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Maui sunset

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

For the best all-round weather, aim to visit Hawaii in the dry summer season from April to October. Average temperatures vary little between summer and winter, but rainfall can be heavier in the winter, from November to March. However, whale watching tours operate during this time (Nov-Apr). The best hiking and snorkelling are during the summer months.

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When to visit Hawaii… at a glance

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April to October

  • Dry season; sunny and warm
  • Sea is at its warmest in September
  • Peak months Jul-Aug can be busy
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November to April

  • Humpback whales arrive late Nov-Dec
  • Winter is still very warm, but wetter

Hawaii in the dry season (April-October)

Early summer in May sees ocean temperatures around Hawaii beginning to rise; the summer crowds have yet to arrive and, although there’s a chance of rain, the weather is generally sunny and warm. Come June and the weather is better still – it’s the lowest month for rainfall, while daytime temperatures are a comfortable 26°C. July and August are peak months. Temperatures are hitting 29°C, surf’s up on the south shore and the beaches and resorts are busy. With the school holidays over, September is an excellent month to visit Hawaii: the crowds have gone, prices dip, but sea temperatures peak (an idyllic 27°C) with calm conditions that are perfect for snorkelling. In October, there’s still plenty of sunshine and the sea remains warm, but the weather shows signs of change: the first winter swells arrive and you can expect some rain.

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Hawaii in the wet season (November-March)

November is the wettest month in some parts of Hawaii, although you’d be unlucky not to get some decent sunny periods. Humpback whales arrive during late November and December. As you’d expect, Hawaii is busy (and more expensive) during Christmas and the New Year. During January and February, the weather continues to be fickle, with a mixture of rain and sun. Although the trade winds can decrease in February, sea temperatures are at their lowest (around 24°C). Both air and sea temperatures start to rise in March, but the weather can be notoriously stormy and unpredictable during this month.

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Hawaii weather

With little annual variation, the average daytime highs in Hawaii range from 27-32°C, while average lows are 18-24°C.

Annual average rainfall is 433 mm, falling mainly during the winter months November-March.

Important dates
  • January to March: Cherry Blossom Festival – Japanese cultural events on O’ahu
  • January: Pacific Island Arts Festival, Honolulu
  • January to February: Maui Whale Festival
  • March: Hawaii Interntional Music Festival, Waikiki
  • March: Honolulu Festival – Hawaii’s premier cultural event
  • April: Merrie Monarch Festival – hula competitions and parade
  • 1 May: Lei Day
  • June: Kapalua Wine and Food Festival
  • July: Hale’iwa Arts Festival, O’ahu’s North Shore
  • September: Kaua’i Mokihana Festival – cultural workshops and music

Suggested Holidays

Cruise the Hawaiian Islands

from £4,630
excluding flights
7 nights Jan-May, Nov-Dec
Cruise the Islands of Hawaii on this small group expedition cruise
  • Small Ship Cruise
  • Island Escapes

Discover Maui, Hawaii

from £483
excluding flights
3, 6 nights Year round
Commonly referred to as The Valley Isle, if you like exploring away from the crowds then Maui is the Hawaiian island for you.
  • Independent
  • Island Escapes

Discover Oahu, Hawaii

from £493
excluding flights
3, 6 nights Year round
Experience life on the most populous of the Hawaiian Islands, commonly referred to as 'The Gathering Place'.
  • Independent
  • Island Escapes

Discover The Big Island, Hawaii

from £477
excluding flights
3, 6 nights Year round
Explore the breath-taking scenery and geographical uniqueness of the largest of the Hawaiian Islands known as 'The Big Island'.
  • Independent
  • Island Escapes