3 of the Best Hawaiian Luaus on Oahu

By Mark Wiens 13 Comments
Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu, Hawaii

The natural beauty is enough to entice anyone to Oahu’s shores.

Combine it with the luxury of Waikiki hotels, ideal weather, and a buzzing collection of cities worth exploring, and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect vacation.

But what gives Hawaii its character that is so often mentioned?

The Islands celebrate a rich cultural heritage that is evident the second you step off of the plane. When visiting Oahu, getting a taste of island life is essential, and there is no better way to do so than by attending a luau!

With the music, food, heat, dance, clothing, and the atmosphere, you’ll acclimate yourself quickly to the Aloha spirit that is celebrated worldwide. Here are a few of the more famous ones that you can attend when visiting, so that you can return home with the Hula perfected!

Luau Dancers
Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center

Raved about by locals and tourists alike for its authenticity, the Ali’i Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center promises a full evening of food, dance, and music.

You’ll taste freshly cooked Pua (Pig in Hawaiian), as well as other authentic Polynesian and Hawaiian dishes, all while watching traditional hula dancing set to beautiful music and surrounded by palm trees and lit torches.

Germaine's Luau
Germaine's Luau

Germaine’s Luau

Closer to Waikiki and Honolulu, but still distant enough to maintain a less-touristic feel is Germaine’s Luau. The luau has been going since the ’70s, and shows no signs of letting up. Buffet style eating will let you sample a number of different dishes. Make sure you head back for dessert before the start of the show, which features many different Pacific Island dances, including the Slap Dance, which comes all the way from Samoa.

Best Oahu Luaus
Paradise Cove Luau

Paradise Cove Luau

For a luau that features some very hands on elements, turn to Paradise Cove Luau for an evening of fun. With arts, crafts and games available, it’s perfect for young children, while moments like the “Shower of Flowers” can contribute to a romantic atmosphere you and that special someone can appreciate. When you’re handed your Mai Tai upon arrival, you’ll know you’ve found the right place!

Taste, feel, and hear some of the many elements that make Hawaii special at an authentic island luau! You and your companions won’t regret it!

About the Author

This guest post was written by Leslie. Obsessed with new adventures in new places, great food and good company, she describes herself as a simple girl from a big city looking to assert her imaginative vision against the creatures of the common place, in hopes of finding something extraordinary in the process.

Photo credit #1 – daryl_mitchell, photo credit #2 – markjms, photo credit #3 – cryoborg

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  • downingsf

    8 years ago

    … a close up of high surf in the same place as your first pic above …
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6686557607/in/set-72157629783589215/lightbox/

  • downingsf

    8 years ago

    Bummer to hear of a rained out luau.
    *Seldom* occurs over on the leeward side, least during my 10 years on Oahu.
    In addition to a luau, any visit to Honolulu should include Helena’s (http://helenashawaiianfood.com/index.html)

    This is one eatery that fits all the standards Mark has set:
    – low prices, non-commercial
    – simple fare with cultural significance
    – basically, ‘Migrationology-icious’

  • gypsy sun

    9 years ago

    mark i envy your travelling! i would love to live like this and travel the world, although i would want to include europe and have to convince by boyfriend that it would work. where are your plans next??

    • Mark Wiens

      9 years ago

      Thanks Gypsy,
      Not sure exactly what my plans are. I base myself in Southeast Asia, but then I go from there! Hope you are able to convince your boyfriend soon to travel!

  • Cathy35

    9 years ago

    Oahu really is a very exciting place.. And their culture is so much fun. Thanks for sharing this with us! 🙂

  • Arti

    9 years ago

    I have heard so much about Hawaii. It is definitely a very beautiful and charming place to visit.
    Nice guest post.
    Have a lovely week ahead Mark:)

    • Mark Wiens

      9 years ago

      Thanks Art! Hope you have a chance to visit Hawaii someday!

  • Lane

    9 years ago

    If I could interject about Paradise Cove: it was no paradise. In the middle of the event the canvas tent split over us due to a monsoon-like storm. Water poured down on everything — including our meal. We received no assistance, no refund, nothing. It was terrible.

    • Mark Wiens

      9 years ago

      Hmm, that’s not good Lane, thanks for sharing your experience with about them…

  • sully86

    9 years ago

    mark: ohana means family mark!! surf’s up bro!!