The best time to visit Hawaii depends on what you want to experience

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  • Brief information about seasons and weather in Hawaii
  • Summer – October to April

Hawaii is a place that offers an exciting adventure every time you visit. With so many lush forests, towering mountains, beautiful beaches and scenic hiking trails, there is something unique to do in every season. But while activities like hiking, stargazing, attending a luau, relaxing on the beach, visiting a volcano, and camping can be done year-round, it’s important to know the specific activities that come with Hawaii’s different seasons. Without further ado, here’s what to expect at different times of the year in Hawaii.


Brief information about seasons and weather in Hawaii

Hawaii is not an ordinary place that comes with all four seasons. There are two main seasons in Hawaii – Summer and winter. Summer lasts from May to October while winter lasts from November to April. It rains year-round in Hawaii, but the wettest time of year is winter, and that precipitation comes in the form of rain with little or no snow. With this in mind, it is easy to understand what activities to do during these seasons.

Winter – May to October

Activities that can be done in winter depend on the weather conditions of the island. With winter being the wettest time of year, many activities revolve around the water, but there’s still plenty to do on land and in the islands’ lush jungles. However, these activities are best done in winter.

Big Wave Surfing

Surfing is one of Hawaii’s signature activities. All year round, Hawaii’s waters are pounded by waves that are great for surfing. In summer, on the other hand, the water on many beaches is mostly calm, but not without waves. Strong trade winds and winter storms in the southern hemisphere can bring big waves in the summer, but that only happens occasionally.

In the winter, on the other hand, the waves in Hawaii are monstrous, especially on Oahu‘s North Shore. With some waves reaching 33 feet, this time of year offers some of the best conditions for big wave surfing in Hawaii. The same beaches that seemed so calm and harmless in summer become very active and extremely dangerous in winter. While many of the beaches in Hawaii produce monstrous waves that are best suited to experienced surfers, there are so many beaches across the island for amateur surfers.

These monstrous waves that reach the shores of Hawaii originate from North Pacific storms. Oahu may be the best place to enjoy this exciting activity in Hawaii, but Maui, Kaui, and almost every other island in Hawaii have locations where these giant waves can be experienced.

Also see: Surfing Hawaii: How and When to Catch the Best Waves on this Pacific Island

whale watching

Winter is whale-watching season in Hawaii, when North Pacific humpback whales come to the waters around the Hawaiian Islands to mate and give birth from December through April. With these creatures measuring up to 18m in length and weighing around 45 tons, their presence makes the water exciting. When they perform their acrobatics and create those thunderous splashes, it’s a surreal sight.

In Hawaii, humpback whales are traditionally known as kohola, and they have been a crucial part of culture for centuries. Maui and Oahu are some of the best whale-watching spots in Hawaii, although Kauai also offers great whale-watching opportunities.

Experience a Hawaiian Christmas vacation

Christmas is a merry time in Hawaii, and it’s a unique experience that must be experienced at least once. Christmas falls in Hawaii, as in many parts of the world, in winter, and while the Hawaiian islands may not have snow-covered and white streets, there are certainly Christmas trees and bells ringing everywhere. Travelers to Hawaii this time of year will enjoy a Christmas vacation filled with delicious food and plenty of time on the beach, surfing and swimming.

See also: 10 Undeniable Reasons You Should Be in Hawaii Right Now

Summer – October to April

Summer in Hawaii is an exciting time to be outdoors as the calm waters and hot temperatures set the stage to enjoy some of Hawaii’s most exciting activities like this one.

snorkeling and diving

Snorkeling and scuba diving are exciting activities in Hawaii as the waters are teeming with unique coral and beautiful marine life, but you can’t do this every season. In winter, the big waves are so dangerous that they seriously endanger even large ships on the water. With waves rising more than 10m high, people diving or snorkeling in the water can easily be crushed by the monstrous waves or dragged into the open sea and get a free ride to Tonga or any random island in the southern hemisphere. This makes summer the best time for swimming-related activities in the Hawaiian Islands. Things to see while scuba diving or snorkeling in Hawaii’s waters include manta rays, sea turtles, and plenty of tropical fish.

Note that the waters around Hawaii are never entirely free of waves. So it’s important to ask the locals before jumping in the water.

hiking and camping

Hiking and camping are great in Hawaii year-round, but perfect in the summer when the islands are drier and lighter. This time of year is an opportunity to hike lush trails and camp on beaches. Some dangerous trails, like the Kalalau Trail, are best hiked in summer when the trail is dry and the atmosphere light. If such paths are wet, it could be a route to Hades for unlucky wanderers.

Watch sunrise and sunset

Hawaii’s sunshine may be unforgiving in the summer, but that wildness is what makes it so beautiful at sunrise and sunset. For travelers who come here in the summer, this is one of the best experiences to have in Hawaii. No matter which Hawaiian island travelers choose to visit, there is always a spot where you can enjoy beautiful sunrise and sunset views. However, some locations offer more scenery than others, and some of those locations include Kaena Point in Oahu, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, and Sunset Beach in Oahu.

learn to surf

Summer is the best time to learn to surf in Hawaii because once it’s winter, no one is safe on the water. Not even the experts.


Sailing is an activity that connects you to the ancient history of the Hawaiians, whose ancestors were known to be great seafarers. With calmer water and constant winds, this activity is exciting in summer.

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