Why has it taken me over 30 years to get to Hawaii? Oh my goodness, y’all, it’s one of the most beautiful, enchanting places that I’ve ever visited. Everything is so lush and bright, and I swear I smelled fresh flowers every single place I went. It was totally a dream and I have to go back there every single year. When I do go back, if we land on the island of Kauai again, we’ll definitely be making our way over to Smith’s Garden Luau.
Terrence, Ayva and my in-laws spent a fun evening at Smith’s Garden Luau during our vacation last week. I had never been to an authentic luau, so I really didn’t know how much of a treat I was in for. Terrence and his parents had been to several luaus, but at the end of the night they all agreed that Smith’s was their favorite.
We arrived at around 4:30 PM to Smith’s Tropical Paradise, the gorgeous garden where the luau was hosted. The gates didn’t open to let us into the garden until 5, so we had time to walk around the grounds. There was a grotto where visitors could take a ride on a boat down the river, and tons of thick green grass to sit and relax and watch the many little birds flying around.
Once we went into the garden, we hopped on a tram for a quick tour. Our driver knew so much Hawaiian history and shared it with us as he pointed out flowers and plants to tell us how they came to be on the island. You can learn so much about Hawaii just from its vegetation! There was a Polynesian village, a sweet little pond with a Chinese bridge, and representation of all of the different cultures of Hawaii everywhere we turned.
At around 6:15, we went to the Imu Ceremony where the roasted pig was pulled from the imu. I loved learning about this ancient way of cooking, and the smell of the pork was so amazing! Afterwards we went to the dining area to eat, drink (unlimited) mai tais and listen to music. The food was excellent! Besides the kahlua pork, there was fried rice, macaroni salad, green salad, poi, fish, and desserts. We all left nice and full!
After dinner, we learned a little bit about hula and how the dancers tell stories through their movements. Ayva ran into a friend that she knew from summer camp, so the 2 of them went on stage to learn the dances!
The entertainment was supposed to start at 8 PM, but since everyone had finished eating and made their way to the amphitheater, the show started about 10 minutes early. Things like that is what made Smith’s stand out to me. It’s a family business, so they are more in tune with their guests. It felt like they were welcoming us into their home, and I appreciated that.
The dancing was so wonderful! I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy getting lost in the graceful movements of the dancers. The show featured dance styles from the different Hawaiian cultures and gave us more insight into the island’s colorful history. After we left, I purchased several books to learn more about the history because the show intrigued me so much!
If you’re ever in Kauai, I highly recommend Smith’s Garden Luau! I had the time of my life.