The Best Hawaiian Islands to Visit in January

Hawaii in January offers more than just Maui - discover the hidden gems of other Hawaiian islands for a truly unforgettable winter escape.

As luck would have it, January beckons you to explore the Hawaiian Islands and experience a tropical paradise like never before. But which island stands out as the ultimate destination for your winter getaway?

With its idyllic weather and many outdoor activities, Maui is a top contender for your vacation plans. But is it truly the best choice for your January escape?

Keep reading to uncover the enchanting allure of other Hawaiian islands waiting to be discovered during this magical time of the year.


When planning your trip to Maui in January, prepare to bask in balmy temperatures and enjoy excellent swimming conditions on the leeward side resorts. With high temperatures in the mid-70s, Maui offers the perfect escape from winter chills. The leeward side resorts provide ideal spots for relaxation and water activities, with areas like Kihei and Wailea experiencing the most minor average rainfall on the island during this time.

January in Maui also marks the peak of whale watching season, as approximately 12,000 humpback whales migrate to the warm Hawaiian waters. Witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a breathtaking experience not to be missed.

While Maui boasts fantastic attractions, it’s essential to note that accommodation costs tend to be higher compared to other Hawaiian islands during this popular travel period.


When visiting Kauai in January, prepare to be captivated by the island’s scenic beauty, lush landscapes, and picturesque views.

The outdoor activities on Kauai are endless, from hiking along the Napali Coast to exploring Waimea Canyon.

Embrace the cooler temperatures and verdant surroundings that make January a perfect time to experience Kauai’s natural wonders.

Kauai’s Scenic Beauty

Amidst the Pacific Ocean lies the enchanting island of Kauai, known as the ‘Garden Isle’ for its lush greenery and stunning natural landscapes. In January, Kauai showcases cooler temperatures in the mid-70s, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

The island boasts picturesque white sand beaches, emerald cliffs, and unique jungle trails, creating a paradise for nature lovers. Kauai’s scenic beauty in winter is unparalleled, offering a serene and enthralling winter getaway.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s rich natural beauty by snorkeling, kayaking, or exploring diverse landscapes. Kauai’s charm lies in its ability to provide a tranquil escape surrounded by breathtaking views, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in January.

Outdoor Activities on Kauai

In January, engage in a multitude of thrilling outdoor activities on Kauai. Hike the lush Napali Coast for breathtaking views, or explore the majestic Waimea Canyon.

Plunge into the crystal-clear waters for an unforgettable snorkeling experience, discovering vibrant marine life beneath the surface. Zip-line through the lush rainforest, kayak along the enchanting Wailua River or set off on a helicopter tour over the dramatic Na Pali Coast cliffs.

Kauai’s mild winter temperatures around the mid-70s offer the perfect conditions for these adventures. Nature lovers can revel in the chance to spot diverse wildlife and uncover hidden waterfalls, making Kauai an ideal paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking excitement and relaxation.

Weather in January

Experience the cooler temperatures and occasional rain showers of January in Kauai. These enhance the lush greenery and ideal conditions for outdoor adventures. With average highs of 72°F and lows around 54°F, Kauai provides an invigorating escape from the winter chill on the mainland.

The increased rainfall during January contributes to the island’s vibrant green landscapes, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Despite the occasional rain showers, the natural beauty of Kauai shines through, offering a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities like hiking, zip-lining, and waterfall explorations.

Embrace the tropical climate of Kauai in January. The cooler weather and lush surroundings create a perfect setting for your Hawaiian getaway.

Big Island

Nestled within the warm embrace of the Pacific Ocean, the Big Island of Hawaii beckons with its diverse landscapes and inviting temperatures during January. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a beach lover, or an adventure seeker, the Big Island has something for everyone:

  • Explore Volcanic Fields: Witness the raw power of nature by visiting the island’s volcanic fields, including the awe-inspiring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • Engage in Outdoor Activities: Embrace the pleasant January weather with many outdoor activities such as hiking along scenic trails, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or stargazing atop Mauna Kea.
  • Witness Diverse Landscapes: From black sand beaches to lush rainforests, the Big Island offers a tapestry of landscapes waiting to be discovered.
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In January, the Big Island isn’t only a budget-conscious traveler’s paradise but a haven for those seeking a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure. So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Big Island this January.


Molokai beckons with its remote beauty and authentic Hawaiian culture if you’re looking for a getaway off the beaten path.

The island’s serene landscapes and historical sites offer a peaceful retreat, ideal for travelers seeking a quieter, more immersive experience.

Wildlife encounters and snorkeling opportunities further enhance the allure of Molokai, providing a glimpse into ancient Hawaiian traditions.

Remote Beauty of Molokai

Discover Molokai’s secluded charm and untouched natural beauty, the least visited Hawaiian island, offering a unique glimpse into traditional Hawaiian culture and lifestyle. Immerse yourself in this set-off-the-beaten-path paradise where peace and serenity await.

Here are three reasons why Molokai is a hidden gem:

  • Pristine Beaches: Picture yourself strolling along secluded shores with the crystal-clear waters gently lapping at the shore.
  • Lush Valleys: Explore verdant valleys home to diverse flora and fauna, creating a tranquil oasis for nature lovers.
  • Sea Cliffs: Marvel at the dramatic sea cliffs that tower over the ocean, providing a breathtaking backdrop to your island adventures.

Set on a journey to Molokai for a genuinely authentic and peaceful Hawaiian experience.

Authentic Hawaiian Culture

Immerse yourself in Molokai’s rich tapestry of authentic Hawaiian culture, where ancient practices and customs are lovingly preserved, offering a unique window into the island’s vibrant history and traditions. On Molokai, the traditional ways of life are celebrated, allowing visitors to experience the laid-back lifestyle of the locals. The island’s rich history is showcased through sites like the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, providing insights into Hawaii’s past. Engage with the local community by participating in cultural events and traditional ceremonies and interacting with residents. Below is a table highlighting critical aspects of Molokai’s authentic Hawaiian culture:

Molokai’s Authentic Hawaiian Culture
Traditional Ways of LifeLaid-Back Lifestyle
Rich HistoryKalaupapa National Historical Park
Local CommunityCultural Events


With its rich cultural tapestry and diverse array of activities, Oahu beckons visitors to explore its vibrant offerings in January. Whether you seek relaxation on the famous Waikiki Beach or immerse yourself in the island’s cultural heritage, Oahu has something for everyone this month.

  • Waikiki Beach: Enjoy the warm sun, soft sand, and the sound of waves crashing on the shore at this iconic beach. January provides the perfect weather for swimming and water activities.
  • Cultural Events: Immerse yourself in Oahu’s cultural scene with various events showcasing hula performances, traditional music, and local art. Experience the island’s heritage firsthand.
  • Nightlife and Shopping: After a day of adventures, indulge in Oahu’s vibrant nightlife, which includes beachfront bars, live music venues, and delicious dining options. Explore the island’s shopping districts for unique souvenirs and gifts to remember your trip.

In January, Oahu shines with opportunities to discover the heart and soul of Hawaii while enjoying the perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.


Niihau, often called the ‘Forbidden Island,’ offers a unique and exclusive glimpse into traditional Hawaiian culture and pristine natural beauty. Niihau remains privately owned, as is the Forbidden Island, and has limited access, maintaining its untouched natural splendor. With a population of around 70-100 residents, mainly Native Hawaiians, the island is a beacon of conservation efforts and traditional practices. Niihau is renowned for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, providing a serene escape for those seeking seclusion and relaxation.

One of the most enchanting aspects of Niihau is the opportunity it presents for cultural experiences and interaction with the local community. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Native Hawaiians while appreciating the island’s unique way of life. Niihau’s commitment to preserving its cultural roots and natural surroundings makes it a hidden gem in the Hawaiian archipelago, attracting those who seek a deeper connection to the land and its people.


When planning your trip to Lanai in January, get ready to be captivated by the island’s natural beauty, remote seclusion, and luxurious resorts.

Lanai’s pristine landscapes, secluded beaches, and exclusive setting make it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and relaxation seekers.

With lush forests, rugged coastlines, and limited crowds, Lanai offers a serene retreat for those looking to unwind in paradise.

Lanai’s Natural Beauty

Nestled amidst the Pacific Ocean, Lanai beckons with its rugged landscapes, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear blue waters. It earned its reputation as the ‘Pineapple Island’ for its former extensive pineapple plantations.

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When you visit Lanai, you can expect to encounter:

  • Jagged cliffs overlooking the turquoise sea
  • Soft white sands stretching along the coastline
  • Vibrant sunsets painting the sky in hues of orange and pink

Lanai’s natural charm is enchanting, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore the Garden of the Gods, bask in the tranquility of secluded beaches, and immerse yourself in the untouched landscapes that make Lanai a paradise for nature lovers.

Lanai’s Remote Seclusion

Lanai’s remote seclusion offers a serene escape for those seeking tranquility amidst stunning natural beauty and exclusive accommodations. With its pristine beaches, rugged landscapes, and unique rock formations, this Hawaiian island provides a perfect setting for a peaceful retreat.

With only one luxury resort, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, visitors can enjoy upscale amenities in an intimate setting. Snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, hiking through lush forests, and exploring the distinctive rock formations are just a few of the activities you can experience on Lanai.

Away from the crowds of more popular islands, Lanai’s peaceful atmosphere and untouched scenery make it an ideal destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the unspoiled beauty of Hawaii.

Lanai’s Luxury Resorts

With two exclusive luxury resorts, Lanai beckons visitors seeking upscale accommodations amidst its serene natural beauty. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai offer an indulgent retreat with exceptional service in a secluded setting. Here are some highlights of Lanai’s luxury resorts:

  • The Four Seasons Resort Lanai boasts lavish suites, high-quality dining options, and a variety of activities for guests to enjoy.
  • Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort, provides a wellness-focused experience with personalized wellness programs and healthy dining choices.
  • Both resorts offer serene surroundings that create the perfect ambiance for relaxation and rejuvenation, making them ideal destinations for a luxurious Hawaiian getaway.


Located southwest of Maui, Kahoolawe is the smallest of the eight central Hawaiian Islands and holds deep cultural and historical significance for the Hawaiian people. This uninhabited island has a storied past, once serving as a military training ground, which unfortunately led to environmental damage. However, Kahoolawe is now a symbol of hope and restoration as efforts are being made to revive its ecosystem through ecological restoration projects.

Due to its history and delicate environment, access to Kahoolawe is restricted. Despite this, authorized programs allow for cultural and educational visits to the island. These programs provide an opportunity to learn about the rich heritage of Kahoolawe and witness firsthand the ongoing efforts to preserve its natural beauty.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in Hawaiian culture, history, and environmental conservation, participating in one of these authorized programs to Kahoolawe can offer a unique and meaningful experience.

Lānaʻi City

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of the Hawaiian archipelago, Lānaʻi City beckons travelers with its unique blend of historic charm and laid-back island vibes. As the only city on Pineapple Island, Lānaʻi City offers a glimpse into the past with its historic plantation-style buildings and small-town feel.

Here’s what you can expect to experience in Lānaʻi City:

  • Wander through the quaint streets lined with historic buildings, each telling a story of the island’s past.
  • Explore the local shops and restaurants to sample delicious Hawaiian cuisine and pick up unique souvenirs.
  • Immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting the various art galleries showcasing the talent of Lānaʻi’s artists.

Lānaʻi City is the perfect gateway to outdoor activities, inviting you to hike through lush landscapes, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and unwind on pristine beaches. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, Lānaʻi City has something for every traveler looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii in January.

Kalalau Valley

Prepare for an unforgettable adventure as you explore the rugged beauty of Kalalau Valley, a hidden gem along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.

Kalalau Valley, nestled on the lush and remote Na Pali Coast of Kauai, offers breathtaking panoramic views of dramatic cliffs and valleys. This pristine wilderness is accessible only by hiking an 11-mile trail or by sea, providing an exclusive experience for intrepid travelers.

The valley is rich in history. It features ancient Hawaiian settlements, picturesque taro fields, cascading waterfalls, and a diverse range of plant and bird species, showcasing Hawaii’s natural splendor.

Camping at Kalalau Beach, located at the trail’s end, immerses you in the untouched wilderness under the starlit skies. The challenging yet rewarding hike to Kalalau Valley is a must-do for nature enthusiasts seeking a unique and unspoiled paradise in Hawaii.

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Weather in January

In January, Hawaii offers pleasant weather with average temperatures around 77°F, which is ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the islands. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii in January, here’s what you can expect:

  • Ocean Temperatures: The ocean temperatures in January hover around 76°F, inviting you to take a dip, snorkel, or try out water sports in crystal-clear waters.
  • Rainfall: While rainfall can vary across the islands and regions, the leeward sides generally experience less rain, providing more opportunities for sunny adventures.
  • Caution: Due to swells from the north, it’s essential to exercise caution when engaging in ocean activities during January. Remember any warnings and stay safe while enjoying the beautiful waters.

Hawaii’s tropical climate during January, with its warm temperatures and clear skies, sets the stage for a memorable vacation experience. Embrace the freedom to explore the diverse landscapes and vibrant culture these islands offer during this delightful time of year.

Activities and Attractions

For a memorable vacation experience in Hawaii in January, consider immersing yourself in various activities and attractions across the different islands. January activities in Hawaii are plentiful, from watching big surf on the North Shore of Oahu to joining humpback whale-watching tours off the coast.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, attending the PGA tour opening on Maui might be the perfect highlight for your trip. Additionally, January in Hawaii offers a chance to celebrate Chinese New Year with vibrant parades and cultural events.

Explore the various cultural centers spread across the islands or dive into the crystal-clear waters for unforgettable snorkeling experiences. Island cheat sheets are available to help you plan your activities and navigate local attractions, dining options, and must-do experiences during your January visit.

Each Hawaiian island has unique offerings, ensuring that there’s something for every traveler’s taste and budget.

Best Accommodation Options

Immerse yourself in the diverse range of accommodation options available across the Hawaiian islands, catering to various preferences and budgets for your January getaway. Whether you seek luxury resorts, cozy vacation rentals, or charming boutique hotels, Hawaii has something for everyone.

Consider the following options for your stay:

  • Maui: Explore a range of accommodation costs in Maui, from $300 to $1,500 per night. Indulge in oceanfront villas or upscale resorts offering excellent amenities.
  • Oahu: Experience the vibrant energy of Oahu with average daily rates ranging from $200 to $400. Stay in Waikiki for easy access to beaches, shopping, and dining.
  • Kauai: Discover accommodation options near stunning beaches and lush landscapes on Kauai. With average daily rates between $200 to $500, find tranquility in charming cottages or upscale beachfront hotels.

To make the most of your January trip, consider booking in advance to secure better rates and ascertain availability, especially in popular tourist areas. Start planning your Hawaiian escape today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Island in Hawaii Is Best in January?

In January, Maui shines with its sunny skies, perfect for beach activities and snorkeling spots. Don’t miss out on whale watching and exploring hiking trails. Indulge in local cuisine and immerse yourself in cultural events.

Is It Worth Going to Hawaii in January?

You should go to Hawaii in January! The weather is fantastic for beach activities, whale watching, and water sports. While there might be some rainy days, the stunning sunset views and volcano exploration make it worth it.

What Is the Driest Part of Hawaii in January?

In January, the driest part of Hawaii is typically the leeward or western sides of the islands. These areas have sunny beaches, warm weather, and dry landscapes perfect for outdoor activities like tropical hikes, water sports, and island adventures.

What Is the Prettiest Hawaiian Island?

When it comes to beauty, Kauai stands out as a tropical paradise. Its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant culture create a mesmerizing canvas. Explore amazing sunsets crystal clear waters, and encounter exotic wildlife.


As you bask in the warm sun of Maui in January, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and abundant whale sightings, you’ll find yourself in paradise.

With perfect weather for outdoor activities and luxurious accommodations, Maui stands out as the best Hawaiian island to visit.

So why wait? Start planning your unforgettable vacation to Maui now and experience the magic for yourself.