Night Away at Mai Kai

In March our family went on vacation to Florida. It was wonderful to get out of the cold New England weather. Worried our flight was going to get cancelled (which it did!) we headed out a couple days early and drove down.

We try to get to Florida every year or at least go on a vacation of some sort even if it’s just my husband and I. This time while visiting my parents who live on the Gulf Coast, we decided to make the trek to the east coast of Florida for a night away. It’s a 3 hour drive from where they live to Ft. Lauderdale. Why did we go all the way to Ft. Lauderdale for a night away you ask?

For the Mai Kai Restaurant of course!

For those who may not know, or who are asking yourselves why on earth would they travel 3 hours just for a restaurant?! I will tell you! The Mai Kai is an amazing Polynesian restaurant and tiki bar that has been around since 1956. For tiki lovers this is a must see!

The Atmosphere is similar to that of Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas but is much, much larger. When you enter you are greeted by the hosts and there is a large barroom area to your left.

We had to wait a little bit before our table was ready so we ventured into the bar area for happy hour where drinks were half off! The lighting is super dim and the decor is incredible! You feel like you’re in the bottom part of a ship.

Once seated we were given an incredible dinner menu as well as a drink menu complete with take-home novelty mug options. We ordered our food and while we waited we toured the beautiful gardens on the property. The gardens included several wood carved Tiki statues, tropical plant life and cascading waterfalls and pools.

Our food was served and it was authentic and delicious. During our meal is when the Polynesian dance and fire show began. The dancers were beautiful and extremely talented. The announcer described each dance the performers would do and from which island it originated. After the performance we were in awe.

For anyone who loves Polynesian culture or is a tiki enthusiast the Mai Kai is a destination you must travel to. With many vintage tiki bars and restaurants rumored to be closing, it is nice to see that the Mai Kai is going strong. I may not get to Don the Beachcombers before they close, but hope to make it back to the Mai Kai for years to come.


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