Mark Loproto
Posted on January 15, 2024

North Shore Oahu Luaus – Updated for 2024

 Luaus on Oahu’s North Shore – Updated for 2024

by Mark L., Last Updated January 15, 2024

Hula dancer

Although many luaus are located along Oahu’s southern shore, only two can be found on the North Shore.

Although they are further away from the resort areas of  Waikiki and Ko Olina, both the Polynesian Cultural Center and Toa Luau are worth the drive. These two luaus offer a unique evening of fabulous food, fun, and entertainment.

You could easily spend all day at either of these two locations and never run out of interesting things to see and do. Or, you could simply focus on the luau experience and work them into a North Shore itinerary filled with many other stops.

The PCC and Toa both offer a wide selection of cultural experiences, a fantastic dining experience, and high-quality luau entertainment.

That said, they are very different from each other. Read on for more information.

Gateway Package at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Fire-knife performance at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu's North Shore.
“Ha: Breath of Life” ends with a thrilling fire-knife performance.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is much more than just a luau. Laie’s main attraction is an opportunity to experience the history of the Hawaiian Islands in an immersive setting. PCC’s many exhibits give us a glimpse into what early life was like for the early Polynesians.

The 40-acre property includes six island villages representing different Polynesian nations. Each village has an assortment of exhibits, games, cultural activities, and demonstrations. Meanwhile, guests can travel from village to village on foot or take a canoe ride on the man-made lagoon that connects the villages.

The complex also includes a theatre that shows a 4D natural history movie about Hawaii. If that wasn’t enough there’s a variety of shops and food vendors located throughout the park. The Hawaiian Football Hall of Fame is also located on the grounds. There is too much to see and do at the Polynesian Cultural Center to fit it all in one day. Thankfully the Gateway Package includes a three-day pass so you don’t have to!

After an afternoon of cultural activities, you’ll enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat luau buffet dinner that showcases the flavors of the Hawaiian Islands. The PCC does not serve alcohol on its premises.

The highlight of this fun-filled day though is the award-winning evening show “Ha: Breath of Life.” The heartwarming show tells a fantastical tale of early voyagers. And it features many hula and fire-knife dancing performances, of course!

The Polynesian Cultural Center offers round-trip transportation from Waikiki for an additional fee, so getting there is easy whether you have a rental car or not!

Click here for more information on the Gateway Package at the Polynesian Cultural Center!

Toa Luau and Waterfall Swim in Waimea Valley

Access to beautiful Waimea Falls is included with the Toa Luau
Take a dip at Waimea Falls before the luau!

Another North Shore luau with a strong focus on culture and tradition is Toa Luau at Waimea Botanical Falls. This intimate luau celebrates the traditions and the many customs of an authentic luau. Arrive early, though. You’ll need time to explore all of the natural beauty and cultural sites inside Waimea Valley.

Although Toa Luau is small in size (under 200 guests), it provides a large number of cultural experiences for its guests. There are many games and activities that guests can try, plus an imu demonstration and a kava ceremony before dinner.

The luau dinner is a sit-down, full-service affair, rather than the typical luau buffet. The menu features slow-roasted Kalua pork and other traditional luau foods. And after dinner enjoy a night of Polynesian dancing that ends with an exciting fire-knife performance.

Along with the cultural activities, buffet, and evening performance, guests of Toa Luau also have access to the privately owned Waimea Valley. This includes the cultural sites, botanical gardens, and stunning Waimea Falls. Hike through the beautiful gardens to a gorgeous waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the clear pool below when water levels allow.

You may also want to check out the world-famous Waimea Bay, home to big-wave surfing competitions, located just across the street. And the charming surf town, Haleiwa, is just a few minutes away as well.  Toa Luau does not provide transportation from Waikiki. You will need a car to get here, but Toa Luau is definitely worth the drive!

Click here for more information on Toa Luau!

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