Most Hawaiian Cities on the Mainland

With the Hawaiian Islands at least 6 hours away from the Mainland USA, not everyone can't get their fix of the aloha spirit along with the food and culture the islands are known for. While no place outside of the archipelago that can truly compete, the following cities will provide you with a slice of the paradise you know, love, and miss so very much between your trips.

Need a fix of Hawaiian culture and the aloha-spirit? Can’t make it to the islands anytime soon? We understand your grief, but you may find relief where you are on the mainland. While there is a little slice of Hawaii in almost every major city across the U.S.A. (we’ll help you find it) there are a few select places with a definitive Hawaiian influence. We hope this list grows in the future, but for now you can find solace that your paradise may be a road trip away, if not next door.

Cities on the USA Mainland That Embrace the Hawaiian Culture

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Mainland Hawaii - Las Vegas Ninth Island

The Ninth Island

Every islander knows the nickname for Las Vegas, and it ain’t Sin City. It’s the “Ninth Island“. This is not because of the warm weather or the fact that Waikiki is slowly beginning to resemble Vegas. It’s because a thousands of Hawaiians have migrated to the 702 area code over the last few decades. Given that much of the population in the 808 state works in hospitality moving to another city where the same is true makes the transition fairly easy. Of course, the city had to adapt and offer transplants a taste of home when it comes to dining, retail (including ABC Store), leisure and over the years we’ve seen a number of new businesses meeting the demand. This also bodes well for landlocked visitors who can’t afford a regular trip across the North Pacific but want a slice of Hawaiiana wrapped in Polynesian Pop. Even Farmers Market Hawaii Clothing Co has a shop on Las Vegas BLVD.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable Hawaiian-Polynesian places to visit in the City of Lost Wages:

Dining, Drinks, and/or Nightlife

  • Frankie’s Tiki Room (1712 W Charleston Blvd)
  • Tiki’s Hawaiian BBQ (8460 Farm Rd)
  • Pacific Island Taste (545 E Sahara Ave)
  • LuLu Hawaiian BBQ (881 S Rainbow Blvd)
  • L&L Hawaiian BBQ (many locations)
  • Aloha Kitchen (4466 E Charleston Blvd)
  • Kahuku Poke & Hawaiian BBQ (450 E Silverado Ranch Blvd)
  • Meowee Wowee Hawaiian Shave Ice (4555 S Fort Apache Rd )


  • Na Hoku Hawaiian Jewelry (Fashion Show Mall)
  • Lelani’s Attic (4749 S Maryland Pkwy)
  • Crazy Shirts (3663 Las Vegas Blvd)
  • Honolulu Cookie Company (3545 S Las Vegas Blvd)
  • Farmers Market Hawaii Clothing Co. (8174 S Las Vegas Blvd)

2. Huntington Beach, California

Mainland Hawaii

Duke Kahanamoku exhibit at HB’s International Surfing Museum

HB may have caught some questionable sociopolitical press over the last couple of years, but at the core of this hardcore surf town is the aloha spirit. You just have to know where to look. Of course, there are some obvious indicators, namely the Duke Kahanamoku statue which stands proud on the corner of Main and PCH in front of Huntington Surf & Sport. Across the highway from the effigy is Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar at the gateway to HB’s famed pier. You’ll feel as if you’re at the Lihui (Kauai), Lahaina (Maui), or iconic Waikiki Beach (Oahu) location minus the year-round balmy evening weather. In fact, Duke’s influence is found all over the coastal arm of this Orange County district official designated as Surf City USA. During the early 1900’s our Ambassador of Aloha introduced SoCal to the sport of kings, putting on surf exhibitions in Huntington Beach on the south side of the pier. The International Surfing Museum (411 Olive Ave, just off Main St) also has a standing exhibit that honors the Godfather of Surfing.

Even some of the accommodations have the sweet air of plumeria about them. Huntington Surf Inn for instance, has themed rooms including the Tropical Queens, Tiki Queens, Surfer Kings, and Surfer Queens, the latter of which was inspired by Hawaiian WSL World Champion Carissa Moore’s own bedroom when it was renovated back in 2009 prior to the US Open of Surfing.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable Hawaiian-Polynesian places to visit in Surf City USA:

Dining, Drinks, and/or Nightlife

  • Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar
  • No Ka Oi (215 Main St)
  • Aloha Grill (221 Main St)
  • North Shore Poke (214 5th St)
  • Da’ Hawaiian Kitchen (9842 Adams Ave, Huntington Beach, CA)
  • Hula Girl’s Shave Ice (16556 Bolsa Chica Rd)


  • Surf City Night’s Night Market (Main Street)


  • Surf City Night’s Night Market (Main Street)
  • The WSL’s annual US Open of Surfing brings in a huge contingent of Hawaii-based pro-surfers, surf media, and sponsors for two weeks each summer.

3. Vancouver, Washington State

Mainland Hawaii - 4 Days of Aloha Vancouver Washington

Hula at the 4 Days of Aloha Festival, Vancouver WA

Everyone is surprised to find that Vancouver Washington is the town which gave birth to the best Hawaiian shave ice shop in the worldUlulani’s. While the original brick and mortar (and seven others, at press) were established on Maui, David Yam and wife Ululani actually started the business while they lived in this southern Washington State spot. It began as many rags-to-riches eateries do, with a food truck. What were these now-legendary Hawaiians (David and Ululani) doing in Vancouver? The same as thousands before them. They came for the opportunities found within the unique community.

The small city was once a hotbed for Hawaiian agricultural and fur trade workers who migrated from the islands to find work on the mainland. Fort Vancouver (now “Vancouver”) was the center of it all as far as the Pacific Northwest was considered. While some returned home to the islands when the opportunity dried up (and the weather become to cold) a significant number of Hawaiians remained and established roots. It’s for this reason that today you will find aloha alive in well in the most unexpected of place. Vancouver’s biggest claim to fame is the 4 Days of Aloha festival that runs each July. The Ke Kukui Foundation, who puts on the annual event, does a lot of work to maintain Hawaiian tradition in Vancouver through community events, education, music and the art of hula.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable Hawaiian-Polynesian places to visit in Vancouver:

Dining, Drinks, and/or Nightlife

  • Hawaiian Style Grill (5000 E 4th Plain Blvd)
  • Hula Boy Charbroil (11820 NE Fourth Plain Blvd)
  • Patrick’s Hawaiian Cafe (316 SE 123rd Ave)
  • Kiawe Island Bistro (212 NE 164th Ave)

Special Services

  • Polynesian Ink Tattoo Studio (3320 E 4th Plain Blvd)
  • Local Boy Tatau (601 Main St)


4. San Diego, California

Mainland Hawaii - San Diego

Duke’s, La Jolla, San Diego CA

San Diego seems so far removed from the mainland U.S.A. and every city in the 49 continental states. It has a tropical climate, a deep-rooted surf culture, and boasts a more relaxed way of living, drawing easy comparisons to the Hawaiian islands. Every year the city (Mission Bay and beaches) hosts the Pacific Islander Festival which showcases Polynesian culture through entertainment, food, music and artisan crafts. Over in La Jolla you’ll also find another Duke’s Restaurant & Barefoot Bar, which pretty much qualifies any city for inclusion on this list, aside from Malibu (sorry, not sorry).

Here’s a breakdown of some notable Hawaiian-Polynesian places to visit in the San Diego area:

Dining, Drinks, and/or Nightlife

  • Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar (1216 Prospect St, La Jolla)
  • Homestyle Hawaiian (7524 Mesa College Dr)
  • Badass Coffee of Hawaii (9878 Carmel Mountain Rd)
  • Homestyle Hawaiian Pub & Eatery (10601 Tierrasanta Blvd)
  • Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill (4506 30th St)
  • Kona Coffee Co. (3995 Fifth Ave)
  • L&L Hawaiian BBQ (8280-A Mira Mesa Blvd)
  • False Idol Tiki Bar (675 W Beech St)
  • Grass Skirt Tiki Bar (910 Grand Ave)


  • Motu Hawaii (5105 Cass St)
  • Leilani’s Attic (5105 Cass St)
  • Na Hoku Hawaiian Jewelry (7007 Friars Rd)
  • Crazy Shirts (853 W Harbor Dr)
  • Marukai Market (8151 Balboa Ave )
  • Royal Maui Jewelers (7007 Friars Rd)


  • Pacific Islander Festival (September)
  • Tiki Oasis*

*Admittedly, Tiki Oasis is appropriation of Polynesian culture at its most kitsch, and at its worst in some cases. That said, legitimate Hawaiian artisans (and tiki mug makers) such as Gecko of South Sea Arts (Oahu) along with Tiki Rob and Tiki Pop (Maui) among other islanders are known to set up shop here for three hot August days and nights to sell their master-crafts so it’s certainly worth checking out.

Stay tuned as we update this list of the Most Hawaiian Cities in the Mainland USA. If you feel we missed some important places in the cities above, or feel as if your mainland town deserves to make the cut please feel free to message us through our Facebook page with the details and we’ll look into it right away.