What is the best month to go to Kauai?
What is the best month to go to Kauai? If you're basing your decision on the slowest months when there are the least amount of visitors to the island, and possibly the best travel deals, take a look at the chart below. Below is information from the State of Hawaii with total visitors information for Kauai for the year 2018. According to the data, September, October and November are the least visited months, followed by February. The summer months are the most visited, with July being the most popular month of the year for travel to Kauai. March sees a spike during the spring break weeks when families travel to Kauai on the break. In our experience, weeks that experience a high number of visitors are those around major holidays and the last two weeks of December and the first week of January when kids are out of school during the Christmas break. (Please note the time around Christmas into the New Year is one of the island's busiest periods.) In the first week of January we’ve seen major traffic jams not only in Kapaa but all the way from Kilauea to Kapaa.
Kauai Monthly Visitor Statistics 2018
Source: Hawaii.gov (Total visitors by air)
If weather is a consideration for when to visit, there are basically two seasons - summer from May to October and winter from November to April. The weather on Kauai is actually pretty consistent, with only minor variations throughout the year. Temperatures are warm throughout the year and there are often trade winds to cool things off a bit, though humidity is often substantial. The summer months tend to be drier and it tends to rain more in winter months. But substantial rains can occur at any time of the year. In our experience, August tends to be the driest month, but don't bet on it. Overall, it's a hit-or-miss proposition if you're trying to plan your trip around the rain. The good thing about Kauai is that if it's raining in one area you can probably find a spot where it's not raining with a short (30-45 minutes) drive.
If surf and ocean conditions are a factor for when to visit, know that the winter months produce high surf (and possibly dangerous surf) for many beaches, especially those on the North Shore, and some beaches such as Hanakapiai completely disappear. Popular destinations such as Queen's Bath and Secret Beach can also be more dangerous in the winter months. During summer months many of Kauai's beaches are calm. Also, you will have a better chance of your Na Pali Coast boat tour not being cancelled due to ocean conditions in the summer months.
Whale watching season is from November to April/May at the very latest when some mother whales and their calves are still hanging around. Peak months for whale watching on Kauai are January to March. For fishing, summer months tend to be the best for the staple Yellowfin Tuna and the elusive Blue Marlin.
If you had to pin us down for an answer on the best month to go to Kauai, we would say May for several factors. Nearing summer, the weather has a good chance of being better, some of the California crowds haven't arrived yet because school is still in session (approximately 1 in 6 visitors to Kauai are from California) and airfare to Kauai is sometimes lower in May. September and October are also months when these three factors (weather, crowds and airfare deals) come together. Overall though, know that any month is a good month to visit Kauai!
No matter the time of year you visit Kauai, a Kauai Surf Co. waterproof backpack is a handy item to have on your trip. You can rest assured your valuables and electronics will stay safe and secure no matter what the weather brings.