Oahu Nightlife

Oahu is the best of all the Islands for nightlife. The locals call it pau hana, but you might call it happy hour (the literal translation of the Hawaiian phrase is "done with work"). On weeknights, it's likely that you'll find the working crowd, still in their business-casual attire, downing chilled beers even before the sun goes down. Those who don't have to wake up in the early morning

should change into a fresh outfit and start the evening closer to 10 pm.

On the weekends, it's typical to have dinner at a restaurant before hitting the clubs around 9:30. Some bar-hoppers start as early as 7, but partygoers typically don't patronize more than two establishments a night. That's because getting from one Oahu nightspot to the next usually requires packing your friends into the car and driving. Cab services are plentiful, and newcomer Uber, which offers the ambience of a private driver, gives Honolulu a San Francisco feel.

You can find a bar in just about any area on Oahu. Most of the clubs, however, are in Waikiki, near Ala Moana, and in Chinatown, near downtown Honolulu. The drinking age is 21 on Oahu and throughout Hawaii. Many bars will admit younger people but will not serve them alcohol. By law, all establishments that serve alcoholic beverages must close by 2 am, although you might get lucky and stumble into a secret all-night party. The only exceptions are those with a cabaret license, which can stay open until 4 am. Some places have a cover charge of $5–$10, but with many establishments, getting there early means you don't have to pay.

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Oahu Nightlife

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Sky Waikiki

  • Music Clubs

This may just be the club Oahu has been waiting for. It debuted in summer 2015, 19 stories above the city, just below Top of Waikiki,...

Surfer, the Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This laid-back bar is located in the Turtle Bay Resort and is a partnership between the hotel and Surfer magazine. It's a hip spot...

The Brewseum

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

This brewpub is a must-visit for imbibers who like a little history with their beer. The charming spot wonderfully combines World War...

The Dragon Upstairs

  • Music Clubs

In the heart of Chinatown, this cool club—formerly a tattoo parlor, hence the dragon mural—serves up classic cocktails along with...

The Shack

  • Bars/Pubs

This sports bar and restaurant is one of the few late-night spots you can find in Southeast Oahu. After a day of snorkeling at Hanauma...

The Study

  • Bars/Pubs

It's tricky to find the Study at the Modern Honolulu—it's behind a huge, revolving bookcase in the lobby behind the registration desk.

Tiki's Grill & Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Tiki torches light the way to this restaurant and bar overlooking Kuhio Beach. A mix of locals and visitors head here on the weekend...

Waikiki Starlight Luau

  • Themed Entertainment

This Waikiki luau is done spectacularly on the rooftop of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. There isn't an imu ceremony, but the live entertainment...

Waiolu Ocean View Lounge

  • Music Clubs

Hawaiian bars should have two things: stellar views of the sunset over the ocean and equally awesome mai tais. Both are on offer at the...

Wang Chung's Karaoke Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Dubbed the "Friendliest Bar in Waikiki," this charming karaoke bar is a must-see on any trip to the island. The positive vibe comes from...


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