When to Visit the Big Island of Hawaii

Top Times of Year to Travel to the Big Island

Best Time to Visit Big Island

Big Island of Hawaii Tips for When to Visit

The best times to visit the Big Island of Hawaii, taking into consideration the weather, how crowded, or not, the island is, and demand for accommodations are the month(s) of April, May, August, September, and October.

Knowing when to visit the Big Island of Hawaii is essential when planning your Big Island trip or vacation. Honestly, there's not a wrong time to visit the island - it has an incredibly wide diversity and geography that suits almost any type of traveler- from outdoor adventurer to poolside fixture.

But, that said, some months are still better when considering things like weather and your budget. Below we'll cover visitor arrivals, the Big Island's weather and climate, accommodations, rates, and what to expect on a visit during each season on the Big Island.

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Big Island Visitor Arrivals* Click to Enlarge

Big Island Visitor Arrivals* Click to Enlarge

Big Island any time of the year

If you're planning to visit during the winter months, you will have the opportunity to see humpback whales that migrate every year from Alaska to mate, calve, and birth their young.

No matter when you visit, we recommend booking one of the amazing guided tours of the Big Island offered by our friends at The Volcano Van. They offer some of the most exciting Big Island Tours you'll find.

Weather & Climate

For the most part, the Big Island is warm and tropical year-round. Average temperatures near the major resort areas (coastline) range from 75-85°F (23°C-29°C) in winter and summer, respectively.

At the higher elevations like Volcano and Waimea, temperatures are often much cooler, especially during the night. Hilo can also have lower temperatures depending on how far mauka (inland) you travel. And, of course, the summit of Mauna Kea and flanks of Mauna Loa or Hualalai can be quite chilly, if not downright frigid; so plan accordingly depending on where you plan to visit during your trip.

For more detailed information about the weather conditions you can expect during your visit, check out our Big Island of Hawaii Weather page.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane and tropical storms are historically rare events on the Big Island and within Hawaii in general, but it’s still important to be prepared for storms if you visit during hurricane season - June through November. The last few years have seen increased activity around the islands, including the Big Island, so it’s essential to monitor weather conditions when planning and taking your trip.

Average Big Island Temperature and Precipitation Charts

Hilo & Kailua-Kona Average Temperature

Hilo & Kailua-Kona Average Temperature

Hilo & Kailua-Kona Average Precipitation

Hilo & Kailua-Kona Average Precipitation

Accommodations & Rates

The busiest time on the island is around the Christmas holidays, New Year, and Independence Day in the U.S.

Many families also visit the island during the summer months while their children are out of school. These busy months all mean increased demand and higher prices island-wide.

Two other events that generate an influx of visitors are the Merrie Monarch Festival and the Ironman competition. The Merrie Monarch Festival is held annually starting on Easter Sunday on the Hilo side of the island. The Ironman Triathlon event is held on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii, typically in October. The 2021 Ironman competition was initially postponed and then ultimately relocated to the mainland in Utah, but the 2022 Ironman event is currently scheduled for early October 2022, in Kona.

If you’re not sure which Big Island region(s) to visit, you may want to have a look at our Where to Stay on the Big Island of Hawaii article to narrow down your options.

Below, we'll cover our Big Island of Hawaii Seasonal Expectations on visiting during each season of the year.

2023 Hawaii Budget Calculator

Estimate the Cost of your Hawaii Vacation

Aloha, guest readers can calculate five (5) trip cost estimates for Hawaii each day. Rates included within this calculator are based on projected Spring/Summer 2023 rates aggregated from current OTA pricing. Rates will be updated regularly.

HawaiiGuide Premium members can submit unlimited trip estimates each day.

Aloha, as a HawaiiGuide Premium member you can calculate unlimited Hawaii trip cost estimates each day. Mahalo for being a HawaiiGuide Premium member!

Calculator Overview

This calculator is designed to provide both a comprehensive and regularly updated budget estimate for planning a trip to Hawaii. Currently, rates are applicable for 2023. Generally, these rates should provide a good estimate for any time period between 2023-2024.

This budget tool considers all of the following:
  • Hawaii Flight Costs including airfare from various destinations, baggage fees, etc.
  • Hawaii Accommodation Costs including different lodging types, Hawaii's now roughly 18% accommodation tax, parking fees (if applicable), which island you're staying on, etc.
  • Hawaii Vehicle Rental Costs including various types of vehicles, fuel costs, and number of miles driven daily.
  • Additional Costs including dining + gratuity, visitor fees to parks, etc., and Hawaii Tours and Activity costs.

Hawaii Flight Costs

First, consider your flight costs to Hawaii. Select your departure location, update the number of travelers (if applicable), and check whether you expect to pay baggage fees, below.

Hawaii Accommodation Costs

Next, let us know which island you'll be visiting (select the primary island if you're visiting more than one), select a lodging type/classification, update the number of nights (default is set to a week), update the number or rooms (if applicable), and check whether you expect to pay parking fees (common in more densely populated areas on Oahu and/or Maui).

Hawaii Car Rental Costs

Now, let's consider your vehicle rental costs (if applicable). If you're not renting a car, select 'No Car,' but for most visitors, we highly recommend a rental. Update the number of days (which will default to +1 day more than you selected in accommodation nights) and choose an estimate for your mileage each day. If you're not sure, we recommend you leave the default option selected.

If you select 'No Car' this will be zeroed out by default!

Other Hawaii Costs

Finally, consider a few last potential costs and fees for your trip. There's dining (we've included gratuity in the estimates), and we've selected all three meal options by default. Then, there are potential fees for parks and other attractions, which are a relatively new factor to now consider when estimating a Hawaii budget; select the applicable options below. Finally, select the amount, if any, you expect to spend on Hawaii Tours and/or commercial Activities. Be sure to update the number of people dining and people the fees/tours apply to if applicable; these numbers will default to the same number of people you selected previously for this trip estimate.

Email + Expected Travel Dates

We'll email you a copy of your results to this email address for your records.

You may not have exact dates yet, but provide a rough guess or estimate below. This will help us refine the calculator and provide more accurate data throughout the year. Mahalo!

Final Question

If you're visiting another island, please let us know below. This will not affect the estimate or rate you're provided. This is for research and calculator improvement purposes only. Mahalo!

Big Island Seasonal Expectations

Events Updated for 2023

We've included the dates and months that most Big Island events are typically held below, but please be aware that currently, things are subject to change.

Visiting Big Island in January, February, or March

This is a good time of year to visit if you have your heart set on seeing the majestic Humpback Whales. The weather is also noticeably cooler at this time of year, though there may also be a chance for increased precipitation during these winter months.

Hotel rates are often reasonable this time of year as well. Additionally, even though surfing isn't as popular on the Big Island as some of the smaller islands, this is still prime season to catch some waves.

Big Island Winter Events:
  • Mitsubishi Electric Championship (January) - Held at Hualalai, this tournament offers fans the chance to see the best players on PGA TOUR Champions with a strong field of qualifiers.

Be sure to also regularly check our Big Island current event pages for:

Visiting Big Island in April, May, or June

This is one of the best times to visit the Big Island of Hawaii, in our opinion. Rates and demand are usually down at this time of year, though both increase heading into June as more crowds arrive from the mainland for the summer break.

Big Island Spring Events:
  • Merrie Monarch Festival (April) - A week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition, a Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town.
  • Lei Day (May) - Celebrated on the first of May, a festival takes place in Hilo offering lei making, a lei contest, hula performances, and more.
  • Ka'u Coffee Festival (April-August) - This event features a pageant, recipe contests, food, crafts, farm tours, and yes, plenty of coffee.
  • Big Island Chocolate Festival (late April) - The Festival includes seminars, demonstrations, a student chef competition, a professionally judged cacao bean taste-off, and much more.
  • King Kamehameha Day (June) - A celebration honoring Hawaii's first king with events on both sides of the island.

Be sure to also regularly check our Big Island current event pages for:

Visiting Big Island in July, August, or September

In our opinion, the later months in this period are another great time to visit the Big Island of Hawaii. While July and August can both be a bit busier as family vacations wind down from the summer break, by late August and early September, the crowds have usually cleared out and rates have decreased.

This time of the year can be warmer on the island, though the temperature increase isn't drastic.

Big Island Summer Events:
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival (June) - This free event is held in HVNP with performers, food, drink, and music.

Be sure to also regularly check our Big Island current event pages for:

Visiting Big Island in October, November, or December

October can also be an excellent month to visit Hawaii. The weather has cooled and demand and rates have dropped too, with fewer visitors on the island. By mid-to-late November, the wetter weather will be more noticeable, as November and December are some of the wettest months on the island. 

Additionally, as always, crowds and rates skyrocket closer to the end of December for the holidays.

Big Island Fall Events:
  • Ironman Triathlon (October) - Over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN.
  • Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (November) - During this 10-Day Festival, there are tastings, hands-on cultural events, and stories to help tell the rich history of Kona’s coffee.
  • Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade (December) - Held on the Kona side of the island, typically, the second week of December.

Be sure to also regularly check our Big Island current event pages for:

Big Island is beautiful all year long.

Big Island is beautiful all year long.

*Big Island of Hawaii monthly Visitor Statistics are provided by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

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