Why Maui in November is the Perfect Time for Your Tropical Getaway — And Why It Isn’t

Vista lookout from a West Maui bluff overlooking the ocean with thick white clouds in the sky

Planning a getaway before the year-end holiday rush? Maui in November is an ideal time to visit the Hawaiian island — as long as you know what to expect. From cost considerations to typical weather patterns to annual events held this time of the year, we break down the crucial details you should know before you book your fall-season flight to the Valley Isle.

As the leaves change and the air cools in many parts of the world, the allure of a warm, tropical escape acts as a siren call. Instead of pumpkin spice lattes around a fire pit, you dream of coconut shave ice while lying on warm sand.

Enter Maui, with its balmy beaches and welcoming water.

But is November a good time to visit the Valley Isle?

We think November is a great time to visit. The month brings a slight shift in the climate and a dip in the tourist throngs while still offering activities that the island is best known for — beach excursions, hikes, and water adventures, to name a few. 

Yet with all of the month’s benefits, there’s also no such thing as the perfect time. Each season has its benefits and drawbacks.

The circular driveway at the Four Seasons Maui at night, with lit palm trees and a bright moon against the dark sky.

While the temperature remains relatively warm in November, you may not always encounter the best weather in the fall season. As the island transitions from its drier summer months to its slightly wetter winter, those seeking uninterrupted sunshine may need to adjust their expectations. And humpback whale admirers may find themselves disappointed at viewing opportunities in the fall season. 

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What the weather is like on Maui in November

For a general idea of what to expect for Maui weather in November, we researched 2023 weather data to compare the month with other times of the year.

Line chart showing average temperature at Kahului Maui by month in 2023, focusing on the month of November with an average temperature of 76.16 degrees Fahrenheit
Data source: Kahului Airport Station (Wunderground)

November visitors typically enjoy slightly cooler overall average temperature than in the heat of summer, with average temperatures typically in the high 70s. And while November is seen as the start of the rainy season, staying in West Maui (Kaanapali/Kapalua) or South Maui (Kihei/Wailea/Makena) puts you on the leeward side of the island, which is typically drier and warmer than east or north shore of Maui.

Line chart showing monthly rainfall in Kahului Maui for 2023, focusing on the month of November at 0.86 total inches
Data source: Kahului Airport Station (Wunderground)
Line chart showing the average wind speed in Kahului Maui by month for 2023, focusing on the month of November with a wind speed of 12.12 miles per hour

Bear in mind that the weather forecast may show Maui as warm and dry in November, but each region of the island has its own microclimate. For example, temperatures in Upcountry Maui are typically cooler than at leeward coastal locations, such as Kihei and Kapalua. Similarly, East Maui sees more rainfall than other parts of the island.

Bottom line: While average temperatures on the island tend to remain warm year round, pack a few light layers if you plan to explore all of the island’s regions. 

What to pack when visiting Maui in November

With Maui’s temperate weather, your packing list doesn’t need to change much based on the time of year you travel. Instead, let your itinerary be your guide

Planning to hike a lot? Don’t forget your hiking shoes, hiking socks, a hat, and moisture-wicking apparel.

Will you be spending most days on the beach and in the water? Be sure to bring extra swimsuits, a coverup, and mineral-based sunscreen.

Heading Upcountry to Haleakala’s sunrise? Pack a sweatshirt and pants — It gets chilly up there.

Bottom line: Unless the weather report predicts otherwise, pack for warm, tropical weather. Focus on shorts, t-shirts, and dresses in lightweight, breathable fabrics for daytime activities. For evening activities, pack a light sweater and lightweight pants in case of a chilly breeze. Also, pack for specific activities you have planned — whether you plan to hike to a waterfall, snorkel with turtles, or enjoy sunset on the beach. 

Pro tips for packing and preparing for November weather conditions.

  • Check the weather forecast for signs of a storm or unseasonal weather. Maui is a tropical island, after all, and weather systems can impact Maui’s individual microclimates.
  • In general, pack warm weather attire. This includes cotton, linen, and other lightweight breathable fabrics. I’m typically clad in t-shirts, shorts, and sandals when visiting Maui during this time frame.
  • Any time I travel to Maui between the fall months and spring months, I pack a light sweater and lightweight pants as a precaution. While evenings typically remain balmy, the ocean breeze can feel chilly after the sun sets.  

Recommended reading: The Ultimate Packing List for Your Hawaii Vacation — From a Frequent Traveler

How Maui crowds and tourist traffic compare in November to other months

Crowd on the street at Oahu's Aloha Festival
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

While November falls within Maui’s shoulder season, when tourism dips after the summer rush, expect to find more crowds (particularly families with children from the United States) on the island during Thanksgiving week. But even with this holiday bump in tourism numbers, Maui tends to see fewer crowds in November than the busy summer months of June and July.

This overall dip in arrivals to Maui in the fall season is one of the reasons why we commonly visit in November. Restaurant reservations are easier to get when there are fewer people on the island. The cost of flights, rental cars, and accommodations also tend to dip when demand is lower. And finding an open lounge chair by the pool is much easier during the quieter shoulder season months, such as November. 

Data source: State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
*Note: 2023 visitor numbers were affected by the Lahaina fire of Aug 2023, when tourists were asked by officials to leave the island. December 2023 figures not yet available as of publication.

How does Maui’s November visitor count compare to other months in the year?

In November 2022, a little over 230,000 visitors flew to Maui. This is around 13% less than the December holiday season, when nearly 260,000 visitors arrived on Maui by plane.

Compared to the July 2022, the busiest month of the year, Maui received nearly 25% fewer visitors in November of that year.

However, there were also 20% more visitors to Maui in November 2022 than in January 2022.

Bottom line: November isn’t the busiest month to visit Maui, but it isn’t typically the slowest month, either. It’s considered shoulder season, which is the in-between period between Maui’s slower tourist season and busy season.

Tips for avoiding crowds around Maui

The ocean view from the beach at Makena Cove on Maui, Hawaii

If Maui seems particularly crowded when you’re on the island, don’t despair. These are a few of our tips for enjoying the island without too many people around.

Get an early start. Visiting the most popular sights early in the day will help you avoid the crowds. I’ve had Instagram-worthy beaches such as Makena’s Secret Beach, a cozy oasis in South Maui, all to myself when I’ve arrived early enough. 

This same advice goes for the famous Road to Hana drive. There’s a world of difference, in terms of traffic and crowds at each stop, if you start your journey to East Maui at 7:30 a.m. versus 10:30 a.m.

Head Upcountry. While many visitors make the pilgrimage to Haleakala National Park for sunrise or sunset, or to Makawao for malasadas, many tourists miss out on other delightful offerings in this region. A local winery, a lavender farm, a goat farm tour, and a weekly farmer’s market are just a few places to visit in Maui’s rural Upcountry. And you won’t have to battle a throng of tourists.

Recommended reading: 10 Things to do in Maui’s Upcountry — From Farm Tours to Small Town Shops

Stay overnight in Hana. While the famous road through Hana sees its daily share of tourist traffic, the town (and neighboring sights) is virtually deserted in the evening and early mornings, when the crowds flock back to the resort districts of West Maui and South Maui. Imagine enjoying the sunrise on the black sand beach of Waiʻānapanapa State Park (with a timed reservation) without sitting shoulder to shoulder with other travelers. Or hearing the wind rustle through the bamboo forest at Pīpīwai Trail without weaving your way through a throng of other hikers. 

Boardwalk through a bamboo forest
Pipiwai Trail bamboo forest boardwalk

Spending the night at a relatively remote location such as Hana will give you plenty of seclusion from the busyness of the more developed tourist districts on Maui.

Read reviews and check available dates for the Hana-Maui Resort

What traveling in November will cost you compared to other months

November is considered Maui’s shoulder season, which is when tourism traffic dips slightly compared to other times of the year. With less demand typically follows lower costs — but that’s not always the case. These are the cost factors to consider when booking your Maui vacation in November.

Mermaid sculpture and canoes on display in a pool located in the central lobby of the Grand Wailea Resort, Maui

Hotel cost. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, November 2022 was the third cheapest month of the year to book a hotel, on average. The average daily rate was just behind September and October in least expensive hotel pricing.

And while November isn’t the least expensive month for booking a hotel on Maui, hotel daily averages for the month were approximately 26% lower in 2022 than the most expensive month of the same year, December.

Cost of flights to Maui. There are too many pricing variables to make generalizations about whether November is the best month for booking a flight. Not only do school holidays factor in, but your departure airport, the number of flight routes to the Hawaiian islands from your airport, and how much demand the airline sees on that route all factor into the airlines’ dynamic pricing.

For example, one popular Hawaii-based travel blogger states that January and February are the cheapest months for flying to Maui. While that may be true when flying from some cities, we’ve found that this isn’t the case when flying from the Seattle area, when many locals book trips to Maui to escape the gloom and rain of the winter months.

Tips for finding the best flights to Maui in November

The tarmac view from the boarding gate at Honolulu Airport on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Research historical flight costs departing from your local airport using online tools such as Google Flights or Kayak. These travel sites aggregate flight cost data for specific routes.
  • Avoid school breaks. When kids are out of school (such as the third week of November for United States-based students), more families are free to travel, driving up demand — and fares.
  • Fly midweek. We’ve found that fares tend to be lower when traveling midweek than on the weekend.

Popular Maui events and experiences in November

Don’t miss these key events and festivals happening on Maui during the month of November.

Made in Maui County Festival

Typically held the first weekend in November, the annual Hawaiian Airlines Made in Maui County Festival attracts approximately 10,000 attendees while showcasing local businesses and locally made products. It’s a great place to kick off the holiday season with a head start on gift shopping with the whole family. Peruse the vendor stands, grab a bite from one of the local food trucks, and enjoy the live music and performances at this popular event.

Valley Isle Road Runners Turkey Trot

Join the Valley Isle Road Runners for their annual 5K Turkey Trot, a fun and festive way to kick off your Thanksgiving Day. This friendly run benefits the Maui Food Bank. The course weaves through a scenic Maui Upcountry route, offering breathtaking views and a great opportunity to bond with the community before the holiday feast.

Hui Holidays

Support local artists and crafters while shopping for souvenirs and holiday gifts at the cultural center’s annual event. The Maui Arts Center bazaar features unique, handcrafted treasures with something for the entire family. This multi-day event at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center typically starts in mid-November and runs through December.

Thanksgiving Luau

For an unforgettable Thanksgiving treat, experience a unique twist on tradition with dinner at a Thanksgiving luau. Savor a sumptuous spread that blends classic Thanksgiving dishes, such as turkey, with the flavors of traditional luau cuisine for a memorable holiday experience on Maui.

Be sure to book early for this popular Thanksgiving event. For a list of luaus on Maui, head to: The Best Luau on Maui? We Compare Maui’s Premier Dinner Shows

Outdoor activities and adventures in November

Whale-watching tours in November. November is the very start of when humpback whales begin to appear off the shores of Maui. However, November doesn’t fall into prime whale watching season, which typically takes place from December through May. The very peak of whale watching season occurs from January through March. Inquire with local tour operators before your trip for a better idea of what to expect on your whale watching excursion.

Scuba divers and a distant sailboat in the ocean at Airport Beach.

Snorkeling and water sports in November. While not the warmest time of the year to enter the water, November is still a fantastic month to dip into the ocean waters around Maui. 

While November is considered the start of the rainy season on Maui, the resort districts on the South Maui and West Maui coasts lie on the leeward side of the island. The microclimates for both areas offer some protection from strong trade winds and storms that could affect visibility when underwater. 

November water temperatures are also slightly chillier than the late summer months of July and August. According to Auntie Snorkel, fall ocean temperatures typically range between 77 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, while late summer temperatures fall between 79 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Warning: In the event of a recent storm, stay out of the water — particularly if it’s murky. There’s a danger of cross-contamination from runoff and a higher likelihood of shark activity.

Hiking Maui in November. Some of the most popular hiking trails on Maui lie in the West Maui mountains and in the East Maui region, along the Road to Hana. This includes ʻĪao Valley State Monument, Twin Falls, and Waihe’e Ridge Trail. 

In November, you’re more likely to encounter rain showers in both of these regions for two reasons: 1) both areas are rainforest microclimates and 2) November marks the start of Maui’s rainy season. 

When hiking these areas in the month of November, we recommend bringing weather-resistant shoes, extra socks, and a rain jacket or lightweight poncho. 

Should you vacation on Maui in November?

If your calendar is open and you’re pondering the best time for a Hawaiian getaway, November might just be the perfect fit. 

This month offers a unique opportunity to experience Maui while avoiding bustling crowds that flock to the island during peak season. With the exception of Thanksgiving week—a time when the island sees a slight uptick in visitors—November is nestled comfortably within what’s known as the shoulder season, providing a quieter and more intimate setting for your vacation.

About Author

Hi, I’m Gina — managing editor, Maui enthusiast, and human behind the keyboard here at Maui Trip Guide. When I’m not on the island at my Kihei condo, you can find me planning my next travel adventure from my home in the Pacific Northwest.

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