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Best Kauai Nightlife

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Kauai really isn’t the place for those seeking nightlife. There really never has been a scene here and no one expects this to come any time soon. What the island does have is a fair number of gifted performers and one can find them performing at venues scattered throughout the island sometimes late into the evening.  If you are looking for nightlife, the best you’ll find is a bar or lounge with a relaxed vibe in which loitering is encouraged. And if you can’t even find that, go down to any beach and look up at the stars. That’s what Kauai’s about, anyway.

Tahiti Nui Restaurant

Neighborhood: North Shore
“The Nui” as it’s known is the classic North Shore bar, bedecked in a Polynesian dive theme and decor that speaks to its long history in Hanalei. Current owner Christian Marston keeps a picture of his mom and founder of Tahiti Nui, Louise, on the wall. If you’re out on the North Shore, eventually everybody ends up at the Nui. You know the party has started there when people have begun spilling out on to the deck and try to stay within the “No Alcohol Past This Point” line. It’s a fun, if slightly raucous, place usually with a band nightly and people dancing. 

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Oasis on the Beach

Neighborhood: The Eastside
Fairly new to the Kauai nightlife scene, Oasis took up shop at the posh digs of the Waipouli Beach Resort and fronts a killer pool and ocean view. The menu here attempts to be locovore, with locally-grown greens, Kunana Farms goat cheese and locally-raised beef. There are more Kauai visitors here usually than locals, and plenty of fruity drinks to go around. Bands play here every weekend, and a small area upon which one can dance keeps things interesting. Around 11PM things get crowded, but it’s not L.A.you will be able to find a seat, it just may take a while. 

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Stevenson's Library

Neighborhood: The South Shore
Come here if you have a penchant for the finer things in life. Upscale Stevenson’s library features a koa (native Hawaiian hardwood) bar, ocean views and pool tables that don’t require coins. You’ll find lounge seating amidst fish tanks and a balcony overlooking the Grand Hyatt Grounds and Keoneloa Beach. Even its name speaks to its fashionable nature, referencing author Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent time in Hawaii. Weekend nights feature jazz music and some of the best sushi found on the island. Like most things at the Grand Hyatt, it’s pricey. They do pour a $45 glass of Graham’s port and, of course, Louis XIV cognac. 

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Point (The)

Neighborhood: The South Shore
One of the last nightclubs on Kauai, The Point in the Sheraton draws people for pretty much that reason.  Where else can you go? They do also have salsa and Latin dance nights to give people an occasion to go out (call ahead to find out what theme is planned for that night). The ambiance of the place isn’t much but the club does spill out onto the hotel patio for some open-air breathing room. The music and crowd depends largely on the night and who’s playing. The bar is right on the water, and on a full moon, you can see all the way out across the ocean. The patio outside makes for a romantic drink setting, where you can sip mojitos, pina coladas or Mai Tais to your heart’s content.

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Trees Lounge

Neighborhood: The Eastside
On an island of 67,000 people there really can only be one hot spot and right now, Trees is the best place to find Kauai nightlife. A tad hodgepodge, it’s hard to tell whether they were going for a tent-like ambiance or something a bit more upscale. Regardless, by the end of most nights, it’s standing room only at Trees; but to be fair, the venue just isn’t that large. Trees likely owes  its success to its casual-but-hip decor, decent wine list, and simple, good food (a fusion of Jamaican, New Orleans, and Hawaiian influence). Live music every night along with casting parties and belly dancers help keep this Eastside bar busy. 

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