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Come to Hawaii at the Right Season for You

Updated on October 12, 2019
Frugalfriday profile image

A Maryland native and Hawaii resident, Frugalfriday is a avid traveler that looks for any excuse to hike and scuba dive anywhere.

I thought my book was done, then we went to Hawaii and the whole last chapter happened.

— Mariel Hemingway

Step 1: What Season Is It?

The activities you can or want to do in Hawaii are going to heavily influenced by the season that your trip happens during. While Oahu may not go through the four traditional seasons that you would experience on the mainland, it still has very distinct changes. I'll give you the quick lowdown on the Pros of each season:


Summer Benefits

  • The North Shore is calm. Usually renown for massive surfing waves, in the summer time the calm water of the North Shore allows for some of the best shore snorkeling/scuba diving on the island. (Insider tip: Sharks Cove and Three Tables are Must Do's if you like snorkeling or diving at all)
  • South Side gets surf waves that are perfect for beginners. If you're visiting Oahu theres a good chance you're staying near Waikiki, a great place to rent and learn sufing during the moderate summer waves. (Insider tip: try out White Plains beach to beat the huge tourist crowds)
  • Its going to rain ALOT less. While sunshine and warmth is a year-round staple of Oahu, the summer does promise a much smaller chance of your outdoor plans being interrupted by sporadic downpours. July rainfall, .4 inches. December? 3 inches. (Insider tip: a lot of the rain happens at night, so be careful doing steep hikes on clay mud trails in the early morning, spikes are never a bad idea)
  • The days are longer! You can squeeze every last minute of sunshine to get your tan on and catch that wave. (Insider tip: watching the sunrise at the Makapu'u Lighthouse and sunset from Ka'ena Point are my personal favorites.)

Winter Wonderland

  • Surfs up Dude! The winter time is when the North Shore comes to life with massive waves and pro surfers come from all over the world to ride them. Time your trip right and you may have the chance to catch a big name surf competetion and watch the world's best hang ten. (Insider Tip: There are tons of rental services right on the beachfronts on just about any beach surf-able, don't waste time and energy trying to lug a 10 foot board all around the island on top of your rental car)
  • Escape the cold back home! Your driveway in Michigan may be buried under a few feet of snow, but here in Hawaii you can expect average January temperautres of around 80 degrees. Brr? (Insider Tip: Always wear sunscreen during the day regardless of season. The UV index is always pretty high and I'll still find myself turning a rosy red after a overcast day outside.
  • December through April is whale migration season. Over 5 thousand of these massive mammals will be coasting by the island and there are plenty of tour boats that make seeing these 40 ton giants a easy bucket list item to cross off. (Insider Tip: Sometimes you can spot whales coming up to the surface from the walking trail toward Makapu'u Lighthouse, they even have binoculars available to spot them better.)

Always something to do.

No matter what season you choose to come to this little island in the Pacific, there will always be things to do. Just make sure before you make that flight to identify those Must Do activities on your list and ensure that the surf and sun are on the same page. Mahalo and blessed travels.

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