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Best time to visit Hawaii: All about the weather in Hawaii

by Alexandra Walter | December 15, 2022
Discover the best time to visit Hawaii

When Mark Twain landed in the Hawaiian archipelago in 1866, he wrote that Hawaii was “the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean”. And it's hard to disagree. It's definitely one of the top places to visit in USA

In Hawaii, the raw forces of nature have combined to form the most beautiful scenery in the world. Volcanoes rose from the ocean’s depths and shaped the islands one by one. Some of these roaring giants even collapsed, turning into luxuriant blossoming valleys and waterfalls.

But there are more natural wonders in Hawaii besides sizzling volcanoes. From sugary beaches and multi-colored coral reefs to pristine rainforests and jaw-dropping canyons, there are countless activities and attractions for those who visit Hawaii.

If you love adventure, then you should travel to the big island of Hawaii! And, to help you plan the perfect trip to this Eden on Earth, we have put this guide together. We will review the best time to go to Hawaii and the best festivals and events Hawaii has to offer!

General weather in Hawaii

Hawaii is a tropical paradise. The Hawaii weather is warm all year round. Located in the tropics, the archipelago enjoys a relatively regular temperature throughout the year.

The mild temperatures combined with fantastic scenery explain why tourists come from all around the world, no matter the time of the year, to explore this little piece of paradise on Earth.

Hawaii weather experiences two distinct seasons: summer, which runs from May to October, and winter, which runs from November to April.

As mentioned, the temperatures are warm around the islands all year long, with the average temperature in summer oscillating around 85°F (29.4°C) and 78°F (25.6°C) in winter. However, naturally, temperatures drop at higher altitudes, with the three highest mountains of Haleakalā, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa frequently receiving snowfall during the winter months. 

Also, note that while infrequent, storms can occur between October and March.

When is the best time to visit Hawaii?

Hawaii’s perennial warm weather means that it's always the best time to travel to Hawaii, regardless of the time of the year.

Hawaii weather in December, January, February and March

This season is the busiest, with travellers coming from around the world to celebrate Christmas on Hawaii’s pristine beaches. 

But while this is the best time to visit Hawaii for sunbathing or exploring the different islands with slightly cooler temperatures than in summer, visitors are mostly drawn by the majestic humpbacks you can see migrating from colder waters to breed and feed their young. The prime months for whale watching span from November to March, but December, January, and February are the best months to spot these impressive giants. 

Lastly, this is also the best time to visit Hawaii to explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park when temperatures are slightly cooler.

April through June

Temperatures go up during spring and crowds still haven’t arrived yet, making this the best time to go to Hawaii to enjoy the waters and indulging in local cultural experiences. 

This is a relatively quiet time of the year, allowing visitors to enjoy a relaxing holiday while attending some of the best festivals on the island. For instance, every year, on June 11, the popular King Kamehameha Festival sees locals gathering and celebrating the day all of the islands of Hawaii were united to become the Kingdom of Hawaii.

July through September

The summer months are the best time to visit Hawaii for enjoying water-related activities. Snorkelers and divers will love the northern shores of the Hawaiian archipelago, while surfers will be spending their days catching perfect waves in the south of the islands.

In August and September, underwater visibility is at its best, making the season the best time to travel to Hawaii for adventurers looking to explore the reefs and spot marine wildlife. 

Weather in Hawaii in October and November

The Hawaii weather in November and October is marked by still very pleasant temperatures, but the crowds have gone, which makes it the cheapest time of the year for the travellers who wish to have a more relaxing time on the islands and get away from their hectic lives.

The two months also see many events and festivals, such as the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Best time to visit Hawaii to go to the beach

Best festivals and events to pick the best time to visit Hawaii

King Kamehameha Festival, Statewide

This important celebration occurs statewide on June 11 to honor the memory of Kamehameha the Great. He became the first King of Hawaii in 1810 after uniting all of the Hawaiian islands to form the Kingdom of Hawaii. Not only are locals still celebrating this special day to honor the memory of the King but also to promote the preservation of Hawaiian culture

And as such, the colorful festival features local ono food, ornate floats, pau (long-skirted) horse riders, decorated vehicles, marching bands, and much more!

Honolulu Festival, Oʻahu Island

The Honolulu Festival is a major cultural event promoting Hawaii’s diversity and celebrating the rich blend of Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian cultures harmoniously coexisting on the archipelago. 

And as a testament to the multicultural society, performers from the whole region, including Japan, Australia, South East Asia, and Hawaiian islands, gather on Oʻahu to deliver vibrant dance performances and share traditional customs in front of captivated visitors. And to top it all off, the three-day-extravaganza ends with the epic Nagaoka Fireworks.

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

There are 1 million things to do when traveling to Hawaii, but if you’re a foodie, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is a no-brainer!

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is the perfect destination for food lovers eager to sample some of the best delicacies the archipelago has to offer. But it’s also a fantastic cultural experience for visitors wanting to learn more about the Hawaiian culinary scene. 

Every year, starting in October and for three weeks, internationally renowned chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, and winemakers gather to create delicious dishes made from Hawaiian ingredients. Their creations are truly delightful! Some of the most epic activities during the festival include hukilau beach cookouts, wine seminars, and food battles.

What to pack and tips

Once you’ve obtained your ESTA Visa and ensured you met all of the US travel requirements, it's time to pack your suitcase! Check out our article for more information about how to apply for tourist visa to USA.

To make it easier for you, we have some other tips:

  • While you should pack plenty of light and comfortable outfits for your beach vacation, rain is fairly common, so make sure to also pack a rain jacket and bring an umbrella.
  • Hawaii offers visitors plenty of occasions for fun-filled water adventures with epic backdrops. So, if you want to capture the stunning scenery, make sure to pack a waterproof phone case. This will prevent your phone from sinking if it ever falls into the water while protecting your precious photos. And If you spend a lot of time in the water, we’d also recommend packing mesh water shoes and a dry bag.
  • Hawaii is an outdoor destination, so bring reef-safe sunscreen, a sun hat, lip balm, and UV-protective sunglasses.
  • Attending a lūʻau is a great experience, but buying tickets isn't cheap. So, don’t book your ticket to the event for the beginning of your vacation. This way, you won’t be jet lagged and will be able to fully experience this truly captivating show!