Poipu, Kauai’s South Shore, is genuinely the sunny side of the island, so expectations are already quite high for things to do, particularly outdoors. Whether solo traveler, couple, family or group, Poipu’s beaches and sights offer scenery, heritage, water sports, adventure and sheer indulgence.
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Nature in Poipu is wondrous and some must-sees include the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden in the Lawai Valley. See native and endangered plant species, with a combination of walking and tram tours. Plan on at least half a day for both gardens, depending on your level of interest.
A fascination to many as they watch salt water shooting vertically into the air at a height of 50 feet. Water bursts through a lava shelf, creating a sound that boosts the legend of this blowhole. A large mo’o (lizard) once guarded the coast and would devour anyone getting near the area. A man, Liko, once swam under the lava shelf and slipped away through the hole but the mo’o, in efforts to attack, was trapped for eternity and cries to this day in anguish. Sunset is a beautiful time to see Spouting Horn.
Hikers and heritage buffs will find plenty of exercise, culture and history along the paths of the Koloa and Mahaulepu Heritage Trails. Mix it up as you wish, and see the sights along the trails by car, bike or on foot.
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Poipu is home to beaches for every occasion—swimming, sunsets, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sunning and more. Mahaulepu, Lawai and Brennecke’s are just a few of the beaches that are popular among locals and visitors. Each of the beaches in Poipu is open to public, as are all Hawaii beaches, so pack a picnic and plan a few itineraries at the various beaches.
Sunny days in Poipu practically every single day of the year makes it a top pick for golf. Kiahuna Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course (under renovations until December 2010) are world-class courses worth of several rounds.
Everyone needs a bit of indulgence and Anara Spa at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa will lift your spirits and provide hedonistic luxuriating, which is a must when you’re on vacation.
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Poipu’s food scene and its neighboring towns provide a multitude of options from plate lunch to Pacific Rim. Find time to dine seaside at sunset. Another must is to take home a handcrafted Kauai creation. The shopping scene is great for those looking for island apparel, jewelry, handbags and other gifts.