We love the Poipu area of Kauai, Hawaii on the south shore of the island. Not only because we have a world-class zipline here but also because there is just so much to do! The South Shore of Kauai is surrounded by the island’s characteristic lush greenery but the South Shore itself is actually a very dry area of the island. The extra sunshine that this area of the island gets year round makes it an extremely popular place to stay on an otherwise characteristically rainy island.
Because this area of the island attracts more visitors than any other spot, there is, of course, a lot to do here. Here are ten amazing things to do and see on Kauai’s South Shore.
1. Spouting Horn
The Spouting Horn is a natural blowhole that shoots a 20-foot tall spout of water up into the air. A lot of sea turtles like to hang out in this area too so if you are lucky you might see a few while you are visiting. Poipu is known for its crashing ocean waves. The Spouting Horn formed because of the repeated waves crashing onto the lava rocks and forming narrow openings in the rocks. Every time a wave hits the rocks, the water is forced into this narrow opening and shoots up into the air. The bigger the wave, the higher the water shoots into the air. If you feel like going for a hike, the Spouting Horn is actually part of the 10 mile long Koloa Heritage Trail.
2. Makahuena Point
Makahuena Point is a popular place to stay on Kauai’s South Shore. It is easy to walk from this area to Poipu so there are a lot of resorts and condos that you can stay at in this area. This spot is known as “The Point”. There are golf courses, hiking trails, spas and surf schools just to name a few of the countless things to do here.
3. Zipline Tour over the Garden Isle
Are you looking for a thrilling adventure during your time on Kauai’s South Shore? You need to experience our award-winning zipline course! You will find incredible views everywhere you turn as you zipline over Kauai’s lush mountain valleys. On this tour, you will soar over three different valleys against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain and ocean scenery. We have an 8-line adventure and also a 5-line family tour. The real excitement happens when you experience 200-foot drop-offs and reach speeds faster than 50 miles per hour! Be sure to book your zipline adventure early because spots fill up very quickly.
4. Poipu Beach Park- Voted America’s Best Beach
Poipu Beach Park is a must-see place on Kauai’s South Shore. It has been voted America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. Today, it still ranks at the top of the list of the ten best beaches nationwide. This beach feels private and secluded from the rest of the island because of its natural geographic layout. It is made up of a series of golden sand crescents. When you hang out here you will get to enjoy a natural ocean wading pool that is great for all ages where you are able to go snorkeling, swimming, boogie-boarding and even surfing! There are a few resorts in this area so if you want to spend a lot of time here you can always stay nearby.
5. Old Koloa Town
Old Koloa Town features many beautifully restored plantation buildings in it’s downtown area. This is a great place to hang out and go shopping in the many unique shops that call Old Koloa Town their home. Hawaii’s first successful sugar plantation was founded here in 1835. Today the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa is a national historic landmark. You can also visit the Saint Raphael Catholic Church which is the oldest Catholic church in Kauai. Also, be sure to drive through the Tree Tunnel on your way into town. This tunnel of eucalyptus trees was planted over a century ago and still thrives today. It is a unique and beautiful sight!
6. Golf: Poipu Bay Golf Course, Kaihuna Golf Club, Kukui’ula Golf Course
Whether you are an avid golfer or you are just looking for a great way to spend some time outside enjoying the tropical weather, golf is a great way to enjoy the area. There are lots of golf courses located on Kauai’s South Shore, in fact, Kauai is home to some of the world’s best golf courses. The island as a whole offers nine courses to choose from depending on where you will be staying. The South Shore is home to the Poipu Bay Golf Course, Kaihuna Golf Club, and the Kukui’ula Golf Course. You can book tee times before you leave for your tropical vacation so all you have to do is enjoy your time here.
7. Botanical Garden
Another thing to do on Kauai’s South Shore is visiting a beautiful botanical garden. Kauai’s Allerton Garden is located in Koloa. The garden was designed by a Hawaiian Queen. You will find a variety of rainforest trees, bronze mermaid statues, and tropical fruit trees. You will also find plants that are very important in Hawaiian culture such as a variety of palms, heliconias, and ginger plants. The Allerton Botanical Garden has been named one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler. It is also a popular spot for Hollywood films. Two recent movies filmed here are Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean.
8. Drive through the Tree Tunnel
As mentioned before, the Tree Tunnel is a site that should not be missed during your time on Kauai. It is unlike anything else on Earth. The Kauai Tree Tunnel is made up of Eucalyptus trees that line either side of the highway for more than a mile long stretch. The natural gateway leads to Kauai’s South Shore along with the towns of Koloa and Poipu. This tunnel was created in 1911 with 500 trees planted side by side along the roadway. The trees were given to the community by Pineapple Baron Walter McBryde.
9. Go Snorkeling or Paddleboarding in a Cove
Do you love to spend time in the water but you’re not necessarily the surfing type? The South Shore of Kauai offers lots of perfect places with calm waters for paddle boarding and snorkeling.
Anini Beach has the longest and widest reef in the Hawaiian islands and a 3 mile long stretch of sand. This is a prime spot for snorkeling on the island. Poipu Beach also has a great spot to snorkel right off of Nukomoi Point. There is also Lawai Beach which is one of the most popular places to snorkel on the South Shore. If you choose to go to Lawai Beach be prepared to see a lot of people hanging out in the calm waters on most days.
Paddleboarding is an ancient Hawaiian sport and there are lots of places to enjoy the activity on every island. The calmer waters you are able to find, the more enjoyable it will be, which is why the coves along the South Shore are such a great place to try it out.
10. Get a Treat at Kauai Chocolate Company
After getting so much wonderful fresh air on Kauai’s South Shore, you are sure to work up an appetite for a sweet treat. Check out the Kauai Chocolate Company for locally made treats that everyone in your group will love. They are raved about for their truffles, Macadamia nuts, ice cream, and other chocolate treats.