Is there a best time to visit Hawaii?

It’s always a great time to visit Hawaii, but many agree that May is a great time to visit Hawaii. Airfare is less expensive and the island weather is warm while most of the US is still quite cold. Plus. the threat of hurricanes or excessive rainfall has passed. May is also the tail-end of humpback whale-watching season.

However, May might not be the right time to visit, depending on what you want to do and see. A diverse schedule of events and activities runs all year long. If you’re a return visitor, for example, and you travel during a different time of year, you’ll experience an entirely new way of island life.

The Weather in Hawaii

Even though Hawaii boasts a tropical climate, the weather is not the same month to month. Hawaii has a dry season from April to October and a “rainy” season from November to March. Hurricanes are rare, but hurricane season is from June to November. While Hawaii weather is typically beautiful all year long, many enjoy April, May, September, and October the most. Conveniently, you can also find some great travel deals during these months.

Peak Season in Hawaii

You’ll find the summers in Hawaii packed with families vacationing while kids are out of school. Beaches tend to be crowded. This is also true for the two weeks at the end of December when the students are on winter break. Airfare is typically more expensive during the “high” season of mid-December to mid-April. If you plan to visit during this period, make your reservations early.

Winter in Hawaii

Winter is a great time to visit Hawaii if you must get away from a cold and snowy winter. Just know that it’s not the ideal time to find great weather or the best bargains.

Special winter events:

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing takes place each November and December on Oahu’s North Shore, but traffic on the North Shore is extremely heavy on competition days.

Spring in Hawaii

Late spring can be a lovely time to visit. Winter crowds diminish and vegetation is lush after the rainy season. The weather is typically dry and pleasant.

Special spring events:

Hilo’s historic Merrie Monarch Festival, a celebration honoring King David Kalakaua, otherwise known as the “Merrie Monarch”, takes place every April.

The Honolulu Festival occurs each March and celebrates the relationship between Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Rim region.

Summer in Hawaii

Summer is a busy time. In fact, July is Hawaii’s most-visited month, but it’s not always the best (depending on what you want to do). Also, while hurricanes aren’t frequent in Hawaii, hurricane season begins June 1.

Special summer events:

King Kamehameha Day is celebrated across the islands on June 11. The most popular attraction is the celebratory parade which begins in Downtown Honolulu and finishes in Waikiki.

Honolulu’s annual festival celebrating the famed ukulele falls in the summer. It takes place each year in July.

Fall in Hawaii

Like spring, fall is a nice time to visit. Skies are clear, and crowds are few. Even though there’s always a minimal threat of a hurricane (the season runs through Nov. 30), it’s arguably the most beautiful season of the year.

Special fall events:

Aloha Festivals consist of the Hoʻolauleʻa (a large party) and other small parties. The Waikiki Hoʻolauleʻa is a casual block party featuring food, dancing, music, and other Hawaiian traditions.

Other Popular Events and Festivals

Because Hawaii is the most ethnically diverse state in the country, you’ll find annual cultural festivals all over. To fully appreciate the unique culture of Hawaii and its people, plan your trip around one of the major festivals that take place during the year. Here are a few on each of the four major islands:

  • Big Island: Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Merrie Monarch Festival
  • Kauai: Kauai Polynesian Festival, Koloa Plantation Days
  • Maui: Celebration of the Arts, Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, Maui Onion Festival
  • Oahu: Aloha Festivals, Lei Day in Hawaii, Lantern Floating Hawaii

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