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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Kauai in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Kauai in 2024

What's the best time to visit Kauai?

The best time to visit Kauai is from April to May, offering pleasant weather, lush greenery, and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season. September through November is the cheapest period, with lower prices overall. Conversely, December to March is the least favorable time due to heavy rainfall, high prices, and peak tourist numbers, although it’s a great time for surfing.

Kauai, the “Garden Island” of Hawaii, is one of the lesser-known gems of the tropical Hawaiian islands. Thriving tropical rainforests, majestic mountains, and time-carved canyons with the deep blue ocean as a backdrop create some of the best scenery you’ll find across all the Hawaiian islands.

But the time of year you go is the most important thing if you want to get the full Kauai experience! Find out the best time to visit Kauai for incredible weather, cheap prices, and fewer crowds in this quick travel guide.

From the busy, temperate high season to the lower-priced, quieter low season, there’s a perfect time of year for you to go to Kauai. This guide will help you pinpoint the dates for your stay!

Overall Best Time to Visit Kauai

Why You Should Visit Kauai as a window to paradise on the Kalalua Trail

Ludo Koos/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Kauai when you factor in weather, prices, and crowds is April to May. April, May, and even early June aren’t as busy as July and August — the real high season on Kauai, when most tourists arrive to enjoy the sunny summer weather while the kids are out of school.

As a result, prices can be much more affordable than in July and you’ll deal with smaller crowds and shorter lines. The weather from April to June is nothing short of idyllic.

You’ll enjoy temperatures ranging from the upper 70s to the low 80s during this time of year and the water temperature is perfect.

There’s little rainfall to slow down your outdoor plans, and you’ll be able to experience Hawaii in full spring bloom if you visit during April and May. By visiting between the winter high season and summer high season, you’ll be able to experience the best Kauai has to offer.

Outdoor exploration is perfect at this time of year, the ocean is calm enough to bring your kids for a swim, and the lush greenery around you will make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. Truthfully, you will be!  

Cheapest Time to Visit Kauai

Hiking trail and the Na Pali coast pictured during the cheapest time to visit Kauai, in the Fall and early Winter

Rene Holtslag/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Kauai for cheap prices on flights and hotels is during September through November. With the exception of Fall Break in October (when kids are out of school and there’s a brief uptick in prices), you’ll be able to enjoy the lowest flight and hotel prices of the year at this time.

The stream of visitors slows to a trickle in September, slightly picks up in October, and dives back down in November. This lowers the demand for flights and hotel rooms, making prices lower and your trip a lot cheaper.

In fact, if you want to plan the absolute cheapest trip to Kauai, plan to go during early September – you’ll see rock bottom prices and still be able to take advantage of the warm summer weather. 

The rainy season begins in November-December, so prepare for some additional rainfall the later in fall you plan your trip. Bring a lightweight rain coat and umbrella so you can have fun in the rain or sun!  

Least Busy Time to Visit Kauai

Two lounge chairs in Princeville pictured during the least busy time to visit Kauai

Stan Jones/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Kauai for smaller crowds (and cheaper prices as a result) is February, April to May, and September to November. Picking the time of year that’s best for you means factoring in the weather and pricing for each of these low season periods. 

  • February has smaller crowds because the snowbirds who arrived in the beginning of winter are clearing out and leaving hotel rooms and flights vacant. Temperatures hang in the upper 70s and it’s one of the rainiest months of the year on Kauai. 
  • April and May see fewer visitors as the Spring Breakers leave the island and summer tourists haven’t yet arrived. Temperature highs range from 79 to 81 degrees on the island and rainfall tapers off considerably. 
  • September to November see the fewest visitors of the year on Kauai as the summer break ends and the rainy season begins to pick up. Temperatures range from the upper 80s to 90s and there’s a roughly 20-30% chance of rain on a given day during this time of year. 

Choose the low season period with the weather and prices that best fit your plans. You’ll enjoy fewer crowds, cheaper prices, and better hotel availability during your stay! 

Worst Time to Visit Kauai

Rainbow over Hanalei during the Worst Time to Visit Kauai

Vanessa S Hunter/Shutterstock

While you’ll enjoy your stay anytime you visit, the worst time of year to visit Kauai is December to March. This is the winter “rainy season” on Kauai and poor weather can ruin your outdoor plans.

The temperatures are nice and mild at this time of year, but if you’re dealing with daily rainstorms, it may not be enough to justify a visit during this time. 

December through March is also one of Kauai’s peak tourism seasons when snowbirds arrive to escape winter weather in their homeland. Is a little rain in a gorgeous, tropical locale better than ice and snow at home?

You bet, but with the higher prices that come along with this mini-peak season, you may decide that it’s just not worth it overall. December through March is ideal for one thing, though — surfing.

The Pacific’s waters are rougher with large swells during the rainy season, so you’ll be able to catch the best waves at this time of year. If you have kids or want to enjoy calmer waters, visit during spring, summer, or fall instead. 

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Kauai?

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, so let’s recap to wrap it up. The best time to visit Kauai overall is from April to May.

This is the period that will give you the quintessential Kauai/Hawaii experience as the temperatures are moderate (upper 70s to low 80s), the greenery is lush and dense, and the weather is sunny with little rainfall.

The ocean is much rougher around Kauai at this time of year – perfect for surfing, but not for calm snorkeling or swimming. By factoring your goals for the trip in, you can find the best time to visit Kauai for your family’s needs.

And if you’re really just looking for the best time of year to enjoy beautiful Kauai in all its natural splendor, planning to go during April or May won’t leave you disappointed. Happy travels!