Hawaii has something to offer everyone, no matter what time of year you visit, but there is something special about visiting Hawaii in March that keeps me going back in early spring year after year.
March is a fantastic time to visit if you want fewer crowds than the summer months (or December) and cheaper prices on the islands.
While Hawaii does get its fair share of families enjoying spring break, you can still find decent prices around those busy dates if you have flexibility with yours.
This guide will detail everything you need to know about spending March in Hawaii, from the best things to do (including festivals and events across the islands) to some frequently asked questions.
I also highlight some tips for a March trip to Hawaii. If I missed anything in this guide, please let me know in the comments or by sending me a message. Thanks!
Fun Things to Do in Hawaii in March
1. Take Advantage of Whale Watching Season in Hawaii
Location: All islands
March is one of the peak months for whale-watching in Hawaii. During this time, humpback whales migrate to the Hawaiian Islands from Alaska to breed.
The locals view this as a homecoming, as the whales would have been born in these waters.
The great thing about whale watching in Hawaii is that you can spot them from the shore on some islands (mainly Kauai, Maui, and Oahu). However, for the best experience, I’d recommend heading out on a boat trip.
Just make sure you do your research and choose an ethical tour. You’ll find plenty of operators offering whale-watching trips in Hawaii, but not all of them prioritize the whales and local laws.
I have been fortunate to go whale watching on multiple islands, and I truly love the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui (tours currently leave from Ma’alaea Harbor since Lahaina Harbor is no longer standing) and Hawaii Nautical on Oahu.
2. Enjoy the Honolulu Festival (and Its Parade)
Location: Honolulu, Oahu
Every year in March, the Honolulu Festival takes place. This is one of Hawaii’s premier cultural events, and it attracts thousands of people. Here, you can enjoy a blend of Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific cultures, making it a must-visit!
The Honolulu Festival takes place over three days and is famous for its traditional art, local dance performances, and music. There are also a variety of activities taking place throughout the celebration.
This epic festival then finishes with a grand parade through Waikiki, where you can enjoy epic floats and cultural performances. Honestly, if you can time your visit with this festival, then I’d highly recommend it.
3. Explore Film Sets at the Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch (also known as ‘Jurassic Park Valley’) is a 4000-acre working cattle ranch and private nature reserve. Boasting breathtaking landscapes and endless outdoor activities, it’s the perfect place to visit for outdoor lovers.
Not only that, but over 50 TV shows and movies have been filmed in this reserve. These include the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films, Godzilla, LOST, and Kong Skull Island.
As such, you’ll find some epic movie location tours! The Jurassic Adventure tour is a popular option, as is the Hollywood Movie Sites tour.
When it comes to outdoor activities, options include ATV tours, the Jurassic Valley Zipline, and horseback riding, among others.
4. Check Out the Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration
The Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration is held annually in March on the island of Kauai. This festival honors the life of Prince Kuhio, ‘the Citizen Prince’, who is remembered for creating a better life for the Hawaiian people.
As well as educational, cultural, and wellness exhibits, this celebration offers a day of fun-filled activities for the whole family, including craft and food booths. You can also enjoy entertainment, live music, and hula performances, so what’s not to like?
If you want to learn more about Hawaii’s culture, this is a great event to attend. Not to mention, the admission is free.
5. Relax on the Beautiful Beaches of Hawaii
Hawaii is famous for its beaches and the month of March is the perfect time to visit them. Not only are there fewer crowds, but the temperatures are very pleasant, both for sunbathing and swimming.
Oahu is a hotspot for beaches, with highlights including Waikiki Beach, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and Lanikai Beach. When it comes to Maui, there’s Makena ‘Big’ Beach, Ka’anapali Beach, and Napili Bay Beach.
For those exploring the Big Island, Makalawena Beach, Hapuna Beach State Park, and Manini’owali Beach are all popular options.
Regarding Kauai, you’ve got Hanalei Beach Park, Makua ‘Tunnels’ Beach, and Ke’e Beach. Of course, there are plenty of other fantastic beaches to enjoy, but these are some of the most popular.
6. Head to the Kona Brewers Festival
Location: Big Island of Hawai’i
Finally, there’s the Kona Brewers Festival. Hosted by the Ke Kai Ala Foundation, this festival takes place in the town of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island in March.
It has been around for over 25 years and is a zero-waste event, so it is a great option for sustainable travelers.
The Kona Brewers Festival is the perfect event for foodies and beer lovers, as you try out Hawaiian cuisine and enjoy over 30 local and handcrafted beers. There’s also live music at this event, along with the iconic ‘Trash Fashion’ Show.
Just be aware that this festival is extremely popular for those visiting Kona in March. Tickets tend to go on sale in January, and they sell out quickly, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to attend.
7. Explore the Otherworldly Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Location: Big Island of Hawai’i
No trip to the Aloha State is complete without visiting Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world (Kilauea and Mauna Loa), it’s been designated an international biosphere reserve.
One of the best ways to explore the national park is by hiking. Some of the most popular trails include Kilauea Iki, Keanakako’i Crater, and the Halemaʻumaʻu Trail, and there are plenty of backcountry hiking opportunities too.
Exploring by car is another highlight, as there are two fantastic scenic drives to do: Crater Rim Drive and the Chain of Craters Road. Let’s not forget about visiting the Kahuku Unit, if you happen to drive a bit further south.
8. Spend the Day at Pearl Harbor National Memorial
I highly recommend visiting Pearl Harbor National Memorial if you’re headed to Oahu in March. The museums and grounds are free, and you’ll get to learn all about the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII, one of the most pivotal moments in history.
The USS Arizona Memorial Program is one of the top attractions. It’s a 45-minute tour that will take you to the USS Arizona Memorial on a shuttle boat. Another must-see is the two exhibit galleries located here.
This, however, is something you must pay for (and I suggest booking in advance).
Some independent sites aren’t managed by the National Park Service. These include the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum.
Tips for Visiting Hawaii in March
- Try to avoid visiting Hawaii during spring break if you can. Hotel and flight prices can increase during this time, and the islands can get a bit crowded.
- For those planning to explore the more mountainous areas and volcanoes, expect temperatures to be much cooler. As such, bring along a light jacket.
- Since you’re visiting somewhere tropical, rain showers can fall without warning. They typically only last around 10 minutes, but keep an umbrella on you!
- The North Shore beaches offer fantastic surfing opportunities in March. You can find some huge swells, but these start to die down towards the end of the month.
- The temperature will differ depending on which island you visit. The Big Island, Oahu, and Maui tend to encounter the highest temperatures, while Lanai typically has the lowest temperatures.
- The ocean temperatures in March are pleasant, so there are plenty of swimming and snorkeling opportunities. However, the swells are too strong in some areas at this time, so do some research in advance.
Hawaii in March FAQ
Is March a good month to visit Hawaii?
The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September, so yes. In March, you can expect pleasant weather, along with a variety of events and festivals.
There will typically be fewer crowds too, which is always a bonus. However, during spring break, Hawaii can get very busy.
What is the weather like in Hawaii in March?
In March, temperatures are mild yet pleasant, with average highs of 70°F–80°F (21°C–26°C). You’ll also encounter cooler evenings, which can dip to around 61°F (16°C).
Hawaii’s rainy season lasts from November to March. There’s an average of 19 days of rain throughout this month, with a total of around 233 mm (9 inches) of rainfall.
I wouldn’t think too much about rain on this trip, as it can vary from island to island and even depending on which part of the island you’re on.
When I visited Kauai in March, locals said it was usually super rainy during the month but was extremely dry that March. It’s the tropics, so just be prepared for anything!
Is Hawaii a popular spring break destination?
It certainly is! During the spring break period in March, Hawaii can get hectic thanks to its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and variety of recreational activities.
Is Hawaii cheaper in March or April?
Hawaii is more affordable during both March and April. However, March tends to be slightly cheaper, with better deals on accommodation and flights.
However, if you’re planning to visit during spring break, hotel prices can especially soar. In that case, it’s probably more economical to visit at the end of April instead.
What to Pack for Hawaii in March
As the temperatures are still very pleasant at this time of year, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing for your trip. This includes dresses, shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits, of course.
You also don’t want to leave sunscreen or your sun hat at home!
The evenings do tend to be cooler, so I’d recommend bringing along a lightweight jacket. If you’ve got a waterproof jacket, even better, as Hawaii is known for its spontaneous downpours, especially in the more mountainous areas.
Another thing I would bring is a mosquito or bug spray. While I never had too many issues in Hawaii, I did have some problems on Molokai during this season and a few issues on Maui in March.
Do you have any questions about visiting Hawaii in March? Let me know in the comments if so. I am happy to help!
More Hawaii Seasonal Travel Guides
Pin this March in Hawaii Guide
Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she has been traveling frequently to Hawaii for the last 15 years and loves exploring every corner of each Hawaiian island, while trying to promote sustainable travel and small, local businesses along the way. Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the New York Times, and more. She has co-authored a guidebook with Fodor’s Travel and has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries.