Hawaii always has plenty of beaches and sunshine to offer, but it gets flooded with tourists during certain times of the year. Escape the crowds, sky-high prices and hurricane season to guarantee a blissful getaway.
Winter and summer are the two busiest times of year in Hawaii. Destinations like Waikiki Beach, Honolulu and Volcanoes National Park become crowded, and you’ll likely pay a premium for flights, hotel rooms and souvenirs. On the plus side, humpback whales make their way to Hawaiian waters from November to March, making this prime time for whale-watching.
Spring and fall are considered off-seasons in Hawaii, with some of the best rates in May through mid-June and September through mid-December. To avoid a flock of tourists and spend less money, plan your trip during these times. You might still be able to catch the tail end of whale-watching season in late April and early May.
Typical weather in Hawaii
Hawaii has two seasons: the dry summer season from April to October and the wet winter season from November to March. Average temperatures are between 70ºF and 85ºF during the summer and drop off in the 68ºF to 78ºF range in the winter. Still, the wet season can be relatively dry, depending on where you are in the state.
While it rarely ever gets warmer than 90ºF or cooler than 65ºF, the Aloha State does experience microclimates that fluctuate based on which island you’re on. In fact, the Aloha State has 10 of the earth’s 14 climate zones packed into its islands. You can hike through both tropical rainforests and arid deserts, and even see polar tundra landscapes if you venture to the summit of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa.
When is hurricane season in Hawaii?
Despite being made up of a series of islands, Hawaii doesn’t often experience hurricane landfalls. The last hurricane to hit the state was in 1992 when Hurricane Iniki struck the island of Kauai. But just like in the Atlantic Ocean, storms are more likely from June to November.
Events and attractions
The weeklong Aloha Festivals takes place in September every year and is one of the biggest events in the state. Plan a fall trip for a splash of authentic music, dancing and culture.
The first of May is Lei Day in Hawaii, and the biggest celebration is held in Waikiki on Oahu. Soak in traditional Hawaiian lei contests, judged by the Lei Day Queen, live music, singing, dancing and a parade.
There are plenty of events to attend all year long on the islands — from world-famous surfing championships to an ode to the ukulele. Check out our Hawaii events and attractions guide to find a celebration that speaks to you.
Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic
With infection rates rapidly spiking nationwide, expect stronger travel restrictions as the holidays near. The CDC strongly advises postponing travel and staying close to home
to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19.
If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor and understand the risk assessment levels for your destination
when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public settings, maintaining social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not host, attend gatherings or travel for 14 days. Note that the CDC warns against cruise travel
at this time.
With a little research and planning, your trip to Hawaii can be everything you dreamed it would be — whether that’s a remote getaway or to sun-soaked adventure.
Now that you’ve nailed down the dates for your trip, research some of the top airlines and flight options to beautiful Hawaii.