Comparing Popular Beach Destinations

Map of the United States

Is Maui The Warm Water Champion?

Maui, Florida, and Southern California are all known for their balmy surf and fabulous beaches. But not all warm water is created equal.

With temperatures that stay between 75 and 80 degrees all year, Maui is by far the most reliable place in the U.S. to dive, dunk, swim, and snorkel in comfort.

Maui Kayak in Ocean Rainbow

Summer, Summer, Summertime…

With its bathtub temperatures that reach nearly 90 degrees, Florida makes a run at the warm water championships in the summertime. But in winter (scroll down for the winter graph), the Sunshine State’s water temps plummet to 63 degrees—a level you’d need a wetsuit to enjoy!

Summer Temperature Graph

Couple Snorkeling in Maui Oceans

Maui—A Winter Wonderland

While Florida’s ocean temperatures drop as much as 25 degrees from August to January, Maui stays within 5 degrees of its highs year-round! That means that during the holidays, Maui visitors swim in ocean waters that average a comfortable 75 degrees.

Winter Water Temperature in Maui

California Isn’t Even In The Running

If you listen to The Beach Boys or Katy Perry, you’ll get the impression that Southern California is the warm water capital of the United States. But Los Angeles’ ocean water rarely rises above 65 degrees, and in winter it’s a withering 55!

People on Stand Up Paddle Board in Maui

Skin Temp Matters!

The temperature of your skin determines, in part, how shocked you will feel once you get in the water. If there’s a huge difference between the air and water temps, you’ll feel a jolt when you jump in!

Places like Southern California have 20 degrees difference between water and air temps in summer (85-65). That’s a huge shock to the system!

Maui’s water only changes 5 degrees all year long, and its air temps are equally steady. Snorkeling in Maui is an enjoyable experience because the temperature of the air and water are only about 5 degrees apart.

Family ready to snorkel on maui at Black Rock

Steady As She Goes—Maui Wins The Race

Maui is, by far, America’s most reliable place to find warm water because its temperatures are steady year-round. Whether you’re exploring an underwater universe of tropical fish and green sea turtles, or just splashing around in the surf at Ka’anapali Beach, Maui’s the place to be if you’re looking for a comfortable place to swim in the ocean!

Beautiful Black Rock Maui

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Turtle in water with snorkelers Maui