’s culinary delights.
Aloha Festivals (September – October): This month-long celebration includes parades, cultural demonstrations, and music and dance performances. It typically concludes in October.
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (November): If you’re on the Big Island, don’t miss this festival celebrating Kona coffee. Enjoy tastings, farm tours, and cultural events.
Hawaii Island Festival (September – November): This festival on the Big Island showcases local arts, culture, and sports. Events happen throughout the fall.
Honolulu City Lights (December): Honolulu’s city center lights up with festive decorations, a large Christmas tree, and a holiday parade. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
Mele Kalikimaka (Christmas): Hawaii has a unique way of celebrating Christmas with a blend of local traditions. You’ll find special Christmas events, including concerts, tree lightings, and festive displays.