Updated: March 1, 2023
Hawaii is a beautiful destination to visit any month of the year. However, if you’re planning a visit to Hawaii in August, you’ll be able to take advantage of some of the state’s most pleasant weather patterns and exciting activities.
In many ways, August is the best time to visit Hawaii. Read on to learn everything you need to know about visiting Hawaii in August.
How Is the Hawaii Weather in August?
Hawaii has beautiful weather year-round. However, some months tend to be rainier than others, and rain can sometimes put a damper on outdoor activities.
Thankfully, August is one of the driest months to visit Hawaii. Honolulu experiences an average rainfall of 0.56 inches throughout the entire month of August. So while you may experience occasional showers, you can expect August weather in Hawaii to stay mostly dry.
However, even though August isn’t part of Hawaii’s rainy season, it is in the middle of hurricane season. If a hurricane pops up during your August trip, you’ll experience a significant amount of rain.
Additionally, August and September are Hawaii’s warmest months, with August being the hottest month overall. You can expect the average high temperature to reach around 87 degrees daily, while the average low temperature tends to stay around 76 degrees in August.
These pleasantly warm temperatures allow you to maximize your outdoor time on the island. You can spend your days hiking, swimming, and boating without getting too hot or too chilly.
Ocean Temperature in Hawaii in August
Hawaii is well-known for its beautiful blue-green ocean waters and peaceful, sandy beaches. If you plan to do any swimming or snorkeling on your trip to Hawaii in August, you’ll be happy to know that the ocean temperature stays around 80 degrees.
The balmy August temperatures allow Hawaii’s coastal waters to remain at a pleasant temperature for various water sports. You can enjoy longboard surfing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding without getting chilly in the water.
How to Dress for the Weather in Hawaii in August
Hawaii’s weather tends to stay pleasant throughout the year, even in the warmest months of August and September. While Hawaii has relatively high humidity, the trade winds coming off the ocean help balance the humid air temperature, creating a warm, pleasant breeze.
You shouldn’t feel too hot when completing outdoor activities on your visit in August. However, wearing cool clothing can help you stay comfortable during your August trip.
We recommend packing lightweight, moisture-wicking shorts, T-shirts, and tank tops to wear during the day. In the evenings, you may be more comfortable in lightweight pants and a sweater, as the trade winds can feel chillier once the sun goes down.
How Busy is Hawaii in August?
Tourism rates can vary significantly throughout the month of August in Hawaii. The first week of August is part of Hawaii’s peak season, as most kids are still on summer vacation from school. However, the Big Island tends to become less crowded by mid-August as children start heading back to school.
Still, the entire month of August is a popular time to visit Hawaii. The warm weather and low average rainfall draw in around 900,000 visitors to Hawaii in August each year. You can expect the Big Island to be relatively crowded compared to a visit during the off-season, such as February or October.
Average Cost of a Trip to Hawaii in August
Because August is one of the most popular times to visit Hawaii, you can expect hotel, airline, and car rental rates to be slightly higher than the annual average rates. Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of visiting Hawaii in August.
Airfare Rates in August
Airfare costs can vary significantly depending on departure location and the airline you choose. However, flights in general tend to be more expensive in the summer months, as these months are some of the most popular times for families to vacation. You can plan to pay anywhere from $800 to $1500 per flight.
If you can, try to purchase your flights as far in advance as possible. The closer you get to August, the fewer flights will be available, and you’ll end up spending more to secure them.
August Hawaii Hotel Rates
Hawaii hotels tend to be pricier during the state’s peak season at the beginning of August. In the first week or two of the month, you can expect to pay an average of $300 per night at hotels on the big island.
However, as you get closer to the end of August, hotel rates drop slightly. In the last week of August, hotel rates tend to average $250 per night.
These rates represent the costs for traditional hotels. You will likely spend more on resorts and luxury hotels throughout the state.
Hawaii Car Rentals in August
Renting a car during your trip to Hawaii can allow you to visit attractions that are not within walking distance from your hotel.
You can expect car rentals to cost at least $100 per day in August. These rates can get a bit expensive if you plan to stay more than a few days. However, you have a few options to reduce your car rental costs in Hawaii.
First, you can try bidding for a rental car through services like Priceline. This process could allow you to get a vehicle for significantly cheaper than you could through a traditional rental car company.
Additionally, you can consider renting a car from a Hawaiian resident rather than a company. Residents can list their vehicles for rent on apps like Turo.
Hawaiian Islands to Visit in August
As you plan your Hawaii trip, you’ll want to determine which Hawaiian island or islands you’d like to visit. Hawaii consists of several different islands that each boast their own benefits and attractions. You can take a day trip to each island by boat or helicopter, or stay on one island throughout your vacation.
Here’s some more information about the Hawaiian islands we recommend visiting in August:
Hawaii Island — also known as the “Big Island” — is Hawaii’s largest and southernmost island. Here, you’ll find some of the warmest temperatures in Hawaii, as the island’s southern proximity keeps it nice and balmy — especially in the summer months.
The Big Island is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, featuring two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. You’ll also find numerous other scenic attractions, like:
- Mauna Kea Summit
- Akaka Falls State Park
- Pololu Valley Lookout
- Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Hawaii Island also encompasses the Kohala Coast, home to one of the largest white-sand beaches in the state.
Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth-largest island and has the nickname “Garden Isle” due to the lush, green rainforest covering much of the island. Kauai has some of the best views in Hawaii, showcasing dramatic cliffs and beautiful blue beaches.
You’ll find sweeping mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush valleys on Kauai’s north shore. On the south shore, you’ll experience calm waters perfect for paddle boarding, swimming, and riding first-class charter boats.
Oahu is home to Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital city. It also features Waikiki Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The site of Pearl Harbor is located just west of Honolulu. There, you’ll find the USS Arizona Memorial, marking the resting place of the soldiers killed in the attack.
Oahu is also home to historic Chinatown, featuring traditional noodle shops, dim sum restaurants, and Asian markets. In terms of natural attractions, Oahu encompasses the Punchbowl crater formed from volcanic activity.
Maui is another one of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. This island features Haleakala National Park, which encompasses the waterfalls of Ohe’o Gulch and the Haleakala volcano.
If you’re hoping to see Hawaii’s famous sea turtles during your visit, you can check out Ho’okipa Beach Park. Summer is nesting season for turtles, so you have a significant chance of seeing one at this beach.
Things to Do When You Visit Hawaii
Hawaii is filled with beautiful natural attractions and fun activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Here are a few ideas of things you can do during your trip to Hawaii.
Go On a Hike
Hiking is an affordable, enjoyable way to experience Hawaii’s natural beauty up close. Many of the best hiking trails in the state are free to enter or charge just a small entry fee. You can easily spend an entire day hiking through Hawaii’s lush rainforests, up majestic volcanoes and mountains, and along the sparkling coastline.
We recommend checking out these destinations for hiking:
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Haleakala National Park
- Hanauma Bay
- Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Take a Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours allow you to see Hawaii’s beautiful scenery from a bird’s eye view. Numerous companies throughout Hawaii offer private helicopter tours that you and your family can enjoy together.
The best helicopter tours fly above Hawaii’s landmarks, allowing you to experience the beauty of an active volcano, dense rainforest, and blue-green beach from the air. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even find helicopter tours that offer skydiving.
Enjoy Fresh Fruit and Seafood
Hawaii’s delicious cuisine is one of the best parts of visiting the state. You can enjoy juicy, fresh fruit and freshly caught seafood at numerous cafes and eateries across the state.
Hawaii is also well-known for its taro farms. Taro is a staple of the Hawaiian diet and a critical piece of Hawaii’s ancient culture. This plant has edible roots and leaves.
Traditionally, Hawaiians use taro leaves to wrap laulau, which is a steamed chicken or pork dish. Meanwhile, the taro root has a flavor and texture similar to a sweet potato. This root vegetable is popular in many Hawaiian dishes, including desserts.
We highly recommend broadening your palette and trying new dishes while visiting Hawaii.
Try Stand-Up Paddling
Stand-up paddling is a serene activity that allows you to experience Hawaii’s sparkling ocean waters without being directly submerged in them. You can find numerous spots around the big island that offer paddle-board rentals near the north or south shore.
If you’re new to stand-up paddle boarding, you’ll want to find a calm beach with still ocean waters. We recommend Lanikai Beach on Oahu for its serene, still waters, perfect for swimming and paddling.
Go to a Luau
When you picture a Hawaiian vacation, you probably envision a luau as one of the elements of your trip. Luaus allow you to experience Hawaii’s traditional culture in a fun, vibrant setting.
Most tourist luaus consist of two elements: food and cultural performances. You’ll likely be able to sample Hawaiian foods you may not find at a hotel buffet, such as:
- Poke: Fish and vegetables cut into pieces
- Poi: Pounded taro root
- Haupia: Coconut Pudding
- Kalua pig: Shredded pork prepared in an underground oven
Hawaiian luaus typically consist of some sort of performance as well. Many luaus include hula dances to traditional Hawaiian music. They may also include cultural performances and storytelling.
Relax on the Beach
Hawaii offers a relaxing, serene atmosphere perfect for a vacation getaway. Many people come to Hawaii in August simply to relax on the beach, dip their toes in the sand, wade in the warm ocean waters, and play a round of beach volleyball.
Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in Hawaii, spanning two miles of coastline and including numerous cafes, snack huts, tourist shops, and ice cream stands. However, you can also find less crowded beaches on each of Hawaii’s islands.
August Events in Hawaii
If you’re planning a visit to Hawaii in August, you’ll want to take note of the events and festivals taking place throughout the state during your stay. Here are a few of the biggest August events in Hawaii:
Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament
The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament typically takes place during the first week of August. This annual event features five days of tournament fishing in the Kona ocean waters. The first-place winner typically receives the prestigious HIBT Governor’s trophy as the grand prize.
Made in Hawaii Festival
The Made in Hawaii Festival is an annual festival that takes place in August. This three-day festival features over 400 exhibitors selling hand-crafted items representing Hawaiian culture.
If you’re a fan of craft workshops, you’ll want to leave extra room in your suitcase for the unique finds at this festival.
Korean Festival Hawaii
Hawaii’s annual Korean festival also takes place in August each year. This one-day festival raises awareness about Korean culture in Hawaii by celebrating Korea’s food, music, and dance.
Altogether, August is one of the best times to visit Hawaii. This month typically experiences less rain and more favorable weather than other months throughout the year. While the beginning of August is peak season, Hawaii’s low season begins by the end of the month.
Whether you’re planning an end-of-summer vacation, a honeymoon, or a solo getaway, you can’t go wrong visiting Hawaii in August.