When visiting Hawaii, there really is so much to see and do. While you want to take in as much as you can, getting in that relaxation is important. It’s your vacation, after all! One of the best ways to unwind in Oahu is attending a luau.
With food, entertainment, music, and more, you can really get to relax. Originally in Hawaiian culture, special feasts celebrating certain occasions were called an ahaaina; In Hawaiian, aha means gathering while aina means meal.
While this sounds similar to the luau tradition of today, there are some big differences. For example, men and women didn’t eat together, and certain foods were not allowed. Then, in 1819 King Kamehameha II ended old traditions and marked this with a feast that all were invited to. While he is most known as the one and only king who united Hawaii’s islands, he also changed social norms into what we see today.
Eventually, the name luau became more common for these feasts. In fact, the name comes from taro leaves, which are served at luaus with laulau, which is meat wrapped in the taro leaf.
To help you make the most out of your relaxation, we’ve put together this list of the best luaus in Oahu.
Best 5 Luaus in Oahu
1. Ali’i Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center
One of the many parts of Hawaiian culture available at the Polynesian Cultural Center is their Ali’i Luau. With the luau starting at 6 pm, you are guaranteed an evening of great food and beautiful entertainment.
They achieve this preservation of heritage with the authentic music that is performed, as well as providing traditional food like kalua pork. In addition, there are interactive elements to the Ali’i Luau that teaches you luau history while you’re having fun!
Essentially, you are experiencing not only fantastic food but authentic Hawaiian music and history, which makes it clear why this is one of the best luaus in Oahu.
2. Paradise Cove Luau
Whether this is your first luau or one of many, the Paradise Cove Luau is an immersive and unforgettable experience that you can’t miss. Located at the Ko Olina Resort, this luau is held on 12 acres with a gorgeous oceanfront view!
With traditional Hawaiian music as your backdrop, you can walk through Paradise Cove’s Hawaiian village and experience first hand the traditions of ancient and modern Hawaii.
The Paradise Cove Luau lets you have a unique luau experience with their Hawaiian village.
Eventually, everyone is brought back together for other luau events such as the shower of flowers.
3. Diamond Head Luau
Conveniently located at the Waikiki Aquarium, the Diamond Head Luau is right near Waikiki beach and major hotels.
With the emphasis on Malama ‘ka ‘Aina, or ‘care for the land’, the Diamond Head Luau proudly supports local farmers to create a healthy-sized feast for curious guests and tourists.
There’s nothing like eating a meal that was locally grown while learning about the history of Hawaii!
Sit amongst friends as you enjoy locally-sourced foods, learn about Hawaiian history, and take ukulele and hula lessons.
The Diamond Head Luau is an experience of a lifetime! If you find yourself on the island check out this luau in Oahu.
4. Ka Moana Luau
The Ka Moana Luau, located at the Sea Life Park Hawaii, is an experience that takes you across Ka Moana, or ‘the ocean’.
In addition to the luau, you get free admission to the park to explore before the show begins!
During the luau, you get to learn more about Hawaii’s culture.
Some of this is made possible with their wonderful music and dances. You get to learn how to make things like coconut headbands as well.
The Ka Moana Luau also offers a wide assortment of food along with this entertainment.
Using umu, or above-ground ovens, specialties like their delicious kalua pork are made just for you.
5. Chief’s Luau
Attend Chief’s Luau to experience a one-of-a-kind, immersive luau experience!
Chief’s Luau is arranged and hosted by world-renowned Chief Sielu Avea. He is known internationally as “The Coconut Man” because of his 20 years at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
In addition, Chief Sielu Avea was also known as the World Champion fire-knife dancer at the evening show at the PCC.
Fire-knife dancing, which has been a large part of Samoan performances at the PCC, involves using long baton-like knives that are set on fire and twirled during performances.
With the show, you also get a delicious feast. This feast blends traditional and Hawaiian Regional Cuisine for an unforgettable meal.
Round Out Your Hawaii Experiences!
Adding one of these luaus to your day can take it from great to spectacular. You can start your perfect day by touring the island in the best way possible: on a doors-off helicopter tour!
After you take in the beauty of Oahu from the air, make the most of your time on the ground with a luau.
At the luau of your choice, you get to eat and relax amongst friends and family. Plus, not to mention, you also get to learn more about the beautiful landscape of Oahu.
In other words, by combining a once in a lifetime helicopter tour with one of the best luaus in Oahu, you get one of the most unique experiences Hawaii has to offer!
To learn more about how you can learn about the beauty of Oahu, contact Tropical Helicopters today!