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Fall Months in Maui (Sept, Oct, Nov)

an orange sunset in the background

Maui In September, October & November

Maui is an amazing place to visit year around but you may find that the fall months and early winter seasons can be one of the best times of year on the island. This is because the weather cools down a bit, the crowds are small with the kids returning to school and plenty of holiday activities abound.

Halloween in Maui is a big event with the Lahaina celebration dubbed as the “Mardi Gras” of the pacific. Thanksgiving luau’s are wonderful feasts of imu (underground oven) cooked turkey and Christmas includes Santa landing on the beach in an outrigger canoe.

a herd of cattle grazing on a lush green field

Maui’s Fall Weather

Just like in most parts of the world fall in Hawaii is a transitional time for the weather. Summertime is hurricane season and though they rarely make landfall the tropical storms can cut off the tradewind flow making the weather hot and humid.

Starting in the fall the temperature can stay pretty hot at sea level through September and usually starts to cool to a perfect upper 70’s to low 80’s the first few weeks of October. Usually, by mid-October, the trade wind patterns begin to shift, and light rain can come in from the southeast. These are known as “Kona winds,” and this shift can bring showers to the dry leeward sides of the island-like Wailea in south Kihei and Kaupo along the road past Hana. The normal and persistent trade winds come out of the northeast throughout the year which brings some relief from the warm temperatures and high humidity seen during the summer months. For the most part, though the weather is ideal in the fall and can be some of the best weather seen during the year.

a giraffe standing on top of a sandy beach

This shift in seasons from summer to fall is barely noticeable at sea level in places like Kihei or Lahaina, but the higher elevations of Haleakala volcano can get downright chilly. Places like Makawao and Kula can see morning temperatures in the mid-’40s and even snow at the summit of Haleakala later in the winter months. If you’re visiting Maui in fall and plan on going to the summit of Haleakala be sure to pack some warm clothes and maybe even some gloves. Freezing temperatures at sunrise on this 10,000 ft volcano are seen throughout the year but becomes more frequent starting in the fall.

Rainfall averages start low in October with 1.2 inches and end with a yearly high of 3.35 inches in December (Kahului airport). It’s the average rainfall measured at Kahului which is mid-island and at sea level. However Maui has so many microclimates that depending on where you are there could be quite a bit less precipitation (in Kihei and Lahaina) or quite a bit more (in Hana or the slopes of Haleakala volcano).

Travel Specials

Fall is known as a shoulder season of travel to Maui. This means discounts abound in accommodations and flights to the island. With the best rates, fewer crowds and reliably great weather this is one of the best times of year to visit.

Availability is suitable for most tours and luaus, but it’s still a good idea to book early. Discounts can be found booking island activities online, but it’s also possible to call directly to inquire about last minute deals.

A good example of the available specials this time of year is the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea. They have fall couples special were guest can enjoy the best rates of the year, no resort fee, special dining, spa and boutique pricing plus plenty of complimentary activities. This is one of Maui’s 5-star resorts and fall is one of the best times to experience some affordable high-end luxury!

Things To Do

Road To Hana

a body of water surrounded by trees with Hana Highway in the background

This is one of the premier things to do while in Maui. Many venture to this side of the island every time they visit. It truly has the feeling of old, even ancient, Hawaii. It can be a daunting drive with around 600 hairpin turns and 50+ one lane bridges! There are several ways to experience this all day journey so do some research. Taking a tour doing the full loop around Haleakala is the easiest and most relaxing way. Plus it’s hard to beat having a guide sharing the history and legends of Hana.

a path surrounded by trees

If you drive yourself here are a few tips to keep in mind. You could go half way to Hana, out the Pools of Oheo in Haleakala National Park and back, or you could do the full loop past the Pools through Kaupo and upcountry Maui. It’s all good no matter how you travel this road…just give yourself plenty of time, take it slow and let the locals pass every time you see them. It’s one of the ways of spreading Aloha while visiting Hana!

Haleakala Sunrise

a path surrounded by trees

If you drive yourself here are a few tips to keep in mind. You could go half way to Hana, out the Pools of Oheo in Haleakala National Park and back, or you could do the full loop past the Pools through Kaupo and upcountry Maui. It’s all good no matter how you travel this road…just give yourself plenty of time, take it slow and let the locals pass every time you see them. It’s one of the ways of spreading Aloha while visiting Hana!

Haleakala Sunrise

an orange sunset in the background

Haleakala volcano rises over 10,000 ft above the ocean and comprises 75% of Maui’s land mass. Viewing the sunrise from the summit is another of Maui’s most popular things to do. Haleakala National Park has one of the most unique and rarest ecosystems in the world with the summit and crater resembling what the surface of the moon or mars might look like. This view becomes even more dramatic as the sun rises from the crater rim some 7 miles away. It’s a spectacular sight when it happens…the weather can be iffy at 10,000 ft no matter where you are on the planet.

a group of palm trees next to a tree

Next best thing besides sunrise is a daytime journey. There is plenty to see from this amazing volcano. Sunsets can be just as spectacular too without the 3am wake up time for sunrise. A tour here is a good idea too if you want to relax on vacation, or you can drive the 38 miles from sea level to 10,000 ft yourself. Just be prepared for slow traffic in the dark up a steep and winding road. Also keep in mind that virtually everything you encounter is either endangered or sacred to the native Hawaiians. Please learn about and respect the culture and aina (land) while in this stunning National Park.

Maui’s Ocean Activities

There are many ways to get out in the offshore waters of Maui. Marine reserves are scattered around Maui, and excellent snorkeling can be found at Honolua Bay near Kapalua, Olowalu in the south side of the West Maui Mountains, and Molokini Crater off the coast of Kihei.

Every year in the fall the humpback whales begin their journey from Alaskan waters to give birth and mate. While the winter months of December through March are their most active, younger male scout whales can start to arrive in November.

Molokini Crater sits between Maui’s south shore and the uninhabited island of Kahoolawe. Within the horseshoes shaped inlet of this tiny island lay one of the most unique reefs in the world. Tens of thousands of people snorkel and dive here every year.

a person standing next to a body of water

The large boats are usually the most affordable way to get out on the ocean here in Maui. If you’re looking for something unique or less crowded, consider a rafting tour. Another wonderful way to experience the Hawaiian culture is an outrigger canoe tour. It can be the thrill of a lifetime to have whales or dolphins right under your canoe!

Friday Town Parties

a group of people standing in front of a crowd

If it’s Aloha Friday in Maui there is a town party going on somewhere. These street parties take place in the four main towns in Maui – Wailuku (central Maui) Lahaina (west Maui) Makawao (upcountry) and Kihei (south Maui). Food carts, live music and shopping specials make these Fridays nights a great way to experience the culture and lifestyle of living in Maui!

Learn About The Culture!

Ho’olaulea

Ho’olaulea is a celebration usually associated with the Aloha Festivals that take place in the fall. Though this word is used today to describe a “Hawaiian celebration” it has a deeper meaning to native Hawaiians. The first part, ho’o, always means to do or to make. Laule’a means happiness, friendship, and peace. Thus it’s deeper meaning – “make happiness!”

Hawaiian Fall Month Names

The names of the months varied from district to district and island to island. Which is because each island and areas of an island have different environments that might be used to describe the month. Prince Kuhio gave the names below in the late 1800s:

Hilinama (Aug.-Sept.)–Sun rises due east and sets due west (fall equinox). Tubers ripen for harvest; sugar cane blossoms; vines dying off. Ula and moi season; ‘opelu fishing.

Welehu (Oct.-Nov.)–Makali’i (Pleiades) appears in the ENE sky after sunset, signifying the start of the rainy season. Makahiki, a four-month long harvest festival dedicated to Lono, the god of rain and agriculture, begins toward the end of October and continued into the new year. ‘Opelu and akule fishing.

Seasons of Ancient Hawai’i

There are two seasons in Hawai’i, the cooler wetter season called Ho’oilo, and the hotter, drier season called Kau. Both seasons last about six months. In ancient times the months were marked by the appearance of various stars and constellations in the eastern sky at sunset.

Hawaiian Rain Names

The ancient Hawaiians had over 200 names for rain. Each name is very descriptive and highly specific. It is a wonderful example of how attuned and connected these ancient peoples were to their environment. These words distinguished the types of rain by its many attributes: color, intensity, duration, what times they arrived, the angles or paths of rainfall. Rain names were also often linked to a place or area.

Events Of The Fall Months

Fall is one of the most active times of year on Maui for events. The holiday season is filled with lots of Hawaiian culture as well as the many cultures represented in Hawaii’s melting pot of peoples. Here is a sampling of what to do in Maui during this beautiful and fun time of year…

September Events

Festivals of Aloha

The Festivals of Aloha span the months of September to October and is a celebration of the Hawaiian culture. Throughout Maui the tradition of Ho’olaule’a celebrations will be on display to honor Native Hawaiian culture to be passed down from generation to generation. It is the perfect time to learn about the Hawaiian culture that brought Aloha to the world while becoming “Hawaiian at Heart”!

The Festivals of Aloha begin in September and culminate in heavenly Hana in mid-October. The theme of the festivals for 2017 is “Aloha ka Ho’i a ka Holokahiki” which means “beloved is the sailors return home.” To commemorate the return of the Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule’a and her Maui sister ship Hikianalia from their around the world voyage that covered more than 40,000 nautical miles! The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage of Hokule’a began in 2013 and returned in June of 2017 completing a remarkable journey. The canoe was welcomed in over 150 ports of call in 18 nations, often greeted by the native indigenous people of the area include native Americans in New York Harbor among many others. The mission of the voyage was to Malama (take care of) the earth while passing the torch of ancient Polynesian navigation to the next generation.

Official Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style ribbons are $5 each and may provide discounted admission to many events. For information on purchasing a button, call Tina Thompson (808) 268-9285 or visit http://www.festivalsofaloha.com

Maui Ukulele Festival Sept 29th 2019

Early explorers arriving in Hawaii marveled at the singing, dancing, and beautiful voices of the native Hawaiian people who often sang in their daily lives and at festivals honoring the gods. Hawaiians quickly adapted to instruments like guitar and ukulele. Today, live Hawaiian music is everywhere, not just in Hawai’i but throughout the world. Maui Arts and Cultural Centers Ukulele Festival is a yearly chance to see and hear some of the best Hawaiian music artists alive today. It is also a chance to learn how to play the ukulele and slack key guitar with these talented masters!

Malama Wao Akua – Native Species Juried Art Exhibition Sept 15th thru Nov 7th 2019

The East Maui Watershed Partnership (EMWP) is holding their 14th annual juried art exhibition at Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center. The focus of the show is to raise awareness about native species on Maui Nui. By offering several educational opportunities in conjunction with the show, we hope that artists, young and old, of Maui Nui, can explore our watersheds and express the value these species have within our daily life.

Zeptember – Sept 21st 2019

Wailea will host a tribute to one of the world’s all-time favorite rock bands Led Zeppelin! In its 9th year, this concert will feature dozens of Maui musicians playing Zeppelin tunes at Wailea’s Blue golf courses Irish pub Mulligans on the Blue. This local-favorite venue will rock till the wee hours with some of Maui’s best players and singers! Check out their Facebook page for details…

October Events

East Maui Aloha Festival Oct 19th thru 26th 2019 in Hana

It can be said that Hana is one of the most authentic and unspoiled Hawaiian locations in the state. It is only fitting that the Festivals of Aloha finishes it’s nearly month-long celebrations in this amazing Maui community! Lasting a full seven days the activities include a parade with a royal court, Pa’u (horseback) riders, floral floats, and vintage cars. Each day and evenings host events that include fishing at Hana Bay, Theater productions featuring Queen Ka’ahumanu who was born in Hana in 1768, play day games for kids, a full Hawaiian food luncheon and hula performances. Contests include Aloha shirt and Mu’u competitions, traditional Hawaiian foods cooking contest like ulu (sweet potato), poke and pahole (fern), a talent show for ages 5 thru 18, a cow pasture golf tournament (bring 3 clubs and 9 junk balls) and finishes the week with a “Taste of Hana” closing Luau featuring Kealiʻi Reichel with Hula Halau Ke’alaokamaile! For schedule of events, visitwww.festivalsofaloha.com, and click on Hana Schedule of Events.

Maui County Fair Oct 3th thru 6th 2019

Held in Kahului at the War Memorial Stadium, this county fair is in its 96th year and has all the trappings of a country-style fair. Along with a full assortment of thrill rides, cotton candy and games for the family there is also a chili cook-off, pie-making contest, livestock, and poultry judging and the always popular “Baby of the Year” beauty contest. Plenty of vendors with locally made on Maui items are present, and lots of live local entertainment round out one of the most popular local events of the year in Maui!

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Oct 5th & 27th 2019

This delicious festival takes place over three weekends on multiple islands. Over 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers will showcase cooking demos, wine tastings, exclusive dining, and unique culinary excursions make this a special event that any foodie would cherish.

a rainbow over a body of water

XTERRA World Championship Oct 27th 2019 – 5k & 10k benefit runs

Race on Sunday (4-5 hour race)

The Ironman World Championship has a longstanding tradition on the Big Island. It’s a grueling sport that takes years of training to compete in this world championship. Same goes for the world’s premier off-road triathlon, the XTERRA World Championships held in Maui. This event features a 1-mile rough water swim, a 20-mile mountain bike course and a 6 ½ mile trail run described as a “tropical rollercoaster.”

Over 800 athletes from 28 countries and 42 U.S. states will compete in this extreme triathlon through Maui’s ocean, pineapple fields, and forests. It all takes place on Maui’s beautiful and rugged northwest coast of Kapalua in and around the Ritz Carlton Resort and DT Flemings beach.

It’s an exciting event to experience whether you’re a spectator or competitor. There is also a 5k and 10k benefit run for those who enjoy running without the grueling part. There is also a chance to experience a truly “Hawaiian moment” at the Hawaiian cleansing ceremony held on D.T. Fleming beach at sunrise. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches on this side of the island and should produce some real “chicken skin” moments!

Halloween in Maui

a group of people posing for the camera

This is the one of the biggest holiday celebration of the year in Maui. This year the holiday falls on a Monday, but there is still plenty to do even though it’s a school night. Lahaina is always the hot spot for Halloween with the “mardis gras of the pacific” in full swing after sundown. Check out our Halloween Blog Post for more detailed info or the Lahaina Town website.

Kahului

If you’re on the other side of the island the kids can enjoy some trick or treating at Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului. It’s family fun including a Keiki (kids) costume contest, face painting, balloons, and magic! Treats at participating merchants include a chance to win a $100 mall gift card!

While you’re there go check out the history presentations at the Story of Hawaii Museum on the upper floor. It’s a great way to learn about the culture of Maui and Hawai’i in general!

November Events

Made in Maui County Festival Nov 2nd & 3rd 2019

As one of the largest locally made product shows of the year, the Made in Maui County festival features a wide variety of products. Held at the MACC (Maui Arts and Cultural Center), it’s an excellent chance to enjoy products like produce, food, arts, crafts, jewelry, fashions, gifts, and collectibles. It’s a full day of shopping, demonstrations, prize drawings and entertainment!

Restaurant Week Wailea Nov 3rd thru 9th 2019

With over 20 restaurants participating, Wailea’s restaurant week will highlight the resort areas celebrity chefs who will be creating delectable three-course meals. Special prices range from $29 to 59 dollars depending on the restaurant, with some locations offering discounted wine pairings. This event benefits the Maui Food Bank, so while you’re enjoying the award-winning culinary talent you’ll also be helping local families!

a car driving down a dirt road

Maui Nui Botanical Garden Nov 3th 2019 9-12am – Arbor Day 1000 Tree giveaway

This botanical garden located in Kahului across from the war memorial stadium grounds and every year they give away 1000 native Hawaiian trees for Arbor Day! Sponsored by Maui Electric Company and Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program, this event will give out one tree per person any age. Experts will be on hand to recommend the best native tree for each area of the island. The event will feature lectures and activities so even if you’re visiting you can learn about Maui’s endangered trees and the incredible biodiversity of our beautiful island!

The Garden is located at 150 Kanaloa Avenue in Kahului, right across from the War Memorial Stadium.

The Hawaii International Film Festival  November 21st thru 24th 2019

This Honolulu based festival hosts emerging cinematic talent from the Asia-Pacific region and this year there will be four days of screenings and shows at the McCoy Studio Theater located at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. Documentaries, premier and experimental films as well as film shorts and animation/digital works will delight attendees while helping to enrich and broaden support for Asian and Pacific films.

Film and show times TBA

Tickets – $12 plus applicable fees

Thanksgiving Day in Maui

a sunset over water with a mountain in the background

There are so many wonderful things to do during this holiday in Maui that we created a blog post for it all it’s own. Check out all the wonderful ways of enjoying this holiday while on the island including a delicious Hawaiian turkey recipe! Check it out HERE

Whichever fall month you are visiting Maui there is always plenty going on, so remember to travel pono, enjoy the culture and stay safe!

Aloha Nui Loa

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