Picking the best time to visit Maui will depend on a number of factors, like your budget, which season you are traveling to Maui in and the top activities you want to experience while visiting this beautiful Hawaiian Island.

In this Maui travel guide, I break down in detail about Maui’s seasons, the best time to go to Maui for specific activities, how many days to visit Maui, how to avoid the crowds and the cheapest time to go to Maui.

The best time to visit Maui with I'm Jess Traveling

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There’s never really a bad time to travel to Maui is there?  The answer to that question is no but there are better times to visit Maui depending on your preferences.

Do you want to go whale watching or parasail?  Are you here with your family because its spring break?  Are you trying to escape the cold of winter?

Are you traveling Maui on your honeymoon?  On a budget and looking for the cheapest time of year to visit Maui?

This guide goes over all the variables making it easy to decide the best time of year to visit Maui based on your personal preferences.  This will make trip planning a lot easier.  First let’s go over the seasons of Maui.

Maui Seasons

There are two types of seasons on Maui, low season and high season which implies to how many visitors travel to the island at that time.

High season is generally the winter months and the summer months when the kids are all on summer break.

Low season or Maui off season are spring and falls months as well as the lull that happens the first 2-3 weeks in January.  I broke down the best times to visit Maui by the seasons below.

High Season Maui

  • Holiday Season – Maui peak tourist season is the last 2 weeks of December for Christmas and New Years.  These are the busiest 2 weeks of the year.  Reservations for any restaurant, activity, hotel, rental car etc is a MUST if visiting Maui during this time.  Everything and everywhere is packed!  I guess everybody wants to experience a Hawaiian Christmas.
  • Winter months – Mid January to mid April.  This is peak whale season and best season to go to Maui.
  • Summer time – Mid June to the end of August.  The kids are out of school and a large number of families travel to Maui during this time.

Maui Low Season

  • The first two weeks of January following the holidays.  There is always a lull right after the busiest 2 weeks of the year.  It is a much needed break for all of us working in the tourism industry before things pick back up for the remainder of the winter.
  • Spring time – The months of May to mid June.
  • Fall months – September through November with the exception of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

The low season seems to get shorter and shorter as each year passes.  High season seems to be all year round now a days.

A beautiful beach on Maui

Maui Weather & Climate

Maui or Hawaii in general has the best weather around, there is a reason that everybody around the globe flocks to the islands.  Since the Hawaiian Islands sits on the edge of the tropic zone the temperature is warm all year round.  You basically have a dry season and a wet season.

The average temperature on Maui in the summer at the beach is 85° and 75° during the winter months.  At night the temperature will drop about 10°.  This means that the best time of year to visit Maui for weather is anytime.  And what you pack for Maui regardless of the season will be the same.

Pro tip: If you plan on visiting Haleakala for sunrise dress very, very warm.  It gets very cold on the top of the volcano.  The top of the summit in August was 42° during my last visit.

The rainy season in Maui is winter time.  The winter months bring more rain, even Lahaina where it seldom rains.  As with most tropical climates the rain won’t last more than a few minutes to a couple hours.

If you do happen to be on Maui during those 2 weeks where it rains non stop on the island, check out these 14 things to do on Maui when it rains.

The Maui dry season is during the summer.  The summer months are the driest especially in the leeward side of the island (West Maui and South Maui).  In the north and east sides of the island or the windward side are cooler and wet.

If you want a bright, sunny beach day then head to Lahaina or Kihei, there’s almost always guaranteed sun.  Maui’s best beaches are in Kaanapali and Wailea which are just North and South of Lahaina and Kihei.

Maui is full of microclimates, you can experience sunrise atop Haleakala in the winter where it is snowing, spend the morning in Haiku swimming under waterfalls in the lush wet, jungle and finish the day on a desert like beach in Kihei.

Maui is small enough to drive around in one day, no matter what you’re looking for you can find.  Another reason why everyone wants to go to Maui.

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    Hurricane Season for Hawaii:

    Maui hurricane Season runs June through November for Hawaii. Most hurricanes pass by the islands so this isn’t something I would cancel a vacation over.  The last hurricane that hit the islands was Hurricane Iniki in 1992.  The island of Kauai suffered the most damage.

    In July 2020, Hurricane Douglas was suppose to make landfall but thankfully passed by the islands.  All Maui experienced was a few days of non stop rain and higher surf.

    Canoe beach in Kaanapali Maui

    Cheapest Time to go to Maui

    If you’re traveling Maui on a budget and looking to save a few dollars then the cheapest time to visit Maui is in the low season.  You can get better deals on air travel, hotels, rental cars and Maui vacation packages.  Especially if you’re booking last minute.

    I personally think the best time of year to travel to Maui is during the low season.  It’s actually an anomaly.  The weather is pleasant and consistent, the island is less crowded and hotels, airfare and some activities are significantly cheaper.  A win win.

    Although if a top experience you want to have is to see the humpback whales then you will have to travel to Maui during high season.  This is one of the best things to do in Kaanapali.

    Accommodation will be your biggest expense when traveling to Maui.  The average hotel costs upwards of $200, a small cost to explore paradise.  Traveling in the off season will allow you to get better deals and not have to book as far in advance as you would if you were traveling during high season.

    Staying at the Waianapanapa State Cabins
    Surfer in Maui

    Activities and excursions also come at a price when exploring this exotic island.  Activities like driving the road to Hana, exploring Haleakala National Park, Haleakala Summit or relaxing at the beach are all light on the wallet and are amazing experiences.

    Another expense for your Hawaiian vacation will be eating and drinking.  Food at the grocery store and in restaurants are expensive.  Stick to happy hours and food trucks if you are on a budget.  Check out the guides below for ideas on where to eat on Maui.

    A black sand beach in Maui HI

    How to Avoid the Crowds

    Visiting Maui in the months of May and September will give you the best opportunity to avoid the crowds.  As I mentioned above costs for Maui accommodations, car rentals and activities are generally cheaper during these months as well.

    Like most places, getting an early start to the day is one of the best ways to avoid crowds.  You’ll be happy you did especially the day you drive the infamous road to Hana.  The road is narrow and at points only one lane.  Trust me you’ll be thanking yourself that you started this adventure early.

    Stay a few nights in Hana.  Most people only experience Hana as a day trip.  Staying the night allows you to have the mornings to yourself before the day trippers arrive.  Hana is magical and full of adventures.  This will be one of the best decisions you make on Maui vacation.

    Or you could get off-the-beaten path and drive the back way to Hana which is never crowded.

    Sunset at Kaanapali Beach Maui with a palm tree
    Big wave surfing on Maui

    Best Month to Visit Maui

    The best weather months in Maui are May through September as there’s little to no rain.  Here are the best events happening on Maui depending on which month you visit.

    • Maui in January – Whale Watching, Big Wave Surfing Competitions, NYE Celebrations, Sentry Golf Tournament of Champions
    • Maui in February – Whale Festive, Whale Watches
    • Maui in March – Whale Season, Spring Break
    • Maui in April – Maui Taro Festival, Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, Easter 
    • Maui in May – Olukai Hoʻolauleʻa Festival
    • Maui in June – Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, Maui Film Festival
    • Maui in July – 4th of July Fireworks
    • Maui in August – Fleetwoods Anniversary Celebration
    • Maui in September – Four Seasons Wine and Food Classic
    • Maui in OctoberHawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival, Halloween in Lahaina
    • Maui in November – Thanksgiving, Blues & Jazz Festival, Maui Invitational
    • Maui in December – Lighting of the Bayan Tree, Christmas, Whale Season 

    The Best Time to Visit Maui for?

    An empty beach in Maui, HI

    Best Time to Visit Maui for Whales

    Every year the humpback whales migrate from the frigid waters of Alaska to the Hawaiian Islands to have their young.  Official whale season is mid December to mid May.

    The best time to visit Maui for whales is during the peak months of February and March.  The whales are super active and whale watch tours costs around $40, a cheaper excursion while traveling Maui.

    Visiting during whale season is the best time of the year to visit Maui in my opinion, I mean who doesn’t want to witness the magic of the whales.  Chance of rain is more common but I think it’s worth the gamble as it never lasts that long.

    Best Time to Visit Maui for Snorkeling

    The best time to visit Maui for snorkeling is in the summertime, May through September.  This is perfect if you’re traveling to Maui with a family.  Snorkeling is a great activity suitable for all ages and all fitness levels.

    Low tide is the best time to go snorkeling which is usually late mornings or early afternoons.  Many species of fish and marine life are most active in the mornings and the ocean is calmer.  Taking a tour to snorkel Molokini is one of the best water excursions in Maui and one of the top things to do in Kihei.

    Best Time to Visit Maui for Surfing

    If you’re an avid surfer and you’re looking for the bigger waves, the best time to visit Maui for surfing is during the winter.  Winter months bring the bigger waves to the North Shore.  You may even get lucky and be able to witness Jaws going off, which is one of the best things to do in Paia.

    If you’re a beginner, summer months bring waves to some great beginner spots.  Opt for a lesson to get down the fundamentals and learn the etiquette. 

    Best Time to Visit Maui for Parasailing

    If you keep watching Jurassic Park and want to experience parasailing in the islands you must come in the summer time.  Parasailing and jet skis only operate during the summer when its not whale season.  This is a excellent way to experience Maui on the water.

    Best Time to Visit Maui for Hiking

    For the most part you can hike year round in Maui.  Winter brings more rain therefore some hiking trails may be closed due to flash floods.  Always check the local weather before going out for a hike.  

    A beautiful Maui sunset

    How Many Days Should I Visit Maui?

    If you want to experience all that Maui has to offer allot at least one week to explore all of her glory.  There’s countless things to do in Maui and things to see that even if you stayed a month you wouldn’t be able to experience it all.

    In summary when is the best time of year to visit Maui?  Anytime!  Maui is a paradise all year round and whichever month you choose to visit I can almost guarantee that you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.

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