Poipu Things to Do

Things to Do near Poipu on Kauai

Poipu is the ideal vacation place whether you are looking for rest and relaxation or excitement and adventure.

It is surreally beautiful with white sandy beaches contrasting with dramatic lava rock formations. Discover something new at each turn from the limestone cliffs and ancient Makauwehi Cave along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail to the natural geyser formed by underwater lava at Spouting Horn Beach Park that shoots water 40 feet high.

John Derrick
Published on: 04-08-2020
Published by: John C. Derrick

Poipu is known for its impressive surf, underwater sea caverns and coral reefs for snorkeling, and stretches of sand ideal for sunbathing, reading or napping. Poipu Beach is family-friendly thanks to its sheltered keiki (children) ponds and lifeguard services. However, if you are looking for a less-traveled beach, Mahaulepu Beach offers secluded sand and sea ideal for strolls and quiet time for contemplation.

If you want to take in some local body surfing, nothing beats the action at Shipwrecks Beach with its awesome shore-breaks. And there’s nowhere better to watch the Poipu sunsets than the beach or an adjacent beach restaurant with a Hawaiian cocktail in hand. Known for the breathtaking tones of pink and orange, the rosy clouds create a stunning end to a perfect day.

Poipu Weather

Many people seek vacations on other islands of Hawaii since Kauai is known as one of the rainiest places on earth. However, Poipu offers sunny climes for most of the year. You also get the bonus of cool trade winds when the temperatures rise. In the winter, temperatures range from the mid-70s to the lower 80s, and in the summer, they spike to the upper 80s. Although there is a risk for showers, they come in short bursts and aren’t likely to ruin your day.

From Golf to Ziplining

Poipu keeps you busy if you aren’t just there to relax. Whether you are looking to play a round of golf at one of the three golf courses designed by world-class designers Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tom Weiskopf. Formerly the home of the PGA Grand Slam, the Poipu Bay Golf Course is a must. You can also visit Kiahuna Golf Course or Kukuiula Golf Course, Kauai’s most exclusive course. If you are looking for adventure, experience the natural beauty of the area with an adrenaline rush ziplining through the forest. You can also rent an ATV and get a little dirty on the many trails in the area.

Your Dining Pleasure

Indulge your senses with a meal prepared by internationally renowned Chefs Peter Merriman and Roy Yamaguchi. Two of the Founders of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, their signature restaurants are a must when visiting Poipu. If you are looking for casual dining, you have your choice of dining options, whether you are looking for local fare, the tastes of Italy, some spicy Mexican or fusion cuisine.

Directions to Poipu

The town of Poipu on Kauai is located on the South Shore about 10 miles from Lihue Airport. For what it lacks in size, it makes up for with activities and beautiful scenery.

When in Poipu you can’t miss the following:

Top Things to Do in Poipu Image

Poipu Beach Park

Poipu Beach is separated into two sides by Nukumoi Point. This “tombola” separates the beach into two bays with a narrow sand spit. On the eastern side, endangered monk seals can be seen napping, while on the western side of the beach you can sit and watch the bodyboarders. With the small waves along the shallow sandbar, it is the ideal spot for kids to play safely. There is also a lava rock area that creates a shallow area perfect for families to swim. When you get tired of the beach, the kids will love the outdoor playground. If you are kid-free there is also nearby snorkel and surfboard rentals.

Top Things to Do in Poipu Image

Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail

This trail is part of the Kauai History Heritage site featuring a strip of undeveloped coastline. An effort is underway to protect the land to help preserve the breathtaking, natural beauty. This is a must if you are looking for a hike along the coast, as it follows along the southeast corner of Shipwreck Beach and Keonela Bay and provides views of sand-dune cliffs, pretty Kiawe trees, unearthly limestone formations and rugged rocky inlets.

You can spot marine life along the way including sea turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals. At Mahaulepu Beach, you will find a remote area by the ocean where the waters are rough, and you can whale watch. The area is also perfect for beachcombing with an easy trail of about 4 miles there and back.

Top Things to Do in Poipu Image

Limahuli Garden and Preserve

One of five garden sites of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Limahuli Garden is located on the north shore of Kauai. It is reached via a shuttle bus that can be booked online. Visitors must also register for self-guided tours as the garden is trying to manage the amount of traffic through the area. Limahuli Garden is in one of the most biodiverse valleys in Hawaii. Here you will find dozens of endangered plants and birds unique to the area.

Native and culturally significant species can be viewed in an authentic Hawaiian landscape. It is a pu'uhonua, which means place of refuge, where the ecological system is designed to honor the connection between nature and humanity. It is also a place where indigenous traditions are carried on with a commitment to ancestral resource management practices.

Poipu Shopping Village

Poipu Shopping Village is located in the heart of Poipu at Poipu Road and Kiahuna Plantation Drive. It offers a unique island shopping experience as the shops and restaurants are located in a charming garden setting. Here you will find everything you need, including award-winning restaurants, galleries, and eclectic boutiques. This is the place to go if you are seeking unique keepsakes from your trip or gifts to bring home to family and friends.

One of the most popular attractions beyond the shops and dining include Hula and live Hawaiian music every Monday and Thursday at 5 pm. If you are in the area the 1st or 3rd week of the month, be sure to pop by The Village Market. You can also check out the special events taking place during your visit.

Keoki's Paradise

Located at the Poipu Shopping Village, you can’t find a better place to enjoy local cuisine in a comfortable, laid back restaurant. Enjoy dining in the open air surrounded by the lush beauty of Kauai. Local farmers, fishermen, and ranchers inspire the food, so every dish features fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Their fresh-caught seafood is dressed with a variety of flavors from Asian black bean sauce, lemongrass bamboo rice, and sizzling peanut oil to Macadamia nut and parmesan, herbed basmati wheatberry rice, and lemon caper beurre blanc. If you aren’t in the mood for seafood, indulge in slow-cooked Imu style pork ribs, local prime rib, or free-range chicken dishes cooked in a variety of ways.

If you are seeking a vacation in a tiny town big on natural beauty, water activities, dining and shopping, Poipu is the place to go.

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