Cruise and Beach Destinations
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Best and Worst Times to Visit Hawaii

Honolulu average temperatures
Average monthly temperatures for Honolulu. © 2019 Scott S. Bateman

Anyone who has never visited Hawaii may think the best time for a cruise or beach vacation there is just about any time. That’s not quite the case.

It’s not that Hawaii has bad weather most of the year. It’s just that the best time to visit Hawaii depends on what visitors plan to do when they get there. Some months are better for beaches and water activities while others are better for land activities.

Hawaii is hugely popular with visitors from the western half of the United States, according to tourism statistics from Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT). The next most popular sources of tourists are the eastern half of the U.S. and Japan.

The majority of the visitors arrive by air. Oahu, which includes the city of Honolulu, is the most popular island, followed by Maui, the state government says.

Most and Least Popular Months

The most popular months to visit are December, January and June through August, according to the DBEDT. These months coincide with school breaks and families who go on vacation together.

The least popular months are April and September. The least popular months are usually part of the low or value season when hotel and resort prices decline as much as 20 percent.

Best and Worst Months for Warm Weather

Hawaii is famous for its beaches, but beach weather is ideal only certain months of the year.

The average daytime temperature in Honolulu ranges from 80 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 89 in August and September, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

That sounds warm and comfortable for land activities. But nighttime temperatures may impact the comfort level on beaches and in the seawater.

The average nighttime temperatures range from 66 in January to 75 in August. The winter nighttime temperatures are low enough that they may make seawater temperatures chilly in the mornings and even later into the day. Wind chills from trade winds will add more discomfort.

So beach lovers will find that the best times to visit Hawaii are May through October.

Best and Worst Months for Rain

On average, Honolulu has less than 10 days of rain each month for the entire year, which is a better average than many tropical islands.

But the amount of rain each month varies a bit more. The best months to visit for low risk of rain are during the dry season of April through September. The rainy season goes from October through March.

Total rainfall ranges from less than one inch in June to more than three inches in December. Again, total rainfall is modest compared to many other tropical islands.

Anyone who wants the best combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain should consider going in June.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
October 02, 2021

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