Possibly the least known of the four major Hawaiian Islands, Kauai also represents the smallest and least developed. Much of the tourism on the Garden Isle centers around the sunny south coast community of Poipu, because of its ideal weather and stunning beauty.
The famous Tree Tunnel, a section of road lined with 100-year-old eucalyptus trees, offers a dramatic introduction to south Kauai. Beaches like Baby Beach, Lawai, and Shipwreck await with golden sands, swaying palms, and sea cliffs bordered by green pastures. Picturesque Poipu Beach, once named America’s Best by the Travel Channel, features favorable conditions for swimming, snorkeling, body boarding, and surfing, as well as the opportunity to glimpse Hawaiian monk seals napping on the sand.
Other natural wonders abound in the areas surrounding Poipu, such as the famed Spouting Horn blowhole. Less than a 30-minute drive leads to the historic Alekoko Fishpond, rumored to have been constructed overnight 1,000 years ago by the mythical Menehune. Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is accessible in less than an hour.
In Kukuiula Village Shopping Center and Poipu Shopping Village, visitors will find fine dining, exclusive shopping, world-class art galleries, hula performances, and live Hawaiian music. The neighboring town of Koloa, the site of the first sugar mill on the island, now houses gift shops with local items, art galleries, surf shops, clothing stores, casual dining, and ice cream shops. Just a 30-minute drive leads to the county seat of Lihue, home of Kauai’s airport and conveniences like Costco, Kmart, and Walmart.