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This is the best time to visit Hawaii for an unforgettable trip

If you want to know the best time to go to Hawaii (and the worst time), here's when to plan your trip

mountains and coast of Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai County, Hawaii Braden Jarvis via Unsplash

If you want a vacation filled with gorgeous hikes, stunning beaches, delicious food, and getting safely close to volcanoes, then Hawaii is your final destination. With an endless list of reasons to visit the Aloha State, the hard decision isn’t if you should go or not — it’s when you should go. Whether or not you’ve ever been, here’s the best time to visit Hawaii to get the most out of your trip.

Time to book

Everyone has preferences when it comes to vacation timing. Some people hate going during the hottest months, and some hate going during the busiest months. Pick your preference and see which month is best for you.

The off seasons

  • April and May
  • September and October

The rules for usual school breaks apply when visiting Hawaii. The summer months and during holiday school breaks create the most chaos. If you want to avoid the influx of families, stick to April, May, September, and October, also known as the shoulder months.

Flights will be cheaper, hotels won’t be full, lines won’t be a mile long, but you’ll still have gorgeous weather. With any of these months, though, check if there is a holiday in there, and book around those times.

Runner up month

  • No January blues here

The next best time to go to Hawaii would be January. There is a bit more rain and wet weather, but the upside is that it’s the peak season for whale watching.

Months to avoid

A view of a crowded beach in Hawaii.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The busiest months mean more people, which, depending on what you are visiting Hawaii for, could be a downer on the whole trip. But there are also months when the weather won’t entirely be your friend.

Steer away from these months

  • June until November is hurricane season.
  • December is wet all around but also has a high tourist count.
  • December to March is busy with tourists
  • August

Hurricanes can happen anytime there, but the main season is June to November. December is a month to skip altogether for a few reasons. The tourists pour in right before Christmas and go until New Year’s. That means higher fees, higher rates, fully booked hotels, and everything you want to do and see also being seen by all the other people.

The tourist season goes until March, so those issues continue all the way through then. August gets the same treatment, as everyone is out for the summer and wants to take the family trip. The best time to go to Hawaii might be different for everyone. Stick to the shoulder months if you want fewer people sharing the sea turtles and crowding the luaus.

Not that there is really a bad time to immerse yourself in the culture of Hawaii, but there are times that are better than others. Whenever you go, enjoy your time, and post your pictures so we can creep on them from the comfort of our couch.

Where to go

Kauai Mountain View
SportsCar / Shutterstock

No matter when you visit, a trip to Hawaii takes some planning. While Hawaii is one state, it’s made up of six major islands, and it can be expensive and time consuming to island hop during your visit. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top activities on each island to help you plan.

Maui

While Maui is still recovering from the 2023 wildfires that devastated the town of Lahaina, tourism is making a comeback.

  • Snorkeling – There are many great snorkeling spots throughout Hawaii, but Maui is particularly well known for it. Many companies offer snorkeling tours, and some even have an open bar on the boat.
  • The black sand beach at Waiʻānapana State Park – Note that out-of-state visitors need reservations to enter the park.

Oahu

Best known as the home of Pearl Harbor and the largest city on the island, Honolulu (the state’s capital), Oahu is perfect for people looking for a taste of the big city during their vacation.

  • Pearl Harbor National Memorial – This commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor. The main focus is the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, which straddles the still-visible sunken battleship.
  • Waikiki Beach – This is probably one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches and is located in Honolulu’s tourist district. One warning: If you’re looking for a quiet, uncrowded beach, look elsewhere.

Hawaii

Stay with us here: The state of Hawaii also has an island named Hawaii, which is also called “The Big Island.” This is where the volcanoes are.

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – You can visit two of the most active volcanoes on Earth: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. When the volcanoes are erupting, you can see the glow at night. Check the park’s website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Coffee farms – The island is home to coffee farms that produce the island’s famous Kona coffee.

Kauai

The island of Kauai is well known for its mountains that sit right on the edge of the Pacific, and it’s also famous for its dinosaurs. Yes, you read that right, dinosaurs. That’s because Kauai was one of the main filming locations for Jurrasic Park, and one of the island’s spectacular waterfalls was prominently featured in the film.

  • Manawaiopuna Falls – Also known as Jurrasic Falls, this is the waterfall seen when the helicopters arrive at the island at the beginning of the movie. The falls are only accessible by helicopter, and only one company, Island Helicopters, is authorized to land at the falls. Check the website for more information.
  • Poʻipū Beach Park – One of the island’s most popular beaches, this park is a good place to possibly see an endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

Lanai

The smallest of the six major Hawaiian islands, Lanai used to produce most of the world’s pineapple crop. The island is a laid-back spot, with just two hotels, but one of them is a Four Seasons.

  • Hiking – Lanai has a vast network of trails, ranging from fairly easy to intense.
  • Golfing – If you’re staying at the Four Seasons, you can access the island’s only golf course, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Manele Golf Course.

Molokai

Also known as “The Friendly Isle,” Molokai is the place to go to get away from the crowds and enjoy a slower pace. There’s not much in the way of commercial attractions, but with its spectacular beaches, the island doesn’t really need them.

  • Pāpōhaku Beach Park – This is where you can find one of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii. The beach is about 3 miles long and 100 yards wide. One word of caution: There are no lifeguards on the beach.
  • Hālawa Valley – A great spot for hiking, with incredible views and impressive waterfalls, including the 250-foot-high Moʻoula Falls.
Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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