Travel Tips

5 min read

Best Time to Visit Honolulu: Save Big & Skip Crowds

Planning a trip to Honolulu? You're in for a treat! This sunny paradise offers stunning beaches, amazing food, and lots of fun activities. But when's the best time to go? Let's dive in and find out.

Tobi Miles
April 2, 2024
Best Time to Visit Honolulu: Save Big & Skip Crowds

Weather in Honolulu is pretty awesome year-round, but there are definitely some months that stand out. Whether you're looking to catch the perfect wave or avoid the crowds, we've got you covered. Keep reading to discover the ideal time to make your Honolulu adventure unforgettable.

Key Takeaways

  • The best time to visit Honolulu varies based on activities and interests. Winter is ideal for surfing and whale watching, while spring offers perfect conditions for hiking and attending the Honolulu Festival.
  • December to February serves surf enthusiasts with big waves, especially on the North Shore, while March to August offers gentler waves suitable for beginners.
  • Mid-April to early June and September to mid-December are the off-peek seasons for snagging travel and accommodation deals, offering a more authentic and less crowded experience.
  • For hiking enthusiasts, winter and spring provide lush trails and waterfall opportunities, with cooler temperatures making the hikes more comfortable.
  • The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in October and cultural festivals like the King Kamehameha Celebration in June highlight Honolulu’s vibrant local culture and cuisine.
  • Planning your visit around these insights ensures an unforgettable Honolulu experience, balancing adventure, culture, and relaxation with optimal weather conditions and fewer crowds.

Weather Overview of Honolulu

Deciding when to visit Honolulu might seem tricky with its year-round sunny skies, but knowing the city's weather nuances can help you pick the best time to visit for the experience you're seeking.

Winter (December to February)

Winter brings slightly cooler weather and more rain, but don't let that deter you. With average temperatures hovering around 77°F during the day, it's still warm enough for beach days. Plus, the rain often comes in quick, light showers that clear up fast. This is also the peak season for surfing, especially on the North Shore, where international competitions take place.

  • Typical Weather: Mild and slightly rainy
  • Recommended Activities: Surfing competitions, whale watching

Spring (March to May)

As spring unfolds, the city sees less rain and even more agreeable temperatures, ranging from 75°F to 85°F. It's a fantastic time for hiking and exploring the island's natural beauty as everything is lush and green. The Honolulu Festival in March is a cultural extravaganza, showcasing art, music, and dance, making it a highlight of the season.

  • Typical Weather: Less rainy, perfect for outdoor activities
  • Recommended Activities: Hiking, Honolulu Festival

Summer (June to August)

Summer is all about sunny days, with temperatures often climbing above 85°F. It's the best time of year to visit if you're looking for beach time, water sports, and outdoor dining. Though it's technically the start of the hurricane season, storms are rare. Instead, enjoy the vibrant King Kamehameha Celebration in June or the Prince Lot Hula Festival.

  • Typical Weather: Hot and sunny
  • Recommended Activities: Beach activities, cultural festivals

Fall (September to November)

Fall in Honolulu is a sweet spot for visitors. The summer crowds have thinned out, but the weather remains warm and inviting, typically between 77°F and 85°F. It's an ideal time for those looking to enjoy the outdoors without the hustle and bustle. Plus, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in October is a must for foodies.

  • Typical Weather: Warm and less crowded
  • Recommended Activities: Beach days, Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Best Months to Visit for Surfing

If you're eyeing Honolulu for its world-renowned waves, timing is everything. Surfing is a hallmark of the Hawaiian experience, and knowing when to visit can make all the difference in catching those perfect swells.

Winter: Prime Time for Big Waves

Winter months, specifically November through February, are the best time of year to visit if you're looking to experience the legendary North Shore waves. This period sees the largest swells, making it an ideal time for experienced surfers. The weather is cooler but still comfortable, with temperatures ranging from 65-80°F (18-27°C). Not only will you get to experience the thrill of surfing, but you'll also have the chance to watch world-class competitions. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, held from mid-November to late December, is a must-see, drawing surfers and spectators from around the globe.

Spring and Summer: Ideal for Beginners

For those just dipping their toes into surfing, the spring and summer months offer more forgiving conditions. From March through August, the waves on Honolulu's South Shore become the main attraction. These waves are smaller and gentler, perfect for beginners or those looking to enjoy a more laid-back surfing experience. Surf schools and lessons are abundant during this time, providing ample opportunity to learn from the best. The water temperatures are warmer, hovering around 75-80°F (24-27°C), making for comfortable, long sessions in the ocean.

Fall: A Mix of Opportunities

September and October, the transition months into winter, present a unique mix of conditions suitable for all skill levels. During this time, you'll find that both the North and South Shores have days where the waves are just right, offering a blend of both challenging and beginner-friendly surfing experiences. The crowds are thinner, too, giving you more room to catch waves.

Visiting Honolulu for surfing means immersing yourself in a pivotal part of Hawaiian culture. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, there's a season and a wave waiting for you. Remember, the best time to visit for surfing is not just about the waves; it’s about the experience.

Ideal Time for Hiking Enthusiasts

When to Visit Honolulu for Hiking Adventures
If you're all about trails, views, and getting that heart rate up in the great outdoors, timing your visit to Honolulu with the hiking season in mind is key. Luckily, this city offers year-round opportunities, but some months do stand out.

Winter: December to February
Winter might bring bigger surf to Honolulu, but it also ushers in cooler temperatures and frequent rain showers, making the trails lush and verdant. This is the perfect time for waterfall chasers as the rains bring them to life. Plan for muddy conditions and pack accordingly. Early mornings tend to be clearer, so you'll want to hit the trails then.

Spring: March to May
As the island shakes off the last of the winter rains, spring emerges with mild weather and fewer tourists. This is the best time to visit Honolulu if you're looking for a serene hiking experience. The trails are less crowded, and the weather is superb, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 80s. This season is ideal for trekking up to viewpoints like Diamond Head and enjoying panoramic views without the crowds.

Summer: June to August
Summer brings warmer temperatures and drier days, making it a popular time for hiking. Early morning hikes are recommended to beat the heat and the midday sun. Trails along the coast offer stunning ocean views and a refreshing breeze, perfect for those hot summer days. Remember to stay hydrated and always wear sunscreen.

Fall: September to November
Fall is a hidden gem for hiking in Honolulu. The temperatures cool down, and the summer crowds have dispersed, offering a peaceful hiking experience. The landscapes start to change, and you get to witness the island’s beauty in a tranquil setting. This is also the best time to explore the inland trails, where you might catch glimpses of early seasonal changes.

Honolulu's hiking scene is vibrant and varied, catering to every type of hiker, from the casual walker to the avid trekker. Knowing the best times to visit can enhance your hiking adventure, making every step and every view that much more breathtaking. Whether it's chasing waterfalls in the winter or enjoying the panoramic vistas in the spring, you're in for an unforgettable experience. Remember, it's not just about the trails; it's about soaking in the beauty of Honolulu, one step at a time.

Off-Peak Season: Where to Find Deals

When planning your trip to Honolulu, figuring out the best time to visit can save you a lot of money, especially if you're looking for great deals. The off-peak season, which falls between mid-April to early June and then again from September to mid-December, is the golden period for savvy travelers. Why? Because this is when you'll find lower prices on flights and accommodations, and the city is less crowded. Plus, the weather is still fantastic.

During these periods, hotels and resorts often offer attractive rates to entice visitors. This is your chance to snag a luxurious stay at a fraction of the price. Likewise, airlines tend to lower their fares, making it the perfect opportunity to book your flight without breaking the bank.

Best Times for Deals

  • Mid-April to Early June: This is when Honolulu begins to whisper goodbye to the busy winter and spring breaks. The weather is ideal, with average temperatures sitting comfortably in the 70s and low 80s (Fahrenheit). You'll experience fewer rain showers, meaning more sunshine for your adventures.
  • September to Mid-December: Fall in Honolulu is another sweet spot for deals. The summer crowds have dispersed, and the winter holiday rush is yet to start. The temperature slightly cools, but it's still warm enough for beach days and hikes. Plus, witnessing the island's shift to the quieter seasons can be pretty magical.

What to Expect

When you visit in these off-peak times, you're not just saving money; you're also getting a more authentic experience of Honolulu. The beaches are less crowded, making your sunset views even more spectacular. Hiking trails are quieter, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty at your own pace. Shopping centers, restaurants, and attractions won't have the lengthy waits typical of the high season.

Moreover, these months still host a variety of local events and festivals that give a glimpse into the rich culture of Honolulu. From art exhibits to culinary festivals, these events are often less crowded, giving you a more intimate experience.

In essence, if you're wondering when to visit Honolulu for the best deals and an exceptional experience, aiming for the off-peak season is your answer. You'll not only enjoy the city's stunning beauty and vibrant culture but you’ll do so while saving money and avoiding the crowds.


Choosing the right time to visit Honolulu can dramatically transform your vacation experience. Opting for mid-April to early June or September to mid-December not only stretches your dollar but also offers you a serene and intimate glimpse into the heart of the city. You'll bask in the luxury of quieter beaches and trails, dive deep into the local culture through unique events, and enjoy the city's beauty without the usual crowds. So pack your bags for these off-peak seasons and prepare for an unforgettable journey to Honolulu where savings and splendid experiences await.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best times to visit Honolulu for budget-conscious travelers?

The best times for budget-conscious travelers to visit Honolulu are from mid-April to early June and from September to mid-December. During these periods, visitors can find lower prices on flights and accommodations.

Why are these times considered the off-peak season in Honolulu?

These times are considered the off-peak season because they fall outside the city's busiest tourist periods. This results in less crowded attractions and better deals on travel expenses.

What are the benefits of visiting Honolulu during the off-peak season?

Visiting Honolulu during the off-peak season offers several benefits including luxurious stays at discounted rates, quieter beaches, uncrowded hiking trails, and a more authentic experience of the city. It's an ideal time for travelers looking to explore and save money.

Can visitors enjoy local events and festivals during the off-peak season?

Yes, visitors can enjoy a variety of local events and festivals during the off-peak season in Honolulu. This allows for a unique and intimate glimpse into the city's rich culture, providing an enriching experience beyond the typical tourist attractions.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 2, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes

You may also like...


Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes