Hawaii hosts some of the most breathtaking views available in the United States. From luaus to surfing, resort experiences to nature expeditions, the Aloha State offers something for everyone to enjoy. But when is the best time to visit the Hawaiian Islands? Some travelers say September!
September in Hawaii offers visitors sun-filled days and less crowded beaches than early summer. If you’re prepping for a trip to Hawaii this September, read this weather guide to pack like a pro.
All About Hawaii
Known for its lush beaches, incredible volcanoes, and rich culture, Hawaii is a dream locale for vacationers all around the globe. While eight islands make up the main Hawaiian Islands, travelers may only visit six yof them:
- Hawaii (The Big Island)
- Maui (The Valley Isle)
- Kauai (The Garden Isle)
- Oahu (The Gathering Place)
- Lanai (The Pineapple Isle)
- Molokai (The Friendly Isle)
As their unique nicknames suggest, each island in Hawaii maintains special traditions and cultures. But all six of these islands offer blue skies and even bluer waters for you to explore all year.
Hawaiian Weather in September
You may wonder if Hawaii in September is good for vacationers. You’re in luck—September is one of the best months for weather across the Hawaiian Islands! Here’s a closer look at the weather in September in Hawaii.
Climate and Season
Nestled in the North Pacific Ocean, Hawaii’s tropical climate makes it home to luscious green jungles and thousands of wildlife species. Visitors should expect humidity, long days, and warm temperatures all year, even in September.
However, Hawaii’s climate differs from other tropical climates for a few reasons. We’ll explore those reasons later on in the guide.
Hawaii sits above the equator in the Northern Hemisphere. This means the Hawaiian Islands follow similar seasonal patterns as parts of North America. Like other tropical climates in the Northern Hemisphere, Hawaii’s summer runs from June through October yearly. (In Hawaii, this season is called “Kau.”) While fall weather may begin in September for northern parts of the US, Hawaii stays warm into October.
In September, the average temperature in Hawaii rests between the 70s and 80s during the day. Hawaiian summers bring soaring temperatures, but the worst of the summer heat ends before September comes around.
Humidity makes temperatures feel slightly warmer in tropical locations, including Hawaii. Because of this, visitors can expect the weather to feel a few degrees warmer than their weather apps indicate. Always check the weekly forecast leading up to your trip so you can pack for the right weather.
Don’t let high temperatures or humidity worry you too much. Hawaii’s winds make the heat and humidity much less intense for visitors all year round.
Hawaii experiences trade winds that blow in from the Northern Hemisphere. These constant winds cool down the high temperatures and humidity that impact tropical islands. These trade winds allow visitors to Hawaii to experience the stunning views of the tropics without the scorching heat.
Rain plays a central role in the weather of all tropical climates, including Hawaii! While tropical climates experience rainy seasons, don’t expect too much rain in Hawaii during September. October marks the end of the islands’ dry season, so September visitors experience less rain than in other months.
Did you know that other precipitation impacts Hawaii’s weather, too? Fog drip falls from the leaves of trees and other vegetation to the ground, keeping the tropical plants cool and wet all year!
Mountains and Terrain
Hawaii’s great mountains and volcanoes come to mind when picturing the Aloha State. But did you know these land masses also impact Hawaii’s weather? The mountains in Hawaii control the flow of air, wind, and precipitation across the islands. The state’s volcanoes disperse greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, which helps keep Hawaii’s jungles thriving throughout the year.
The weather in Hawaii’s mountains also differs from weather found at ground level. Higher elevations in mountainous regions result in cooler temperatures. So don’t forget to bring a jacket to any hiking adventures you plan this September!
Surfing is the state sport of Hawaii for a reason! On average, the waters of the Pacific Ocean stay between the mid-70s across the year in Hawaii. Being just outside the hottest season, September visitors expect waters to be warm enough for a relaxing swim and cool enough to keep you refreshed.
Anxious about strong waves? Don’t sweat it. Waves in Hawaii’s water tend to stay localized. If you experience rough waves along the coast, steer your adventure towards a smaller beach. You may find the water much calmer there!
Weather Events in Hawaii in September
As with all regions, the Pacific Basin faces a unique set of weather events which Hawaiian residents and visitors should know. Stay prepared for your September trip to Hawaii and review these unique aspects of the islands’ weather.
Hurricane season in Hawaii begins June 1st and runs through November annually, which means hurricanes may occur during September. Thankfully, Hawaii faces a lower threat of hurricanes than other tropical isles. Many hurricane season resources help locals and travelers stay safe during September.
All year round, visitors to Hawaii should also stay mindful of volcanic fog. Locally known as “vog,” volcanic fog consists of sulfur dioxide that combines with sunlight, air, and other gasses. The sulfur dioxide comes from a prominent volcanic crater on the Big Island.
Vog can create difficulties for some visitors, including kids or those with respiratory health issues. Scientists, health officials, and Hawaii’s government keep a close eye on vog across the islands, helping tourists and natives stay safe.
How Should I Pack for the Hawaii Weather in September?
Packing the right clothes and accessories helps visitors maximize their experience of Hawaii’s stunning September weather. Here’s our guide to the best materials and items to pack for your September stay.
Hawaii attracts visitors looking to relax in a casual, laid-back style. Naturally, clothing styles on the Hawaiian Islands prioritize comfort and function. Relaxed t-shirts, flowing dresses, shorts, and sandals allow visitors to experience the cool breeze and warm temperatures in comfort.
Of course, more formal occasions call for different styles. Modern Hawaiian formal wear features a mixture of light colors and some floral patterns with a classy twist. If you have a special event or reservation to attend during your stay, check in with the venue or hosts about dress codes or styles they recommend.
Some of the best fabrics to consider for your Hawaiian wardrobe in September include:
- Cotton, or cotton blends
Both natural and synthetic fabric options help Hawaiians stay cool and protected from the elements. However, different fabrics may work well in some scenarios and poorly in others. Keeping a balance of fabric options in your wardrobe is crucial.
Natural fabrics such as linen and cotton help residents of tropical locations stay cool all year. Linen and cotton shirts, shorts, dresses, skirts, and even suits and button-ups come in a spectrum of patterns and colors. Some people find 100% cotton clothing too heavy for the tropics. Aim for a cotton blend to maximize your comfort.
Water-proof or water-resistant materials, such as gore-tex, offer breathable protection from rain and humidity. Look out for these materials on rain jackets, especially if you plan a journey into Hawaii’s natural wonders.
From sandy beaches to damp raised grounds, Hawaii’s terrain varies vastly across the islands. Packing the correct footwear prepares visitors to hit the ground running on their Hawaiian getaway.
Some of the footwear options to consider for your September trip to Hawaii include:
- Casual sandals
- Walking shoes
- Water shoes
- Hiking shoes
Depending on the island excursions you book for your stay, the group or company you book with may require or recommend specific footwear for guests. Always check ahead of time to ensure you bring the proper shoes for your needs.
Don’t skip out on sun protection in Hawaii! Keep your skin and eyes out of the sun with a combination of products and accessories, including:
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Brimmed hats
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- A personal umbrella
The cool breeze may feel great on the skin, but it won’t protect you from the Hawaiian sun. Sun protection and staying hydrated ensure your fun in the sun won’t come at a risk to your health.
You packed the best clothing for your September trip to Hawaii. Now what? Additional accessories can keep you comfy and prepared in the Aloha State. Consider adding the following items to your suitcase:
- A handheld fan
- Lipbalm with SPF protection
- A water-protective phone case
- A wetsuit
- A backpack
The best Hawaii travel accessories for you will vary depending on your plans. Ensure the items you pack work with your air travel plans, too!
Should I Book a Trip to Hawaii in September?
Yes! If the gorgeous weather hasn’t convinced you yet, the opportunity for savings will. September in Hawaii marks the islands’ off-season, meaning fewer tourists come to the islands during this time. The off-season brings better deals on lodging, airfare, and adventures.
Cost of Airfare
September falls right after the busy summer season and just before the holidays. This makes it a fantastic time to fly on a budget! While flights to Hawaii in December and January can soar into the thousands, September ticket prices tend to stay below the thousand-dollar line.
When should you buy your tickets for your September trip to Hawaii? Travelers should expect to see airfare deals around late July. Keeping a close eye on ticket prices in the weeks and months leading up to your trip will help you save money in the long run.
Cost of Lodging
Much like airplane tickets, hotel and lodging prices vary day to day. To avoid the highest prices for Hawaiian hotels in September, avoid booking a trip for Labor Day weekend. For your best pricing options, try booking your check-in for a Sunday and check-out for an early weekday, like Monday or Tuesday.
As with any vacation destination, visitors pay a premium for many resort experiences in Hawaii, even in September. However, a wide variety of lodging options exists for travelers. Some travelers prefer a stay in a cozy hotel, a bed and breakfast accommodation, or a short-term rental.
Across the Hawaiian Islands, plenty of options exist at many price points. Each lodging option offers visitors something different, so do your research to find the best resort for your needs!