With a rainy period somewhere on the island virtually every day of the year, it is arguable that there is really no ideal time for taking Oahu trips. Officially there are two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season, which seems to suggest that one period is better then the other, but that isn't necessarily the case. There are, however, numerous factors determining the best time for Oahu travel if you're intent on attending certain events, following a budget, or enjoying particular activities.
The winter months between November and March are the rainy season on Oahu. Winter is also the prime time for surfing, when conditions along the North Shore are perfect for hitting the water and catching spectacular waves. The winter brings forth a major attraction for anyone interested in surfing—exciting surf competitions that attract thousands of tourists wanting to watch the pros in action. During a trip to Oahu at this time of year, temperatures range from about 65 degrees Fahrenheit up to the high 80s. Winter is also the peak time for travel to Oahu, and most Oahu hotels and resorts, as well as car rentals, are booked solid.
If you're planning a trip to Oahu in the winter, when many people get vacation time, note that the last two weeks of December are by far the busiest time on the island. Honolulu, and especially the Waikiki area, is packed with tourists, and the island's attractions, which are concentrated in this area, get very crowded. The Honolulu Zoo, Lyon Arboretum, Waikiki Aquarium, and most other major points of interests are crawling with visitors. However, this is a good time of year to take advantage of the many Oahu vacation packages available to enjoy savings when combining necessary amenities such as accommodation and flights.
When April arrives, prices tend to go down, and hotels, villas, and other accommodation are more affordable and available. Temperatures reach highs of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making beach tours popular. Ewa Beach, Waimanalo Beach Park, and Hanauma Bay are great spots for spending the day outdoors. Travel to Oahu at this time of year means easy access to attractions such as historic Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Aviation Museum. A trip to Oahu outside of winter doesn't always mean the island will be crowd-free, as anyone interested in travel to Oahu during school breaks toward the end of March will contend with more crowds. Summer vacations also see large numbers of tourists, mainly throughout July and August.
If you're planning on taking a trip to Oahu on a lean budget, the offseason is the best time to go. The best rates are available throughout the island, and dining, snorkeling tours, diving tours, and dolphin swims are noticeably cheaper. The spring months, between the last two weeks of April and mid-June, are ideal for taking advantage of the best rates, as is the period of September through mid-December. At this time of year the weather, which is already quite reliable, is at its most constant with warm temperatures and dry conditions.
When to go to Oahu is most often based on personal situations and determined by allotted vacation time. Though a trip to Oahu during the off-season offers the best deals and bargains as well as crowd-free attractions, most people don't have the time off. If you can get vacation time for Oahu travel during these periods, you'll enjoy Oahu travel at its finest and cheapest. Typically Oahu's windward side—north and east around Waimanalo and Haleiwa—presents cooler, moist conditions ideal for experiencing Oahu's lush, tropical jungle environments. The leeward side—south and west around Waikiki, Honolulu, and Waianae—is hotter and dryer and perfect for great swimming and sunbathing along some of Oahu's best beaches.
No matter what time of year you plan your Oahu travel, you'll enjoy great weather and a host of great things to do and see. Charming coastal towns, verdant valleys, lush mountain ranges, and beautiful beaches are common. The locals are friendly, the dining options are diverse, and the shopping is great. Anyone planning travel to Oahu should note that hurricanes and disastrous weather are a rare occurrence. June through November is officially hurricane season, but it's unlikely that the weather will turn ugly. Generally it's just one sunny day after another on Oahu.