Best Time to Visit Oahu
Oahu Tips for When to Visit
The best time to visit Oahu, taking into consideration the weather, demand for accommodations, and how crowded (or not) the island is - are the months of early April, May, September, and early October.
Wondering when to visit Oahu? If you've narrowed down your selection of islands and Oahu is your destination, you've made an excellent choice! Oahu has excellent weather year-round; in fact, many people believe it has the best weather of all the islands. Maybe that's why almost half of all visitors to the state of Hawaii pick Oahu. Or perhaps it's because Oahu is the most scenic of all the islands, or... well, that list could go on and on. Oahu is an excellent choice for visitors!
Below we'll cover visitor arrivals, Oahu's weather and climate, accommodations, rates, and what to expect on a visit during each season on Oahu.
Weather & Climate
Weather is the primary concern of many travelers, so it's a relief to know you don't have to worry about it much on Oahu. Even in the winter months, from mid-November through March, the high-temperature averages somewhere around 80°F (26°C). In the summer months, the high typically average somewhere in the mid- to upper- 80s F (30-32°C).
As with all the islands, Oahu does see a bit more rain during the winter months, especially on the windward (east) side. Typically, showers are scattered, and the sun quickly returns after a brief rainstorm. Plus, there's the added benefit that rain keeps the island beautiful and lush. Not to mention, winter is prime whale-watching season. For more detailed information about the weather, check out our Oahu Weather article.
Hurricane and tropical storms are historically rare events on Oahu and Hawaii in general, but it’s still important to be prepared for storms if you visit during hurricane season - June through November. The last few years have seen increased activity around the islands, including Oahu, so it’s essential to monitor weather conditions when planning and taking your trip.
Oahu Accommodations & Rates
Accommodations wise, you'll find better deals during the months of April-May and August-November, when demand for rooms is lower. The holidays are the busiest time on the island, and the increased demand sends prices rocketing.
This is especially true during Christmas, when the island feels quite crowded, in our opinion. For more information on accommodations on Oahu, be sure to read our article about Where to Stay on Oahu.
Oahu Seasonal Expectations
Events Updated for 2020
Visiting Oahu in January, February, or March
The winter months of January - March will be some of the coolest on the island, and you may want to keep a light jacket on you for the afternoons. There is still the chance for increased precipitation this time of year, but most of that rain will likely occur in earlier winter; Oahu starts to dry out a bit by March.
The Chinese New Year celebration falls in either January or February and features lion dances, night festivals, and fireworks. Also, if you are lucky during these months, you might have a chance to spot some whales; this is peak Humpback whale season in Hawaii.
Oahu Winter Events:
- Sony Open in Hawaii (January) - The Sony Open is known to golf fans as the largest charity golf tournament in Hawaii. Since 1999, the event has raised nearly $20 million for non-profits.
- Chinese New Year Festival (January) - Held at Chinatown Cultural Plaza (100 N. Beretania Street) on Friday, January 17, from 5 pm-10 pm and Saturday, January 18, from 10 am-10 pm.
- Honolulu Festival (March) - Hawaii’s premier cultural event, promoting mutual understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region.
Visiting Oahu in April, May, or June
The early spring months are the best time to visit Oahu. Temperatures are not yet as warm or hot as they'll be in the summer, and the large crowds have yet to materialize on the island; though, by June, visitor arrivals will increase significantly compared to the slower spring months. This is also one of the drier periods on the island, so it's a great time to visit weather-wise.
There are only two spring periods to potentially avoid if you're seeking to miss the crowds on Oahu. The first is Japan's "Golden Week" - usually held in April, that is a national holiday famous for bringing large numbers of visitors to Hawaii from Japan. The second period to potentially avoid is mid-to-late June, which can also be more crowded on-island.
Oahu Spring Events:
- Waikiki Spam Jam (April) - Come and celebrate one of Hawaii’s favorite foods, spam.
- Lei Day Celebration (May) - Every May 1st, Oahu celebrates Lei Day, a festival celebrating Aloha in Hawaii.
- Lantern Floating Hawaii (May) - Held each Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park, visitors can observe a beautiful assembly of lanterns floating on the ocean in memorial of lost loved ones.
- Kamehameha Day Celebrations (June) - Celebrating the life of King Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian Islands.
Visiting Oahu in July, August, or September
The warmest weather will occur on Oahu during these summer months. The earlier summer also typically means increased visitation and crowds on-island, as many families travel to Oahu during these summer months. Crowds will tend to decrease heading into September.
Oahu Summer Events:
- Hawaii State Farm Fair (July) - Started in 1962 by the Hawaii Farm Bureau (HFB), this fair is an opportunity to promote awareness of Hawaii’s agricultural and ranching industries.
- The Made in Hawaii Festival (August) - Showcases local artisans and culinary professionals.
- Aloha Festivals (August / September) - A month-long festival, visitors can get to know Hawaiian culture at this free event celebrating Hawaiian heritage with music, dance, and historical showcases.
Visiting Oahu in October, November, or December
Early fall often can be a good time to visit Oahu, but keep in mind that the wetter weather will typically arrive starting in late October. Temperatures will be lower at this time of year, however, providing a welcome break from the summer warmth/heat.
If you're looking to catch some of the big waves on the North Shore, you'll probably want to visit during this period, when the surf is up. The best waves usually occur during December through mid-February. If you're lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of the humpback whales that spend their winters in the warm Hawaiian waters.
At the end of the year, Oahu celebrates the New Year celebration with fireworks displays throughout the island. The finale occurs at midnight, to top things off, with a massive fireworks show off the beach in Waikiki.
Oahu Fall Events:
- Hawaiian Airlines Moloka'i Hoe (October) - Each year, over 1000+ paddlers from around the world compete in the Moloka'i Hoe, the men’s world championship in outrigger canoe racing.
- The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival (October) - A three-week celebration of fine food and wine, featuring Chefs from around the world.
- Van’s Triple Crown (November - December) - For those seeking big waves & surfing, this is the time of year to be on Oahu’s famous North Shore.
Our Suggestions for Where to Stay on Oahu
Our Suggestions for Things to Do on Oahu
*Oahu monthly Visitor Statistics are provided by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.