Protect Your Trip: Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance for the lowest price. December-March Most people travel to Kauai during this time to escape chillier temperatures elsewhere, but this is when the island experiences the worst weather.
To avoid lots of moisture, vacation on the west and south coasts, which tend to be drier. Should you decide to visit during this time, be sure to book several weeks to months in advance, as it's the islands peak travel season.
Keep that in mind that if you're itching for a summer trip, you'll need to book several months in advance and expect to pay more than other seasons. It is hard to pass up this time of year; the weather is perfect for the beach, with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-70s.
Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Still, knowing about this balance and what weather to expect before your trip is very helpful when it comes to selecting a place to stay on the island.
Many folks who love Kauai do so because they know its verdant appearance is thanks to a happy medium of both sunshine and rain. When you begin to plan your Kauai trip you'll likely want to know which areas offer the most sun and the driest weather.
Aimed is probably the driest of all the areas on the island but offers fewer accommodation choices than other locations. Point or Lanai, which offer an abundance of accommodations on the South Shore, is your best bet for a dry and sunny vacation.
The good news is that Kauai is small enough to reach almost any area of the island within an hour or so. The best times to visit Kauai, when considering the weather, crowds, demand, and prices, are the months of April, May, August, September, and early October.
Kauai is wetter than the other islands and is actually home to the second (arguably THE) the wettest spot on the planet at Waialeale. Kauai's North and East Coasts are together referred to as the windward side; which is typically wetter than the rest of the island.
The driest locations are in south Kauai near Point or further west towards Aimed and Keisha. For more information about Kauai's weather and the best regions to stay, be sure to check out our KauaiWeather article.
The holidays, especially Christmas, are the busiest time of year and prices will reflect the increased demand. During the spring and fall, visitation is typically down (meaning fewer crowds) and prices will reflect the decreased demand for accommodations.
Visiting Kauai in January, February, or March This season is often one of the wettest on-island, but it's certainly not a wash. Additionally, demand is lower at this period, and the island will likely feel less “crowded” than during the busier summer months or at Christmas time.
Expect cooler temperatures the further into fall you are, though typically the only elevation on Kauai that might require a light jacket is near Korea and Aimed Canyon. Enter your trip dates to search Hawaii vacation packages, hotels, flights, and car rentals.
Great for outdoor activities such as hiking and surfing and less populated than the other major islands, Kauai is perfect for visitors who want to get away from the large crowds of Oahu and opt for a slower pace. Because of the location of the Hawaiian Islands near the equator, the state really only has two seasons: Summer lasting from May to October and winter from November to April.
Not to mention, the perfect combination of rain and sun has made the 552-square-mile island famous for its daily rainbows and incredible waterfalls. Avoiding the rain completely will be likely impossible, but if you want to increase your chances of staying dry, book a hotel on the south side of the island, such as Point, where it tends to be drier.
If you’re not bothered by rain then the verdant scenery and country-feel of spots such as Franceville and Canada in the north will be well worth it. Be sure to stay updated with local weather reports when traveling to any Hawaiian island during hurricane season.
Flooding can be an unfortunate result of heavy rain and thunderstorms, recently demonstrated by the 2018 Kauai flash floods, which devastated the popular town of Canada and forced closures of the famous Na Pale Coast State Park. Be sure to avoid driving during flash flood warnings, and sign up for weather alerts to stay prepared.
Kauai is a bit more humid than the other popular islands of Maui and Oahu due to its rainfall. This may seem high for visitors who from a state with less humidity, but Kauai ’s trade-winds provide essential relief from the muggy weather making it much more bearable.
Temperatures hover in the mid-80s throughout the summer months and provide some warm nights and ideal beach weather. For beach bums who want to work on their tans and don’t mind the summer crowds, this is the best time to visit.
What to pack: Although these months tend to be less rainy, the hurricane season may bring some temperamental weather along with it. As Hawaii’s rainiest island, Kauai ’s winter months can bring heavy rains and slightly lower temperatures.
The rain is what makes Kauai so special, and without it, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy its incredible rainforests and lush vegetation. One of the best parts of visiting Kauai in the winter is the experience of a Hawaiian Christmas, especially for those coming from places that snow.
Anyone with a green thumb knows that sunshine and rain are two essentials for growing a healthy garden. In comparison to the large resort areas on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island, Kauai does experience a bit more rain.
Point and Aimed on the South is by far your best bet for dry sunny days, as it averages around 35 inches of rain per year. Keypad and Li hue on the eastern side of Kauai would be your second best choice with an average rainfall of 48 inches per year.
The North Shore (including Franceville and Canada) is gorgeous and very lush for a reason, it gets around 85 inches of rain annually. Similarly, from September to November, the rainiest season has yet to start, and there are still plenty of events and festivals going on throughout the small island.
In April 2018, the island set national records for rainfall after it got over four feet of rain over 24 hours. Hurricane seasons in the Central Pacific usually runs from June 1 to November 30, but tropical cyclones have been known to pop up unexpectedly year-round.
It’s important to be prepared if a storm warning is issued while you’re on vacation, though Kauai hasn’t seen a direct hit since Category 4 Hurricane Niki in 1992. Thanks to the phenomenal tropical weather Kauai experiences, the water temperature stays a comfortable 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
Like the other islands, when the weather gets colder on the mainland tourism tends to rise on Kauai due to people wanting to escape the snow. Plenty of visitors choose to stay on Kauai ’s east side, either in Li hue close to the airport or further up in Keypad and Kailua.
Accommodations tend to be less expensive here, and the more central location allows visitors to travel to multiple points of the island more easily. The upside is more lush landscape and an abundance of waterfalls, as well as easier access to the famous Na Pale Coast.
Much less popular, the west side consists of Aimed Canyon and smaller towns like Manatee. In the south, Point and Kola tend to be more saturated with tourists than the other parts of the island due to the dryer weather and greater number of restaurants and beaches.
This season is both the second-most rainy and also the coldest (we’re talking Hawaii standards, so highs in the mid-high 70s and lows in the mid 60s on average). This is also a favorite time for the snowbirds to flock to Hawaii due to low temperatures elsewhere, so it can get busy.
Since this is also considered a slower season for the tourism industry, there are higher chances of finding some great hotel and airfare deals. Enjoy live music, activities and hula at The Prince Audio Celebration at Anatolia Beach Park.
The Color Run in March is a 1-3 mile race that benefits the island’s Special Olympics program. The Spring Fantasy Orchid Show showcases the tropical flowers that thrive in Kauai ’s garden climate.
Since this is peak time for warm Hawaii weather, it means larger crowds and more expensive booking prices. Mainlands flock to the islands for summer break, and while most come to Oahu, plenty of tourists choose Kauai for their vacation as well.
Swimmers from all over the world travel to Kauai in the summer to enjoy the north shore’s warm waters for the Canada Bay Swim Challenge. Open to everyone, there will also be over 40 vendors offering Pacific Island art, food and cultural demonstrations.
In September the island celebrates the week-long Kauai Montana Festival with a hula competition, Hawaiian music and cultural presentations in Keypad. The festival is held in Manatee, with free samples, live music and presentations on sustainable farming.