Insiders Guide to Poipu
We’ve pointed out special attractions, activities, restaurants, beaches, hikes and more all in Poipu. You can walk, bike, drive, hike, and paddle from one end of Poipu to the other. Enjoy the adventure and the exploration!
Give your feet a rest and let the Aloha Spirit be your guide.
Catch a ride on Poipu’s very own open-air shuttle. Fun fact: the shuttle was actually built for Disney in the 60s and has been in operation for over 50 years. It’s a simple and inexpensive alternative to making your way around the Poipu area, whether you’re feeling like doing a little shopping or taking your special date out to dinner; they will be able to shuttle you to and from your vacation rental for free.
Their hours of operation are from 6 pm to 10 pm, Sunday to Thursday. Call for pick-up at (808) 651-9945.
Phone: (808) 651-9945
Spouting Horn is a blowhole located on the southern coast of the island along Lawai Road. Waves cause water to rush under the lava shelf and spout high into the air as it is forced up through a narrow tube in the rock. High tide and sunset are the best times to view Spouting Horn.
There used to be an adjacent blowhole called Kukuiula Seaplume; however, it was blasted away in the 1920s by a sugar plantation owner who did not like the salt spray damaging his crops. As a result, the blowhole only blows air which is emitted with a loud groaning sound.
Legend states that this is actually the voice of a large and very hungry moo (lizard) who is trapped under the rock. The moo once guarded the coastline and ate anyone who tried to fish or swim there. It is believed the blowhole was the escape route of Liko, a man who once dared to swim there and who narrowly escaped through the hole when the moo attacked him. The moo chased him into the hole and, subsequently, got stuck. The moaning and groaning sounds you hear are the hunger pangs of the starving moo who is trapped under the rock forever!
It is very dangerous to venture out on the lava shelf or get too close to the blowhole.
The National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG) is a non-profit organization that focuses on the conservation of tropical plants and ecosystems. The organization maintains five gardens throughout Hawaii, and one of the most popular is located in the Poipu region of Kauai. The gardens in Poipu span over 200 acres, and are home to over 1,500 species of endangered and rare tropical plants.
The gardens feature a variety of habitats, including swamps, forests, and waterways, and visitors can explore these various ecosystems on guided tours. Speaking of tours, the NTBG offers a variety of tours in the Poipu garden, each with a specific focus. For example, the Behind the Scenes tour takes visitors off the beaten path, allowing them to explore areas not typically open to the public.
The Sunset Tour offers a different perspective, with visitors exploring the gardens during the cool, peaceful hours of the evening. In addition to tours, the NTBG offers a range of events and activities for visitors to enjoy. One unique offering is the weekly yoga class, held on Wednesdays in the gardens. The class offers a dose of mindfulness and tranquility amidst the natural beauty of the gardens.
Another popular aspect of the gardens is the Aloha Market, held every Thursday from 10 to 2 with a free hula performance. The market features local vendors selling handmade crafts, food, and more. Visitors can find unique souvenirs and gifts, all while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the gardens. Overall, the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Poipu is a must-see for anyone visiting Kauai. From guided tours to special events, there is always something new to discover in these pristine tropical gardens.
Kukuiula Boat Harbor on Lawai Road is a hidden gem on the south shore of Kauai. This picturesque harbor offers access to some of the most beautiful and pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean. The harbor is a popular spot for swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, fishing, and sightseeing, and is known for its serene and peaceful atmosphere. Built in 1955, Kukuiula Boat Harbor was originally constructed as a commercial fishing port. Today, it serves as a recreational harbor with restrooms, and showers for visitors.
The marina is a popular spot for sport fishing charters, whale-watching tours, and snorkeling cruises that showcase the incredible marine life of Hawaii. The harbor is located in an area known as Sunny Poipu, which boasts consistent sunny weather year-round. The clear blue waters of the harbor will leave visitors spellbound with stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also take a stroll along the shoreline and bask in the beauty of the oceanfront. There is a scenic walking trail that follows the coastline, offering sweeping views of the harbor and the ocean beyond. Visitors can also explore the quaint shops and restaurants nearby, which offer local souvenirs, art, and delicious Hawaiian cuisine. Whether you are an avid boater or a sun-seeker looking for a tranquil escape, Kukuiula Boat Harbor on Lawai Road is a must-visit destination on Kauai`s south shore. The harbor`s serene ambiance and breathtaking views will leave you rejuvenated and ready to explore more of Hawaii`s stunning natural beauty.
Our philosophy at the Beach House is simple – take some good old-fashioned Hawaiian hospitality, blend it with a Pacific Rim food experience and add an outstanding view to deliver an experience that delights all the senses. Owners Peter Merriman and William Terry work closely with Executive Chef Marshall Blanchard and General Manager Erica Dunn to ensure that their vision for The Beach House is reflected in every aspect of the restaurant. Our talented kitchen team strives to make the most of local ingredients. We invite you to join us and experience the very best of Hawaii!
The Beach House is passionate about handcrafted food, drink, and merrymaking! Our fish is sourced directly from Island fishermen, and our beef and coffee come from neighboring ranches. We incorporate local fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and delight in being able to find new and innovative ways to use the resources that surround us from artisan bakers to folk artists.
Baby Beach, as its name applies, is ideal for infants and toddlers, for its shallow waters and the rocky reef offshore that acts as a wall for incoming waves. The low waves provide a good snorkeling opportunity for the young ones or if they simply want to wade in the water. One of the perks of being at this beach is you don`t have to worry about it being overcrowded.
Baby Beach is located in Poipu and is within walking distance from Kuhio Shores and Whaler’s Cove. From the round-a-bout, head down Lawai Road and make a left onto Hoona Road, then look for a yellow pipe that marks the beach access; you should be able to enter between the homes at 5142 and 5152 Hoona Road. Because it is nested right next to a residential area, parking is limited. Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards or facilities at Baby Beach so plan accordingly and do not be careless as ocean and weather conditions can change.
Sea turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals will sometimes occupy this beach as well. If you happen to encounter these animals please be respectful and keep your distance, as they are protected species.
The Shops at Kukuiula is the island`s premier shopping and dining destination. Showcasing architecture that pays homage to Hawaii`s plantation past, the center is home to dozens of unique shops and boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and contemporary art galleries.
Every Wednesday afternoon, from 3:30 to 6:00. the Kukuiula Shopping Village in Poipu hosts the Kauai Culinary Market. The market is a partnership with the Kauai County Farm Bureau and Kauai Grown products are featured.
Location: 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka
Situated on the sunny south shore of the lush island of Kauai, Hawaii, the Kiahuna Golf Course is a beautiful par-70 course designed to provide golfers with a challenging yet rewarding experience amidst breathtaking scenic vistas. Spanning over 6,900 yards and designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course offers a unique blend of lush greens, sparkling lakes, cascading waterfalls, and tropical flora, paving the way for an unforgettable golfing experience.
One of the unique features of the Kiahuna golf course is the history associated with it. Built in 1983 on land that was once a sugar plantation and owned by the Moana family for three generations, the course has a rich history that spans over a century. The front nine holes wind their way through the remains of the old plantation, dotted with remnants of the past such as sugar mill ruins and original sugar cane crushers. The holes have a classic layout and incorporate undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and elevated greens that challenge players to use their skills and strategy to navigate the terrain.
The back nine holes, on the other hand, offer a completely different experience, meandering through a forest of towering trees and banyans. The elevation changes and tight fairways make it a challenging yet unforgettable experience. Playing at Kiahuna Golf Course is not just about the game; it`s also about the environment. The course`s location on Kauai`s south shore ensures stunning ocean views, with the occasional sighting of dolphins and whales. Apart from the world-class golfing experience, Kiahuna Golf Course offers additional amenities, including a pro shop, a full-service bar and restaurant, and golf lessons from experienced instructors.
Overall, with its rich history, breathtaking views, challenging yet rewarding terrains, and additional amenities, the Kiahuna Golf Course is not just another golfing course; it’s an experience that is sure to stay with you long after you leave.
A lovely garden setting in the heart of Poipu, we have everything you are looking for.
Award-winning restaurants, unique, eclectic shops, art, and boutiques, and a free, authentic Hula show with Live Hawaiian Music every Monday and Thursday afternoon.
Whalers General Store is a convenience store if you need anything in a hurry and nearby.
The Village Market is every first and third Tuesday. The Village Market provides locally grown vegetables, fruits, and tropical flowers from Kauai`s farming and growers community. Also featured in the market will be Kauai-made local crafts, artisans, bakers, and more! As you stroll through the shopping village, observe the demonstrations of coconut weaving, lei-making, and wood carving. Listen to the sounds of local musicians. Enjoy the tastings of our eaterie`s own version of street foods.
Location: 2360 Poipu Rd.
Hapa Road Poipu is part of the Koloa Heritage Trail an easy 1.3-mile out-and-back trail that follows the old “Hapa Road”, dating back to the late 1800s. This section of the trail is ~1/2 of its entire length – making the whole trail`s out-and-back mileage closer to 3 miles in total; however, this half of the trail gives hikers a view of the Kahili Mountain range from the inland valley in Koloa.
This hike begins at the southern trailhead, located right behind Little Fish Coffee. The road follows lava rock walls as it meanders it`s way north through inland valleys. The trail is eventually adjacent to the Kiahuna Plantation Drive, lined with palm trees and resort or residential buildings. Around mile 0.5, the Kahili Mountain range comes into view.
Hikers will find parking along the road just behind Little Fish Coffee.
This road dates back to the late 1800s; however, lava rock walls located near Hapa Road indicate the presence of ancient Hawaiians, circa 1200 A.D. Nearby railroad tracks were once used to haul sugar cane to the Koloa Plantation for milling. Hapa Road served as an emergency evacuation road during WWII and at various times, as a foot and bicycle path.
Hawaiian land is considered sacred to the natives, so please stay on the trail, take nothing but photos, and leave nothing but footprints.
Location: 2360 Poipu Rd.
There are two things in life you should never sacrifice: great food and a good beach day on Kauai. For the first item, that is why they serve food and beverages using only the highest quality ingredients available. From organic, fair-trade coffees to smoothies and acai bowls made with locally grown fruit and veggies, our menu items will keep you swimming throughout the day. For the second item, that is a no-brainer.
Order online and take it to go.
Download the app ChowNow to order from your phone.
Kaneiolouma is a historic site located in Poipu. It is believed to be the last remaining ancient Hawaiian village that has not been fully excavated or developed. This sacred land holds great significance for the Hawaiian people and is considered to be a cultural treasure. Kaneiolouma was once a prosperous agricultural and fishing village that was home to hundreds of Hawaiians. It is believed to date back to the 1400s and was occupied until the late 1800s. The village consisted of several large heiau (temples), houses, and fishponds. Despite the importance of Kaneiolouma to Hawaiian history and culture, the site has faced significant threats over the years.
The land was initially damaged by cattle grazing and agricultural practices in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. More recently, development pressures have also posed a threat to the site. In response to these threats, a group of concerned citizens formed the Kaneiolouma Heritage Trust in 1995. The trust was formed to protect and restore the site and to share the history and culture of Kaneiolouma with the community. Thanks to the efforts of the Kaneiolouma Heritage Trust, the site has been partially restored and is now open to the public for guided tours.
Visitors can learn about the history and significance of Kaneiolouma while exploring the existing heiau and fishponds. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the history and culture of the site. In addition to the guided tours, the Kaneiolouma Heritage Trust also hosts cultural events and educational programs. These events are designed to share the history and significance of Kaneiolouma with visitors and to help preserve and protect the site for future generations. A visit to Kaneiolouma is a must-see. It offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the Hawaiian people and is a testament to the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.
The place for delicious lunches, sumptuous dinners, happy hour specials, beach deli, seafood, pasta, steak, and pupu platters. What a mouthful!
Cold drinks, snacks, and the south shore`s most popular shave ice! Stop by the deli for delicious sandwiches, all kinds of snacks and treats, and the cool relief of shave ice.
Nukumoi is a Core Surf Shop with everything that you need for fun in the ocean. We specialize in quality rentals from Surfboards to Body Boards, S.U.P.s (Stand-Up Paddle), snorkel gear, umbrellas, beach chairs, and more. We also have the largest selection of Surf Board Rentals on the Island and the most affordable.
We also have a great selection of Mens Board Shorts, Rash Guards (SPF Surf Shirts), T-shirts, Hats, and Surf Accessories. Our Womens selection of Bikinis, Dresses, Tops, and Slippers is always commented on as being the best of the best. Additionally, we have kids` bathing suits, rash guards, slippers, hats, and board shorts as well. We’ve got everything you need from head to toe for fun in the sun and in the shade. And don`t forget our specialty Nukumoi Surf shop tees and other logo wear!
Enjoy the beauty of Kauai On a Pedego Electric bike. Stop and go at your own speed.
Kauai has many off-the-beaten-path wonders to explore. Nothing like riding your Pedego Electric bike with your family and discovering things you would have never found in a moving vehicle.
Located under Kalapaki Joes.
Located on the sunny south shore of Kauai, Hawaii, the Poipu Bay Golf Course is a championship-level golfing destination that presents a unique combination of stunning coastal scenery and challenging terrain. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course features 18 holes that are spread over 210 acres of lush, rolling greenery that borders the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The course is beautifully maintained and features a variety of elevated greens, strategically placed bunkers, and tricky water hazards that challenge players to bring their A-game to the course.
One of the highlights of this stunning golfing destination is its signature hole – the par-3 16th hole. This majestic hole presents a picturesque view of the ocean and is known for its challenging green complex that features a waterfall, sand bunker, and green that slopes severely towards the ocean. Another unique feature of the Poipu Bay Golf Course is its state-of-the-art practice facility that offers a range of options for players, including a driving range, a short game area, and a putting green. Golfers can work on their swing and improve their game before heading out to the course. For those looking for a luxurious golfing experience, the Poipu Bay Golf Course also offers a range of amenities and services, including a fully stocked pro shop, on-course beverage service, and a world-class clubhouse that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
In conclusion, the Poipu Bay Golf Course is a stunning golfing destination that offers a unique blend of stunning scenery and challenging terrain. For anyone looking to experience golf at its finest, this course is a must-play destination.
CJM Country Stables invites you to join them for a horseback ride on Kauai`s magnificent South Shore. Be our guest for a guided horseback tour into the beautiful and legendary Mahaulepu wilderness area.
Their varied and diverse rides offer picturesque coastal views and spectacular mountain scenery. Experienced guides share this very special area known as Mahaulepu. Small personalized groups offer a relaxed and memorable horseback experience.
Saddle up for our Kauai horseback riding adventures!
This trail is ideal for every member of the family and it is right in Poipu. It is not too strenuous, and you can walk as far as you are comfortable. I walk my dog on the trail almost every morning. The trail is 3.7 miles out and back. It goes from Shipwrecks Beach to Mahaulepu Beach.
The best place to start your hike is at Shipwrecks Beach. There is a small parking lot and plenty of parking down the dirt road at the top of the driveway or along the road next to the Hyatt. This trail has sacred spots and a huge variety of scenic views. Please make sure you pack out what you take in and be respectful of all of the wildlife, some of which are classified as endangered. You will see a variety of cliffs and sand dunes that have hardened into limestone. After you pass the limestone cliffs the trail goes down to a rocky beach and then passes the Waiopili Heiau, a very sacred Hawaiian place. You continue onto the edge of the Poipu Bay Golf Course where Tiger Woods won the PGA Grand Slam several times.
After walking along the edge of the golf course you will enter a pedestrian tree tunnel and move through some shrubbery and a rocky trail coming out to a view of CJM Stables and Gillin Cottage in the background, right on Mahaulepu Beach. From this part of the trail, you can see the Makauwahi Cave Reserve. If you wish to go inside, keep in mind that the cave is open from 10 am to 4 pm. A short walk east of the cave is a fenced-in area where you can see native tortoises.
Take some water and a picnic and enjoy the beach for a swim. Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards at the beach so take all safety precautions. The coastline is a very special place. You might see a monk seal lying on the beach, a Hawaiian Tropic bird flying overhead, or a shearwater nesting In the roots of a tree on the path. Make sure you keep your distance and enjoy the experience from a distance. The more I get to know the path, the more magical it becomes. If you can get up early enough, sunrise can be the best time for this hike.
Everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to noodles, spices, sweets, treats, and items like jewelry, clothing, art, and household and family accessories will be available for purchase. This is an outdoor market.
Location: NTBG Visitor Center
Lawai Beach is a small strip of beach next to the Beach House Restaurant. An excellent place to snorkel. This is a favorite spot to watch surfers off this reef break. Lawai Beach is also popular for spotting turtles and the protected Hawaiian monk seal! Perfect for watching the sunset.
Kauai Surf School is a popular destination for those looking to learn how to surf or improve their skills. Located in Poipu, the school offers lessons for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. The instructors are experienced and knowledgeable, and they provide a safe and fun environment for learning. The lessons are held at Poipu Beach, which is known for its consistent waves and beautiful scenery. The school provides all the necessary equipment, including surfboards, rash guards, and leashes. In addition to surfing lessons, Kauai Surf School also offers stand-up paddleboarding lessons and tours. The school is open year-round, and reservations are recommended. Whether you`re a first-time surfer or an experienced rider, Kauai Surf School is a great place to learn and have fun.
Location: Beach Shack, Kiahuna Plantation
If you find yourself in Koloa this is one-stop shopping! The store has been owned by the same family for decades and the locals refer to it as Kuks. It has a little bit of everything. The store itself is a local grocery store, with fresh produce, meats, beer, wine, spirits, and staples. The added benefit is inside it also contains a separate juice bar with some of the best acai bowls on Kauai, additionally, there is a sandwich/muffin stand and an apparel pop-up. The real star to me is the Maki Sushi shop inside. The Poke bowls are delicious. In the morning you can also get warm musubi and bento boxes for the day. Outside there is an excellent shaved ice trailer.
Location: 2827 Poipu Rd.
Koloa Landing Resort’s poolside grill is a collaboration with Hawaii’s own, James Beard award-winning chef, Sam Choy, also known as the grandfather of poke. The menu features locally inspired cuisine that can be paired perfectly with Hawaiian-style island libations. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
RumFire Poipu Beach is the south shore’s hotspot for modern Kauai dining. Experience the island’s stunning sunsets and spectacular views of Sheraton Kauai Resort’s ocean courtyard, Poipu Beach, and the ocean beyond. Designed around the restaurant’s unparalleled views of Kauai’s coastline, RumFire features 180-degree ocean views from every seat! RumFire’s menu serves locally sourced cuisine with a global influence and Kauai’s most extensive selection of rums from around the world. Experience an unforgettable evening at RumFire!
Locals and visitors alike love our refreshing atmosphere, bringing you right into the spirit of our lush island with open-air dining, tropical surroundings, and live Hula almost every night. Keoki’s has a very tropical ambiance and koi ponds giving you the true Hawaiian atmosphere!
One of our favorites. Dining is a large covered area in the Poipu Beach Athletic Club. You don’t need to have a club membership to eat here. Vegetarian and gluten-free choices. Wonderful cocktails, beers on tap, and tasty choices for lunch and dinner.
Executive Chef and Kauai native Noelani Planas Red Salt Restaurant offers an acclaimed dining experience for those who seek something different. Sweeping palm tree-lined ocean views set the tone, while diverse, captivating menus draw in even the most adventurous guests with plenty of signature specialties like Lemon-Pineapple Souffle Pancakes, Vanilla Bean-Seared Mahi, and Ahi Tartare.
Poipu Beach Park is a stunning destination located on the south shore of Kauai. It is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike and is home to a variety of activities and wildlife. One of the highlights of the park is its population of honu, or Hawaiian green sea turtles. These turtles can often be seen basking in the sun on the beach or swimming in the shallow waters of the bay. The park also offers a variety of activities for visitors. Swimming and snorkeling are popular activities, with gentle waves and plenty of marine life to explore. Fishing is also a popular pastime, and the park is stocked with a variety of fish species. Other activities include kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and beachcombing. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic in the park’s pavilion, which is a great place to take in the beautiful views of the beach and ocean. For those looking for a unique experience, Poipu Beach Park also hosts a variety of events, such as cultural hula performances and traditional Hawaiian music. The park is also a great place for whale watching, as it provides one of the best vantage points for spotting humpback whales during the fall and winter months. With its idyllic setting and many activities, Poipu Beach Park is the perfect place to relax and explore the beauty of Kauai.
Large fruit stand on the Koloa Bypass Rd. Depending on the season you will find fresh fruits and vegetables: bananas, white sugarloaf pineapples, papayas, mangos, lychees, avocados, dragon fruit, lettuce, and herbs to name a few.
Location: Ala Kinoiki, Poipu
Right next to Poipu Kai and fronting Shipwreck`s Beach, the Grand Hyatt Kauai, has beautiful grounds to walk through, restaurants, a Starbucks, a world-class spa, and our favorite, Stevenson`s Library. Stevensons is a place for sushi and spirits. Enjoy sweeping ocean and resort views from the 24-foot koa wood bar, on the open-air lanai, or indoors. The warm koa wood decor welcomes hand-carved sugarcane and pineapple detail as you enjoy your favorite cocktail and delicious sushi.
Kauai Poke Co. is a sugar plantation family coming together to offer fresh, delicious, local food. If you’re new to Hawaii or Poke, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for an authentic, local flavor, we’ve got something for you too. We use only fresh, never frozen, locally sourced Ahi. Located overlooking the Poipu Bay Golf Course.