Nightlife on Hawaii’s Big Island is relatively relaxed, but you’ll still find plenty of late-night parties for a good time. Instead of flashy nightclubs open through the crack of dawn, restaurants and bars offer smooth cocktails, live music, karaoke, and dancing. Cruise around the island and you’re sure to find festive parties at fancy resorts, dive bars and everything in between.

    Kailua-Kona dominates the nightlife scene on the western side of Big Island, hosting several waterfront venues with live entertainment. Hilo is the other nightlife hotspot featuring local bars where talented musicians perform for carefree customers. Whether you’re looking for a raging party, incredible sunsets or Hawaii’s hottest performers, the Big Island won’t disappoint.

    1

    Huggo’s on the Rocks

    Watch the sunset while sipping refreshing cocktails

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The owners of Huggo's established Huggo's On the Rocks to be a more laidback counterpart to the famous waterfront restaurant. The beachside hangout is the ideal spot to dip your toes in the sand and watch the sunset with a handcrafted cocktail in hand. Prepared from fresh island ingredients, its food menu includes burgers, fish and chips, nachos, and salads.

    Talented musicians, singers, and dancers from around the island put on nightly performances to entertain patrons. There’s live music every night from 6pm to 10pm, and the event calendar showcases the restaurant’s weekly line-up. The energetic vibe puts everyone in a spirited mood and the staff encourages customers to dance along to the music.

    Location: 75-5824 Kahakai Rd, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Daily at 11 am (closing time varies between 10 pm and 11 pm)

    Phone: +1 808-329-1493

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    2

    Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse

    A beer lover’s paradise with delicious food and live music

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse, with its beautiful waterfront location in Kailua-Kona, is a beer utopia topped with quality food and rousing entertainment. Kick-off your evening by watching the sunset from their patio that overlooks the ocean while sipping on refreshing beers on tap. The menu is jam-packed with scrumptious bites, including stone-baked pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, and fish tacos.

    Humpy’s keeps the fun going by welcoming live bands and DJs to the stage throughout the week. Contact the staff before your visit if you’re curious about which performers will grace the stage. The restaurant has grown into a local favorite on Kailua’s main street for its low-key vibe and friendly service.

    Location: 75-5815 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 2 am

    Phone: +1 808-324-2337

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    3

    Kona Brewing Company

    Taste craft beer from Hawaii’s most famous brewery

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The Kona Brewing Company is a household name on the Hawaiian Islands and their brewpub in Kailua-Kona is a wonderful spot to try their finest craft brews. Take a tour of the brewery and taste samples of their top-selling beers. Stay at the brewpub for a while after your tour and sip on ice-cold mugs of Kona classics, like Big Wave Golden Ale, Longboard Island Lager, and Gold Cliff IPA.

    Complement your beer selection with delicious pub fare, including pizza, fish tacos, and salads. The 2,000-sq-ft outdoor lanai is a delightful place to enjoy the fresh Hawaiian air while drinking your beer. Kona hosts live music on Sunday nights from 5pm to 8pm, featuring some of Hawaii’s top entertainers.

    Location: 74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Phone: +1 808-334-2739

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    photo by Jayson Nutt (CC0 1.0) modified

    4

    Hilo Town Tavern

    Join open mic night or bust a move on the dance floor

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Hilo Town Tavern is a popular hangout if you’re looking for exciting nightlife on the eastern side of Big Island. The tavern's Monday open mics draw a mixed crowd, with happy-hour prices all night long. Comedians, musicians, and magicians also take the stage to entertain the crowd. Other nights feature live music acts and DJs with advertisements going around the island to promote the performers.

    Rowdy patrons turn the venue into a dance club, while others congregate at pool tables for a competitive game with friends. The open-air patio is the ideal place for fresh air or to enjoy a local beer on tap and wing basket.

    Location: 168 Keawe St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 2 am

    Phone: +1 808-935-2171

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    5

    Don's Mai Tai Bar

    Stellar ocean views with Hawaiian cuisine & Tiki-style décor

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Don’s Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Kona Resort is Kailua-Kona’s largest open-air bar. Start your evening with a picturesque sunset sitting at the water’s edge while sipping a delicious Mai Tai or other tropical cocktails. The food menu serves a variety of Hawaiian-styled bites, and you can watch sports on high-def TVs.

    Island music heightens the ambience, with live performances on Thursday evenings. You can even catch an entertaining luau show on certain nights, but make sure to arrive early for the spectacle. Combined with its tiki-influenced design and unbeatable views of Kailua Bay, Don’s Mai Tai Bar is one of Big Island’s premier oceanfront venues.

    Location: 75-5852 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 808-930-3286

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    6

    Blue Dragon Tavern & Cosmic Musiquarium

    High-energy music venue serving locally sourced bites

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Blue Dragon Tavern & Cosmic Musiquarium in Waimea near Big Island’s northern tip combines live music, dancing, and coastal cuisine into a raging time for locals and visitors. It’s a club-like atmosphere after dark, and you can snack on local fish, meat, and vegetarian options while having a good time.

    Local musicians take the stage every night – you can check the calendar on their website to see which artists are set to perform. There is a cover charge to enter the venue, but you’ll be entertained by some of the island’s most talented performers. The open-air dance floor gives you the chance to boogie underneath the stars as the music fills the airwaves.

    Location: 61-3616 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 808-882-7771

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    7

    Sam’s Hideaway

    Chat with outgoing bartenders and sing your favorite tunes

    • Nightlife

    Sam’s Hideaway is beloved for its friendly staff and community atmosphere and is great if you’re looking for a laid-back vibe in Kailua-Kona. There’s karaoke every night at 8pm and you’re guaranteed to find a fun-loving crowd. Once the karaoke kicks into high gear later in the evening, everyone will be singing together.

    Sam’s is a true local joint and you’re unlikely to find many visitors inside this watering hole. The bartenders and staff have an easy-going nature, and you’ll be welcomed with open arms the moment you step through the door. Drinks are reasonably priced, and you can watch tons of sports while striking a conversation with locals.

    Location: 75-5729 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 2 am

    Phone: +1 808-326-7267

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    8

    Oceans Sports Bar & Grill

    Local hangout with food & drink specials and themed parties

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Oceans Sports Bar & Grill is popular among locals for their tacos and fish 'n' chips, but the restaurant has a raucous nightlife scene after dark. Flat-screen TVs air nonstop sports and pool tables provide lots of fun during happy hour. Beer and cocktail specials are available every day, and you can quench your thirst on the open-air patio.

    Thursday through Saturday evenings attracts the most partygoers looking for a good time on Alii Drive. The restaurant morphs into a nightclub with live music, DJs, a dance floor and themed parties. Don’t be surprised to see the bartenders join the party while local musicians entertain the crowd.

    Location: 75-5811 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Daily from 3 pm to 2 am

    Phone: +1 808-327-9494

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    9

    Kozy's Tiki Palace

    Witness a mind-blowing magic & comedy show

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Kozy’s Tiki Palace at the Shops at Mauna Lani puts on a show-stopping performance. Kozy has spent decades perfecting his craft as a masterful magician and comedian with a witty personality. Every show is customized to guarantee you a unique set of illusions that have yet to be performed. Kozy engages the audience, has them crying with laughter and leaves everyone in awe with his jaw-dropping abilities.

    An art gallery inside the club features a collection of tiki art, paintings, sculptures, and furnishings to create an intimate setting for guests. Before or after the show, have dinner and cocktails at one of several fine dining establishments where options include seafood, sushi, steaks, French cuisine, and more.

    Location: Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA

    Open: Daily at 8 pm

    Phone: +1 808-430-1957

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    10

    Gertrude's Jazz Bar

    An atmospheric setting with nightly music from all genres

    • Nightlife

    For music aficionados, Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is the place to be in downtown Kailua-Kona. The bar has sensational waterfront views and a relaxed vibe with a variety of tunes throughout the week. Each night has a musical theme, and you’ll hear everything from rock and blues to jazz and upbeat Latin music. Gertrude’s has earned accolades as one of Hawaii’s premier music venues hosting artists from Hawaii and across the globe.

    While the music is the main draw, the kitchen offers a delectable tapas-style menu, handcrafted cocktails, beer, and wine. You can also signup for monthly activities, like salsa dancing, painting classes, and ukulele nights to spice up your evening routine.

    Location: 75-5699 Ali'i Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday from 5 pm to 10.30 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 5 pm to 12 am, Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 808-327-5299

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    Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer

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