Use CHEER for 20% off at checkout! Free shipping on $35+ Last day for holiday shipping is 12/13.

Windward O‘ahu Entertainment

Entertainment in Windward O‘ahu leans more towards informative & easy-going, with two venues for cultural tours and luau, and some very casual nightlife.

Kualoa Ranch (49-560 Kamehameha Hwy., 808/237-7321) offers hikes and historical and cultural tours of the working ranch, bordering valleys, and coastline. Established in 1850, the ranch is steeped in tradition and has a unique perspective and story to tell. Tours are $24 adult and $15 child; the hike is $15 adult and includes one child.

Sign at Kualoa Ranch.
Kualoa Ranch consists of over 4000 acres and has been featured in dozens of popular films and television shows. Photo © Jennifer Boyer, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

On the northern end of the windward side, in La‘ie, the Polynesian Cultural Center (55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., 800/367-7060, 11:30am-9pm Mon.-Sat.) introduces visitors to the people and cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, Maori New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Marquesas, and Tonga as you walk through and visit the different villages and interact with the people demonstrating their specific arts and crafts. There is also a canoe ride that explores the villages as well.

Dining is paramount to the experience, and you can choose between the Island Buffet with a mix of local Hawaiian fare, Prime Dining with prime rib, crab legs, and sushi in a secluded setting, or the famous Ali‘i Luau, with authentic Hawaiian food including traditional imu pork, a large pig cooked in an earthen oven. There is also an evening show called “Ha: Breath of Life,” which is a culmination of story, dance, Polynesian music, and fire. General admission, which is for the day experience only, is $49.95 adult, $39.95 child. Admission, buffet, and evening show will run $69.95 adult, $54.95 child, and packages for admission, the luau, and show start at $91.95 adult, $67.95 child.

Nightlife on the Windward Side

Hawaii Ka‘i

The Shack (377 Keahole St., 808/396-1919, 11am-2am daily, $7-24) is the quintessential pub and sports bar, with dark wood furniture, darts, pool, and TVs all around. The curious decorations make this bar come alive. It’s located right on the water in the Hawaii Ka‘i Shopping Center, with outside seating as well. The happy hour and daily specials will make you extra happy.


Located at the intersection of Hamakua Drive and Hahani Street, Boardriders Bar & Grill (201 Hamakua Dr., 808/261-4600, noon-2am daily, $9-15) is better known as a bar than a grill, but they do serve pizza, salad, steak, stir-fry, and classic bar munchies. Boardriders has a couple pool tables and is the best venue for catching live music on the windward side. The bar sees local, national, and international artists and favors reggae and Hawaiian music. Pau hana is 4pm-6pm daily.

Nestled next to the Hamakua Marsh is the friendly blue-collar bar called The Creekside Lounge (153 Hamakua Dr., 808/262-6466, 8am-2am daily). Established in 1982, the Creekside is a biker bar with a cadre of friendly female bartenders. The bar shows live sporting events and is no frills, but they have a huge local following. Smoking is allowed on the patio overlooking the marsh, where most patrons regularly spill out to.

Map of Windward O‘ahu, Hawaii
Windward O‘ahu

Related Travel Guide