Poipu: South Kauai’s Lovely, Luxury Destination
The Poipu area of Kauai attracts a select group of travelers in search of ideal weather and stunning Hawaiian scenery. Lavish accommodations, magnificent beaches and golf courses, and upscale dining and shopping define this region on the sunny south side of the Garden Isle. The renowned Tree Tunnel, a section of road lined with 100-year-old eucalyptus trees, leads to the Poipu area and offers an introduction to the available beauty.
Once named America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel, picturesque Poipu Beach features favorable conditions for swimming, snorkeling, body boarding, and surfing, as well as the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Hawaiian monk seals napping on the sand. Both Prince Kuhio Beach (referred to by locals as PK’s) and Lawai Beach also provide option for surfing and body boarding, and both have great snorkeling in the calmer winter months. Brennecke’s Beach is consistently good for swimming, snorkeling, and spotting sea turtles.
Other natural wonders abound in the areas surrounding Poipu. Less than a 10-minute drive takes visitors to the famed Spouting Horn blowhole or to Makauwahi, the largest limestone cave in the state. Historic Alekoko Fishpond, rumored to have been constructed overnight 1,000 years ago by the mythical Menehune, is accessible in less than 30 minutes. Less than an hour’s drive leads to Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
An approximately 20-minute drive from Poipu takes visitors to CJM Stables, where a morning or afternoon horseback ride showcases golden-sand beaches and dramatic sea cliffs bordered by green pastures. Another 20-minute drive leads to walking tours and tastings at Kauai Coffee Company, the largest coffee farm in the U.S. Poipu also delivers on recreation and relaxation in the form of exceptional golf (at Poipu Bay Golf Course and Kiahuna Golf Club) and award-winning spas (including Anara at the Grand Hyatt and the Spa at Koloa Landing).
Poipu’s Kukuiula Village boasts art galleries and well-known shopping options like Tori Richard and Tommy Bahama, along with local gems like Mahina clothing boutique, Malie organic spa/beauty products, and SoHa home décor. Dining possibilities include everything from Merriman’s Fish House and Roy Yamaguchi’s Eating House 1849, to more casual choices like Tortilla Republic Grill & Margarita Bar, Bubba’s Burgers, and Uncle’s Shave Ice. Poipu Shopping Village provides additional restaurant options like Keoki’s Paradise, local shops like Na Hoku jewelers and Honolua Surf Company, and hula performances every Monday and Thursday at 5 p.m.
Tasting Kauai offers a South Shore Food Tour every Wednesday, allowing visitors to sample everything from local food trucks to gourmet cuisine. Among Poipu’s larger events are the annual Kauai Brewers Festival each April and the annual Koloa Plantation Days celebration each July. The Kauai Marathon and Half-Marathon also begin in Poipu each September.