best time to visit Maui: Napili Bay

The Best Time to Visit Maui

People often ask me “When is the best time to visit Maui?” My answer? “It depends.” Why are you coming to Maui? What do you want to do here? If your primary goal is to thaw out during the winter months in a warm climate, then by all means winter is the best time to visit Maui. If you want to enjoy a summer vacation with your family, then summer is the time for you to come. If you want to do some whale watching, you must come in winter. If you want to experience parasailing, you must NOT come in winter (further explanation below). If you want the least expensive time of year on Maui, don’t come at Christmas. Following are some considerations to help you determine the best time to visit Maui for YOU personally.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MAUI?

Weather Conditions

best time to visit Maui: double rainbow over oceanOur mild tropical climate makes Maui a year-round destination. For the most part, the days are warm and sunny with temperatures averaging in the 70s and 80s (Fahrenheit) throughout the year. So weather-wise, there is no “bad” time of year to visit Maui. 

We have two seasons, winter and summer, and the temperature varies by only a few degrees between the two. The winter season (approximately November through March) tends to be a slightly rainier and cooler period; the summer season (approximately April through October) tends to be drier and warmer, with slightly more humidity. Although there is more chance of rain in the winter months, it can rain at any time on any day throughout the year. Usually (thankfully) the rain doesn’t last more than a few minutes to a few hours, but occasionally we do get a stretch of several rainy days. So, it’s a good idea to be prepared with some ideas for rainy day activities, just in case. 

 

Hurricane season in Hawaii is June through November. Hawaii is not as prone to hurricanes as many other locales (such as the Caribbean), so it’s not likely you will experience one here. We occasionally have a hurricane storm pass near the islands, kicking up some interesting waves and weather for a day or so. But the last time the Hawaiian Islands were actually struck full force by a hurricane was September 11, 1992 – Hurricane Iniki.

Low Season vs. High Season

best time to visit Maui: Christmas lights on palm treeThe terms “low season” and “high season” simply describe the periods on Maui with the least visitors and most visitors. High season—the busiest and most expensive time of year on Maui—is generally winter (when it’s freezing cold elsewhere!) and summer (the most popular family vacation time). Low season falls primarily in spring and fall, with a short period in January as well (see breakdown of months below). Spring and fall are excellent times to visit. Fewer crowds. Less traffic. Lower prices. 

 

Many Maui accommodations and activities offer discounted prices during low season, although the exact dates vary from business to business so make sure you check their web sites for their specific low season dates. You’re likely to find better prices on airfare and car rentals, and more Maui vacation packages at reduced prices during low season periods. At the other end of the spectrum, the Holiday Season around Christmas and New Years is the busiest season of the year, with bookings required well in advance for your Maui lodging, strict cancellation policies, and generally the highest prices for both lodging and airfare.

High Season in Maui:

  • Winter – Approximately mid-January to mid-April
  • Summer – Approximately mid-June to mid-August
  • Holiday Season (the highest of the High Season): Approximately Dec 20 – Jan 4

Low Season in Maui:

  • Early-January (the 1- to 2-week period right after the New Years holiday period)
  • Spring – Approximately late April to early June
  • Fall – Approximately mid/late August to mid-December

Seasonal Events and Attractions

best time to visit Maui: whaleWhat do you want to do while you’re here? All the most popular things to do in Maui are available year-round, with very few exceptions. For instance, whale-watching season is mid-December to mid-May, with the peak months being February and March. During whale season, some ocean activities are prohibited, such as jet ski and parasailing operations. So if either of those two Maui activities is on your bucket list, don’t visit during whale season. For avid surfers, winter surfing is the best (at its most challenging), with the most likelihood that you will catch some big—maybe even monster–waves. On the other hand, some hiking trails might be impacted during the winter months due to the rainier weather conditions. So, if there are specific activities you want to experience, do a little research in advance to make sure you’re not going to be disappointed when you arrive.

 

best time to visit Maui: costumed horseback riders in parade on Front Street
Copyright Polinahe Photography

You might also consider timing your visit to Maui around a special event here on the island. Hawaii state holidays Prince Kuhio Day (March 26) and King Kamehameha Day (June 11) are often celebrated with parades (Kamehameha parade is pictured), festivals, or other cultural events. The statewide observance of “Festivals of Aloha” takes place on Maui each fall (dates change from year to year), and Maui boasts many other wonderful cultural events, festivals, and special attractions throughout the year.  A quick internet search for Maui events will unveil a world of possibilities. Interested in a ukulele festival? A chocolate tasting, wine and food event, or taro festival? A PGA golf tournament? A local parade? A hula competition? A canoe race? A marathon? A film festival? We have all that and more on Maui! Things to do on Maui in Spring. . . Summer. . .Fall. . . Winter.

 

So, when is “the best time to visit Maui?” My answer: “When do you want to go?”

 

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Happy Travels!

Candy Aluli, Publisher

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line: Blog@MauiAccommodations.com

 (Note: We recognize and respect the significance of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the written Hawaiian language; however, we have omitted those diacritical markings on our site in order to integrate with the more common spellings used in online searches.)

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