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When traveling to the paradise islands of Hawaii, the last thing you want is for rain to put a damper on your tropical vacation. But even during Hawaii’s occasional rainy spells, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Visit indoor attractions like museums, aquariums, shopping centers, movie theaters, botanical gardens, or regional craft fairs. Or relax at your hotel with Hawaiian spa treatments, a good book, or in-room dining.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide extensive details on over 15+ indoor and rainy day appropriate things to do in the Hawaiian islands when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Indoor Attractions and Activities


Hawaii has several interesting museums worth checking out on a rainy day. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu is known as Hawaii’s State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Wander through Hawaiian Hall to learn about the islands’ origins or explore the fascinating Science Adventure Center (

On Maui, the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum covers the lengthy history of the sugar industry while the Maui Ocean Center ( is a spectacular aquarium housing Hawaii’s marine life.


Besides the incredible Maui Ocean Center, Oahu has the fantastic Waikiki Aquarium situated on 2.5 tropical acres near Waikiki Beach. See Hawaiian monk seals, jellyfish, colorful reef fish and more at this educational site (

The Big Island also has a small but delightful aquarium at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center where you can feed tilapia and see turtles.

Shopping Malls & Centers

If you want to indulge in some retail therapy during wet weather, every island has large indoor malls and shopping centers. Top options include Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center in Honolulu with luxury stores like Tiffany & Co. For high-end brands on Maui, check out The Shops at Wailea.

On Kauai, the main shopping destinations are the Kukui Grove Shopping Center and the Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa.

Hawaiian Botanical Gardens

Rain showers make botanical gardens shine with verdant colors. On the Big Island, Liliuokalani Gardens is beautiful with views of Hilo Bay while Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden near Hilo has peaceful walking trails with waterfalls.

For exceptional gardens on Kauai, try NTBG’s McBryde and Allerton Gardens or Limahuli Garden with eye-catching native plants.

Movie Theaters

Catching the latest flick at a movie theater is a classic rainy day activity in Hawaii. Most islands have modern multi-screen cinemas like Regal theaters or Consolidated theaters. For a unique viewing experience, Oahu has the documentary-focused Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Museum of Art and Kauai has the historic Waimea Theater showing indie films in the heart of Waimea town.

Local Craft Fairs & Markets

Wandering colorful local markets stocking Hawaii-made goods is enjoyable on wet days. The island of Hawaii hosts regular farmers’ markets and art/craft fairs statewide nearly each day of the week. Top spots on Oahu include the KCC Saturday Farmer’s Market with over 100 local vendors.

The Maui Swap Meet draws hundreds of stalls every Saturday while the Kauai Community Market occurs in multiple locations during the rainy months offering handmade Hawaiian crafts and foods.

Rainy Day Hotel Activities

Get a Hawaiian Massage or Spa Treatment

What better way to spend a rainy afternoon in Hawaii than by pampering yourself with a relaxing massage or spa treatment? Many hotels in Hawaii have excellent spas onsite that provide authentic Hawaiian massage techniques like lomilomi that incorporate smooth, flowing motions and pressure to unwind tight muscles.

Get wrapped up in a cocoon of warmth while steamed in an herbal mixture during a Hawaiian steam wrap. Or opt for body scrubs made from ingredients like coconut, ginger, and macadamia nuts to rejuvenate skin.

According to the Global Wellness Institute’s Hawaii Wellness Tourism report, wellness tourism is a $1.5 billion industry in Hawaii, with over 9 million wellness visits by travelers each year who partake in spa treatments, yoga, meditation, and more.

So you’ll be in good company booking a rainy day spa session!

Cozy Up with a Good Book in the Hotel Lobby

What could be more relaxing on a rainy day than curling up in a comfy chair with a good book? Luckily, most hotels in Hawaii have inviting lobby areas filled with plush sofas and chairs perfect for reading.

Listen to the peaceful sound of falling rain outside while immersing yourself in a novel or enjoy a cup of Kona coffee from the hotel lounge while flipping through a magazine.

Some hotels, like the Kahala Hotel on Oahu, have a resident cat that may even come over to snuggle with you while you read! And keep an eye out for complimentary treats like hot coffee, tea, and cookies to sweeten your rainy day reading time.

Catch Up on Relaxation with In-Room Dining

Ordering room service on a rainy day is the ultimate way to catch up on relaxation in the comfort of your hotel room. Peruse menus offering Hawaiian fusion cuisine or fresh locally caught seafood. Or select classic comfort foods like burgers, pizza, mac and cheese, and more.

While appetizing aromas fill your room, queue up a movie on the TV, sink into the cushy mattress, and dig into your meal.

In 2021, statistics showed that over $7 million was spent on in-room dining across hotels in Hawaii as visitors opted to stay in and savor a meal in their rooms. Make the most of a rainy day by trying this popular hotel activity yourself – just be sure to order dessert too!

Rainproof Excursions and Tours

Submarine & Atlantis Adventures

Going underwater in a submarine or taking an Atlantis submarine tour is a unique way to explore Hawaii’s incredible marine life, even when it’s raining above. These high-tech submarines have large windows so you can gaze at coral reefs and schools of tropical fish.

Some tours even take you to see sunken ships and planes! With the submarine protecting you from the elements, it’s an awesome rainy day activity for the whole family.

Whale Watching Cruises

Hawaii’s humpback whales make their annual migration to the islands between December and April. Rain or shine, these gentle giants put on quite a show breaching, tail slapping and spouting. Whale watching cruises operate daily during peak season, allowing you to spot whales from covered, rain-proof boats.

Bundle up if needed and enjoy memorable encounters with these impressive marine mammals.

Helicopter Tours with Doors

Soar above the lush green valleys and towering waterfalls of Hawaii’s interior on an exhilarating helicopter tour. Unlike small planes, helicopters give you unobstructed views through oversized windows or bubble-style doors.

Fly above the rain clouds to witness Hawaii’s stunning landscape from an entirely new perspective. Professional pilots expertly navigate unpredictable weather conditions to ensure smooth, safe tours.

Zip-lining Over Waterfalls & Forests

Zip-lining through Hawaii’s rainforests is an adrenaline-pumping adventure you can enjoy no matter the weather. Specialized rain gear keeps you dry as you soar over lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls and rainbows on lines stretching up to half a mile long.

Learning about native plants and spotting colorful birds are added bonuses. With knowledgeable guides and state-of-the-art equipment, zip-lining is both breathtaking and safe in Hawaii’s tropical downpours.

Wet Weather Dining Options

Upscale Resort Restaurants with a View

Even when the rain clouds roll in, Hawaii’s upscale resort restaurants provide breathtaking ocean views paired with creative cuisine prepared by world-class chefs. For example, the Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki offers an award-winning Sunday brunch buffet with stations for made-to-order omelets, carving meats, and fusion preparations combining flavors from across the Pacific.

Their dinner menu focuses on locally-sourced ingredients enhanced by contemporary cooking techniques, and romantic tables right alongside floor-to-ceiling windows let diners keep gazing at the sea no matter the weather.

Casual Eateries Specializing in Local Cuisine

Craving island comfort food? Hawaii’s casual eateries dish up staple local cuisine like saimin noodle soup, loco moco (a hamburger patty and fried egg over rice), and fresh poke (raw tuna salad). These no-fuss spots give visitors a taste of beloved dishes residents eat at home.

Even fast food chains like McDonald’s add a Hawaiian spin by offering saimin, spam musubi (a popular snack featuring grilled spam over rice wrapped in nori seaweed), and tropical Dole pineapple soft serve for dessert.

Food Courts & Buffets

When showers hit, head indoors to one of Hawaii’s epic food courts or buffets. The Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki transforms into an international food fest with 20+ vendors dishing up everything from ramen to Cuban sandwiches.

Those vacationing on Maui can explore dozens of cuisine styles at the Grand Wailea resort’s expansive buffet – diners especially love the interactive cooking stations where chefs prepare made-to-order pasta and Mexican specialties right before their eyes.

With so many options in one place, nobody will leave hungry!


As you can see, a little liquid sunshine doesn’t have dampen your Hawaiian vacation. With endless indoor attractions, relaxing hotel amenities, protected excursions, and delicious dining options, there are still loads of memorable activities to enjoy across the islands.

So next time you visit Hawaii and encounter a few passing showers, consult this guide on the many ways to make the most of it!

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