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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Oahu in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Oahu in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Oahu?

The best time to visit Oahu is summer, offering ideal weather for everything from Honolulu’s beach life to the North Shore’s adventures, with temperatures around 85°F. This season brings less rain and the chance for outdoor activities like snorkeling and hiking, despite the crowds. Summer also hosts many festivals, including Kamehameha Day and Duke’s Oceanfest, making it a great time to visit.

Oahu is one of Hawaii’s most popular islands, and for good reason. It’s home to Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital and the site of the state’s most famous attractions. On the island, you can visit popular Waikiki Beach and the somber Pearl Harbor National Memorial to amazing shopping malls.

However, it’s be a mistake to only see Honolulu. Outside of the capital, the beaches are wilder and less crowded, like the famous surf spots of the North Shore. Inland, there is amazing nature, like the lush Waimea Valley and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Since so much of exploring Oahu involves spending plenty of time outdoors, you want to visit when the weather is nice. We’ll show you the best, least busy, cheapest, and worst times to visit below; let us be your guide!

The Overall Best Time to Visit Oahu

Neat view of the tan sand outside of a resort area under blue sky during the overall best time to visit Oahu, the spring


The best time to visit Oahu is the summer, when you can explore all of the island, thanks to the glorious weather. Even though Oahu is just an island, and not even the biggest island in Hawaii, it has a few different climate zones.

Honolulu and the area around it have a mild tropical climate, with summertime temperatures around 88–89 degrees Fahrenheit.

The weather may be hot, but that makes it a great time to work on your tan and spend time at the beach, especially since July in Honolulu has an average of 293 hours of sunshine all month!

The real benefit of visiting Oahu during the summer is the best conditions for exploring the wilder North Shore. This part of the island is exposed and has more extreme weather, including heavy rain and storms in the fall, winter, and early spring.

However, summer weather is mild and perfect for swimming, with average temperatures of 85–86 degrees Fahrenheit. More importantly, the dry season on the North Shore lasts from May to about September, with the least rainfall in June and July.

Heading to the North Shore allows you to see a more secluded part of Oahu and beat the sometimes oppressive heat and crowds around Honolulu.

The summer is the best (and only) season for adventure activities on the rocky beaches of this side of the island, such as:

  • Snorkeling
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining

Keep in mind that summer is the busiest season for tourism to Oahu, and if you really don’t like crowds, this may not be the best time to visit for you. However, the upside is that Honolulu has the most festivals and events during this time, including fun for the whole family.

Some highlights include:

Cheapest Time to Visit Oahu

White sand Lanikai Beach in North Oahu pictured during the fall, one of the cheapest times to visit

Eguchi Naohiro/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Oahu is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April–early June) and autumn (September–early November), when the island has comparatively few visitors.

Oahu is busy all year round with tourists, but spring and fall are relatively quiet. With the lower demand, the prices are also lower. Spring is a bit more hectic because there are more holidays.

For the best deals, avoid Easter weekend and the last week of April/first week of May (that is Japan’s Golden Week, a string of national holidays, and Oahu is very popular among Japanese visitors).

Outside of those periods, you can find discounts on hotels, even in Honolulu, where prices drop by 15%–20%. Autumn has fewer holidays, and if you visit before Thanksgiving, you can get great deals on hotels no matter where you visit.

Fall is also the cheapest time to fly into Honolulu, as flights are often discounted in early September and then again in October.

No matter when you visit, you can save money on your trip by staying in locally-run inns or homestays instead of big chain hotels, eating at street food shacks, and buying local souvenirs instead of expensive designer items.

Least Busy Time to Visit Oahu

Photo of a bus between buildings in Honolulu during the spring, one of the least busy times to visit Oahu

Honolulu, Hawaii – March 31, 2019: The Waikiki Trolley bus on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Many tourist buses drive tourists around beautiful Honolulu and Oahu islands/Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Oahu is the spring (April–early June) and the fall (September–early November), the island’s two shoulder seasons.

After the winter visitors in search of hotter weather leave in March, spring is a laid-back time to visit the island. You can catch the tail-end of some of the best winter activities, like surfing or humpback whale watching.

There aren’t very many festivals or popular events happening, but that just means you’ll have the island to yourself. The weather is arguably even better in spring than in the summer.

Temperatures are far more pleasant, with average highs in Honolulu at about 83–85 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season sputters out by the end of March, meaning that you’ll have mostly clear skies with some afternoon showers—perfect beach weather.

Early autumn is also a great time to visit Oahu. It is rainier than spring, but a little rain never hurt anybody, and if you visit in September and early October, you can still catch clear skies.

Temperatures are balmy, in the high 80s, but begin to cool down up north and are more pleasant than in the heat of the summer.

The ocean is still warm, making it a more pleasant swimming experience than during spring. Autumn sees a few more visitors than the spring, but the upside is that there is more to do.

Check out some great Honolulu events, including some great events that celebrate the culture of indigenous Hawaiians. In September, the Aloha Festivals celebrate local culture with parades, parties, the investiture of the royal court, and more.

Worst Time to Visit Oahu

Photo of a bunch of people on the beach, seen during the winter, the worst time to visit Oahu

Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, USA, – February 6, 2023: Crowds of People on Waikiki Beach/Pamela Au/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Oahu is the winter, which coincides with the island’s rainy season and can make traveling a bit unpleasant.

Oahu’s rainy season runs from November to March, and given that we are in the tropics, you can expect plenty of rain during this time. Storm systems can bring days of thunderstorms, high winds, and pouring rain onto the island. This isn’t exactly perfect beach weather.

Storms are particularly heavy on the North Shore, which is directly exposed to the trade winds that surround Hawaii.

This region experiences driving rains and heavy storms even more than the south. The wind churns up the ocean, making it downright dangerous to go swimming or snorkeling. Don’t expect that because the weather is rainy, you’ll at least get to beat the crowds.

This is Hawaii’s second most popular season since visitors from more northern locations come here to try and escape the cold weather back home. Expect higher hotel rates and more crowds.

Visitors increase especially around Christmas. This being Oahu, no season is truly without redemption.

Winter may not be the best season for swimming along the North Shore, but it’s the best season for professional surfers. Even if you’re not comfortable on a surfboard, come see the high-octane fun at competitions like the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Metal bridge jutting out over the Diamond Head crater looking over Oahu


Here are some of the most common questions to help you pick the best time to visit Oahu:

What is the rainy season in Oahu?

The rainy season lasts from November to March, with the most rain in November and December. However, you can expect rain pretty much all year round.

What month is the hottest in Oahu?

The hottest month in Oahu is August. Average temperatures in Honolulu are about 89 degrees Fahrenheit, while it is cooler in the north.

Which side of Oahu has the best weather?

The southern shore, or the leeward side of Oahu, has the best weather since it is more sheltered from the prevailing trade winds.

What is the cheapest time of year to travel to Oahu?

Spring (April–early June) and fall (September–November) are the shoulder seasons and the cheapest times to travel to Oahu.

What is the best month to go to Hawaii?

May is the best month to go to Hawaii because the dry season has begun, temperatures are warm, and the summer heat and crowds aren’t here yet.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Oahu?

To experience all of Oahu, including the wild North Shore, the best time to visit is in the summer. However, if you’re planning just to stay in the Honolulu area, visit in the spring or fall for the best savings and to beat the crowds.

So, with so  much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Oahu has to offer. Happy travels!