Trip Ideas - 15 min read

Best Time to Visit Maui (For Whales, Festivals, & Fun)

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated October 1, 2022

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The island of Maui, also known as the Valley Isle, is located in the state of Hawaii in the United States. It is a notable tourist destination for people looking to enjoy the serene beaches, beautiful natural environment, and the exotic high Hawaiian waves. So, what is the best time to visit Maui?

The best time to visit Maui is between April and October because these months offer the best climate, with an average temperature of 82 Fahrenheit (28 Celsius). During these seasons, Maui is ripe for memorable outdoor experiences like sunbathing, wave surfing, whale watching, swimming, birding, and other fun activities on the island.

Nonetheless, Maui is still an excellent destination for tourists all year round due to the assortment of attractions on the island. You’ll not be short of where to visit and have fun in Maui as a tourist. Read on to know more about the best time to visit Maui.

When Should You Not Go to Maui?

Credit: ingimage

December to January are the best months to avoid visiting Maui.
These months record a spike in costs in flight tickets, accommodation, and cabs due to the high influx of visitors during this season.

Most of these visitors are coming to Maui for the Christmas holiday. Hotels tend to reach almost 100% occupancy. There’s always a struggle for flight tickets, and the Maui beaches are crowded. If you’re not a crowd person, consider avoiding a trip to Maui in December.

When is the Rainy Season in Maui?

The rainy season in Maui is typically from November through to January. These months are recorded as the wettest, with an average of 2 inches of rain. Therefore, you are more likely to witness a downpour or even a rainstorm in Maui during November, December, and January.

However, the waves are at their highest during these periods, so you can have more options to surf the waves as a surfer.

When Is the Best Month to go to Maui?

Credit: Maui Hawaii / Facebook

April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Maui. During these months, the weather is favorably warm, and the flight costs and accommodations are usually lower
. Also, the island has fewer visitors during these months, allowing you to experience the serenity of Maui at its peak.

However, coming to Maui during these months may cause you to miss out on some popular events like whale watching. The whale watching season is a time in Maui when whales decorate the shores as they migrate from Alaska to Hawaii. The whale season usually starts from mid-December to around April, with the peak being January to March.

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Maui, HI

What is the Cheapest Month to go to Maui?

The cheapest month to go to Maui is in January. This is because tourist activities are usually dull during this period, and visitors are heading back home. So you can capitalize on the season to get a cheap flight to Maui, and many airlines offer discounted rates for travel to Hawaii during the winter.

Although, you may not get a lower bargain for food because food is usually imported into Maui from the mainland. As such, the cost of food in Maui is static all year round.

Visiting the island of Maui usually creates a significant vacuum in your wallet regardless of when you visit the island. However, you should look forward to the off-season if you want to go to the island when costs are lower.

The first off-season is also the cheapest time to visit Maui, which falls between April and May when the summer rush and visitors seeking the Maui sun subsides. After that, another off-season falls in September, October, and November.

What is the Best Time to Swim in Maui?

Credit: Maui Hawaii / Facebook

You can always find stable waters to swim in all year round. However,
the ideal time to swim in Maui is from July to November due to the stable weather and the relatively warm weather.

On average, the temperature between July and November is usually 26 degrees celsius with a clear and sunny sky. The wind blows at a moderate 25k/h, and there is less likelihood of rainfall in these months, making it an ideal swimming time for visitors.

What is the Hottest Month in Maui?

The hottest month in Maui is between August and September. These months are known for their high humidity. The temperature during these months can rise to over 80 Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), depending on the area in Maui. 

However, towards the beginning of November, the island’s temperature starts to cool, and there may be a likelihood of rain or even a tropical hurricane. Nonetheless, hurricanes rarely happen in the Hawaiian islands.

It is worthy to note that Maui island consists of several sub-climates. As such, you may simultaneously experience different climates on different parts of the island.

Best Time for Whale Watching in Maui

Credit: ingimage

Another feature of visiting Maui is that you can witness the unusual behavior of aquatic mammals like humpback whales. These whales are known to migrate from Alaska to the Hawaiian islands every year.

The best time for whale watching in Maui is from December to March. While the official whale season starts in mid-December, you can also start sighting whales as early as the 1st of December.

In January and February, thousands of whales migrate to the Hawaiian seas. As such, it’s easier to spot whales on the Maui waters from January to February.

It is worthy to note that during the whale season, you may not be able to ride a jet ski on the water due to seasonal protection measures implemented to protect whales. Also, parasailing tours are halted to prevent collisions with the swimming whales.

By March, the whales begin their migration back to Alaska. At this point, it is common to see a group of over 50 whales making their way through the sea. It’s sure an incredible view to experience.

Related Read: How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost?

Is November the Best Time to Visit Maui?

Credit: ingimage

November is the best time to visit Maui as it falls in the off-season of vacation.
During this period, you can get cheap deals on flight tickets, hotels, and car rentals. This will enable you to save more money than you spend in the busy season. 

November falls between the summer vacation visit and the December holiday rush. So while visitors do come in for the Thanksgiving celebration, it doesn’t entirely create the buzz and activities that the summer and Christmas time create.

Visiting Maui in November is great because of the stable weather on the island, the fewer crowds, and the low-cost deals you can get at that time of the year. Other reasons include:

  • Ability to celebrate Thanksgiving in the tropics of Maui
  • Perfect sea for swimming
  • The weather is accommodating and warm
  • More miniature beehive of activities by visitors
  • It’s easier to get a Haleakala sunrise reservation in November, and so on.

You can get the cheapest cost of living in the first half of November. But by late November, prices tend to surge due to visitors coming to the island for the Thanksgiving celebration.

You won’t witness whales in the Hawaiian seas because whale season starts from January through March. Rainfall starts in November. So if you’re coming for the sunshine, rain may not allow you to enjoy the sun.

Best Weather in Maui: Month-to-Month

January: Best Time For Sports

Credit: ingimage

According to statistics, January is barely a rainy month, and you’ll rarely need an umbrella when stepping out. On Average, rain falls about six days throughout the month. But, interestingly, the weather doesn’t hinder any of the fun activities in Maui.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions is an event for families visiting Maui. It’s part of the PGA tour when you visit Kapalua. This is another great time for whale watching with Maui Kayak Adventure. 

After the celebrations during Christmas, all of these activities make your visit more memorable. You’ll also enjoy the best meals during dinner at Wailea Restaurants.

  • Sentry Tournament of Champions 
  • Maui Kayak Adventures 
  • Dinner at Wailea Restaurants

February: Best Time to Engage in Activities

February is the coldest month of the year. The average temperature during the day is 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees C) and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees C) at night.

During this period, there are usually lots of fun activities, including the Maui Whale Festival, that marks the celebration and protection from the abnormality that winter brings.

As you know, the 14th of February, world lovers’ day falls this month, making it a perfect reason to visit Maui for a ‘valentine vacation.’ The Maui Open Studio Events is a time to experience art and interact with top artists.

  • Maui Whale Festival 
  • Valentine’s Day Sunset Sail
  • Maui Open Studio Events

March: Best Time For Festivals

Credit: Prince Kuhio Festival / Facebook

The major events during this period are the
Whales and Ocean Arts Festival. Finally, in March, the peak of the winter season begins to wind to an end.

There is also the Prince Kuhio Festival and Hawaiian Music Series Concert, where you can enjoy outdoor concerts featuring popular Maui-based musicians for free.

  • Whales and Ocean Art Festival 
  • Hawaiian Music Series Concert
  • Prince Kuhio Festival 

April: Best Time to Experience Culture

The rain begins to reduce as the days roll on. This is the best time to leave the luxury at your hotel or resort and head on to the island for the remarkable East Maui Taro Festival

Also, there’s the Celebration of Arts Festival held yearly at the Ritz-Carlton resort, where Native Hawaiians share their traditions and cultural uniqueness. The Banyan Tree Birthday Party is another interesting event where you’ll get to see different indigenes flaunting their culture. 

  • East Maui Taro Festival 
  • Banyan Tree Birthday Party 
  • Celebration of Arts Festival 

May: Best Time to Experience Hawaiian Fellowship

Credit: Go Hawaii Media

Since May is usually the peak of the summer season, temperatures increase slightly.
Lei Day is celebrated in Hawaii by making and giving flower garlands (Lei) as a sign of honor to the spirit of Aloha. 

This period is usually a time for fellowship, communal living, sharing, and togetherness. It is popularly known as the Hawaiian concept of fellowship. This event draws visitors and locals alike to different destinations across Maui. 

The Maui Brewers Festival is also celebrated during this period to strengthen the bond of the Hawaiians and ensure togetherness. At the Grand Dairy Tours, you get the chance to feed and milk goats.

  • Lei Day
  • Maui Brewers Festival
  • Grand Dairy Tours

June: Busiest Time to Visit Maui

Credit: Kaanapali Beach Resort Association / Facebook

June is sunny, dry, and warm. It’s the busiest month as it’s filled with so many events. Some time ago, outrigger canoes transported the first Polynesians to Hawaii, and these vessels are always in the spotlight during most festivals, especially the
Waa Kiakahi Canoe Festival

This festival is always hosted in the Kaanapali Beach Hotel at the beachfront. Plus, it’s also a great time to Wine and dines at the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. Even the King Kamehameha Day Parade and Celebration and Ki Ho’alu Slack Key Guitar Festival attract thousands of visitors to Maui.

  •  Ki Ho’alu Slack Key Guitar Festival
  • Waa Kiakahi Canoe Festival
  • King Kamehameha Day Parade & Celebration
  • Maui Film Festival, Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

July: Best Time to Visit for Tourism

Even though the weather is dry and hot in July, the locally-grown fruits are usually very fresh and nutritious. During the Maui Fruit Festival, you’ll be able to feed your eyes on these ‘healthy’ fruits and learn more about why they’re very nutritious. 

During the Lana’i Pineapple Festival, you’ll get to view different sizes of pineapples, and definitely, you’ll get to have a taste of them. It’s such an exciting and educational tourist experience. The Hawaii Mermaid Adventure is the newest aquatic adventure in Maui.

  • Maui Fruit Festival 
  • Lana’i Pineapple Festival 
  • Hawaii Mermaid Adventure

August: Best Time to Enjoy Native Food

Credit: Hawaiian Airlines

There are a lot of creatures dishes made with island-raised veggies in Maui. Interestingly, you’ll rarely see such dishes in any other country. So, with the warm weather, you’ll need some good food to keep yourself refreshed.

At the Maui Onion Festival hosted at the Whalers Village, there are displays of different dishes made with this veggie. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this pack of goodness, so August is definitely the best time to travel to Maui to enjoy good food. There are many other fun activities in Maui in August.

  • Maui Onion Festival 
  • Youth Art Exhibit
  • Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival 
  • Henry Kapono and Friends
  • Maui Friday Town Parties. 

Related Read: 12 Best Waterfalls in Maui

September: Best Time For County Fairs

Credit: The Old Wailuku Inn

There are County fairs in Hawaii. Although there may be some health concerns, there are no restrictions to the
Maui County Fair held in Kahului. This event draws thousands of people.

Unfortunately, once schools reopen, the number of tourists drops drastically. Notwithstanding, the weather remains dry and warm and is convenient for outdoor events. The Festivals of Aloha comprises a celebration of Hawaiian music, food, hula, and many other local artisans.

  • Maui County Fair
  • Festivals of Aloha
  • Maui Blues and Jazz Festival 
  • Chinese Moon Festival 
  • Malama Wao Akua
  • Ku Mai Ka Hula Competition 

October: Best Time to Visit in Summer

Credit: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival / Facebook

The festivities are never-ending, even if you visit Maui in October. Even though the temperature drops slightly because it’s the peak of summer, the weather remains perfect. More so, prices of products and services fall slightly, making purchases less expensive.

This period is usually perfect for epicurean celebrations like Halloween in Lahaina and the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. You can expect the temperature to be between 38 and 42 degrees during this period. However, the weather may fluctuate, considering that it’s a prep period for the rainy season in November. 

Also, Maui Marathon features rolling surfs and viewing of the magical cobalt blue ocean water.

  • Halloween Celebration in Lahaina 
  • Hawaii Food and Wine Festival 
  • Maui Marathon 

Related Read: 20 BEST Restaurants in Lahaina Maui

November: Best Time For Whale Watching

Credit: Maui Hawaii / Facebook

The rainy season sets in with full force, and surfing begins. Whales also start migrating to Maui.
Whale watching will be a perfect excuse to remain outdoors all day long, even in the wet weather.

Additionally, November is a quiet time for tourism. You can even watch local kids strutting their hula dance moves at the Hula O Na Keiki (a hula competition for children).

There’s also “Paddle for Hunger,” a fun race, and “Made in Maui County Festival, the largest product show event in Maui. It’s usually a great month to stock up on holiday gift shopping.

  • Hula O Na Keiki
  • Paddle for Hunger.
  • Made in Maui County Festival 

December: Best Time For Holidays

The temperatures go as high as 81 degrees Fahrenheit, with more rain. Notwithstanding, most of the fun events in Maui happen in December. It’s a perfect time to celebrate the season with Santa greeting the young folks in a Hawaiian shirt, besides the giant Lahaina banyan tree.

Aside from Christmas, the Na Mele O Maui is a top display of the holiday spirit. You could consider driving upcountry to Makawao, the cowboy town, for holiday shopping. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to travel with a coat as the temperature is usually between 30 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. The Maui Swap Meet is a great place to find stocking stuffers and local gifts.

  • Christmas 
  • Na Mele O Maui
  • Maui Swap Meet

Is December a Good Time to Visit Maui?

December is a good time to visit Maui if you’re looking to escape the winter. During this season, the weather in Maui is in excellent tropical condition with enough sunshine. In the same way, the sea is in perfect condition for swimming while you enjoy the island’s effort to look extra colorful with Christmas decorations.

However, December is one of the busiest times of the year in Maui. You’ll compete with other visitors for flight tickets, hotel, and car rentals. Because of this, you may want to book your flight and accommodation ahead to avoid the rush with the December holiday on the island.

Also, if you’re visiting Maui in December, be prepared to shell out some money, as things will get more pricey than they used to be in other months. Nonetheless, you’ll enjoy the different fun activities and visit some popular locations on the island.

You shouldn’t be surprised to witness a series of rainfall in December. But, unfortunately, it is one of the wettest months of the year in Maui.

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