When to Visit Waikiki
The iconic beachfront neighborhood of Waikiki on the island of Oahu is a year-round paradise that offers something special in every season. Whether you’re planning a winter escape, a spring break, a summer adventure, or a fall getaway, Waikiki has something to offer. If you’re unsure of when to visit, or your looking for more information on what Waikiki is like during different times of the year, we hope our guide below is useful as you begin to plan your Waikiki vacation!
Winter (December – February)
Waikiki has mild winter weather, with average temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°F. The ocean tends to be slightly cooler than other seasons, but is still very comfortable at around 75°F. November marks the beginning of the wet season, which means an increased chance of short rain showers, but typically not enough to spoil your fun.
Winter tends to bring crowds as visitors escape cold weather, although it is generally less crowded than in peak summer season, especially after the holiday season. Visitors should make reservations at popular restaurants and activities to ensure availability.
Winter in Waikiki offers an array of outdoor activities. The weather is warm enough to enjoy water activities like paddle boarding or kayaking, while still comfortable for hiking near Waikiki. December through April is also prime time for humpback whale watching tours, with other wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles active in the area as well.
Popular winter events abound during the holiday season, with parades, light shows and fireworks displays adding to the magic of Waikiki. Cultural festivals celebrating Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras provide opportunities to attend festivals throughout the rest of the winter. Trade winds pick up in this season, bringing large ocean swells and exciting professional surfing competitions to the north side of Oahu.
Spring (March – May)
Spring brings pleasantly warm temperatures around 75°F to 85°F, with relatively low rainfall and ocean temperatures remaining around 80°F. These conditions make spring a great time of year to enjoy outdoor activities in Waikiki, as the weather is comfortably warm without being too hot.
Spring is less crowded than the peak winter season, although the month of March can be an exception, as spring break visitors flock to Hawaii. Visitors should not have to worry as much about planning in advance for all but the most popular activities.
The spring season is a great time for hiking, as the island’s lush landscapes come into full bloom. The views from the top of Diamond Head are stunning at this time of year and a walk through the flower collection at Queen Kapiolani Garden is a special treat. Whale watching tours are also a popular attraction during spring, as humpback whales migrate through late April.
Popular events during spring celebrate many aspects of Hawaiian culture. The Waikiki SPAM Jam Festival in late April is a celebration of the canned meat held in the heart of Waikiki, with restaurants offering their spin on the local favorite. The Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony is a unique Memorial Day tradition drawing from Buddhist and Japanese cultural influences, for a time of reflection, remembrance and gratitude.
Summer (June – August)
Summer in Waikiki is hot and sunny, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 79°F to 89°F. This tends to be the most humid time of year, although trade winds keep the air cooler. The ocean water averages around 80-83°F in summer, making it ideal for enjoying the beach.
Summer is the peak tourist season in Waikiki, as families flock to Oahu during school break. The beaches and popular attractions can be crowded, so booking tickets in advance or making reservations can help to avoid lengthy wait times.
The hot and humid weather in summer makes the crystal clear water even more inviting, and the gentle waves of Waikiki Beach are the perfect spot for beginners to try water sports like surfing and paddle boarding. With shopping, dining and nightlife options along Kalakaua Avenue, the vibrant atmosphere of Waikiki in summer is electrifying at any time of day. Summer is also the perfect time to view sea turtles, whose nesting season runs from mid-April through October. Catamaran snorkeling tours are a popular option to interact with these amazing creatures.
There are many popular events during summer celebrating local culture and history. The Pan-Pacific Festival in early June focuses on the Japanese influence on Hawaiian culture. King Kamehameha Day honors the first monarch who united the Hawaiian islands, with a floral parade and ceremony at Iolani Palace. The Prince Lot Hula Festival is an exciting celebration of hula dance, with food and cultural exhibitions taking place in late July.
Fall (September – November)
Visiting Waikiki in fall is ideal, as temperatures are still very warm (75°F to 85°F), water temperatures remain around 83°F and the humidity is lower than in summer.
As the summer peak season flows into fall, there are fewer tourists, so it is a perfect time to explore Waikiki. Visitors do not need to be concerned about booking in advance as often, and there may be deals found between September and the beginning of the holiday season in November.
Visitors can use this uncrowded time to explore cultural and historical monuments like Iolani Palace or Pearl Harbor. The weather is also great for hiking and water sports – Hanauma Bay beckons snorkelers to its incredible underwater ecosystem and hikers will enjoy the Koko Head trek.
The Aloha Festivals are a series of events celebrating Hawaiian culture in late September, featuring parades and block parties. The Royal Hawaiian Band performs free concerts around Waikiki starting in September, and the Polynesian Cultural Center offers a number of performances and exhibits.
As you contemplate your ideal time to visit Waikiki, consider booking a vacation rental to make your stay truly memorable. Our vacation rentals are located in the heart of Waikiki, providing the comfort and flexibility to explore Waikiki at your own pace. We have something to fit every taste and budget, from modern studios with private balconies and cozy suites with stunning ocean views to spacious penthouses and everything in between.
Start planning your Hawaiian getaway and browse our selection of vacation rentals in Waikiki. Discover the perfect home away from home and make your stay in paradise an experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime!
765 Amana Street | Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone for Guests: 808-376-0724 | Phone for Owners: 808-225-4687
Broker ID RB-22567