Maui, the “Valley Isle” of Hawaii, is always a traveler favorite. This scenic, tropical island offers incredible views, lush greenery, and black sand beaches that will blow your mind.
If you’re planning a visit to Maui, going at the right time of year is key for an unforgettable vacation. Find out the best time to visit Maui for sunshine, cheap prices, smaller crowds and more in our quick travel guide!
Why You Should Visit Maui
Maui is called the Valley Isle and is one of the more popular Hawaiian islands to visit. It’s the second largest Hawaiian island and is absolutely loaded with the lush, tropical greenery and scenery that Hawaii is so famous for.
If you’re after a once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian adventure, Maui is the island to visit. When you visit Maui, it’s like taking a trip to another (beautiful) planet. It’s home to some of the world’s most famous black and red sand beaches.
You can watch giant, migrating humpback whales from the shore during the “winter” months. The towering Haleakala Volcano on Maui is the island’s highest point and a favorite sight for visitors to marvel at.
Scenic highways wind through the island, making it easy to tour on wheels. In Maui’s Ohe’o Gulch and Waianapanapa State Park, you’ll find those famous red and black sand beaches, sparkling natural pools, cascading waterfalls, and sprawling shores to relax on.
Or if fast-paced fun is more your speed, try zip lining through the rainforest, windsurfing on the beach, hop over to the nearby Molokini islet via ferry, or spend an afternoon snorkeling and checking out the ocean life.
If outdoor fun is your goal, you’ll never run out of things to do on Maui. While you could endlessly explore the natural beauty and outdoor activities on Maui, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Maui’s bustling cities.
Wailuku, Maui’s capital city, Kahului, and Lahaina offer tons of unique and upscale shops, restaurants, hotels, and resorts. To get a taste of the true Maui, check out a tropical cacao farm (and taste a few yummy samples)! Maui is a visitor favorite for a reason.
Take a look at the best time to visit Maui for incredible 75-90 degree weather year-round, low prices, small crowds below. You’ll also see the worst time to visit Maui (you know, if there were such a thing) and expert travel tips to make the most of your stay!
Overall Best Time to Visit Maui
Anytime is a great time to visit Maui, but with weather, budget, and crowds considered, the overall best time to visit Maui is during May through August.
Summertime festivals and cultural activities (luaus, evening shows, etc.) are in full swing so you can get a taste of true Hawaiian culture. This popular period offers ideal weather and little rainfall, so it’s perfect if you’re planning on a lot of outdoor plans and activities.
And on Maui, who isn’t?
If we had to choose the best single month to go to Maui, it’s May. Sweet smells fill the air as tropical plumeria, ginger, and hibiscus burst into bloom.
The major summer crowds haven’t arrived yet, so it’s a little less crowded but everything on the island is open in preparation for their arrival in June. In June, July, and August, it’s peak tourism season on Maui.
People arrive in droves because the weather is absolutely ideal this time of year (upper 80s and mostly sunny), the ocean is calmer (perfect for families with littles), and activities and tours are operating at max capacity.
You can run into limited hotel and resort availability during this time of year, but booking early can net you more options and cheaper prices.
Cheapest Time to Visit Maui
The best time to visit Maui for cheaper prices on hotels and flights is during the shoulder seasons – the spring and fall. Most visitors arrive during summer and winter, and school breaks tend to mean major increases in tourists and prices.
Visiting during the months of February or September will give you the cheapest options for your stay. February is the tail end of the busy winter season, when snowbirds flock to Maui for a taste of warmth and greenery while the weather’s dreary and cold back home.
You can take advantage of discounted flights and hotel stays during February, and while Maui’s temperatures aren’t at their highest this time of year (hovering around 82 degrees), that’s likely ideal for most.
While February is pretty quiet, September is the least busy month to visit Maui overall. That means there’s less demand for flights and hotels, so you’ll benefit with deeply discounted prices that make your stay more affordable.
Lines are shorter, it’s still hot and sunny (around 90 degrees daily), and you’ll have shorter lines for attractions and tours.
Least Busy Time to Visit Maui
If you want a quiet stay without big crowds, the best time to visit Maui is September through November. This is when the fewest visitors are arriving on the island, so there’s more options for flights, hotels, and resorts.
You’ll enjoy less-crowded beaches, pools, and shorter lines for activities. Prices are discounted during this low season because there’s less demand for Maui’s accommodations.
Don’t think that fall time means cool weather on Maui, though. Temperatures are still in the upper 80s and 90s at this time of year, so it’ll still feel like a tropical vacation.
This is about as hot as it gets on Maui, so make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks out of the sun to make the most of your fall stay. If you visit during September-November, you absolutely must drive the Road to Hana.
With fewer tourists on the road, you’ll have better views of this incredible, scenic route. Traffic is nonexistent during this time and you can take your time along the route to fully enjoy the scenery.
Worst Time to Visit Maui
December through March is sometimes considered the worst time to visit Maui, but it really depends on what your goals for the trip are. The winter season sees major spikes in tourists visiting to escape the cold, miserable winters in colder areas.
As a result, you’ll pay higher prices and deal with larger crowds when you visit at this time of year. If you must go at this time of year, go in February.
There’s a short dip in visitors and prices during February in between the holidays and Spring Break. While there’s a big uptick in visitors from December to March, it’s really nothing compared to the summer swell (June through August) – this is the actual peak season on Maui.
But the warmer weather, calmer waters, and better activity options still make it a better time to go than December through March.
More Things to Consider
Now that you know the best time to visit Maui, what else should you keep in mind to have the best getaway possible? We’ve got a few travel tips for you. Making the most of your Maui vacation starts here!
- Winter is best for surfing and whale watching. The Pacific Ocean’s waters are too calm for catching a wave on Maui’s shores during the spring and summer. You’ll find the best conditions for surfing during the winter months from December to early March – especially on Hookipa Beach. This is also when humpback whales migrate through the area, so keep your eyes open to witness something incredible!
- Summer is best for families. If you’re traveling with the whole clan in tow, Maui is best in the summertime (June through August). The waters are calmer and more conducive to a relaxing swim and snorkeling. You can confidently bring your kids to the water without worrying about intense currents and rough waters during the summer. There are also tons of outdoor activities and tours the whole family can enjoy!
- Spring and fall are best for low prices and smaller crowds. Spring and fall are Maui’s shoulder seasons, when tourism takes a dip and prices follow suit. Fall is warmer than spring and typically has the least visitors and cheapest prices, so if those are important factors in your trip, plan to visit in September or November.
- Pack the proper gear. On Maui, there’s a lot to see and explore, so make sure you’ve got everything you need to make the most of it. You’ll want to pack comfortable sandals and tennis shoes, lightweight clothing, lots of sunscreen, bug spray, and sunglasses. If you plan to explore east Maui’s rainforests while you’re there, pack a pair of lightweight pants and a breathable long sleeve shirt. Bring a pair of binoculars if you plan to spot wildlife and ocean life (including dolphins and migratory humpback whales)!
- Use ferries to easily island hop. There are multiple daily ferry expeditions to carry visitors from Maui to nearby islands and islets of Lanai and Molokai. Take advantage of this service and take a day trip to see more of Hawaii’s unique landscapes – you’ll be so glad you did.
- Choose the best place to stay. On Maui, you’ll have tons of options for hotels and resorts. It can be a little overwhelming to choose without knowing firsthand what each one is really like. Check out this guide next to find the perfect place to call home while you’re there: Where to Stay in Maui.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Maui?
The overall best time to visit Maui is May through August, with May being the absolute best choice. It’s just before the full summer high season hits, so you’ll benefit with a slight dip in prices and smaller crowds.
If you go during June, July, or August, you won’t be bothered by the larger crowds and higher prices – this is when Maui is at its peak, with the best weather, most options for activities, and least rainfall.
For a cheaper trip, visit Maui during the months of February or September. These months have the lowest prices due to fewer visitors arriving. September is the absolute cheapest time to visit, but it’s around 90 degrees each day at this time.
Go during February for cheap prices and slightly milder temperatures around 82 degrees. If you’re avoiding the crowds that descend on Maui during the winter (snowbird season) and summer (family season), go during September and November.
Maui is much quieter during this time as it approaches the busy winter tourism season. Temperatures hang around 90 degrees in September and November, but if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in or on the water, you probably won’t mind.
December through March are pleasant enough, but it’s part of Maui’s peak tourism season with tons of warmth-seeking snowbirds arriving on the island. The water is rough and choppy with more dangerous currents during this time.
It’s great for surfing, but not so much for swimming, snorkeling, or letting your kids play in the water. Keep this in mind as you plan your stay!
There’s no doubt about it – you’re going to have a blast in Maui whenever you choose to go. Start planning out your trip itinerary with these helpful guides next!