Probably the most touristy thing that we did during our Hawaii trip (I say that, but let’s face it, anytime you go on vacation your trip is pretty much guaranteed to be filled with touristy things. Otherwise why are you going on vacation!), was a luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai. Before our trip most people, including my parents, told us that a luau was a waste of time and money because it’s not truly Hawaiian and the food isn’t that great. Well I’m here to tell you that while it is touristy, a luau during your Hawaiian trip is totally worth it, and something that you should try to do on your trip, especially the luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai. And here are the reasons why!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

You’ll Learn About Hawaiian Culture

The Hawaiian culture is very diverse because of it’s location in the Pacific Ocean. Multiple Pacific Islanderl, mainly the Polynesians, actually made their way to Hawaii and brought with them their culture, including the hula dance. While traditional hula is more about chants and having the dance moves portray those chants, the more Westernized hula incorporates more Western style of instruments that the dancers dance to.

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

With all of the different island cultures coming together on the island, it definitely makes for a wide array of styles of hula dance, and during your luau you will definitely see quite a few of those types. From traditional Hula, to Westernized Hula, to the Haka that the New Zealand All Blacks perform before every Rugby game, to even fire dancing. You will be entertained, I guarantee it!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

You’re Surrounded By A Beautiful Setting

I’ll bet you that one of the reasons that you’re visiting Hawaii is because you want to escape to a beautiful and tropical setting, so why in the world would you want to spend your time eating indoors. A luau gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and a beautiful setting as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The luau at the Sheraton Poipu Beach will definitely allow you to enjoy the a beautiful setting, but what’s even better is that you will be literally right on the beach. We enjoyed the cool salty breeze right off the ocean, the beautiful dancing, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, and an amazing sunset to boot. You will definitely be happy that you chose to luau at the Sheraton Poipu!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

Bottomless Mai Tais & Some Great Hawaiian Food

Besides beautiful dancing and music, I know that another reason that you’re deciding to attend a luau is to try some traditional Hawaiian food as well. The Luau at the Sheraton Poipu has all of the traditional Hawaiian food that you could want. From pineapple to poke to purple potatoes to Kalua pig to taro rolls and even poi, everybody will find something to eat while at the luau. And yes, Chris and I even ate some poi, even though it wasn’t our favorite we still gave it a try!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

But even better than all of the food that you’re going to be eating at the luau, probably the most exciting thing you’ll be putting into your stomach is the bottomless mai tais that you’ll be able to drink while you’re enjoying the entertainment. If there’s one drink that you have to drink while on Hawaii, besides maybe a pina colada, it’s definitely a mai tai! The mai tai is the perfect fruity concoction with a side of rum that will make you feel relaxed and really enjoy the Hawaiian side of life!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

While I definitely feel like the luau at the Sheraton Poipu was very touristy, Chris and I still really enjoyed our time at the luau. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting, the food and drinks were delicious, and I felt like we really got to learn more about the Hawaiian culture and the different aspects of hula. So if you feel like being a tourist on your vacation to Hawaii and learning a little bit more about the Hawaiian culture, definitely give the luau at the Sheraton Poipu a try! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women for the first anniversary of Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World! Thanks for creating such a wonderful community of women! I’ve loved being a part of this linkup so much!

The Wandering Weekenders- Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

Do you like to do the touristy things on vacation? Have you ever attended a luau? 

Other Hawaii Posts

My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala
A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
Where To Eat On Maui
An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon
Zipline Kauai with Skyline Eco-Adventures
Exploring Kauai From The Air

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Why you should choose to luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai: delicious food and mai tais, a beautiful setting right on the beach, and some amazing hula!

  • ah these are some stellar photos! i totally agree with you. for the culture and the atmosphere, it’s def a cool thing to experience. i am glad the sheraton was worth it!

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • It totally was worth it! We actually were booked at another luau and it got canceled so I was glad that we were able to get booked at the Sheraton! We had so much fun and we’d totally do it again!

  • These posts depress me. Because I want to be in Hawaii already! Hurry up 6 years in Boston so we can move there.
    Also, you remind me of Jemma Simmons on Agents of SHIELD.

    • Haha I bet those 6 years go by faster than you think! Plus Boston is a fun city too! I’d totally do this all again if I could!

  • Oh so fun. I am still totally wanting to go to Hawaii. I think a luau is something that we would want to do when we went, but we might have to do a lot of research. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed yours, everything looks and sounds awesome! I think usually when we travel we try to do a mix of touristy and non-touristy things. I tend to not be that excited about touristy things sometimes, because they just aren’t things I’m that interested in. So it probably just depends on the trip! 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • I think that you’re right that there’s a good mix of touristy versus non touristy things on trips, but some things you have to do when you’re visiting that place because why else are you visiting there. You wouldn’t visit Venice without going to St. Mark’s Square right. I hope that you make it to Hawaii one day! It’s beautiful and you wouldn’t be disappointed by the luau at the Sheraton! We loved our time there so much!

  • A trip to hawaii without a Luau would be a travesty! This looks like such a great time and you took some amazing photos. I love the one of the guy with his tongue out!

    • I have to admit that Chris took most of these pictures because he had the better lens, including the one with the guy and his tongue out. And I totally agree! You have to do a luau at least once and I’m so glad that we were able to go this time around!

  • Jen

    Anyone who goes to Hawaii must attend a Luau! We had so much fun when we went to one and there really is no other experience like it. I love your photos! 🙂

    • Thank you! I totally agree too, it’s a must do at least once! We didn’t do it the first time that I visited Hawaii, so I was glad that we were able to do it this time around!

  • I didn’t do a luau when I was in Hawaii!! :'( BUT I did see several Maori hakas and attended a Maori dinner when I was last in New Zealand! 🙂

  • A luau sounds like a must-do touristy thing when in Hawaii. Sounds like a great way to experience the cultures and just watch a show filled with dancing and fun costumes. When I eventually make it to Hawaii, I’ll definitely have a luau on my list of things to do. Love the photos!

    • I I most definitely just do a luau when you make it to Hawaii! I felt like we learned so much about the Hawaiian culture and we got to eat so much good food too! Plus the dancing was pretty awesome too!

  • Did someone say bottomless mai tais? lol I would love to attend a luau while in Hawaii, touristy or not! I feel like things are touristy for a reason… cause people like to do/see them. All your posts are making me want to visit Hawaii! My boyfriend has been (he used to go there every year for college baseball) and he loved it. He’s been dying to go back, I need to make it happen!

    • You definitely need to make it happen! It’s so beautiful, but also there’s so much to do besides just laying on a beach. The Mai Tais might have been my favorite part of the luau, well besides the dancing as well. And that’s exactly what I say about touristy things, they’re typically the most dos for where you’re visiting. You wouldn’t visit Venice without going to St. Mark’s!

  • WOW!! This place looks absolutely incredible! What great photos.

  • I totally thought a luau was worth it too! Plus, who can say no to bottomless mai tais?! Haha

    • Exactly! Plus I think that I was kind of surprised by how good the food was too! I loved all of the pineapple that we were able to eat. I’m so glad that we decided to do a luau!

  • LydiaCLee

    Lovelt beaCH AT THE sHERATON – such a pretty spot. We didn’t do the Luau as we’d seen the dancers at Turtle Bay.

    • We ended up staying at the Sheraton during our time on Kauai and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect hotel! It made attending the luau there much easier!

  • This sounds like such a fun thing to attend– you got some great pictures! Just reading about the food made me hungry too.

    • I think that I was actually surprised by how good the food was, and I was so proud that we actually tried poi as well! If you make it to Hawaii you definitely need to attend a luau! They’re so much fun and totally worth it!

  • Nicole F

    If we ever go to Hawaii, a luau will definitely be on my list. All of these things sounds wonderful to me!

    • I don’t think that you’d be disappointed if you went to a luau in Hawaii! We learned so much, the food was good, and it was a ton of fun!

  • Christina Sotherden

    We did a luau in bora bora and it was so fun to see and learn about the culture!

    • That would have been so much fun! I love how all of the pacific island cultures are all linked together! I couldn’t imagine sailing from somewhere like bora bora to Hawaii but it did happen!

  • I didn’t do a luau in Hawaii, and I definitely regret not taking advantage of it!! Your pictures are incredible and show so much depth of emotion!! I’m impressed since I know the conditions had to be challenging with low light!

    • I have to admit that my husband took most of the up close pictures because he had the better lens but I was amazed too! The dancers were fantastic and I’m glad that we were able to experience it! It sounds like you need another trip back! I didn’t do a luau the first time around so I was glad that I was able to this time.

  • Biana Perez

    My sister is planning a trip back to Hawaii and they are looking at Kauai so I’m going to recommend this to them! We did our luau in Maui and LOVED it so much! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • My parents kept on telling us to not do it, but I was so glad that we did. It was a blast! That’s so exciting that your sister is headed to Kauai! We actually stayed at the Sheraton as well and it’s a beautiful hotel, if she hasn’t booked a hotel yet!

  • I totally agree, luaus are so much fun! They may be touristy but it’s a great way to sample Hawaiian food and learn about the culture. Plus who doesn’t love being outside, dressing up, and watching a show?!

    • Exactly! It’s so much fun to go to a show, especially when the food is good and you get to learn something too! What I loved about this luau was that it was right on the beach, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location!

  • I haven’t been to a luau in ages, but I definitely think you should do it at least once! Such great fun, even if it is super touristy!

    • Exactly, it’s totally worth it at least once, and if you don’t love it then you don’t have to do it again. I’m so glad that we decided to do it this time around!

  • Rachel

    You got some great pictures! That’s one thing we didn’t do when we were in Hawaii, I was only 5 and my parents didn’t think I would want to sit through it. They were probably right then, but now it’s definitely something I would want to do if we go back! And so awesome to experience the traditional Hawaiian food, too!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • My parents were the exact same way when we went to Hawaii. They had already been to a luau during another Hawaii trip and didn’t think that it was worth it. I think that we ended up choosing a good luau and I was so happy that we ended up going! I hope that y’all end up getting to go back to Hawaii sometime so you can go to a luau!

  • Nadine

    I dont know why but anytime I hear luau I think of the scene in Just Go With It when Jennifer Anniston and Nicole Kidman have their little Luau dance off. Have you seen that movie? Anyways, your pictures are amazing and this sounds like such a fun night!!!!

    • I haven’t actually seen that movie, but that scene sounds so funny! I always think of Forgetting Sarah Marshall when I think of Hawaii and luaus which I’m sure is just as funny. Chris actually took most of these pictures and he did such a good job! I was amazed by how good they were!

  • I would love to attend a lua! What a fun and interesting way to learn more about Hawaiian culture!!

    • It really was! I think that everybody automatically thinks of grass skirts when they think of a Hawaiian hula, but it’s amazing how many different types there are!

  • Honestly, how can you go to Hawaii and not go to a Luau?!? Sure, it’s touristy, but its Hawaii!! Looks like you guys found a great one with an awesome mix of culture, food and well BOTTOMLESS Mai Tai’s 😛

    • The mai tais were pretty amazing, and they definitely helped us to feel more on vacation! I was so glad that Chris wanted to go to a luau as well because I really wanted to go to one. My parents didn’t take us to one last time and I always regretted not going!

  • Wow, I can feel the atmosphere through this photos and it really does seem like a great one! What a fun activity!! 🙂

    • It really was a lot of fun! I loved all of the dancers and the food, but you really felt like you were in Hawaii because you were right on the beach!

  • Sometimes there’s a reason touristy things are popular, and you just have to suck it up and go with it! I think this looks like a great experience though, lots of fun and as you say with good food, drink and views you really can’t go wrong. I love the photos of the dancers, you’ve captured them so well!

    • Exactly what I said! Like the sunset in Santorini right, you just can’t miss it! Chris and I were both pleasantly surprised by how good the food was because we were prepared for it to just be mediocre. And you really can’t beat the setting! So Chris actually took the majority of the pictures because he had the better lens and I loved how he was able capture so much detail!

  • I think going to a luau once is a must-do! I had fun at the one I went to.

    • I’m totally with you! I felt like it was totally worth it at least once, but if you didn’t like it you didn’t have to do it again.

  • Beautiful! You know, some people are just really picky when it comes to entertainment on vacations. Of course their luau evolved with time. We forget that one of the best things of music and dance is that it will always evolve and change and that is why it is so fascinating. I would love to see a dance show with flowers, fire and so much energy. Oh and the fact that it is by the beach is a huge plus!!

    • Exactly! A luau and hula dancing are so totally Hawaii that I feel like everybody should see one at least once. Plus with this luau right on the beach, it couldn’t have been more perfect and beautiful! I loved being able to see how everything has evolved over time too. It was so cool!

  • I think that it totally depends on what you want out of your trip, but there are some things that you have to do on your trips, otherwise it makes you wonder why you’re visiting that place in the first place. Like I don’t think that you’d visit Maui without visiting the Road To Hana or Haleakala. When y’all make it to Hawaii, I definitely recommend this luau! It was a blast and the hotel was awesome too!