What do you typically think of when the word Kauai comes up? Sandy beaches, emerald-green waters, blazing sun, surfers scattered all around—yes, this is all a part of the experience when you visit Hawaii in summer.
But you may be wondering what it is like to come to Kauai during winter. After all, we have our biggest holidays during winter so picking the right destination for a bit of a change of scenery and relaxing time is very important.
One thing you should know about Kauai is that it’s gorgeous and perfectly fit for tourism all year round. But wintertime, of course, comes with its peculiarities which you should know of before you pack your bags and land on the beautiful Garden Isle.
This post will walk you through all the things you should take into consideration when traveling to Kauai in winter.
Weather in Kauai in Winter
Kauai has a mild climate throughout the entire year—without any sudden highs or lows. The only difference is that during the winter months, you’re likely to encounter more rain.
It’s Garden Isle for a reason—without some humidity, we’d have to rename it the Desert Isle or anything else.
But it’s mostly December that sees higher than usual rainy days, with February as the coldest month. Well, depending on where you’re coming from, February’s 72℉ low shouldn’t seem like cold weather in most cases.
If during non-winter days, you can fully rely on our South vs. North shore comparisons and make your pick based on various criteria, in winter, it’s best to stick to the South shore—it’s more dry and sunny. Should you choose to stay on the North shore, you’ll likely experience a little more damp weather.
In fact, one of the top winter locations in Kauai is Poipu Beach—and all the most amusing activities we mention here are available to you even during the colder months.
Can You Go Swimming in Kauai in Winter?
The answer is it depends on which side of the island you are.
In general, winter months aren’t a great time to go for a swim or a snorkel—storms aren’t a rare thing during winter so most of the shores are struck by powerful swells.
On the South of the Island would be best to consider as it’s calmer during the winter vs the summer.
So if you’re in for a safe, relaxing family time—don’t go swimming unless the beach of your choice has lifeguards.
It’s a different story for adventurous surfers, though. Kauai winters are something any surfer looks forward to for the rest of the year as winter waves are truly powerful and pose a challenge any experienced surfer wants to take on. If you’re in for an exciting surfing time in winter, here are some of the finest locations.
Don’t Miss the Whales
From November to March, it’s whale watching season in Kauai!
Here on a tour with Makanacharters.com an amazing mama whale surprisingly approached our boats with her baby while taking photos on the start of the Napali Coast.
The Garden Isle attracts some of the most magnificent sea creatures—humpback whales. And the peak season for catching a glimpse at the world’s largest mammal is in January and February—this is when most of the whales pass through the island all the way back from Alaska to mate and birth their young.
As it’s mating season for whales, the typically calm and passive creatures finally get more active and show off with some charming moves that you can watch either from shore or—and this is the best thing to do—from a boat.
So if you want to get to see these glorious creatures up close, winter is the time to come visit Kauai.
Even if you choose to stay in the South Shore — just as we recommended — make sure to be prepared for any kind of weather swings:
- Make sure to pack a pair of rain boots as well as a rain jacket.
- Take a light jacket that will let you enjoy Kauai’s beautiful sunrises in the early mornings and mesmerising sunsets in the evenings.
- And, of course, make sure to take an umbrella so you can be free to visit the local farmer’s markets to favour the tangerine and avocado season.
Because as they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather.