Drenched in the sunshine just about all year round, Poipu in south Kauai is a nearly perfect resort area.
Places To Stay
It offers accommodations ranging from ultra-luxury hotels and spacious condominiums to cozy bed-and-breakfasts.
Things To Do
Poipu Beach is a smile of sand where the sunsets are a sacrament, holding the world in a chalice of color while the sea and sky melt into golds, pinks and sometimes a flash of emerald. Dr. Beach, a noted authority on beaches, recently ranked Poipu Beach number one in the U.S.
In truth, Poipu is actually many beaches. The sheltered coves of Poipu, with their gentle surf, are the perfect spots to learn to surf or snorkel. The swimming here is idyllic. Adjacent Nukumoi Point has a reef well-populated with angelfish, striped damsels, Moorish idols, black tangs and schools of canary-colored butterflyfish. Families who gather for picnics on weekends enjoy Poipu Beach Park.
It is a sharp contrast to Shipwreck Beach, separated from the rest of Poipu by a rocky coastline etched with nature trails. A dawn walk along the cliffs is exhilarating. The beach itself is glorious, although swimming here is recommended only for the most experienced. Many people like to bicycle beyond Shipwreck to isolated Mahaulepu Beach, one of the loveliest unspoiled strands of sand in the state. The beaches of Poipu draw sun-lovers of all species, including endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals who scoot up the resort sands and stretch out to rest after a strenuous night of hunting.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, Hawaii’s first delegate to the United States Congress, was born along the Poipu coast at Kukuiula in 1871. The foundation of the royal home and its fishpond are incorporated into Prince Kuhio Park.
Further up the coast, a lava tube forces spumes of salty surf as high as 50 feet in the air. Called Spouting Horn, this natural wonder is a photographer’s dream, especially at sunset when it becomes incandescent with the colors of the rainbow. Everyone stops here at least once.
Poipu’s horseback riding facility, CJM Country Stables, stages authentic rodeo celebrations. Paniolo (cowboys) show off their skills that win trophy buckles even on Mainland rodeo circuits.