Don’t get stuck with huge crowds and sky-high prices! Find out the best time to visit Honolulu – and the worst – for the ultimate Hawaiian getaway in our guide.
We’ll show you the overall best, cheapest, least busy, and worst times to visit this island paradise below. You’ll also see some of the most popular festivals and events happening in Honolulu during each season!
Why You Should Visit Honolulu
As the sunny and vibrant capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is an amazing destination for travelers in search of tropical scenery and a mix of modern and ancient cultures.
Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu, stretching along the coast and reaching inland all the way to the foothills of the rugged and lush Koolau Mountains.
Home to world-famous beaches like Waikiki Beach, Sunset Beach, and Hanauma Bay, Honolulu is one of the top destinations for sunbathers and beach lovers looking for an island paradise.
The island paradise doesn’t stop at the shore – lush, green valleys, ridges, volcanic craters, and bays make the topography anything but one-dimensional and boring.
It’s any adventurer or outdoor lover’s dream!
You’ll find roaring waterfalls bathing in rainbow-colored mist, tropical flora and fauna everywhere you look, and amazing hiking trails that lead you past waterfalls, over ridges and valleys, and along the shores.
Take to the waters of Honolulu (especially around Hanauma Bay) for some of the best snorkeling and diving around the islands of Hawaii.
You’ll see colorful corals, angel fish, trigger fish (the state fish), parrot fish, and more underwater right off the bay. Even kids can easily snorkel in the calm water here without swimming long distances!
Fill up on tasty local eats, like poke and açaí bowls, unique Spam-centric dishes, fresh seafood and grilled meats, and regional favorites like loco moco or manapua buns.
And with picture-perfect scenery and sunshine as the backdrop for your time in Honolulu, it’s impossible to not revel in the feel-good vibes this gorgeous place gives off.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Honolulu?
- Overall best time to visit Honolulu: March-June
- Cheapest time to visit Honolulu: March-July
- Least busy time to visit Honolulu: September-early November
- Worst time to visit Honolulu: Late December-January
Finding the best time to visit Honolulu means taking a closer look at the seasonal weather and tourism patterns for this part of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
A look at the “big picture” of Honolulu’s weather and the seasons when more tourists arrive can help you determine which part of the year will be best for your visit.
From March to June, Honolulu experiences a low or shoulder season with excellent weather, drier conditions, and fewer tourists than the peak season.
That makes March to June the overall best and cheapest time to visit, extending into July if you’re looking for the cheapest time to visit.
Another of Honolulu’s shoulder season periods occurs in fall, from September to early November. This is the least busy time to go when rooms and activities are also priced lower.
Hawaii experiences a rainy season from November to March with more cloud cover and rain showers that keep the greenery dense and healthy. Showers are usually short and won’t ruin outdoor plans.
In fact, this rainy season includes the peak tourist season in Honolulu (December to February) when the largest percentage of the 570,000+ annual visitors arrive.
The majority of peak season visitors arrive in late December and January, making this one of the worst times to visit. Hotel rooms are booked up months in advance, prices are highest, and crowds and lines are unavoidable.
We’ll explore each of the best times to visit Honolulu in more detail next!
Overall Best Time to Visit Honolulu
The overall best time to visit Honolulu is from March to June, when the weather is warm, rain is minimal, and festivals and events are in full swing.
This time of year is popular for tourists, but it’s not part of the much busier peak season that runs from December to February as people seek Honolulu’s warmth instead of colder winter temperatures and snow at home.
The tropical plants here are lush and thriving, the water is warm, and beaches and outdoor activities are bustling. It’s such an idyllic time of year to come to Honolulu!
Average high temperatures from 82F to 86F mean it’s characteristically warm and sunny in Honolulu during this spring and early summer period.
There’s little rainfall this time of year, with most of it occurring in March (2.6″ average monthly total) and less in April (1.3″), May (1.1″), and June (0.6″).
Check out the list of events below to get some ideas for fun outings while you’re here during the best time to visit Honolulu!
Popular March-June Events in Honolulu
- Honolulu Festival (March)
- I Love Kailua Town Party (April)
- Hawaii International Film Festival (April)
- Waikiki Spam Jam (April)
- Hawaii Book and Music Festival (May)
- Filipino Festival (May)
- Lei Day Celebration (May)
- Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii (May)
- Mango Jam (June)
- Pan-Pacific Festival (June)
- King Kamehameha Celebration (June)
Cheapest Time to Visit Honolulu
Overall, the cheapest time to visit Honolulu is from March to July with average hotel prices ranging from $182 to $213 per night during this time of year.
It may be cheaper to visit Honolulu during this spring-summer period because Hawaii’s busiest tourism season occurs earlier in the year, from December to February.
We calculated the average hotel prices in Honolulu throughout the year using data from Booking.com. March to July dates in Honolulu had the lowest prices per night!
The absolute cheapest month for Honolulu accommodations was June with an average nightly rate of $182. Next is April ($184/night), March ($186/night), July ($196/night), and May ($213/night).
There’s very little rain during this time of year, with a bit more precipitation in the spring (March-May) than in early summer (June-July).
It’s hurricane season from June 1 to November 30, so it’s wise to get travel insurance or book a refundable trip just in case the weather gets bad leading up to your trip.
If you’re planning a budget-friendly trip to Honolulu, booking your stay during the March to July range will ensure you pay less per night for your room while enjoying warm weather and Hawaiian scenery.
Popular July Events in Honolulu
See the section above for popular Honolulu events in March, April, May and June. Here are more festivals and events happening during the month of July to check out, too!
- Hawaii State Farm Fair (July)
- State Fair at Aloha Stadium (July)
- Joy of Sake (July)
- Prince Lot Hula Festival (July)
- Ukulele Festival Hawaii (July)
- Ala Moana Center Fireworks Show (July)
- Haleiwa Arts Festival (July)
- Endless Summer Festival (July)
- Waikiki Summer Festival (July)
Least Busy Time to Visit Honolulu
September to early November is the least busy time to visit Honolulu, as the summer crowds dissipate and people aren’t yet arriving for the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.
From the month of September through October and early November, you’ll find fewer crowds in Honolulu. This is perfect if you’re looking for a more laid-back visit.
The weather is great during the fall here, with daily high temperatures around 88F in September, 87F in October, and 84F in November.
It gets progressively rainier as you get deeper into the fall months, however. September sees about an inch of rain, October gets about 1.7″, and November receives about 2.2″ of rain.
For the best weather and fewer crowds, plan to arrive sometime in September or October to get the best of both worlds.
Since fewer people come to Honolulu during the fall, you will be able to find cheaper rates on hotels and resorts this time of year.
The rates won’t be as cheap as during the March-July period, but the savings are notable compared to arriving during the peak season!
Popular September-November Events in Honolulu
- Hawaii Okinawan Festival (September)
- Rice Fest (September)
- Aloha Festivals and Floral Parade (September)
- Na Wahine Festival and 5K (September)
- Hawaii Food and Wine Festival (October)
- Waikiki Fall Festival (October)
- Hallowbaloo Music & Arts Festival (October)
- Fall Hawaii International Film Festival (November)
- Vans World Cup of Surfing (November)
Worst Time to Visit Honolulu
Late December to early January may be the worst time to visit Honolulu simply because it’s the busiest, priciest season due to holiday travelers booking well in advance.
This period of time is a bit of a conundrum because it’s actually a wonderful time of year to visit Honolulu.
It’s the huge crowds of tourists, booked-up hotels, crowded restaurants, and higher prices that make many consider it the worst time to visit.
We found hotel prices were incredibly expensive from late December through early January. In the last week of December, average rates were about $412/night.
In the first week of January, the average hotel room price was around $362/night. Compare that to the cheapest time to visit (March-July), with room rates from $182-$213/night!
On top of the crowded conditions and higher prices, Honolulu and the island of Oahu experience the rainy season with more cloudy skies, precipitation, and fewer hours of sunshine each day.
January is also the most humid month in Honolulu with an average daily humidity of 73%. That can make the pleasant-sounding 81F-82F temperatures feel much hotter and less comfortable.
Still, if you can book early enough for plenty of availability and don’t mind paying premium rates during the height of the peak season, visiting at this time of year can be really nice.
Popular December-January Events in Honolulu
- Hawaii Bowl (December)
- Honolulu City Lights (December)
- Honolulu Marathon (December)
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December)
- Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (December)
- Ohana Festival (January)
- Sony Open (January)
Things to Consider
You’ll have the most successful and enjoyable trip to Honolulu by visiting at the best time of year and keeping these helpful travel tips in mind.
- Check out 130 Honolulu beaches. Everyone’s heard of Waikiki Beach and Sunset Beach, but did you know that Honolulu is home to 130 diverse beaches? You’ll find a range of scenery, different areas to snorkel and dive, and some spots that are more secluded and tucked away by visiting as many of the beaches here as you can.
- Broaden your options for accommodations. While hotels and resorts are the most popular places to stay when you visit Honolulu, there may be cheaper or more spacious options available to consider. Some of the best Airbnbs in Oahu are located in or very near Honolulu. Rent a small apartment, an entire luxury beach house, or something in between to suit your travel needs!
- Pack your itinerary with fun stuff. Some of the best things to do in Oahu include trying surfing, visiting monuments and landmarks (including palaces and temples), checking out wildlife, diving with sharks, discovering botanical gardens, and hiking incredible trails through the beautiful landscape.
- Eat like the locals. When you visit a place with rich, blended cultural heritage like Honolulu, you’ve got to try the melting pot cuisine! You’ll taste influences from Polynesian, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Chinese foods in Hawaiian cuisine. Check out our list of the 15 best restaurants in Oahu to start pinpointing the places you don’t want to miss out on during your trip!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have a few questions about the best time to visit Honolulu and what else you should know before you go? Check out the most frequently asked questions to learn more.
What is the best month to go to Hawaii?
March, April, May, and June are the best months to go to Hawaii overall with pleasantly warm weather, little rain, cheaper prices, and lots of events and festivals going on.
Of these months, April, May, and June may be the best overall since they receive less rain than March and are slightly warmer than March.
What is the rainy season in Honolulu?
The rainy season in Honolulu extends from November to March, with each month receiving anywhere from 2.1" to 3.3" of rain.
December is the rainiest month in Honolulu, while February is the "driest" month of the rainy season with an average of 2.1" of rain.
What is the cheapest month to visit Honolulu?
The cheapest month to visit Honolulu is June, with the average hotel room costing around $182/night in Honolulu at this time of year.
April and March are priced very similarly at $184 and $186/night averages, which is usually the lowest per-night rates you'll find all year long in Honolulu.
What are the best and worst months to visit Hawaii?
April through October is generally the best time to visit Hawaii overall, while August and December to January are the worst times to visit.
The spring months generally feature excellent weather, drier conditions, lots of sunshine, and lower prices than the peak winter season.
The winter months and August are the most crowded with higher prices, less hotel availability, and more rainfall.
What time of year is Hawaii cheapest?
Spring and early summer (March-July) is the cheapest time of year to visit Hawaii as a whole, with fall (September-November) as the second-cheapest time of year to visit.
Winter, especially December and January, tend to be the most expensive time to visit Hawaii as it's peak tourism season on the islands.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Honolulu?
If it’s at all possible, try to head to Honolulu sometime between March and June – the best time to visit Honolulu overall. Your reward will be great weather, less rain, lower prices, and tons of events you can attend.
This same period, plus the month of July, also happens to be the cheapest time to visit Honolulu. Hotel room prices are at their lowest during the spring and summer seasons, when fewer tourists go to Hawaii.
The least busy time for a Honolulu visit is between September and early November. If you want to avoid big crowds and enjoy a more laid-back stay, this is your window!
Try to avoid visiting Honolulu during late December and January, which is the height of the peak season here. You’ll pay a lot more for a hotel as well as dealing with bigger crowds and more rain.
Anytime you can free up your schedule for a Honolulu visit will be great. Even during the “worst” time to go, there’s still lots of sunshine, adventure, and scenery to enjoy!
But if you can arrange your trip for the overall best, cheapest, or least busy time of year, we think you’ll enjoy your stay a little bit more.