When are the best seasons to visit in Waikiki? If you’ve narrowed down your selection of islands and Waikiki is your destination, you’ve made an excellent choice! It has excellent weather around the year.
Maybe that’s why almost half of all visitors to Hawaii choose Waikiki. While visiting Waikiki, remember to see the best places in Waikiki, the best hotels in Waikiki, and the best restaurants in Waikiki.
The best time to visit Waikiki, considering the weather, demand for accommodations, and also how crowded the island is – are the months of early April, May, September, and early October. Some call these Waikiki’s ‘off-season periods’ or the ‘shoulder months.’
If your personal schedule and availability steer you in a particular direction, go with it. In any case, if your timing is flexible, you should consider mood and time. This guide will help you choose the best seasons to visit in Waikiki.
Weather & Climate of Waikiki
Average Waikiki temperatures vary very little. Considering the humidity, temperatures feel hot for about half the year and otherwise mild, with a very low chance of rain throughout the year. Temperatures are temperate, in the 52nd percentile for pleasant weather.
If you’re looking for a warm time to visit Waikiki, the hottest months are August, September, and July. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid-August, where highs are regularly around 89°F, at night the temperatures rarely drop below 75°F.
If you prefer dry weather, the best months to visit Waikiki are June, August, and July, with the lowest chance of significant rainfall. March is the driest month, with very few rainy days. On the other hand, late January and early February are the wettest times, with an average of 1 day of significant precipitation during the week of January 29th.
Waikiki has some high-humidity months, with other comfortably humid months. The least humid month is June (54.6%), and the most humid month is December (64.9%).
Waikiki typically experiences moderate winds. The windiest months are June, August, and July. In June, the average wind speed is around 10.1 knots. The strongest sustained winds occur in mid-June, reaching an average of 17.6 knots, classified as a “fresh breeze.”
Best Time to Visit Waikiki
The ideal time to visit Waikiki, taking into account weather, accommodation demand, and crowd levels, is during early April, May, September, and early October.
This Best Seasons to Visit in Waikiki guide will let you know by month by month the timing of visiting:
Late December-early April
This peak season attracts surfers in droves thanks to its righteous swells and highly regarded surfing competitions. Can’t-miss winter events include the Volcom Pipe Pro and Da Hui Pipeline Warriors. These months (plus May) are also the best times to spot humpback whales and daytime highs rarely stray from the low 80s. But remember to pack an umbrella since rain showers are common. During winter, accommodations can be more expensive and hard to find, so finalize hotel bookings months in advance.
Key Events for this time period:
- Hawaii Bowl (December)
- Sony Open in Hawaii (January)
- Volcom Pipe Pro (January-February)
- Da Hui Pipeline Warriors (February)
- Honolulu Festival (March)
- Prince Kuhio Day (March)
Between the end of the surf season and summer, fewer tourists visit the island, reducing rates. Plus, attractions in and around Honolulu are less crowded. Visitors may even see migrating humpback whales in April and May. Average spring temperatures hover in the high 60s to high 80s. However, unlike fall, this shoulder season rarely sees rain and hosts few festivals.
Key Events for this time period:
- Lei Day Celebration (May)
- Lantern Floating Hawaii (May)
Once mid-June rolls around, more travelers head to the island to take advantage of its superb weather. Temps generally sit in the mid-70s to high 80s, and rain showers are unlikely. But Waikiki’s phenomenal weather comes at a cost: Hotels and airlines are charging more in the summer season. Visitors must book their rooms and flights well in advance to ensure availability. It’s also the best seasons to visit in Waikiki.
Key Events for this time period:
- Kamehameha Day Celebrations (June)
- Hawaii State Farm Fair (July)
- Prince Lot Hula Festival (July)
- Statehood Day (August)
- Duke’s OceanFest (August)
As temperatures begin to (slightly) fall, so do room rates. During this shoulder season, Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument are less crowded. In the fall, Waikiki hosts events centered around food, fashion, film, and Hawaiian heritage. However, rain chances increase as autumn progresses. In November and December, the North Shore swells with surfers competing in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Key Events for this time period:
- Aloha Festivals (September)
- Hawaiian Airlines Moloka’i Hoe (October)
- Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (October-November)
- HIC Pro Sunset Beach (October-November)
- Hawaii International Film Festival (November)
- HONOLULU Fashion Week (November)
- Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November-December)
Waikiki Travel Experience by Season
In Waikiki, there are 4 seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. However, it takes time to determine when the worst and best seasons to visit in Waikiki. It depends on your comfort, free time, and budget.
This best seasons to visit in Waikiki guide will let you know which season is best for what:
- Spring Season for Travel in Waikiki
- Summer Season for Travel in Waikiki
- Fall Season for Travel in Waikiki
- Winter Season for Travel in Waikiki
Spring Season for Travel in Waikiki
During spring in Waikiki, the weather is warm, with highs ranging from 86.5°F (30.3°C) to 80.5°F (26.9°C), getting slightly warmer in the later months. Rain is infrequent, with about 2 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest time for tourism, making it a great time to explore and enjoy activities.
Waikiki is one of the most popular for spring break destinations for everyone! You’ll also find more of a “cooling down” period at night than in the coming months. It is the best seasons to visit in Waikiki.
Spring slots right after Waikiki’s high tourist season, meaning crowds and prices will settle back down to reasonable levels. Between comfortable temperatures, less rain, and budget-friendly fares, the spring shoulder season is ideal for travel to Waikiki.
Summer Season for Travel in Waikiki
Summer in Waikiki may sound like a great time to kick back. But this isn’t the case unless you’re used to extreme tropical climates.
The summer months have very comfortable weather with warm temperatures. These months see the least precipitation with about 1 day per month. June – August is the slow season for tourism in Waikiki, so lodging and other accommodations may cost less.
Summer in Waikiki can be uncomfortably hot and humid, especially if you plan to be outdoors or engage in strenuous activities like hiking. It’s also the peak of the hurricane season, although hurricanes are not a major concern for Oahu.
Despite the heat, the summer months constitute the dry season, with minimal rainfall expected.
Fall Season for Travel in Waikiki
Fall in Honolulu is a pleasant and affordable time to visit. The rainfall increases, but it helps reduce the humidity without causing heavy downpours.
Fall daily highs range from 89°F and 82.7°F, which will feel very enjoyable given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows typically: 2 to 4 days per month. Due to the weather, tourism is slow during these months, so hotels may be affordable.
Fall temperatures hover in the moderate to mid-80s, which is the right “tropical” weather for the average tourist: Not too hot and certainly not cool by any means.
The end of hurricane season extends into fall, but most tropical storms occur before September. This shouldn’t deter you from booking a vacation in these months, especially in late fall. However, it’s always helpful knowledge to keep in your traveler’s toolkit.
Winter Season for Travel in Waikiki
Don’t expect cold weather during Honolulu’s “winter” season, but be prepared for rain. From November to March, it’s the rainy season with as many as 15 days per month having rain. Keep an eye on the weather forecast!
The weather is just right this time of year in Waikiki for warm-weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 82.5°F (28.1°C) and 80.4°F (26.9°C). On average, it rains or snows 2 to 4 times per month. These times of year are the busiest for tourists.
Surprisingly, despite less-than-ideal weather, winter is the most popular time for tourists to head to Waikiki. Because of the overlap of school holidays, winter is a popular time for families with young children.
If traveling on a strict budget or navigating tourist crowds isn’t your thing, avoiding the winter season wouldn’t be the wrong idea.
Best Time to Visit Waikiki to See the North Shore
This is a trick question since the North Shore offers completely different experiences based on the season.
In summer, most parts of the North Shore are generally calm, calling for long beach days, swimming at Waimea Bay, and safe, family-friendly snorkeling in Shark’s Cove.
In winter, the North Shore becomes one of the most iconic surf destinations in the world. It welcomes massive swells that make getting into the water less realistic for the public. Though swimming is possible at some locations when the conditions cooperate, the swells and currents are much more pronounced and consistent in winter.
So, when to visit the North Shore really depends on what you want to experience.
- Do you want to see the big swells and the best surfers? Then it would be best if you visited during wintertime. (If you visit in winter, remember that you can find good swimming in other parts of the island.)
- Or did you want a better chance of floating on your back on a lazy day in the water? In that case, summer is your season!
- Spring and fall bring a mix of conditions on the North Shore, but are generally pleasant and good for swimming.
On the North Shore of Oʻahu, swimming, and snorkeling are better in the summer, while surfing dominates in the winter. Anytime you visit, always swim at lifeguarded beaches and check with them before entering the water.
Best Time to Visit Waikiki to be a Beach Bum
Summertime is the answer!
Beach days are readily available in Hawaiʻi during the summer, with long, sunny days, generally calm ocean conditions, and much less rain than in winter.
One caveat to remember is those sunny summer days can be quite hot. As the temperatures near the 90s in some areas. If you want to sit on the beach but prefer cooler temperatures, visiting in the spring or fall could be a better option when the days are still pleasant but not so hot.
Waikiki Beach is best in the summer. If you prefer cooler beach temperatures, go in spring or fall.
Best Time to Visit Waikiki to See Waterfalls
Want to see Waikiki’s waterfalls gushing at their peak? Visit in the mid-to-late winter, after the early-winter rain allows the rivers to swell. Conditions on hiking trails during this time can be wet and muddy (bring a change of clothes), but it’s worth seeing the immense power on display.
As one of the largest islands in the United States, Waikiki has tons to offer anyone who visits. Waikiki waterfalls are beautiful, powerful, and full of life. But only a few waterfalls on Waikiki are easily accessible, including Waimea Falls, Manoa Falls, Likeke Falls, and Jackass Ginger Pool. While some require a quick hike, others can take a couple of hours to reach, like Maunawili Falls and Laie Falls.
If you are feeling adventurous and up for hiking, a waterfall hike is waiting for you! Most Waikiki waterfalls are tucked deep inside the rainforest and cannot be viewed from scenic lookout points.
But after heavy rainfall, one visible hillside waterfall is from a distance. It is as you drive up the Pali Hwy towards Kailua.
When to Visit Waikiki for Surfing?
The best time to visit Waikiki for surfing depends on your experience level, but you can find waves at any time of the year. Remember, generally speaking; it’s the south shore in the summer and the north shore in the winter.
Surfing is available anytime on Oʻahu, but there are variations to know.
- In summer, the south shore is at its best, receiving consistent waves that range from beginner to expert along Waikīkī and the Honolulu shorelines.
- In winter, the North Shore receives the bulk of the swell, offering some beginner opportunities but mostly intermediate or expert waves.
- Shoulder seasons are more muddled in what they offer, with less consistency and more variation. Beginner surfers should not worry too much about the time of year, as “learning waves” are available all year round. Intermediate and expert surfers will want to be more picky and investigate the specific breaks they want to surf.
Cheapest Time to Visit Waikiki
The cheapest time to visit Waikiki is from September to mid-December. April to June are also affordable times to visit Waikiki but fall to early winter has the best prices.
2 primary reasons for these low prices: the weather during this time frame and the low number of people that travel. In September, fall rolls in, and with that comes cooler temperatures.
Rather than the upper 80s, cooler temperatures mean temperatures in the 70s and low 80s. But dark clouds and possible rain showers can come along with cooler temperatures.
Waikiki’s rainy season runs from November to March. During these months, moisture gravitates towards Waikiki and the rest of the Hawaiian islands. It means rain will likely keep you inside and away from outdoor activities.
Hurricane season in Waikiki is from June to November, and there is a possibility of hurricanes during this time. The weather during this period can be unpredictable. Additionally, from September to mid-December, tourist visits to Waikiki are less common because schools are back in session.
With fewer tourists visiting from September to mid-December, you can find excellent deals on airfare and hotels without much effort. Less demand leads to affordable prices!
Least Busy Time to Visit Waikiki
The least busy times to visit Waikiki are April to mid-June and September to mid-December. These months are considered shoulder seasons, between the peak season and the off-season.
Because of this, fewer people are around, especially other tourists and travelers. Most people only have time off in the summer and around Christmas, so they don’t usually travel from April to mid-June or September to mid-December.
It is especially true for families with schoolchildren. You’ll still see some tourists during these months, but doing things won’t be a hassle. It’s just right!
Smaller crowds are a perk because you won’t have to wait in lines or feel squished like sardines inside buildings. But, smaller crowds also mean lower plane ticket and hotel prices!
You might even get discounts on tickets for events and tours on Waikiki. Check online before you travel! Surprisingly, April through June and September through December have the best weather. These months are less crowded since many people don’t have time off during this period. Enjoy a well-deserved vacation and save some money while you’re at it!
Worst Time to Visit Waikiki
Summer is one of the worst times to visit Waikiki. It’s peak tourist season, and the weather is hot and humid. If you dislike big crowds and sweltering temperatures, avoid Waikiki during the summer.
Another challenging time to visit in Waikiki is during Hurricane Season. While hurricanes are relatively rare in Waikiki, they can still disrupt travel plans. If you’re planning to travel to Waikiki, it’s best to avoid hurricane season.
Lastly, winter can be tricky in Waikiki. The weather is usually pleasant, but there’s a risk of occasional showers and strong trade winds. If you want smooth sailing on your vacation, avoid these times of the year. Plan your trip for a more favorable time.
In conclusion, Waikiki offers something special every season, making it a year-round paradise for travelers. Each season brings its unique charm and experiences, catering to different preferences and interests.
Regardless of the best seasons to visit in Waikiki, its beautiful beaches, cultural experiences, and aloha spirit remain constant. Whether you seek thrilling water sports, peaceful relaxation, or a taste of Hawaiian culture and cuisine, Waikiki promises an unforgettable tropical getaway. It will leave you with cherished memories to last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
I hope you like my “Best Seasons to Visit in Waikiki” article. It will help you to plan your trip to Waikiki. Here are some faqs for you:
Visitors flock to Hawaii’s warm, sunny beaches year round. Although Hawaii’s rainy season is November through March, showers can fall anytime, mostly on the islands’ windward (northeastern) side.
Waikiki is a great destination all year round, but some months are more popular than others. The busiest time is from mid-December to March, with peak travel around the winter holidays, from Christmas to New Year.
February and March are the cheapest time to visit Waikiki. December is the most expensive due to the holiday period, and January is also pricey.
Waikiki can be explored in two days. That will give you time to enjoy Waikiki restaurants, walk around boutiques and shopping centers, and play at Waikiki Beach.