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The Best Time to Visit Hawaii’s Big Island

  • Post category:Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is a dream destination for many travelers, offering a unique blend of stunning landscapes, rich cultural history, and endless outdoor activities. While the island is a year-round destination, certain months offer distinct advantages in terms of weather, crowd sizes, and overall experience. This article will guide you through the best times to visit Hawaii’s Big Island, helping you plan your perfect getaway.

Key Takeaways

  • September offers fewer crowds and pleasant weather, making it an ideal time to visit.
  • October provides a good balance of lower prices and enjoyable weather conditions.
  • November marks the beginning of the rainy season but still offers warm temperatures and fewer tourists.
  • April and May are excellent for avoiding the peak tourist season while enjoying great weather.
  • June and July are popular months with warm weather and a variety of events, though they can be crowded.

1. September

September is also considered one of the best times to visit the Hawaiian Islands, as the summer crowds wind down and prices drop. Although this month marks the end of summer, the temperatures continue to soar and remain in the upper 80s and low 90s during the day. Evenings are temperate and comfortable in the lower 70s. September also brings some of the warmest water temperatures of the year.

As the number of visitors falls, the islands once again have breathing space. Combined with pleasant temperatures and calm seas, this makes September an insider’s choice. Underwater visibility is excellent so exploring the archipelago’s reefs and marine life is recommended.

Those looking for festivals will love visiting Hawaii in September. The annual Aloha Festival on Oahu runs through September and features unique events. You can enjoy Hawaii’s largest street party, parades, and plenty of cultural food, fun, and music.

Bold: September is also considered one of the best times to visit the Hawaiian Islands.

Italics: insider’s choice

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2. October

October is a fantastic time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island. The weather is still warm, with temperatures typically in the low 80s during the day and pleasant evenings in the low 70s. This month marks the beginning of the rainy season, so it’s wise to bring an umbrella. However, rain usually falls at night and won’t significantly impact your daytime activities. The Big Island sees the least rainfall compared to other Hawaiian islands, making it a great choice for an October getaway.

Lower Prices and Fewer Crowds

October often has an end-of-the-season feel, which is ideal for those who want to take advantage of lower prices without crowds. Demand and rates have dropped, and there are fewer visitors on the island, allowing you to explore more freely.

Weather Considerations

While October marks the start of the rainy season, the Big Island experiences less rainfall than other islands. The weather remains warm and sunny, but there’s always the possibility of an early storm and some heavier seas. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

Activities and Events

October is perfect for outdoor activities and exploration. The calmer seas and sunny weather make it an excellent time for snorkeling, hiking, and discovering the island’s natural beauty. Additionally, you can enjoy local festivals and events that showcase Hawaiian culture and traditions.

October offers a unique blend of warm weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices, making it an excellent time to discover the best of Hawaii’s Big Island.

3. November

November is a fantastic time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island, especially if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Besides the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the lack of visitors comes with a drop in prices for both hotels and airfare. You should avoid traveling at the end of the month to dodge the holiday crowds. Hotels typically range from $325 per night at the beginning of the month to $340 per night by the end of the month. Airfare is also lower in November, making it a great month to visit Hawaii for those traveling on a budget.

4. April

April is a fantastic month to visit Hawaii’s Big Island. The joys of spring greet travelers with tropical daytime temperatures in the 70s and low 80s, while evenings can dip into the low 60s, especially along the beaches. This month offers ideal weather, fewer crowds, and below-average hotel and airfare costs.

5. May

May is one of the best months to visit the Hawaiian Islands due to the fantastic weather, great festivals, and limited crowds. Although many places in the U.S. see an increase in rain during May, that’s not the case for Hawaii! Guests find the islands have an average daytime temperature in the 80s and low 60s in the evenings.

Lei Day Celebrations

May 1st marks Lei Day in Hawaii, and you can find celebrations throughout the islands. Each island has its own celebrations that range from lei-making competitions to luaus and hula dancing to royal court processions. You can also enjoy the unique music of Hawaii at the Mele Mei, a month-long musical celebration on Maui.

Fewer Crowds

The crowds on the islands dissipate in May, except in Waikiki when the city sees an uptick of Japanese travelers thanks to the Golden Week holiday. You will have many of the most beautiful beaches and top attractions to yourself until Memorial Day weekend. May is also one of the best times to visit the island in terms of accommodations and airfare, which are both well below the average. The average hotel price dips to $310 per night, and airfare is typically cheaper as well.

Ocean Activities

May is an excellent time to enjoy activities on and beside the ocean. Sea temperatures are rising and the water is calmer, though there’s still a bit of a kick should you want to have a go at learning to surf, or (for more experienced surfers) ride the waves off Oʻahu’s renowned North Shore without risking life and limb.

May offers a perfect blend of cultural experiences, fewer crowds, and ideal weather, making it an excellent time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island.

6. August

Weather

August in Hawaii is characterized by soaring temperatures, with averages in the high 80s to low 90s during the day and balmy nights in the 70s. The odds of rain are low, making it a great time for beach activities but not ideal for visiting waterfalls due to less water flow.

Tourist Season

August is a peak tourist season, especially in the first two weeks when families flock to the islands before U.S. schools begin. Accommodation prices drop by the end of the month, averaging below $375 per night. Airfare tends to be more expensive, so it’s wise to book early.

Festivals and Events

August is one of the best months to experience Hawaiian festivals. The annual Ho’oku’i Kahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival on the Big Island is a highlight, featuring over 20 ancient arts and crafts workshops, Hawaiian games, demonstrations, and traditional Hawaiian music.

By late August, the crowds have usually cleared out, and rates have decreased, making it a more peaceful time to visit.

Tips for Visiting

  • Book your flights early to avoid high airfare costs.
  • Plan your visit for late August to enjoy lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds.
  • Check out the Big Island current event pages for more activities and festivals.
Time of Month Average Accommodation Price Crowds
Early August High High
Late August Below $375 per night Low

7. June

June marks the beginning of summer on the Hawaiian Islands, and while temperatures are still fantastic by the end of the month, visitors flock to the beaches for summer vacation. You won’t find better weather in Hawaii than during June. Rain rarely happens during this time of year, making it a great time to visit the islands. Temperatures in this tropical paradise are in the mid to low 80s during the daytime, with nighttime temperatures dropping into the high 60s. June also brings warm and welcoming ocean waters, perfect for swimming and other water activities.

While June isn’t considered peak season in Hawaii, this month does mark the beginning of summer and a boom in tourism. The islands are a bit more crowded toward the end of the month especially, with schools letting out around the U.S. Hotel rates are typically lower during the first two weeks of June and will steadily rise as Hawaii enters peak tourist season. Hotel prices usually range from $365 per night at the beginning of the month to $395 by the end of June.

The sun is high overhead, bringing dry, hot weather and the lowest rainfall of the year. The summer crowds have not yet arrived, so a trip at this time of the year can be a more peaceful and rewarding experience.

8. July

July brings amazing weather and peak tourist season to the islands of Hawaii. While rain is very rare in July, you’ll find that Hawaii is incredibly crowded during this time of year. Daytime temperatures are perfect in the mid-80s, with lows dipping into the low 70s during the evening. July is also a phenomenal time to take in a stunning technicolor sunset along one of Hawaii’s pristine beaches. The ocean is balmy and calm, with water temperatures in the 80s, making this an excellent time for swimming and snorkeling.

While July is crowded throughout the month, the busiest time of the month is typically the 4th of July weekend, when families love to travel to Hawaii to celebrate America’s independence. Of course, the crowds bring higher accommodation prices, averaging between $380 and $395 per night. Airfare also tends to be more expensive during this time of year.

Be sure to also regularly check our Big Island current event pages for:

  • April Big Island Events
  • May Big Island Events
  • June Big Island Events

July is a phenomenal time to take in a stunning technicolor sunset along one of Hawaii’s pristine beaches.

9. December

people swimming near shore with waves during daytime

December is a magical time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island, offering a unique blend of festive holiday activities and tropical charm. Hawaii has become the go-to holiday vacation spot for those seeking fun in the sun and escaping winter temperatures. With the poinsettia in bloom, the island is adorned with vibrant colors, making it a picturesque destination.

Weather

December is the rainiest month in Hawaii, but don’t let that deter you. Daytime temperatures are in the low 80s, while nighttime temperatures drop to the upper 60s. If you’re concerned about rain, consider visiting the leeward side of the island, which tends to be drier.

Festive Activities

In December, you can find plenty of festive holiday activities and festivals. Experience an authentic Hawaiian Christmas with exciting luaus, delicious Christmas feasts, or even Christmas Eve dinner cruises. Communities often put up festive light displays, and you may even find an unexpected (fake) snow display.

Crowds and Costs

The beginning of December sees fewer crowds and offers more tranquility. By the end of the month, visitors flock to the island to spend their holiday in paradise. The beginning of December provides lower hotel rates, while Christmas week leading up to New Year’s is the most expensive time to visit. Hotel rates average $375 per night during the beginning of the month and jump to $465 per night during the peak of the holiday season.

December is ideal for water sports lovers to visit the Hawaiian Islands. The beginning of the month sees fewer crowds and offers more tranquility.

Water Sports

December is ideal for water sports lovers. The beginning of the month offers more tranquility and fewer crowds, making it perfect for activities like snorkeling, surfing, and paddleboarding.

10. January

January is a fairly quiet month for tourism except for the first week after the New Year and the third Monday of January for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Avoid visiting the week of New Years for more reasonable hotel and airfare rates. Accommodations typically run around $350 per night during January in Hawaii.

When visiting Hawaii during January, you can expect tropical flowers in bloom and balmy temperatures in the low 80s. Keep in mind that different areas of the islands can have very different climates. For example, the higher elevations on Maui and the Big Island tend to be much cooler, while the beaches are warm and perfect for swimming.

Outside of New Year, January is a month with some breathing space as the crowds dissipate after Christmas. However, it’s still popular with visitors jetting in from the mainland to escape the winter. This is one of the wetter months, so a longer trip offers a better chance of a good few dry days.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the best time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island largely depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience. Whether you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy lower prices during the shoulder months of April, May, September, and October, or you prefer the vibrant atmosphere of the peak tourist season from December to March, there’s always something special to discover on the Big Island. With its diverse geography, rich history, and endless recreational activities, the Big Island offers a unique and unforgettable experience year-round. Plan your trip according to your interests and enjoy all that this beautiful island has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island?

The best time to visit Hawaii’s Big Island is between September and November. During these months, you can enjoy lower room rates and fewer crowds. The weather is also pleasant, with temperatures remaining in the high 70s or low 80s.

What is the weather like on the Big Island throughout the year?

The Big Island of Hawaii enjoys warm weather year-round, with temperatures generally fluctuating between 70°F to 85°F. The rainy season typically lasts from November to March, while the dry season spans from April to October.

Are there any peak tourist seasons on the Big Island?

Yes, the peak tourist seasons on the Big Island are during the winter months from December to March and the summer months from June to August. During these times, the island sees a surge in visitors and higher accommodation prices.

What activities can tourists enjoy on the Big Island?

Tourists on the Big Island can enjoy a wide range of activities, including snorkeling, hiking, visiting historical landmarks, attending Luau shows, and exploring coral reefs. There are also wellness centers for relaxation and water-themed parks for families.

Is it expensive to visit the Big Island during the holiday season?

Yes, visiting the Big Island during the holiday season, especially around Christmas and New Year’s, can be more expensive due to the high demand for accommodations and the surge in visitors.

What is the currency used in Hawaii?

The official currency used in Hawaii is the US dollar.