Smith Family Garden Luau in Kauai: An Honest Review and What to Know

by | Jan 21, 2024

Photo by Smith Family Luau

As you set off on a Hawaiian getaway, are you seeking an unforgettable cultural experience? The Smith Family Garden Luau, renowned for its genuine Hawaiian traditions, invites visitors into the heart of the aloha spirit as one of the best luaus on Kauai.

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This review about the Smith Family Garden Luau on Kauai is written by Bryan Murphy, an expert in Hawaii travel and a top-rated podcast host. The post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you use the provided links. Learn more on my privacy policy page.

Planning Your Trip? Use Our Favorite Resources!

🏨 Accommodations: We recommend Expedia

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🌺 Luaus and Tours: We recommend Hawaii Tours

📱 Mobile Tour App: Our favorite is Shaka Guide

Our article offers guidance to fully embrace this local gem—from the lush gardens and Imu ceremony to the vibrant performances, savoring every moment seamlessly. Get ready to feel the rhythm of Hawaii with each step!

One of the questions I get a lot is if attending a luau is worth it. From my experience of attending luaus, a luau is worth going to at least once. However, choosing the right luau is important.

I think you’ll find that going to the Smith Family Garden Luau is definitely worth it!

Key Takeaways of the Smith Family Garden Luau

  • The Smith Family Luau offers a true Hawaiian experience with a history dating back over 50 years. It is located at Wailua Marina State Park in Kapa’a on Kauai’s East Shore.
  • Activities include a Fern Grotto boat ride, exploring Smith’s Tropical Paradise Garden, witnessing a traditional Imu ceremony, and enjoying dinner with entertainment from across Polynesia.
  • Tickets for adults cost $140, children ages 3 – 6 are $25, and kids under 2 are free; an additional Fern Grotto Cruise is available for extra purchase.
  • Saving tips: book early, choose show-only tickets if dining elsewhere, use group rates for transportation savings, and look for package deals or online promotions.
  • To experience comfort during the family garden luau on Kauai, dress in light clothes and comfortable shoes; bring a jacket or sweater as it may get cool at night; apply sunscreen and have bug spray ready.

Current Weather in Kapa’a, Kaua’i


Recommended Tours on Kaua’i

The Smith Family Garden Luau: An Overview of the Ultimate Kauai Luau

Immerse yourself in a celebration that’s as rich in tradition as it is in flavors at the Smith Family Luau. Nestled on Kauai’s lush East Shore, this gem of Hawaiian culture offers an insight into a heritage that has been meticulously preserved and shared for generations.

History and Roots in Kauai

As a family business, the Smith Family Garden Luau holds a deep connection to Kauai. Four generations of the Smith family have welcomed guests, sharing traditional feasts and vibrant cultural performances.

The luau celebrates Hawaiian history and honors the island’s lush Wailua River Valley.

This extraordinary event started over 50 years ago. It keeps alive the spirit that ancient Hawaiian ancestors preserved. Guests step into a world where songs, dances, and stories pass down through the ages.

Here at Wailua Marina State Park, visitors experience a bond with Kauai that only comes from such rich traditions.

Nestled on the east side of Kauai, this family-run affair invites you to be part of their legacy. You’ll explore replicas of native huts and stroll among Asian and Pacific plants in the Tropical Paradise Garden.

Every sway of the hula dancer’s hips and every note played echoes the heartbeat of an island home proud to share its heritage.

Location of the Smith Family Garden Luau in Kapa’a

You’ll find the Smith Family Luau at Wailua Marina State Park, nestled in Kapa’a. This spot on Kauai’s east side is famous for its lush scenery and local charm.

As the smallest of the four main islands, it’s easy to get there, just a short drive from where you might be staying on the island.

Hugging the banks of the Wailua River, it’s truly a tropical paradise that has drawn families for generations. You’ll see why Kapa’a was picked as the perfect place for an authentic luau experience.

Surrounded by nature and Hawaiian history, this location breathes life into every event.

Enjoy spectacular views and embrace tranquil vibes as you explore everything the luau has to offer in this special part of Kauai. Make sure to bring your camera because you’ll want to capture the natural beauty all around!

What to Expect at the Smith Family Luau

Get ready to be whisked away on a sensory adventure with the Smith Family Luau – it’s like stepping into a vivid Hawaiian dream where every moment dazzles.

From the enchanting Fern Grotto boat ride to the rhythmic beats of traditional Tahitian drum dances, your evening will unfold in a tapestry of cultural delights that capture the true essence of island festivities.

smith family garden luau trolley kauai

Photo by Smith Family Luau

Fern Grotto Boat Ride

Hop aboard for a magical journey on the Wailua River to the famous Fern Grotto. This boat ride is a peaceful trip into nature’s hidden beauty, where Hawaiian melodies echo throughout the family garden luau on Kauai as you glide along the gentle river.

The lush greenery and tropical backdrop set the stage for an unforgettable experience. As you reach your destination, marvel at how ferns dangle upside down from the roof of this natural lava-rock grotto.

Learn about Kauai’s rich history and culture during this unique excursion. Your local guide will share stories about the island and explain why this spot was sacred to ancient Hawaiians.

The sound of live Hawaiian music echoes around you in perfect harmony with water droplets falling lightly from above – it’s serenity at its best! Take pictures or just soak in all that surrounds you; either way, it’s sure to be a highlight of your visit to Kauai.

smith family garden luau kauai fern grotto river cruise

Photo by Smith Family Luau

Exploring the Smith’s Tropical Paradise Garden

Walk through Smith’s Tropical Paradise Garden and feel the spirit of Kauai surround you. Bright tropical flowers bloom around every corner. Palms sway in the gentle island breeze.

Hear Kauai birds sing as they flit among the Asian and Pacific plants that fill this lush space.

See replicas of native huts and learn how Hawaiian ancestors lived. Taste sweet, ripe fruit plucked from trees right in the garden. The variety here amazes; every path leads to new surprises, from hidden ponds to exotic plant species.

Marvel at giant bamboo towers high above, while colorful peacocks strut gracefully by your feet. Beauty thrives Everywhere you turn in this carefully tended garden paradise that captures Kauai’s unique charm.

Traditional Imu Ceremony

At the Smith Family Luau, you’ll get to see an amazing Imu ceremony. This is where they show you how Hawaiians traditionally cook food underground. They wrap the kalua pig in banana leaves and then bury it in an earthen imu oven.

It’s not just cooking; it’s a cultural event that shares the Hawaiian way with you.

You can watch as they uncover the buried pig from its steamy pit. The rich aromas will fill the air, making your mouth water for dinner. This part of your luau journey brings you closer to Hawaii’s roots and heritage.

Learning about this ancient tradition is special because it connects you with the spirit of aloha. You’ll feel like part of the island family while embracing Hawaiian customs firsthand at this interactive luau experience on Kauai.

Food, Dinner Entertainment, and Luau Show

Get ready for a feast at the Smith Family Luau, where you can savor Hawaiian flavors like kalua pork, chicken adobo, and mahimahi fish. You’ll love the open bar with tropical drinks like mai tais.

Experience thrilling performances from across Polynesia during dinner. Each dance tells a story of Hawaii, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, Tahiti, and Samoa.

Laugh with new friends as you share stories over plates of traditional luau food. Watch in amazement as dancers move to ancient beats and fire knife warriors light up the night sky.

Enjoy every bite and cheer on each performance under Kauai’s stars at this unforgettable island show.

Why Choose the Smith Family Luau?

Feel the heartbeat of Hawaiian tradition as you dive into an evening of cultural riches at the Smith Family Luau, one of Hawaii’s Best luaus, where every moment promises to connect you deeply with the island’s ancestral spirit—keep reading to uncover why this immersive experience stands out as a must-do on your Kauai journey.

smith family garden luau in kauai

Photo by Smith Family Luau

Authentic Hawaiian Experience

Step into the heart of Kauai at the Smith Family Luau where traditions run deep. The sounds of ukuleles fill the air as you’re greeted with a warm “Aloha!” Imagine being part of a family gathering that’s lasted for generations, sharing joy and history.

Dancers sway to ancient hula beats, telling stories passed down from Hawaiian ancestors.

Savor every bite of tender kalua pig roasted in an imu, the traditional underground oven, at the best luau on Kauai. Sip on sweet Mai Tai Punch under starry skies at this Kauai luau, as you watch skilled performers wield fire knives with jaw-dropping precision.

Every detail from the lush settings to the platters of lomilomi salmon draws you closer to experiencing Hawaii’s true spirit.

Join in for a Wailua River cruise before the luau, complete with songs and legends unique to Kauai. Don’t just visit; live out authentic moments that will stay etched in your memory forever.

Here at Smith Family Luau, they don’t just put on a show—they invite you into their heritage and home.

Family-Friendly Environment

The Smith Family Luau loves to welcome kids and adults alike. With activities that appeal to all ages, you can feel good bringing the whole family.

While parents sip on tropical drinks from the open bar, kids have their own safe, fun options like juices and sodas.

The river cruise is not just a ride; it’s a journey through the sacred Wailua River Valley. During the cruise, your family will learn about Hawaiian history and legends straight from local guides.

Four generations of the Smith family have poured their hearts into this luau, making sure every guest feels at home. They know families come in all shapes and sizes – some with tiny tots, others with teens or grandparents along for the ride.

Everyone finds something they enjoy here, whether it’s digging into tasty chicken adobo or watching hula dancers sway to island rhythms.

Dinner time? No problem! There’s plenty for even the pickiest eaters at this feast at this Kauai luau: try the family business’ recipe for teriyaki beef, Hawaiian sweet bread for those with a sweet tooth—there’s something for everyone.

Watching traditional Polynesian performances together creates memories that stick long after you’ve left Kauai behind. And who knows, maybe your little ones will get inspired by those lively Samoan fire knife dances!

Pricing for the Smith Family Luau

Ticket prices for the Smith Family Luau make it easy to choose an unforgettable evening. For kids ages 3-6, tickets are only $25. Adults can join in for $140, and the best part? Kids under 2 come in free! Want to add something special? Consider the Fern Grotto Boat Ride.

It’s just $30 extra for adults and half that price at $15 for kids between 2 and 12 years old.

Plans change, so keep their cancellation policy in mind. Any request for a refund 72 hours or more prior to the start of the tour or activity is honored with a full refund.

No refunds are issued for any cancellations inside the 72-hour period, prior to the start of your tour. There is no refund for no-shows. There is no charge for date change or tour change based on tour availability outside of the 72-hour cancellation period.

But there is good news—you can reschedule if you do it before these cutoff times!

Top Tips for Smith Family Garden Luau

So, you’re all set for an unforgettable evening at the Smith Family Luau? Navigate your luau experience on the island of Kauai with these spectacular insider tips—think of them as your secret map.

We’ll have you mingling like a local and savoring every moment, from securing the best spot for the hula to making sure you don’t miss out on cousin Gary’s secret recipe teriyaki beef.

smith family garden luau sunset in kauai

Photo by Smith Family Luau

Scheduling Your Visit

Planning your trip to the Smith Family Luau on Kauai is easy. You’ll want to make this a highlight of your vacation.

  • Pick a day later in your stay. This gives you something special to look forward to.
  • Book your tickets in advance. The luau can fill up quickly, so secure your spot early.
  • Consider the weather. Choose a day that’s predicted to have comfortable evening temperatures.
  • Look at local events. Make sure there are no big island events that might cause traffic delays.
  • Check the calendar for sunset times. Plan to arrive when it’s still light out so you can enjoy the gardens.
  • Ask about group rates if traveling with friends or family. Saving money is always nice!
  • Confirm the start time of the luau festivities. You won’t want to miss any part of this experience.
  • Arrange transportation ahead of time. Knowing how you’ll get there eases stress on the day of the event.

Participating on Stage

Get ready to shake those hips and learn some hula at the Smith Family Luau! You can be a star for a night when you join in on stage. The dancers will guide you through the steps of a traditional Hawaiian hula.

Feel the rhythm, get into the spirit, and show off your moves to upbeat island tunes.

You may also have a chance to help with the imu ceremony. This is where they cook food underground in a Hawaiian style. Imagine uncovering delicious foods like a roasted pig or tender vegetables cooked to perfection with hot stones.

It’s an experience that gets you involved and teaches you about Hawaii’s rich cultural traditions.

Also, if dinner isn’t on your agenda, there are show-only tickets available. Just come by at 7:30pm to enjoy the entertainment. Dance under the stars, learn something new, and take part in an authentic luau experience that only Kauai can offer!

Options to Save Money

Saving money on your Kauai vacation and Kauai luau is easier than you think. The Smith Family Luau offers options to keep costs down without missing out on fun.

  1. Choose show-only tickets if you already have dinner plans. Gates open at 7:30 pm, letting you enjoy the entertainment for less.
  2. Travel in a group and split transportation costs. Sharing a ride to the luau can cut down on expenses significantly.
  3. Look for package deals that include the Smith Family Luau with other activities. Combining events often leads to reduced prices overall.
  4. Plan ahead and book early, sometimes early bookings come with discounts.
  5. Kids pay less, so take advantage of child pricing if traveling with family – children’s tickets start at $25.
  6. Pack essentials like sunscreen and bug spray instead of buying them at tourist spots where prices may be higher.

Recommendations for Comfort and Convenience

You’re headed to the Smith Family Luau on Kauai, and you want it to be perfect. Here’s how you can make sure you’re comfortable and have a great time.

  • Dress in light, breathable clothing because Kauai can get warm, especially if you plan to explore the gardens.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking around Smith’s Tropical Paradise Garden, which is quite expansive.
  • Pack a light jacket or sweater, as it can cool off in the evenings during the luau show.
  • Bring bug spray just in case, so pesky mosquitoes won’t bother you as you dine and watch the performances.
  • Arrive early to enjoy all aspects of the luau without rushing through the experience; this gives you plenty of time to explore.
  • Consider bringing a hat or applying sunscreen if you arrive during daylight hours for protection against the sun.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout your visit; there’s an open bar but also make sure to keep water intake up.
  • If you’re visiting with kids, know that the location is near family-friendly resorts and rentals for added convenience.
  • Take advantage of plate lunches that offer a variety of options catering to different tastes and dietary needs ensuring everyone finds something they like.
  • Use restrooms before the show begins to avoid missing any exciting moments while looking for facilities later on.
  • Keep your camera ready for photo ops but ensure it’s charged or has spare batteries so no special moment goes uncaptured at this beautiful venue.

Our Opinions and Advice

According to my research, most people who have less than positive things to say about a luau is because there was a lack of understanding of what the luau was vs. what it wasn’t.

Be sure to take the time to do your research. Take time to know which luau package works for you and your budget so that your expectations are met and hopefully exceeded!

Conclusion: The Spirit of Aloha at the Smith Family Luau

Step into the enchanting world of the Smith Family Luau and embrace Hawaii’s true essence. Dance to island rhythms, savor mouthwatering local dishes, and witness traditions come alive.

Leave with memories that echo the Aloha spirit long after your visit. The Smiths welcome you to their ohana; here, every guest is family. Embrace Kauai’s heartbeat at this unforgettable luau experience.

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FAQs for Smiths Garden Luau on Kauai

1. What can I expect at Smith’s Garden Luau on Kauai?

At the Smith’s Garden Luau, you’ll feel the spirit of Aloha with traditional songs and dances. Enjoy tasty food like teriyaki beef and green salad, plus an open bar with mai tais.

2. Why do people say Smith’s Family Luau is one of the best luaus in Kauai?

People love the Smith’s Family Luau because it has a mix of great Polynesian entertainment and delicious Hawaiian food, all in a beautiful open-air setting that honors Hawaiian ancestors.

3. Is there something special about the location of this luau?

Yes! The luau is set in a lush family garden where you can see plants from when Hawaii first welcomed visitors. At this Kauai luau, you might also spot a giant Easter Island Moai replica!

4. What kind of food will I find at Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau?

Get ready for a feast with dishes like Hanalei poi, guava bread, and Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes! Plus, enjoy Filipino dishes and Chinese fried rice – so tasty!

5. Can my whole family join in on the fun at this luau?

Absolutely! The Smith Family Garden Luau welcomes everyone to their island home for an evening full of hula dancing and local flavors – perfect for any age!

6. How does the night end after enjoying good food and watching hula dancing?

As your exciting day fades, watch torches light up around you while Tahitian dancers sway under the stars—a magical ending to your time at one of Kawaii’s top luaus!

7. What is Smith Family Garden Luau on Kauai?

The Smith Family Garden Luau is a popular luau on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. It is known for its beautiful garden setting, traditional Hawaiian entertainment, and delicious island cuisine.

8. What can I expect at Smith Family Garden Luau?

At Smith Family Garden Luau, you can expect to experience a traditional Hawaiian luau with activities such as lei greeting, imu ceremony, hula dancing, and a mouthwatering buffet featuring local delicacies.

9. Is Smith Family Garden Luau suitable for families?

Yes, Smith Family Garden Luau is a family-friendly experience. The lively entertainment, cultural presentations, and scenic setting make it a great choice for families visiting Kauai.

10. What are some tips for visiting Smith Family Garden Luau?

It is recommended to arrive early to explore the gardens, participate in cultural demonstrations, and secure good seats for the evening’s performances. Additionally, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful surroundings.

11. What makes Smith Family Garden Luau the best luau on Kauai?

Many visitors consider Smith Family Garden Luau as the best luau on Kauai due to its picturesque location, authentic Hawaiian entertainment, and the warm hospitality of the Smith family.

12. Is the Smith Family Luau on Kauai a traditional Hawaiian luau?

Yes, the Smith Family Luau on Kauai offers a traditional Hawaiian luau experience with cultural performances, music, and dance, culminating in a captivating evening of celebration and enlightenment.

13. What are some popular things to do on Kauai apart from attending the luau?

Kauai offers a multitude of activities, including exploring Waimea Canyon, taking a boat tour along the Na Pali Coast, visiting the Wailua Falls, and enjoying water sports at Poipu Beach.

14. Why should I consider scheduling Smith Family Garden Luau on Kauai?

Scheduling a visit to Smith Family Garden Luau on Kauai allows you to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, enjoy an authentic luau experience, and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

15. What sets Smith Family Garden Luau apart from other luaus in Hawaii?

The Smith Family Garden Luau stands out for its stunning garden setting, rich cultural heritage, and the warmth and authenticity of the Smith family, making it a unique and unforgettable experience.

16. How can I make the most of my visit to Smith Family Garden Luau?

To make the most of your visit, be sure to participate in the pre-luau activities, enjoy the delicious Hawaiian feast, witness the mesmerizing performances, and take some time to explore the enchanting gardens surrounding the luau venue.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.