Poipu on Kauai's South Shore is a wonderland of diversity with excellent beaches for swimming and snorkeling and a wealth of historical and scenic sites.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden at Poipu, Kauai is the only garden of its kind to be chartered by the U. S. Congress.
Poipu is fun for everyone. Poipu offers a large number of activities to enjoy. The adventurous will find kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, surfing, mountain biking, deep-sea fishing, horseback riding and ATV tours on Kauai’s South Shore. Golfers have 36 holes of championship play and there are lots of tennis courts. View Kauai's coastline with an ocean cruise, or enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride above its rugged interior. No matter what age, Poipu has something for everyone in the family.
If you’re a golfer, tee off Poipu-style. With two 18-hole championship courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Poipu offers some of the finest golf on Kauai. Enjoy a round of golf while soaking in some Kauai sunshine and seeing the amazing Poipu mountain and ocean views.
If you’re planning a wedding or honeymoon, many businesses at sunny Poipu Beach provide a full range of wedding and vow renewal services to celebrate your memorable occasion. Kauai is considered by many to be one of the most romantic and beautiful islands on earth.
The Koloa Heritage Trail, Ka Ala Hele Waiwai Ho'olina o Koloa, will take you through 5 million years of exploration highlighting the natural history, archaeology, culture and history of the Koloa District of Kauai and its people. The Koloa Heritage Trail is spread along 10 miles and includes 14 stops and monuments describing the significance of the locations at or near Poipu, Kauai.
1. Spouting Horn Park was called puhi, or blowhole, by early Hawaiians. Legends tell of how this puhi was formed when waves eroded softer, underlying rock and wore through the harder top rock. Water rushing into the hole is forced through the narrow opening and shoots skyward. Spouting Horn’s natural lava tube formations creates one of Kauai's more spectacular locations.
2. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was born in Koloa in a grass hut near Poipu Beach. Prince Kuhio became a delegate to U.S. Congress after Hawai`i became a Territory in 1900, serving for 19 years. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the Hawaiian people.
3. Hanaka’ape Bay and Koloa Landing was the third largest whaling port in all of Hawai`i and the only port of entry for foreign goods. The sugar industry increased its use until 1912 when better facilities became available elsewhere. Goods and people were transferred by hand and small boat to ships in Hanaka`ape Bay near Poipu, Kauai.
4. Pa’u a Laka – Moir Gardens began as a hobby garden by the Koloa Plantation Manager's wife and became known as one of the best of its kind. Numerous cactus planted in the 1930s thrived in the arid, rocky soil at Poipu. Many seedlings became naturalized over time and are still seen throughout the Poipu area.
5. The walled Kihahouna Heiau (temple) that once existed near Poipu, Kauai was 130 feet by 90 feet; dedicated to Kane, a major god of Hawaii. Three hala-lihilihi-ula trees situated on the outside of the naupaka hedge mark the heiau perimeter.
6. At the Poipu Beach Park, endangered native Hawaiian Monk seal and threatened Green sea turtle are frequent visitors. From November through May, the endangered Humpback whale appears. Ancient Hawaiians fished and played here and harvested salt in dug-out evaporating pans.
7. Keoneloa Bay, meaning long sand, at Poipu, Kauai is where early visitors believed to be from the Marquesas Islands arrived between 200 and 600 A.D. They used this Poipu area as a temporary fishing camp, leaving behind stone-age tools, remnants of heiau, or temples, and ahu, or altars.
8. The sand dunes of Makawehi, meaning calm face, and Pa`a, meaning hard rock, contain fossilized plant roots, bird bones, crab claws and other treasures. This prominent limestone ridge extended across Keoneloa Bay prior to wave erosion. From March through November, water birds and sea birds frequent the dunes near Poipu, Kauai.
9. Pu'uwanawana Volcanic Cone was formed more than 5 million years ago when a hotspot in the earth spewed lava upward to form Kaua`i. Nearby Ha`upu Ridge and Mountain contain some of the oldest geologic formations. Weathered volcanic material produced rich agricultural plains.
10. Lava rock walls near Hapa Road indicate that Hawaiians lived on Kauai in the Poipu area around 1200 A.D., although the road dates to the late 1800s. Nearby tracks once held trains hauling sugar cane to Koloa Plantation for milling. Hapa Road served as a supply and emergency evacuation route during World War II and at various times a foot- and bicycle path.
11. The Koloa Jodo Mission near Poipu is one of many Buddhist temples that provided Japanese immigrants a place to worship, study their language, learn martial arts and participate in social events. A specialist in temple architecture from Japan built the large temple's interior. Hand-painted, wooden ceiling tiles were a gift from the Japanese artist who rendered them.
12. The Sugar Monument is a tribute to the ancient Polynesians who were the first to bring sugar cane to Hawaii. Starting with its first cane seeding in 1835, Koloa Plantation on Kauai was the first in Hawaii to successfully mill cane commercially for export. It set the precedent for free housing and medical benefits for its immigrant employees who were from China, Japan, East and West Germany, Portugal and the Philippines.
13. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Yamamoto Building functioned at various times as a plantation camp store and general store with service station. Behind it, the Koloa Hotel offered rooms to traveling salesmen and actors. The o-furo, or hot tub, provided a relaxing soak to guests.
14. The Koloa Missionary Church sanctuary is part of a homestead once owned by Dr. James W. Smith, a medical missionary. In 1842, Dr. Smith began a practice of over 40 years, later becoming an ordained minister at The Church at Koloa. His grandson, Dr. Alfred Herbert Waterhouse, added a clinic to the homestead in 1933.
There is a lot to see and do in Poipu on Kauai’s South Shore. Contact us for an oceanfront vacation rental.