Best time to visit Hawaii

Unlock Paradise: When to Visit Hawaii for Your Dream Vacation

Best time to visit Hawaii

To visit Hawaii and its beautiful landscape has long been one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. 

Featuring tropical weather year-round, beautiful vistas, delicious food, and

a unique culture, there are many reasons to visit Hawaii. 

But with its remote island location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii can be a very expensive place to visit.

However, with some careful planning, you can plan a trip to Hawaii that will take advantage of the best weather and attractions, and save you as much money as possible.

 In this guide, we will look at the best time to visit Hawaii and how you can travel as affordably as possible.

Best Time to Travel to Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its gorgeous weather all year. 

Even in the winter months, the temperatures on all Hawaiian islands range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, making it pleasant anytime to participate in all the wonderful outdoor activities that Hawaii has to offer. 

Thanks to this, there’s never really a bad time to visit Hawaii.

However, there are times when the weather is even better, and more importantly, when

you are more likely to save money and run into fewer other visitors. 

Additionally, different times of year have different things to offer, which may be worth considering depending on your priorities when you visit Hawaii. Let’s take a look at a few suggested times to visit:

Spring: April and May are prime times to visit Hawaii weather-wise; you’re going to

enjoy the most gorgeous days this island state has to offer. 

The weather is perfect for visiting the beach, surfing, and hiking the volcanoes. 

Additionally, because these are great months to welcome visitors, a lot of travel companies will offer great rates during this time to entice tourists to come to Hawaii. 

However, be aware that you will be among many others thinking the same thing, so if crowds are a deterrent to you, this might not be the best time to visit Hawaii.

Fall: Much like the spring months, you’re going to experience some absolutely beautiful weather in September and October. 

Perhaps even better, you’re likely to run into fewer visitors. Since kids are back in school this time of year, there are fewer families traveling, and thus smaller crowds at hotspots around the Hawaiian islands.

Winter: If watching whales is what you’re after, then winter is the best possible time to visit Hawaii. 

Although this is the wet season for the islands, it’s also when humpback whale activity off the coast is the most active. 

Experts consider January through March to be peak whale-watch season. We’ll discuss that in a bit more depth a little later.

Winter is also, surprisingly, one of the best times for folks looking to hang ten. 

If you’re an experienced surfer, you’ll probably really appreciate the big waves that hit the north shores of the islands this time of year. 

Bear in mind, this is probably not ideal for beginner surfers, so if you’re just learning, you’ll probably want to visit when conditions are a little calmer; after all, with Hawaii’s climate, its possible to surf year round!

Related: Travel on a shoestring budget

Visit Hawaii for its Great Events

Perhaps you’re interested in really absorbing the culture of the Hawaiian islands, or you

want to enjoy one of the many major events or festivals the islands host throughout the year. 

Whatever your interests are, there’s sure to be an event that will appeal to you,

and you may want to consider planning your entire trip to Hawaii around that event.

If you love watch whales  and golf, then plan to head to Hawaii in January, when the

Sony Open PGA Tour is held at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. 

The gorgeous oceanside course means you can enjoy beautiful views while watching your favorite sport.

In the fall, the Aloha Festivals celebrate the best of traditional Hawaiian culture for visitors and residents alike. 

As the only statewide cultural festival in the United States, the Aloha Festivals have events on most of the islands, featuring concerts, street parties, and special events such as the Presentation of the Royal Court and the Floral Parade.

Foodies will love October’s Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. 

Here, more than 150 internationally known chefs, vintners, and others in the food and wine world come together to display the best culinary experience Hawaii has to offer. 

Try delicious local dishes like poke, poi, loco moco, and much more, and sample fine wines alongside them.

In November, the Hawaii International Film Festival showcases hundreds of films every year, with a special focus on Asian-Pacific filmmakers. 

The festival runs in several locations around the islands, so no matter where you are, you can plan on seeing an incredible new film. 

The festival features short films, feature length movies, and documentaries, mostly made by and about people from Hawaii and the Pacific Rim.

Times To Avoid: Generally speaking, the last two weeks of December and the first week of January — over Christmas and New Year’s — hotel rates soar. Other peak periods are when kids are out of school for spring break and summer vacation, according to Hawaiian Airlines . So, if you want to cut costs on both accommodations and airfare, avoid those times of the year.

And while hurricanes are rare, the hurricane season is from June to November, so it’s good to be aware that large storm systems can occasionally occur.

Enjoy the Best of Hawaii Food

One of the best parts of Hawaii’s incredible climate and island location is that fresh,

bright ingredients are available year-round, making it possible for you to enjoy the best

of Hawaiian cuisine anytime you visit the state. 

In recent years, Hawaii has enjoyed the farm-to-table movement that has been popular elsewhere, with local farms providing fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and meats to restaurants around the islands.

From beautiful produce to fresh seafood, food in Hawaii celebrates the island culture with bright, delicious flavors sure to appeal to any visitors. 

Here are some of our favorites:

Poke: If you’re a fan of the freshest seafood money can buy, and especially if you enjoy

dishes such as sushi, you’re going to love poke. 

A quintessential Hawaiian dish available everywhere on the islands, from fish markets, to food trucks and shacks, to higher-end restaurants, poke is one thing you absolutely have to try while visiting Hawaii. 

These raw fish salads typically contain ingredients like rice, salmon, tuna,

octopus, seaweed, avocado, ginger, soy sauce, and Hawaiian sea salt.

Shaved ice: Although this is a popular treat found everywhere these days, it’s just not the same outside of Hawaii.

When you get a shaved ice on a Hawaiian island, you’re going to enjoy delicious, all-natural island ingredients like syrups made from locally- grown mangoes or pineapples. 

These cold treats are available at stands all over the islands, and are the perfect things to enjoy after spending a day at the beach or hiking the volcanoes.

Huli Huli Chicken: Even though chicken is a staple ingredient in cuisines around the world, what makes it unique to each culture is how it’s prepared, and Hawaii is no different. 

Huli Huli chicken is perhaps the most Hawaiian type of chicken you can find. 

A special sweet sauce is prepared and whole chickens are marinated and covered in it, then placed on a spit and rotated over a grill fired by native kiawe wood. 

Huli Huli chicken is easy to make in large quantities, making it a popular item at festivals and fundraisers.

Lau Lau: A traditional Polynesian dish, this is one of the most popular things for native

Hawaiians to eat, and if you’re visiting you’ll surely want to try it as well. 

Lau lau is made from fish or pork placed in the center of taro leaves, then wrapped and cooked inside an imu, which is a traditional underground oven in Hawaii.

The lau lau is placed under banana leaves while cooking in the imu. 

Once cooked, lau lau is served with rice or macaroni salad, or may be included in a Hawaiian plate lunch alongside other items like poke.

Whale Watching in Hawaii

As we mentioned before, the winter months of January, February, and March are

considered peak season in Hawaii, but you’re likely to see humpback whales in the waters around the islands anytime between November and May. 

During this time of year, the waters around the Hawaiian islands are particularly warm, making it a perfect opportunity for humpback whales to breed and raise their young. 

As many as two-thirds of the entire Pacific humpback whale population, in fact, spends their breeding season in the waters around Hawaii.

If whale watching is your main objective while visiting Hawaii, plan to head to the island

of Maui, which is considered to have the best watching in the state and some of the best in the entire world. 

In particular, the Auau Channel, which runs between Maui,

Molokai, and Lanai is a prime spot for catching whales, thanks to the shallow waters of the channel. 

Visit the town of Lahaina in western Maui for access to lots of tour companies, as well as beautiful oceanfront views while you dine and shop.

Other islands offer plenty of whale watching opportunities as well. 

In southern Oahu, you’re likely to see whales near the Makapu’u Lighthouse and Le’ahi Head. 

Kauai’s best whale-watching spots include the Coconut Coast, the Kilauea Lighthouse on the northern shore and Po’ipu Beach on the southern shore. 

The “Big Island,” Hawaii, also affords plenty of whale watching, particularly on the Kohala Coast and along Hilo Bay.

To get some really good up-close and personal encounters with the whales, consider booking a boat tour from one of the many tour companies around the state.

 Many even offer kayak excursions, which can get you about as close as it’s possible to be.

The peak whale season usually falls around Valentine’s Day. 

Watching is best off Maui and the Big Island and still thrills the locals just as much as the tourists! 

Holiday traditions include annual Christmas Light parades, Honolulu City Lights adorned in breathtaking holiday decor and A-Lister performers from across the globe frolic to the islands each year for New Years performances and celebrations.

Best Time Visit Hawaii To Surf

Only four islands are able to surf all year long: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. How do people decide what they want to do surfing? 

It largely varies depending on their abilities and knowledge. 

The wave runs on a fairly regular schedule. In the summer, surfers find serious waves on the island’s northshore, while the southside experiences more calm waters. In summer things are quite different. 

The winter seasons also called hoopilo run from mid-October until late February and offer great waves and surf competitions along the North Shore of Oahu also known as the Seven Mile Miracle.

Only experienced surfers should get into the water and try riding those monster waves. Everyone else, grab a front-row seat on the beach and marvel at their courage and athleticism. 

For some people, the best time to visit is when their favorite Hawaii event is happening.

Conditions of the ocean

The characteristics of the water changes dramatically in the winter as faraway hurricanes in the north hemisphere create strong waves that eventually hit Hawaiian coasts. 

The surf time is interesting but the tide also makes most north shore beaches difficult for swimmers to swim in big wave.

 Surfs could also “rapround” the coast, affecting either east or west facing coasts. Kauai’s northshore is home to miles of beaches, and some are open. 

A number of beautiful beaches that can be swimming in summer are dangerous in winter except during quiet days. 

Oahu’s famous beaches north of the coast are less crowded because of Waikiki being less than a mile from the hotel.

Hawaii climate guide

Hawaii boasts an incredible diversity of landscapes such as tropical forests and deserts, snow-capped mountains, and even cliff-topped seas. 

So you can experience different weathers on different days of travel. Are they headed somewhere else in the world? 

Climate may change dramatically. In most cases, it reaches less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It rains all year round at the island and the rain in the winters usually increases with peakings in December. 

Hurricanes are common throughout Hawaii and usually last June through October. 

Please keep in mind that each island will be somewhat different in its temperatures and climate.

Consistently warm

The weather on Kauai is consistently warm (highs in the mid-70’s to mid-80’s °F [24-29 °C]) year-round and visitors will enjoy the driest weather on the south shore and western portions of the island. 

Annual events include the May Day Festival (May) and Eo E Emalani I Alakai Festival (October) and the Chocolate & Coffee Festival

Visit Hawaii: The Perks

As you can see, Hawaii has lots to offer for casual tourists and cultural enthusiasts alike. 

Whether you’re interested in surfing, whale watching, eating, or enjoying one of

the many local festivals throughout the year, there’s never really a bad time to visit Hawaii. 

Use the advice in this guide to plan your trip according to your budget, goals, and weather preferences.

We also recommend signing up for flight deal mailing lists, searching flight comparison

sites like Priceline, Aviasales, Wayaway to get the best deals on your travel to Hawaii.

 It certainly doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get there,

and if you use these sites to find a deal on flights, you can plan the rest of your vacation

around that and save even more money in the long run. 

Great hotels abound on the islands, as do beautiful vacation rentals and Airbnbs, which are a great option if you’re traveling with a group.

At the end of the day, like any other destination, planning a trip to Hawaii takes a little

dedication and effort to get the most bang for your buck and enjoy everything you hope

to see in the islands, but we promise you, you will never regret your decision to visit Hawaii!


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