Live Music, Honolulu
The Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach has a beach bar next to the pool and the bay, called the Barefoot Bar. This popular bar served draft and bottled beers and has a variety of local specialty mixed drinks. They also offer live music along the beach almost every night of the week. I stopped in twice during my last visit to Hawaii, and once during my previous visit in 2002. During the first visit, I had a local mixed drink called a tropical itch. During my most recent visit, I stuck with local beers like Kona Longboard Lager and Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, for $8 for a 20 oz draft.
I grew up next to Wolf's KOA (Kampground of America) in Pennsylvania, so I thought Hale's KOA was a similar family campground in the woods of Hawaii. Then I learned it was pronounced Hal-EE KO-ah, and that it was actually a hotel. The Hale Koa Hotel on Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center is a resort serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Hotel was built and financed by service men and women from their own funds and now operates on a self-sustaining basis.
Waikiki has a lot going on then but I think that Aloha Tower Market Place near Downtown has a great thing going on for that time of year !! Super great music5cr and great costumes GALORE !!!
Dress Code: CASUAL AND COSTUMES !!!!!
A GREAT PLACE TO ENJOY SOME GOOD FOOD AND DRINKS IS HERE..
USUALLY EACH EVENING ( ACTUALLY THURSDAYS THRU SATURDAY)THERE IS LIVE MUSIC AND THE PLACE CAN BE JUMPING WITH GOOD SOUNDS. !!!!!
THERE IS A AMOUNT OF AREA IN THE FRONT AND BACK FOR DINING AND THE FOOD IS TASTY.
BOTH FOOD AND DRINKS ARE REASONABLY PRICED FOR HAWAII.
GREAT COMBO OF SEAFOOD AND STEAKHOUSE STYLES AND FISH DISHES..
Dress Code: CASUAL
Gordon Biersch is a chain of microbreweries that has situated one of its outposts at the end of the Aloha Tower Marketplace in a fabulous location. Drink Beer and eat food while watching the sun set over the Coast Guard station or the ships come in and out of the harbor. On Thursdays and Saturdays they often have live music. The food is excellent and the microbrews our great! My favorite is the blond bock. You can also get mixed drinks and mai tais, but without a blender at the bar, some of your other tropical favorites will have to wait.
THE HAWAIIAN HUT HAS HAD SOME GOOD ENTERTAINMENT COMING INTO TOWN.. .NOT ONLY THE GOOD POLYNESIAN PERFORMANCES NIGHTLY..BUT ALSO SOME SPECIAL CONCERTS NOW AND THEN!!!
THIS PARTICULAR ONE WAS WITH LEON RUSSEL WHO PERFORMED WITH PEOPLE LIKE JOE COCKER IN THE "MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN"TOURS AND ALSO PERFORMED WITH ELTON JOHN AND JOHN LENNON AND GEORGE HARRISON AT THE "BANGLEDESH CONCERT"..
IT WAS A SUPER CONCERT..!!!!!!!!
Dress Code: CASUAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALOHA . ..HAWAIIAN STYLE !!!
This colorful, but rather small bar features live music and is frequented by super friendly locals! There is a full bar, and a light menu.
Dress Code: Extremely laid-back & casual; Aloha shirts, shorts, slippers, jeans, whatevahs...
Pretty much the only place on the north shore to party at night at besides the beach and houses, is in Halei'wa (i think that's spelled right, pronounced [ha-lay-EE-va), the 'town' in the north. There the best place to go is Halei'wa Joe's. We partied there right after the famous Eddie Aikau Memorial Big Wave Surf Contest at Waimea, with the Long Beach Dub Allstars playing live... it was sick sick SICK!!
Dress Code: Hawaiian shirt, nice pants, sandals of some kind. Pretty hip
Have a drink at the Banyan Bar at the Moana Hotel. The Banyan tree is over 100 years old, and the bar is under the spreading branches of the tree.
The Banyan Bar is located right on Waikiki beach, and you can hear the waves lapping against the sandy beach at night. The hotel shines spotlights out onto the ocean, so you can see the waves. Very relaxing. There's also nightly entertainment at the bar, so you get to see some free local talent. You also get those cute little paper umbrellas with your tropical drinks.
Go up to the second floor of the hotel to look at all the historical artifacts on display. Go into the small room, and a video player kicks on when you enter the room. The video covers the past 100 years in Hawaii, and all the changes that Waikiki has seen. Go up to the top (6th?) floor and on either side of the elevator is a small balcony. You can go there and overlook the Banyan bar. You can hear the waves at night, or listen to the free entertainment. It's like having your own private balcony.
Dress Code: Whatever. I wouldn't really suggest formal attire since this is an outdoor bar, but anything from a coat and tie or dress to shorts and t-shirts are okay.
While there are many clubs and entertainment opportunities in Waikiki, my favorite thing to do is to visit the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Nicknamed the 'Pink Palace,' this hotel is one of the oldest in Waikiki, and is still the most luxurious. At the back of the hotel, right next to Waikiki Beach, there is a small, outdoor bar. Most evenings there is live entertainment where one of the local groups will provide the sounds of the islands. The bar serves the BEST Mai Tai on the island (not just my opinion, but also the opinion of the food editors of both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star Bulletin). Sitting there in luxurious settings, sipping a Mai Tai, listening to gentle island music, feeling the ocean breeze, and watching the waves gently lap at the shore just about defined the 'island experience.'
The whole hotel is bright Pink!!! You can literally feel the luxury as you walk around. The lobby area is open to the public. I highly recommend at least strolling through the hotel. Staying there is even better, if you can afford it.
Dress Code: Because it is next to the beach, casual attire is permitted and accepted.
If you can arrange it, try to travel to Oahu in middle to late August for the Aloha Festival, in late October for Halloween, or in late December for New Years. On all three occassions Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki is normally blocked off and the entire area becomes one big block party!! It's a wonderful experience with all the people, the costumes, the entertainment, and the general revelry. Short of the Mardi Gras, there's not much like it anywhere in the world.
For the Aloha Festival, there will be stages set up all along the street providing entertainment. There is everything from great local musicians to national stars performing for free. It's crowded, but it's a BLAST.
Dress Code: As always, on the islands the dress code is very casual. For the Halloween block party, though, a costume of some kind is always acceptable.
Here's one that's not secret! HAWAI'I THEATRE (downtown) for any Hawaiian music or dance event.
This is a restored neo-rococo theatre in the grand style. Lots of gold leaf, velvet curtains, and revivalist Renaissance murals. It has become the preferred venue for Hawaiian events, recalling the style of the Monarchy Period. The local audiences tend to dress up, with some older Hawaiian women wearing elegant holomu'u with kick trains and rare Ni'ihau shell lei. These Hawaiian concerts show the Hawaiian and local community at their most dressed up with local customs and social hierarchies in high gear. Check with the Hawai'i Theatre box office or the Honolulu Weekly newspaper for a schedule of Hawaiian events. There is usually something Hawaiian-related every weekend there.
There is a theatre organ that is occasionally used for silent movie presentations. It is situated next to a nouvelle Island cuisine restaurant, Indigo, which opens its back gate so that concert goers can go immediately to the theatre. Cocktails and soft drinks are available in the second floor lobby.
Dress Code: To be 'part of the experience,' an elegant aloha shirt for men or a long, fitted mu'umu'u for women is appropriate. No jeans or shorts. Beautiful shell, feather, or nut/seed leis are much in evidence. This is an opportunity to wear a fragrant lei (NO CARNATIONS!).
A kind of 'underground' place, with original people and music. They have a lot of different live band's playing and jam-sessions. Great rap music when I visited.
Dress Code: Casual.
The Hard Rock Cafe is always a nice bar!
The usual food, Elvis Presley's car, nice variety of drinks, and live music! Pic of me and fellow travel partner 'Ole_B' (VT friend as well).
Dress Code: Casual.