3 Best Bars in The North Shore, Kauai

Happy Talk Lounge

Fodor's choice

You can sip an umbrella cocktail while you gaze at the original Bali Hai from this lounge, open on two sides and offering breezy views across Hanalei Bay to plush emerald mountains. If you think the scene looks familiar, maybe you’ve seen the classic movie South Pacific, filmed here. The Hollywood version of Bali Hai is actually Kauai’s Mt. Makana. Order a tropical cocktail and pupu (Hawaiian hors d’oeuvres) and enjoy a truly enchanted evening as the sun sets over the sparkling waters. Local musicians entertain guests Thursday through Monday. Nearby Tunnels Beach (aka Haena Beach and Makua) is often called Nurses' Beach, where Mitzi Gaynor sang about washing that man right outta her hair; Hanalei Bay is where Bloody Mary sang “Bali Hai.”

Tahiti Nui

This venerable and funky institution in sleepy Hanalei still offers its famous luau at 5 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, although the bar is the big attraction. The spirits of locals and visitors alike are always high at this popular hangout, which features live nightly entertainment and Hawaiian music on Friday evening. It's open until 1 am on weekends.

The Hanalei Gourmet Bar

The sleepy North Shore stays awake—until 10:30, that is—each evening in this small, convivial deli and bar inside Hanalei's restored old school building. There's local live Hawaiian, jazz, rock, and folk music on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

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