Winter comes with different associations for people from around the world. It might mean warm-weather barbecues for folks hailing from the American Southwest or winter’s chill and endless snow shoveling for people from more northern climes. But no matter where you’re from, Kauai is calling this winter. Get ready to explore: Winter just hits different in the Garden Isle.
Summer is Kauai’s busy season, so a visit in winter can help you find more quiet stretches of sandy beach and shorter lines for the best food trucks. In 2022, January and February saw the lowest visitor numbers, compared to the peak in June and July. There’s a lot to be said for visiting during a destination’s off-season, from fewer crowds to lower costs. You can also promote regenerative travel by helping support tourism-driven communities in slower months.
Outside of the holiday season, winter offers more options for accommodation in Kauai since visitation tends to be lower than in summer. If you’ve been eyeing a particular vacation rental to have room for the whole family during your trip, winter is a good season to check the booking calendar. There’s likely more availability than at other times of year.
Yes, it’s often rainier during winter in Kauai. But this is the tropics, after all, so temperatures are mild and pleasant year-round. And just because rain might be more frequent doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. Besides, it wouldn’t be the Garden Isle without the precipitation. The greens just get greener in the winter months.
If you are worried about rain on your trip, plan a few days wandering the south shore, where it tends to be drier. That way, you can soak in some sun while still exploring the island to the fullest. Live spontaneously, and plan your days around where you’ll find the best weather.
November through March is the best time to visit Kauai if you’re seeking out some of the largest animals on Earth. This is when humpback whales make the epic journey—over 6,000 miles—to Hawaii, where they mate, calve, and nurse their babies. If whale watching is your main goal, be sure to plan a trip for January or February. But even in the rest of the winter months, you have a good chance of spotting humpbacks along the coast.
Though the south shore might bring drier days, the north shore is where you want to see some of the huge waves the island is famous for. Beginner surfers, be sure to stick to the more protected beaches of the south shore at this time of year. Events like the Vans World Cup of Surfing and the Billabong Pipeline Masters take place in November and December. You can still enjoy watching others catch waves even if you're not competition-ready.
If you’re visiting from a home in a four-season climate, Kauai’s warm days and swimmable beaches will feel like a welcome wave of warmth to escape the gloomy winter days back home. Appreciate the getaway and bust winter blues.
Starry Night Lodging hosts three vacation rentals that give you a homey base to explore the island. Book your stay, and enjoy winter in Kauai.