Luaus in Hawaii: 11 Top Luaus for An Unforgettable Evening

If you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii, a luau should be at the top of your to-do list.

In search of the best luau in Hawaii? Keep reading to learn more about each of these stunning performances.

Allow the charm of Hawaii to sweep you off your feet! Surrender to the beauty of the island, where the sun’s radiant rays illuminate the clear waters and the landscape adorned with lush greenery sets the stage for a magical vacation.

But Hawaii isn’t just popular for its breathtaking landscapes and pristine beaches. It’s also a destination of choice for many who are drawn to the thrill of its traditional luau experiences. These festivities are not just food fests brimming with delicious local cuisines. They offer a deep cultural experience, filled with soul-stirring music and captivating hula dance performances that invite guests to delve into the depths of the Hawaiian spirit.

While this haven is brimming with luaus, they aren’t all cut from the same coconut leaf. There are numerous shows throughout the islands, but which are the top luaus in Hawaii? To find out the best luau in Hawaii with the most epic scenery, tastiest food, family-friendly atmosphere and more, read on.

Three hula dancers in bright red and yellow costumes dancing on stage at Chiefs Luau in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Chief’s Luau via Facebook

Chief’s Luau

Situated on an Oahu mountaintop at Sea Life Park, Chief’s Luau provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The memorable setting frames all of the activities, and you can choose which experience you prefer: the Royal Experience, the Paradise Experience, or the Aloha Experience. Each enables you to enjoy a delicious authentic Hawaiian buffet, an adult beverage, and a shell lei greeting.

Right from the start guests are engaged in Hawaiian culture. The Chief’s Luau is also renowned for its engaging host, Chief Sielu. His charismatic storytelling brings Hawaiian history and culture alive.

Before dinner starts gather as the pig feast is unearthed, then settle in for an all-you-can-eat luau buffet. The size of the group at Chief’s Luau keeps the atmosphere somewhat intimate, while the talent on stage tells the story of Polynesian cultures with a lot of dancing and comedy. Brace yourself for an entertaining journey teeming with humor, marking this luau as distinctively different from any you’ve previously experienced.

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Plus, the 10-minute 8-man fire dance finale is one of the most impressive you’ll see anywhere. Wrap up your evening and bask in the mystique of the ‘Ava Ceremony and the climactic Samoan fire knife performance.

Drums of the Pacific Luau

Drums of the Pacific certainly holds a soft spot in many guests’ hearts. Remarkable for its fusion of traditional Hawaiian festivities with a modern touch, it offers a captivating and enriching sensory adventure that stimulates both sight and sound.

Relish the flavors of genuine Hawaiian taste presented via a conventional buffet style dinner. Then, find yourself enthralled by the mesmerizing performances and customs of Polynesian culture, absorbing the ambience and the unique spirit of Aloha. As day turns into night, seize the opportunity to catch the mesmerizing sunset experience on Maui. Watch as the sky bursts into a spectacular display of pink and orange shades, creating an unforgettable visual feast.

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With Drums of the Pacific located at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort, just steps from Ka’anapali Beach, luau guests have direct access to stunning views of the Pacific, which become even better as the sun sets into the sea. Also, the luau features arts and crafts demonstrations, a traditional torch-lighting ceremony, and an intricate imu (underground oven) ceremony.

Bonus, the luau hosts an open bar. You have the pleasure of sipping on an extensive range of drinks, including the vibrant Mai Tais and the enticing Tahitian Bay, smooth, creamy Pina Colada, tantalizing Blue Hawaii, and the light, citrusy Lanai Tai. There is something to suit everyone’s taste.

At the end of the show, the talent is available for pictures and such, too, so don’t miss your photo-op!

photo credit: Germaine’s Luau & Special Events via Facebook

Germaine’s Luau

Germaine’s Luau transports guests (literally) to Kapolei, Oahu from designated Waikiki locations. Literally, because most, if not all of Germaine’s guests, travel via complimentary bus to the Luau location. The trip takes about an hour, but the tour ride is fun and made lively by comical group leaders.

Germaine’s stands out for its beachside location near Barber’s Point Lighthouse, a guaranteed Instagram-worthy setting. It’s no wonder many hail it as the best luau in Waikiki.

Before the show starts, watch as the Kalua Pua’ is unearthed from the imu. Then prepare for an all-you-can-eat-island-style buffet. Three free alcoholic drinks are included with tickets, too. The talent at Germaine’s features the Polynesian traditions of similar luaus, but their dancing takes it up a notch. So, feel the vibrancy of Germaine’s Luau, where the lively and energetic atmosphere sets the stage for an unforgettable party.

Island Breeze Luau

Another best luau in Kona, Island Breeze is a true cultural experience. This must-visit, located at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island, ranks as one of the best luaus in Hawaii for several reasons. First, the luau’s beachfront locale is historic as it is Kamehameha the Great’s former estate in Kailua-Kona. Secondly, the backdrop of passing fishing boats, paddlers in outrigger canoes, and the lights of Kona and Mount Hualalai is unlike any other. Lastly, the show is totally family-friendly.

This royal Hawaiian celebration journeys through all of the Polynesian islands, from the Fijian dances of war to the graceful Hawaiian luau, and ends with a daring fire knife dance. The seating, which is definitely designed to help you make friends with your neighbor, is intimate with luau talent parading through the aisles.

A 22-dish traditional Hawaiian buffet and the open bar will keep you stocked with beverages. Wait for the highlight of the evening, a delicious feast that showcases the local culture. Relish in the kalua pig, traditionally cooked in an underground ‘imu’ oven. The rich smoky flavors of Hawaiian food and the top-tier drinks add an exclusive touch to the Luau festivity.

Plus, it serves an extensive selection that includes everything from salads, seafood, and local entrees, to a tempting dessert station featuring tropical fruits and island-inspired sweets. Interested in finding out why it’s considered the best luau on the Big Island? The delightful menu catered specifically for children might just give you the answer!  A special Kid’s Buffet is available, featuring a delightful spread tailored for younger guests.

Hula dancers on stage with trees and view of water in background at Paradise Cove Luau in Oahu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Paradise Cove Luau via Facebook

Paradise Cove Luau

Experience traditions like lei greetings and hula performances firsthand with the entire family when visiting Hawaii. This is one of the best luaus in Hawaii because of the intimate, familial atmosphere. Right from the start, guests are made at ease and treated with the perfect amount of aloha spirit.

The setting on the west coast of Oahu provides beautiful sunsets, while the pre show activities, like Shower of Flowers, Hukilau on the Beach, and the Imu Ceremony, make Paradise Cove Luau an interactive experience for the whole family. Arts and crafts demonstrations are also on-hand. Take the chance to learn how to make a flower lei, grass skirt, and more.

As this is a Honolulu luau, the courtesy transportation from local hotels is really convenient to use and a total bonus if you plan on indulging in a few free mai tais. The show at Paradise Cove Luau stands out for its extravagant costumes among all other luaus, and the dancing is some of the best as well. Splurge on the Deluxe Luau Package if you can to get a front-row seat to the best luau in Oahu.

close up of dancers in traditional costume on stage at Toa Luau in Oahu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Toa Luau via Facebook

Toa Luau

From a mouth-watering Hawaiian buffet to exhilarating Polynesian shows, Toa Luau offers it all. It’s easy to why it is among the top luaus in Oahu. Prepare to be amazed by the stories told through enthralling dance performances under the starlit sky. You’ll get to witness local artists showcasing their skills in crafting traditional Hawaiian art, including lei-making and weaving demonstrations.

Moreover, this luau experience is enriched by interactive cultural activities. Unleash your adventurous side as you participate in spear-throwing or test your skills at playing the ukulele. Not to mention, Toa Luau’s world-class fire knife dancers are bound to take your breath away.

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Set your heart on the unforgettable Toa Luau if you’re keen on an evening brimming with vibrant dances, delectable food, melodious music, and a deep dive into Hawaiian culture. This event not only delivers unforgettable entertainment but also heightens your Hawaiian adventure.

Queens Waikiki Luau

Let’s whisk you away to yet another magical experience – the Queens Waikiki Luau. Set in the heart of Waikiki at the Queen’s Surf Beach, it’s an authentic luau Hawaii that beautifully captures the energetic Hawaiian spirit.

Join the vibrant beach festivities under Hawaii’s stunning starlit sky. Make sure to enjoy the rhythmic hula dances and the intrinsically powerful Polynesian drum beats as they echo through the cool evening air. What sets the Queen’s Waikiki Luau apart, you may ask? It’s in the authenticity and interaction it offers. Guests don’t just watch, they participate. From the unearthing of the roasted pig to the chance to learn the Hula, visitors get an immersive glimpse into Hawaiian tradition, making every moment genuinely memorable.

Moreover, the luau is a celebration of Queen Lili’uokalani’s legacy, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, adding a significant historical touch to the experience. Abundant with traditional food like Poi and Poke, guests are treated to a culinary adventure through the islands’ most famous delicacies. Alongside the cuisine, you get a panoramic taste of Polynesian culture through various performances, from Tahitian dances to Samoan fire knife displays. It’s no wonder many leave with smiles on their faces, planning their next return visit even before they leave.

Five beautiful, smiling ladies perform a Hawaiian dance in Hawaiian attire.
photo credit: Luau Kalamaku on Kauai via Facebook

Luau Kalamaku

Enjoy a different Hawaiian adventure with the Luau Kalamaku. Unlike any other luau, Kalamaku presents a captivating theatrical performance, portraying an ancient sea voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti.

Set within the lush landscapes of Kilohana Plantation, you will relish in a range of activities, including lei making, and take a historical train ride through a 105-acre plantation.

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The lavish buffet offers the tastiest Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes, from Poi to Kalua pig cooked in traditional imu style. But the crowning jewel is a riveting fire knife dance performance, concluding a fun night.

Smith’s Garden Luau

If you’re on the hunt for an authentic, interactive Hawaiian luau, your search ends at Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau. Set in a serene 30-acre botanical garden near the Wailua River on Kauai, this location provides an extra touch of cultural depth.

Smith Family Garden Luau has been entertaining visitors with its traditional Hawaiian luau for over 50 years. A family-run venture deeply rooted in the local culture, the Smith’s uphold their ancestors’ rich traditions, promising a memorable and authentic cultural experience. The highlight of this favorite is the incredible stage show featuring traditional Hawaiian hula and fire knife dancing that promises to leave you awestruck.

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Guests are also treated to the impressive array of traditional Hawaiian cuisine featured at the luau. The food was great with the menu showcasing mouth-watering Hawaiian BBQ pig, skillfully roasted in an underground oven, succulent teriyaki beef, and fresh lomi salmon. The grand finale? A slice of tropical dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Each delectable bite offers an explosion of taste that creatively reflects Hawaii’s rich culinary heritage.

Women in traditional clothing Dancing at the Polynesian Cultural Center - Oahu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Polynesian Cultural Center via Facebook

Polynesian Cultural Center

Savor the authentic taste of Polynesian culture at the acclaimed Polynesian Cultural Center Luau. This extraordinary event showcases the rich history and traditions of Polynesia through engaging storytelling, vibrant music, dazzling dance performances, and delectable Hawaiian island cuisine. The luau gives you access to six Polynesian villages, each brimming with unique art, customs, and interactive exhibits.

The luau features an authentic Hawaiian buffet with a variety of dishes deeply rooted in Polynesian fare. Be swept away by the delightful Kampachi fish, skillfully marinated in a unique blend of brown sugar and coconut milk vinaigrette. This culinary creation draws inspiration from a traditional Samoan recipe.

These are the best luaus in Hawaii that promise a great experience beyond compare. Treat yourself to one of these authentic Hawaiian parties for an unforgettable evening under the island stars. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a novice to the luau scene, Hawaii has the perfect luau waiting for you.

Old Lahaina Luau

If Hawaii is on your travel bucket list, don’t miss exploring the Old Lahaina Luau. Renowned for its genuine Hawaiian vibe, this luau offers a one-of-a-kind party.

Nestled on the beach of Maui, this luau embraces the rich history and culture of Hawaii, providing a genuine journey for its visitors. You’ll have exclusive access to traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts, coupled with an engaging mythology presentation that allows you to explore the rich legends of the archipelago.

Your taste buds will dance with traditional Hawaiian cuisine expertly prepared using time-honored recipes; highlights include slow-roasted Kalua Pua’a, Maui style Mahi Mahi, and Poi. It’s a feast honoring the islands’ culinary heritage and is served at sunset while hula dancers tell stories through their movements, and musicians lend their melodies to the ocean breeze.

Tell Us, Which Top Luaus in Hawaii Will You Experience First?

Did we miss the best luau in Hawaii? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Anne Joyce Raymundo

Anne is a Filipino writer who formerly managed and created marketing strategies and materials for numerous websites and eCommerce platforms. Now, her voice...

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