Best times to visit Hawaii

The best times for surfing, whale-watching, and eating out in Hawaii

Let’s be honest, Hawaii is the ultimate year-round travel destination. But depending on your travel style, you may want to visit Hawaii during a particular time. From whale watching season, to Fashion Week, to Restaurant Week, here are the best times to visit Hawaii based on your particular tastes.

I want to see rainbows

If you travel to Hawaii from November to March, you better have you cameras on the ready as rainbows are an everyday occurrence. This period is known as the rainy season, and while you might not get a sunburn, you will definitely be the envy of all your Instagram friends.

I want to see the world’s top surfers

One of the world’s elite surfing events the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing happens every November on Oahu’s famous North Shore. The winter season brings bigger swells, which gives big wave surfers a chance to show off their latest techniques. The actual event dates are dependent on the surf, but all throughout November you’ll feel a buzz along the North Shore as the athletes await the perfect wave to kick off the competition.

I want to see whales

Whale watching season in Hawaii lasts from about December to May, so you have a pretty large window of time to see these gentle giants. Some of the best whale sightings take place in Maui, where North Pacific humpback whales migrate to Hawaii’s tropical waters. You can sometimes see them right from the shore, but the best way to whale watch is to take a whale watching tour, which will get you up close and personal with the world’s largest species of whale.

I want a hotel deal

When it comes to finding a Hawaii hotel deal, the best time to do it is during low season or shoulder season, which ranges between late January to May. During this time, you’ll enjoy lower hotel rates, less crowded hotels, and even though you might get some rain, most of the showers in Hawaii are followed up with gorgeous rainbows. Contrarily, the worst time to find a hotel deal in Hawaii is during school vacations or summer when nearly all Hawaii hotels are operating at full capacity. High season officially ranges from June to August.

Viewfinder Tip:  For a stylish Hawaiian souvenir, pick up one of Roberta Oaks’ modern aloha shirts at her boutique in Chinatown!

I want to see Hawaii’s top fashion

From designer bikinis to next generation aloha shirts, Honolulu Fashion Week showcases Hawaii’s best designers during a week of high style events in November. Runway shows, fashioned–themed night markets, and meet and greets with local designers are an ideal way to get acquainted with Hawaii’s ever-evolving style. Some of my favorite local designers include Issa de’ mar swimwear and Peace of Paradise Creations who creates bikinis for every body type.

I want to feel like I’m in Hollywood

Hawaii International Film Festival happens every year in April. It’s 11 days when filmmakers, both international and Hawaiian, showcase their latest creations. Expect films from Japan, America, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands to be shown across various cinemas in Honolulu.

I want to taste Hawaii

In Honolulu, Restaurant Week Hawaii happens in November. It’s a week of indulgence when Hawaii’s best chefs offer a chance to taste Honolulu flavors—from traditional to up-and-coming. Nearly 70 of Honolulu’s top eateries participate in the event. One of my personal favorites is the Pig and the Lady. Be sure you order the beignets with cauliflower foam dipping sauce. They are unreal!

What’s your favorite time to visit Hawaii? 

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Courtney Scott

Courtney Scott is a New York-based travel blogger, TV personality, and leading on-air travel expert.She has appeared more than 200 times in national broadcast, radio, and print outlets including TODAY show, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide. Her travel career began in 2007 when she kicked her cubicle and booked a one-way ticket to Italy.She now inspires others to live their travel dreams through her blog and her weekly YouTube travel series GLOBETROT with Courtney Scott. She is a regular panelist at Women's Travel Fest and is also the co-creator of The Getaway Girls, a travel show uncovering the best girlfriend getaways in the world, co-starring Kiersten Rich, a.k.a. The Blonde Abroad. Subscribe to Courtney's adventures on YouTube and keep up with her travels on Instagram and Snapchat (imcourtscott).

Latest posts by Courtney Scott (see all)

  • Zahirul Islam

    Awesome trip. Hawaii is the best travel place because it has many restaurant, Fashion house and see different season. A lot of great information in this post! I travel this place. Thanks sharing this idea.
    http://smsgog.com/