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Best Time to Visit Hawaii

Hawaii Sunset
Sunset in Hawaii. Photo by Nevodka/Getty Images.

Hawaii is a place of enchanting forests, whispering waterfalls, meditative volcanoes, and captivating coasts. As one of the most sought-after vacation destinations, the Hawaiian Islands possess a vibrant cultural identity, untouched natural beauty, good cuisine, and memorable festivals to keep travelers intrigued and enthused for days on end.

When you travel to Hawaii, you receive more than just a relaxing vacation, you get an immersive experience that will create memories that stay fresh in your mind for a lifetime.

Read on to learn about the best time to visit Hawaii (whether you’re going on a cruise or trying to find the cheapest flights) or get in touch with AAA to speak with one of our travel specialists today.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Hawaii?

So when is the best time to visit the Aloha State? As with all big questions, the answer comes with a fair amount of nuance. The time of year that will be best for you specifically to visit Hawaii depends on a number of factors.

These include what activities you’re hoping to do while on vacation, what type of overall experience you want to have, and how high your tolerance is for other tourists. Read the following sections for information on each of these factors so that you have the knowledge necessary to plan the most memorable vacation experience possible.

Visiting hawaii
Warm Hawaii. Photo by Lucky Photogtapher/Getty Images.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Hawaii for Warm Weather?

If you are planning your Hawaii vacation around the best weather, here are two things to understand about the Hawaiian climate:

  1. Hawaii has a tropical climate. This means that no matter how meticulously you try to avoid rainfall, you may still end up with showers on one or more occasions during your vacation.
  2. The driest month may not be the best for visiting. The best month to visit Hawaii depends on a multitude of factors — most importantly, what types of activities you hope to do while you are there. Your desired activities might not be best experienced during the driest months and so visiting during a slightly more temperamental month could be beneficial.

In general, June is the driest month in Hawaii and has temperatures in the mid-80s most days. Visitors during this month can expect temperatures no lower than 82 degrees and no higher than 87 degrees on most days of the week. Occasionally in the evening, temperatures may drop to around 74 degrees, creating perfect weather for evening strolls along the ivory beaches.

In terms of ocean temperatures, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates that ocean temperatures are warmest between the months of July and September, so if water-based activities are your objective, this is your ideal window to go.

Flight over Honolulu
Flying over Honolulu. Photo by Ingmar Beust/Getty Images.

When Is the Best Time to Fly to Hawaii?

While flying to Hawaii will certainly never be cheap, booking your flight strategically can help you get the best deal and maximize your vacation fund.

From mid-August (when school is back in session) until the end of the first week of December is generally very quiet in terms of tourism in Hawaii.

Not only will visitors during this window find sparser crowds and enjoy more uninterrupted natural beauty, but they will still be able to take full advantage of the warm ocean and daytime temperatures.

Things to bear in mind when planning your vacation to Hawaii during this window:

  1. Any holiday will cause airline prices to spike and tourists to increase, so avoid going during Labor Day or Thanksgiving as they tend to create a spike in tourism.
  2. You should still book your ticket at least three weeks in advance in order to secure the best deal on flights.
  3. Despite going during “off-season,” a vacation to Hawaii is still going to be expensive simply due to the fact that Hawaii is a luxury destination.
Hawaii hiking with no crowd
Beautiful Hawaii. Photo by Maridav/Getty Images.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Hawaii to Avoid Crowds?

July and December are the two busiest months in terms of tourism in Hawaii (this is due to summer vacation and the holiday season, which is why many people consider this the best time to go to Hawaii). During these windows, students, families, and friends rush to make the most out of their time off by visiting the Aloha State.

Not only does this drive up prices for things like accommodations, food, and airfare, it also means that anyone who travels to Hawaii during these periods will have to share their peaceful holiday with droves of other tourists.

If avoiding hordes of other tourists is a priority for you, September (with the exception of Labor Day weekend), October, and November (with the exception of Thanksgiving) are three of the slowest months for Hawaii tourism.

Surfing in Hawaii
Visiting Hawaii for surfing. Photo by JGalione/Getty Images.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Go to Hawaii for Surfing?

With warm ocean temperatures all year round, there isn’t a bad time to go catch waves in Hawaii. Having eight major islands ensures that regardless of the time of year you visit, you can find a shore with good waves and other surfing enthusiasts.

During the winter and spring months, many surfers prefer the North Shore while during summertime you may find yourself drawn to the South Shore.

Cruise ship in Hawaii
Cruising in Hawaii. Photo by WindenCollective.

Best Times to Visit Hawaii on a Cruise

To be truthful, there’s never a wrong time to go on a Hawaiian cruise. However, depending on what you’re hoping to see as well as the overall experience you want to have, there may be a more ideal time for you to take your Hawaiian cruise.

If your main objective for going on a cruise is to see Hawaii’s lush landscape, consider going in the springtime (though be warned that you may experience some tropical rainfall if you do). An additional benefit of doing a cruise in the springtime is that you will also be more likely to see whales during your time at sea.

Make a list of the sites you want to visit, activities you want to do, and experiences you want to have during your cruise, and use your list to determine when will be the most memorable time for you to take your Hawaiian cruise.

Hiking in Hawaii
Hiking in Hawaii. Photo by Maridav/Getty Images.

When Are the Best Times to Go to Hawaii for Hiking?

There’s never a bad time for hiking in paradise. Hawaii’s nature is always lush, vibrant, and inviting, making it always alluring for hiking enthusiasts.

If you are going to Hawaii primarily to enjoy some of the glorious natural beauty via hiking, the best seasons for going are mid to late spring and early fall (avoiding the rainy season). While the summer months in Hawaii are also beautiful for hiking, the heat and humidity can reduce hiking enjoyment.

Book a Hawaii Vacation You’ll Never Forget

AAA is proud to offer a variety of Hawaii vacation packages to enable adventurers to get the experience that they deserve and desire. Whether you’re looking for a 5-day, week-long, or 10+ day travel adventure, AAA has something tailored to match your needs.

To learn more about our Hawaiian cruises or travel packages, click here or get in touch with a AAA agent today. Our team of travel enthusiasts would be thrilled to help you book your dream vacation to Hawaii.

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