Tom’s Tips – Polynesian Cultural Center

Oct 5, 2020 | Activity Information

The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the true Hawaiian success stories. In an attempt to provide an education for the youth of the variety of Polynesian countries a non-profit organization was set up by the Church of Latter-Day Saints who had originally operated a church on the North Shore of Oahu in the area known as Laie. The organization has provided scholarships to thousands of students who have attended the nearby campus of Brigham Young University. It is estimated that about 70% of the working staff of the property at any given time is manned by university students who are permitted to work a total of 20 hours each week.

Perhaps a million people visit the center annually which in itself is amazing since its location could not be further, on Oahu, from the tourist center of Waikiki. Regardless of the hour plus drive to get there it has been a major piece of Oahu’s activity industry since its origin in 1963.

This is a spot you are going to want to allow some time for. It does not open its gates until after the noon hour which gives you plenty of time to organize your drive out there. This drive will give you an opportunity to see the sights on the North Shore on the way up and you are going to want to stay into the evening for the luau and special show they provide in the evening. If you do not have a rental car there is a shuttle service provided by the center that will pick you up in Waikiki and bring you back later that evening.

You will notice that time passes by quickly at PCC because the island exhibits are so interesting. You will wander through the villages at your own pace and spend extra time where you want. The local islanders who are native to the specific island culture they represent are fascinating to speak to and you will leave the center really having a much better idea of life, how it was and how it is now, in the various island nations of the Pacific Rim.