Best time to visit Hawaii
It’s often said that Hawaii is the land of everyday rainbows - and who wouldn’t want to say ‘aloha’ to that lifestyle? Hawaii, with its picture-perfect beaches, dreamy weather and iconic island culture, embodies the spirit of aloha - its culture is marinated in lessons of kindness, compassion, responsibility and peace.
Drenched in indisputable beauty, the different volcanic islands of Hawaii have been a well-trodden tourist destination for many, many years. However, with outstanding beauty comes congestion and that’s why it’s important to research the different seasons beforehand. If you’re searching for paradise, you may not find it during peak tourist periods. Every season has its good points and not so good points, but it all depends on what you want from your trip…
High season (December to April, June to August)
- If you’re a wildlife lover, this is primetime for whale-watching. From December to early April, whales make their way to Hawaii and are often seen off the coast of Maui and Kohala during this time.
- It’s a great time for surfers to catch the best waves, so don't forget to pack that surf top!
- This is the most expensive time to visit Hawaii (with prices up by about 50 to 100%).
Shoulder season (May and September)
- Milder temperatures than the high season, though the weather is still mostly sunny.
- Tourists crowds tend to drop during this time.
Low season (October to November)
- It’s the best time for cheaper deals.
- Far less crowded than the high and shoulder seasons.
- The weather is usually hot and dry, so it’s not the best time for hikers and mountain enthusiasts.
Want to experience the birthplace of surf for yourself? Our team of experts here at good trip marketplace have pulled together some useful pointers on when the best time of year is to visit Hawaii. Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, the serene ukulele-playing state is waiting for you…
Spring, or Waipuna, is a gorgeous time to visit Hawaii if you’re a water lover. Though the waves aren’t as big as they are in winter, the surf is a lot calmer - making the ocean far more accessible for water sports and family days in the sea.
Climate wise, it’s a lot drier than other parts of the year and the sun is continuously shining - fragrant flowers including the Hawaiin state flower, the rare yellow hibiscus, are known to blossom beautifully during this time, too.
Things to do during Spring in Hawaii…
- Got a hankering to try hula dancing? If you want to channel your inner Lilo and hoist on a hula skirt, why not appreciate the subtle and traditional art of Hula at the Merrie Monarch Festival? This enchanting event takes place on Easter Sunday and is a great way to tune into the local culture.
- Want to look to the light? Witness the beautiful spectacle that is the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii, where around 40,000 tourists and local Hawaiians come together at Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu to let stunning symbolic lanterns lose into the clear spring sky.
Like many other tourist destinations, summer is an extremely popular time to visit Hawaii and is usually spilling over with families taking their kids away for the school holidays. With the summer months in Hawaii also being the warmest, it's no wonder that this season is an attractive one for many.
However, if you’re a keen hiker and have your sights set on exploring Hawaiian scenery, the humid summer month isn’t the best time for you to visit Hawaii. It also isn’t the best time to visit if you want to ride some big waves and get some decent hours on your board, due to the surf being at its lowest during this time.
Things to do during Summer in Hawaii…
- Want to taste the flavours of Hawaii? The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival is a truly magical event that draws food lovers in from all over the world - from fine wines to a mixture of local and worldly-influenced dishes, this event is perfect for food lovers. If you want to get a taste of the more traditional flavours of the state, try their local comfort dish, Loco Moco - a wonderful combination of meat, rice, fried eggs and a rich, tasty gravy.
- Got an eye for the arts? Get stuck in at the Haleiwa Arts Festival on Oahu’s north shore. This beautiful celebration of local artists of all ages takes place during July and is the best place to purchase handmade souvenirs. From workshops to musical performances, this is a great opportunity to lean into your artistic side and learn more about Hawaiian culture.
Autumn (Akuma Ka)
Much like the pleasant weather in spring, autumn is another top time to visit Hawaii. The water is nice and calm, but still good for surfing, and the temperature is cooler and far less humid - meaning fewer tourists and fewer crowds. Rates for things like hotels, restaurants and travel are usually cheaper during this time, too.
Tourists often take advantage of the pristine weather conditions and spend most of their time outside doing a vast number of activities. From ocean days to visiting natural beauty spots, autumn is a wonderful time to visit if you like to be at one with nature.
Things to do during Autumn in Hawaii…
- Fan of fishing? Reel in some beautiful local fish and spend an afternoon angling in Hawaii. Journey over to the Big Island and sample their heralded fishing grounds - it's a known hotspot, even for local fishermen! With one of Hawaii’s most famous dishes being the fresh poke bowl (usually made with cubed ahi or yellowfin tuna), fishing is a great way to discover more of the island's beautiful oceans and taste local flavours.
- Consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? If you know your cafetiere from your instant coffee, then the Kona Coffee Festival is a great way to spend your day. Kona is renowned for making the best coffee in Hawaii and holds this event every year to celebrate this rich refreshment. From farm tours to pop-up stands, this event is everything a coffee lover could dream of - don’t forget your reusable coffee cup!
Winter (Ka Hoolio)
Like the summer months, winter is part of the high season - think more crowds, high temperatures and even higher prices. Even so, if you spend most of the year in a colder climate and want to escape to the sea and sun for your winter break, Hawaii really is a wonderful option. Unlike the really dry months, winter is the optimum time to hike the Hawaiian terrain and really explore your surroundings so don't forget your rucksack and water bottle!
Though temperatures are high, you may want to pack an umbrella, as rain showers tend to fall during the winter. If you want to avoid the rain entirely, then we recommend avoiding Kauai as it’s known to be the rainiest island - Waimea and Poipu, situated in the south, are the sunniest spots.
Things to do during Winter in Hawaii…
- Want to spot a whale? Feast your eyes on some of the most majestic creatures of the natural world and go whale watching in Hawaii during the winter. Stunning fleets of Humpback Whales journey from Alaska every winter to give birth, which is as much of an exciting event to locals as it is to tourists visiting. You’ll find that watching for whales is often best on the Big Island or just off Maui.
- Up for getting merry? Celebrating Christmas in the hot climate of Hawaii can be a really special experience - and the state knows how to welcome in the holiday season. From spectacular Christmas Light Parades, stand-out New Year celebrity performances and the spectacle of the Honolulu City Lights and decor, you’ll be spoilt for seasonal celebrations.
Whatever the season, Hawaii has a lot to offer. From its stunning scenery to its incredible wildlife, Hawaii and its dreamy qualities have captured the world’s interest for good reason. All you need to do is decide what you’re looking for from your Hawaiian getaway and get booking the perfect time for you. ‘Mahalo’ for reading…
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