When to Visit Hawaii

by SmarterTravel Staff

Year-round tropical weather and sparkling beaches make Hawaii a top destination for tourists. The most popular time is the summer, when schools are on vacation and the weather is dry.

The islands also get a little crowded during the holiday season at the end of December. The spring and fall see fewer crowds and cheaper prices.

  • high season: June to August, late December to early January
  • low season: mid-January to March
  • shoulder season: mid-March to May, September to November

Weather Information

Hawaii experiences sunny and pleasant temperatures throughout most of the year. Summer brings the warmest weather, with temperatures averaging between 75 and 88 degrees, while winter sees averages between 68 and 80 degrees. The wet season from November through March may make things a little damp, but rarely disrupts outdoor activities. Hurricane season is from June through November, but it's uncommon to see big storms.

Crowd Information

Summer is the most popular time to visit, mainly due to an increase in vacationing families and students. Annual events can cause high traffic, including the Ironman Triathlon in October on the Big Island, the Honolulu Marathon in December, the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in March or April in Hilo. Honolulu sees a rise in the number of visitors from Japan in April and May, when that country's Golden Week holidays take place . Maui can also be quite busy during Halloween.

Closure Information

Hotels, shops, and restaurants stay open throughout the year, but some beaches may close, disappear underwater, or post "swim at your own risk" signs during winter.

When to Save

Typically, hotel rates are the greatest tourist expenditure on the islands. However, planning to go in the shoulder or low seasons can help save on expenses. Airlines offer discount fares in the spring and fall in an attempt to boost tourism. Reduced hotel rates are available from September through November. During the winter holidays, cruise prices, hotel rates, and airline prices are higher. From June through August, room rates rise due to an increase in demand.

When to Book

Booking three months in advance for air travel and accommodations will offer additional choices and economical prices, especially during peak travel periods. Last-minute rooms are available on all of the islands, but are rarely located in desirable areas or offered at desirable prices. Book your interisland flights at the same time you make your other travel arrangements. Interisland travel is on the rise, so availability is limited. For the best rates and to ensure availability, rental cars should be booked at least one to two weeks in advance.

Information provided by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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