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A Guide to Winter in Honolulu
December 22 ,2023

Hawaii is an inviting destination any time of year, and each island offers a variety of attractions that are worth visiting in every season. Here in Honolulu, Prince Waikiki curates an exciting calendar jam-packed with season-specific happenings and annual activations. The beginning of winter provides Santa-themed tiki bars and makers’ markets, and the fun continues until the spring. But winter in Honolulu goes way beyond events, and Prince Waikiki’s dynamic dining experiences, soothing spa services, and luxury experiences are open year-round, making for memorable visits regardless of the month.


Read on to discover some of our other favorite reasons to visit Oʻahu in the winter. 

Winter Weather, Hawaii-Style


Two women relax by the pool at Prince Waikiki


First things first: the weather is consistently great on Oʻahu. Whatever time of year you visit, you can be sure to find sunshine and blue skies. While winter is the “cool” season in Honolulu, the average high in January is 79 degrees Fahrenheit, making for delightfully comfortable days — especially when arriving from colder climates. January also happens to be the clearest month for Oʻahu skies, which means you’ll have lots of chances to go stargazing! And because Hawaii is in the tropics, the length of days remains relatively consistent throughout the year, so there’s no need to worry about those long, dark winter nights. Plus, the sunrises are just as beautiful in the winter, and not to be missed if you want to kickstart your day with vibrant hues as the golden sun gracefully fills the horizon. Who wouldn’t want to trade cold nights for warm and sunny days?


Surf the Winter Waves



Hawaii’s third largest island offers plenty of places to surf, with over 225 miles of varied coastline. There are around 125 beaches on the island, each with its own unique features and attractions. And with the weather outside never even approaching frightful, you can spend nearly any day of the year on the beach. If you’re heading to Hawaii seeking thrilling adventures, winter is the perfect time to visit. Live out your surfing dreams on the world-class waves of Waikiki Beach, just a mile away from Prince Waikiki.  It’s a lengthy beach that’s always popular for Honolulu surfers and sunbathers alike. Surf the tasty waves or enjoy some paddleboarding or snorkeling — all popular activities any time of year, winter included. 


Sandy Beach is another excellent place for surfing, and the golden sand and Pacific Ocean views make it a popular destination for all beachgoers. Located on the southeastern shore of Oʻahu, near Koko Crater, it’s just 12 miles from Prince Waikiki, making it an easy trip for a surfing day. However, we recommend only experienced surfers attempt to catch waves here, as the currents can be quite powerful. If you’re not a confident surfer, you can still head to Sandy Beach to watch the pros take to the water in spectacular fashion.


Winter Whale Watching


Aerial view looking down at a female humpback whale swimming with her calf in beautiful aquamarine water in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii.


With so much spectacular ocean scenery, it should come as no surprise that Oʻahu is a fantastic place for whale watching. But what you may not know is that winter is actually the ideal time to spot them! In fact, from December to May, the koholā (Hawaiian for humpback whales) arrive in warm Hawaiian waters to breed and give birth to baby whales, also called calves. These gentle giants are a spectacular sight for nature lovers, ecotourists, and anyone who is fascinated by the majesty of the Hawaiian landscape. 


Oʻahu offers a long list of tour providers who know the best spots for seeing these glorious creatures while keeping a safe distance. If you’d like to take a shot at whale watching without booking a tour, you may have some luck spotting them from the Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail (14 miles from Prince Waikiki), Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve (10 miles from Prince Waikiki), or Diamond Head Beach Park (just 4 miles from Prince Waikiki). 


Winter Hikes, No Snowshoes Required


View of a trail leading towards the top of Koko Crater located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii,USA


Hawaii is a world-class hiking destination, and winter’s slightly cooler (but still pleasantly warm!) days offer the perfect opportunity to explore. Hike to Oʻahu’s amazing views, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and incredibly lush landscapes. Oʻahu hikes offer access to the best of Hawaii: historical sites, otherworldly natural beauty, and opportunities to explore our flora and fauna responsibly and respectfully. Several popular hikes are located near Prince Waikiki, and many are appropriate for hikers of all skill levels. There are even kid-friendly hikes like Mānoa Falls, which is approximately five miles from Prince Waikiki and will take around 20 minutes to reach by car. Whichever trail you choose, winter is the ideal time to get out and explore Oʻahu’s best hikes


Wonderful Winters Await


Kayaking in oahu


Wouldn’t you love to spend winter days sunbathing, surfing, hiking, and watching majestic whales? If you’ve always been curious about what winter is like in Oʻahu, Prince Waikiki offers the perfect home base for exploring the best of the island. Start planning your winter getaway to Honolulu by exploring our exclusive offers and vacation packages.

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