Are you thinking about planning a trip to Hawaii in January? Get all your questions answered. Plus, find out some of the best things to do in Hawaii in January that are worth adding to your itinerary!
This list of things to do in Hawaii in January was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
We live in Seattle and it’s cold, wet, and dreary during the winter. That’s why we try to get over to Hawaii! And we’re not the only mainlanders rushing to escape the snow!
We’ve visited Hawaii in January many times and I’ll always choose Hawaii weather over Seattle weather, even when it rains.
I know a lot of people are on the fence about whether or not it’s worth going to Hawaii in January, so I wrote up some quick reasons why it can be a great time to go.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Hawaii itineraries complete with daily schedules, fun activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
What is the Weather Like in Hawaii in January?
The weather in Hawaii in January is generally mild and pleasant. Temperatures typically range from the mid-60s to low-80s Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius) throughout the month.
Hawaii’s tropical climate means that it is warm and sunny year-round, and January is no exception. However, January is also one of the wettest months in Hawaii, particularly on the windward (eastern) side of the islands.
Visitors to Hawaii in January should be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the morning or evening. The good news is that these showers usually don’t last long and often clear up quickly.
Overall, January is a great time to visit Hawaii for those looking for warm weather and outdoor activities, but it’s a good idea to pack some rain gear just in case.
Is January a Good Time to Visit Hawaii?
January can be a good time to visit Hawaii for several reasons. First, like I said earlier, the weather is generally mild and pleasant. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and surfing.
Second, January is a relatively quiet month in Hawaii, which means that there are fewer crowds at popular tourist destinations and attractions. This can make it a great time for those looking for a more relaxing and less crowded vacation experience.
Third, January is also the peak of humpback whale season in Hawaii, and visitors can often spot these magnificent creatures breaching and playing in the waters around the islands. This makes it a popular time for whale-watching tours and cruises.
However, January can be really rainy and stormy. Visitors should be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the morning or evening.
Additionally, prices for flights and accommodations may be higher during the peak travel season, which can make January a more expensive time to visit Hawaii.
Overall, whether or not January is a good time to visit Hawaii depends on your personal preferences and priorities, but it can certainly be a great time to experience the islands.
What are the Crowds Like in Hawaii in January?
While January is considered a peak travel season in Hawaii, the crowds are generally manageable compared to other times of the year, such as the summer months.
The first two weeks of January are typically busier due to the winter holiday season, with families taking advantage of the school break to visit Hawaii. However, the crowds tend to thin out after the second week of January.
It’s important to note that while the crowds may be lighter compared to the summer months, there will still be plenty of visitors to Hawaii in January, especially at popular tourist destinations and attractions.
It’s a good idea to book accommodations and tours in advance to ensure availability and avoid disappointment.
Overall, while there may be some crowds in Hawaii in January, it’s generally a manageable time to visit, especially if you’re looking for a quieter and more relaxing vacation experience.
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Are There Any Special Events or Festivals in Hawaii in January?
Yes, there are several special events and festivals in Hawaii in January. Here are a few examples:
Sony Open in Hawaii
This PGA Tour golf tournament takes place in January at the Waialae Country Club on Oahu. It attracts some of the world’s top golfers and is a popular event for both locals and visitors.
Whale Watching Season
January is peak whale watching season in Hawaii, and there are several tours and cruises available to see these majestic creatures up close.
Chinese New Year
These are just a few examples of the special events and festivals that take place in Hawaii in January. Visitors can check local event calendars for more information and plan their trip accordingly.
What Activities are Available in Hawaii in January?
There are plenty of activities available in Hawaii in January, including:
January is a great time for surfing in Hawaii, with some of the best waves of the year on the North Shore of Oahu and other locations.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Hawaii’s warm waters make it a great destination for snorkeling and scuba diving year-round. January is a great time to see whales and other marine life up close.
Hawaii has many beautiful hiking trails, and January’s mild weather makes it a great time to explore the islands on foot. Check out our favorite hikes on Oahu.
Hawaii has many world-class golf courses, and January is a great time to hit the links and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Hawaii has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and January’s mild weather makes it a great time to enjoy activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and paddleboarding.
These are just a few examples of the activities available in Hawaii in January. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in Hawaii.
What are the Best Beaches to visit in Hawaii in January?
The best beaches to visit in Hawaii in January will depend on your personal preferences and the activities you’re interested in. Here are a few options to consider:
You’ll want to check out Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching.
It’s located on the island of Oahu, and is a popular destination year-round.
Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai is a great spot for snorkeling and swimming, and has a calm and protected swimming area that is ideal for families with children.
Kaanapali Beach on the island of Maui is a beautiful stretch of golden sand and clear blue water. It’s a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing, and has plenty of nearby restaurants and shops.
The Big Island’s Hapuna Beach is a stunning white sand beach that’s great for swimming and sunbathing.
It’s located on the sunny Kohala Coast, and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.
Lanikai Beach on the island of Oahu is a picturesque stretch of white sand and turquoise water. It’s a great spot for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, and offers stunning views of the nearby Mokulua Islands.
These are just a few examples of the best beaches to visit in Hawaii in January. With its warm weather and beautiful scenery, Hawaii offers plenty of options for beachgoers of all kinds.
What are Some of the Best Places to Visit in Hawaii in January?
Hawaii is home to many amazing attractions that are worth visiting year-round, including in January. Here are some of the best attractions to visit in Hawaii in January:
Pearl Harbor is a historic site on Oahu that played a key role in World War II. Visitors can tour the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri Memorial to learn about the events that took place here.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This unique national park on the Big Island is home to active volcanoes, lava fields, and other stunning natural features.
Visitors can hike trails, take guided tours, and learn about the geology and history of the island.
Road to Hana, Maui
The Road to Hana is a scenic drive along the eastern coast of Maui, with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore waterfalls, beaches, and other natural attractions along the way.
Na Pali Coast, Kauai
The Na Pali Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline on Kauai, featuring dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and secluded beaches. Visitors can take a boat tour or hike the Kalalau Trail for stunning views.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is a stunning natural feature on Kauai that’s worth exploring. Visitors can hike trails or take scenic drives for breathtaking views.
Iolani Palace, Oahu
Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States and a fascinating historical site to explore. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history and culture of Hawaii’s monarchy.
These are just a few of the best attractions to visit in Hawaii in January. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or culture, Hawaii has plenty of amazing attractions to explore.
What is the Water Temperature Like in Hawaii in January?
The water temperature in Hawaii in January varies depending on the island and location. On average, the water temperature in Hawaii in January ranges from the low to mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 23-24 degrees Celsius).
The water temperature tends to be warmer on the western shores of the islands, where the water is more protected from the trade winds. The water temperature may also be affected by currents, tides, and weather conditions, so it can vary from day to day.
While the water temperature in January may be cooler than during the summer months, it’s still warm enough for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
Some visitors may find the water temperature refreshing and invigorating, while others may prefer to wear a wetsuit or other protective gear.
Overall, the water temperature in Hawaii in January is generally pleasant and comfortable for those who enjoy water activities.
What Should I Pack for a Trip to Hawaii in January?
When packing for a trip to Hawaii in January, it’s important to consider the weather and activities you have planned. Here are some items you should consider bringing:
Hawaii’s weather is generally warm year-round, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses.
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit and other beachwear for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. Sometimes I also bring a neoprene rashguard to keep me warm.
Hawaii’s strong sun can cause sunburns and skin damage, so pack a high-quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
January is one of the wettest months in Hawaii, so it’s a good idea to pack a light rain jacket or umbrella.
Hawaii is a great place for outdoor activities such as hiking, so pack comfortable shoes with good traction. Plus it’s nice to have closed-toe shoes in the rain.
Mosquitoes and other insects can be a problem in Hawaii, especially near water and in wooded areas.
Hat and Sunglasses
Protect your face and eyes from the sun with a hat and sunglasses.
Light Jacket or Sweater
While Hawaii is generally warm, it can get cooler in the evenings or in higher elevations, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater.
Overall, pack light and comfortable clothing that is suitable for warm weather and outdoor activities. Be sure to also bring any necessary medications, toiletries, and other personal items.
January in Hawaii Wrap Up
As you can see, there are lots of pros and cons to traveling to Hawaii in January. It’s still peak season however it has fewer families and more snowbirds.
The weather can also be quite rainy, but the temperatures are a bit cooler making it more comfortable for hiking and outdoor adventures.