Hikes

Top Things to do in Poipu, Kauai

Aloha travelers! Have you found yourself traveling to Kauai? This small, magical island is one you don’t want to miss. Poipu is one of the larger cities on Kauai and sits at the sunny, south side of Kauai.

We were able to travel to Hawaii without the kids because Kevin had to head there for work. There are lots of amazing resorts to stay at along the south coast. We opted to rent a condo at the Kiahuna Plantation which sat in between some of the bigger resorts like the Marriott. These condos were on Kiahuna Beach (pictured below) and the sandy beach seemed to go on forever. During the trip, I was able to walk to the Marriott and enjoy drinks at their outdoor bar. If you don’t need all the amenities of a resort, I high recommend getting a condo.

Places to Visit in Poipu

Little Fish Coffee

This fun breakfast hut was located directly across the street from our condo. It has outdoor seating only and features coffee, acai bowls, sandwiches & smoothies. I personally ate the acai bowls every morning– a delicious way to start the day! It can get quite crowded here so the earlier you go, the better. Beware of all the free-roaming chickens on the island. Little Fish Coffee has many of them wandering around trying to steal your food. And trust me, they WILL steal your food. Please do not feed the chickens as they really are a nuisance.

Poipu Shopping Center

Poipu Shopping Center is located right off Poipu Road and is home to some local shops and restaurants. The notable restaurants we ate at were Keoki’s Paradise and Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar. Seeing as you will be on an island, I suggest eating as much fish as you possibly can. Pictured above is sushi from Bangkok Happy Bowl. Most of these restaurants all have live music during dinner hours. If you are uncertain about getting a seat, call ahead for a reservation.

Shipwreck Beach / Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail

A little ways east of Poipu is Shipwreck Beach and the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail. This coastal hiking trail running past beaches, cultural & historical sites, rock formations & more. We walked through sand dunes with very little shade to be sure to pack lots of water. For more information on the historical sites and for a trail map, head to the Heritage Trail website. This is an easy hike to take kids on. There are lots of different trails to take but you really can’t get lost.

The Shops at Kukui‘ula

If you are looking for more upscale shopping and restaurants then head to The Shops at Kukui‘ula. This outdoor shopping center has LOTS to offer. We walked around here almost every night we were out. Make reservations ahead of time if you plan on eating out. The restaurants get super crowded, especially since you get a perfert view of the sunset off to the western side of the island. Who does’t want to spend their vacation eating at an open window, warm air, watching a gorgeous sunset on the beach?!

One of our favorite restaurants was Merriman’s Kauai. This white-table cloth restaurant had many inventive dishes to try. We also ate at Tortilla Republic for fresh Mexican food.

Note: Please check ahead at any restaurant. Due to COVID, some places may be closed or available for take-out only.

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon should definitely be on your list of places to visit while in Kauai. This giant canyon has a lot to offer! The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to a lower lookout point and the main Waimea Canyon Overlook, offering views of Kauai’s dramatic interior. The road continues into the mountains and ends at Kokee State Park. There are numerous trails to hike on for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. We hiked on the Black Pipe Trail to Canyon Trail which led us to the top of Waipo’o Falls. For a closer look at our hike, check out our YouTube Video.

In order to get to Waimea Canyon you’ll have to drive through downtown Waimea. There are three places we stopped at and think they are worth noting!

  1. Island Taco– this place has AMAZING tacos that you need to try! There is also a location at Poipu Shopping Center if you miss it. We had fresh, tuna tacos with some spice– yum!
  2. The Right Slice — a famous pie shop you have definitely heard of if researching Kauai. These pies are made fresh daily and there are so many choices! Keep in mind, you are going to be paying almost $10 a slice if you want it a la mode.
  3. Kauai Coffee Company – Coffee lovers rejoice! You can easily drive past this coffee plantation on your way back to Poipu. There is a free self-guided walking tour that you need to take. The coffee house also boasts free coffee samples. As a coffee lover myself, I learned a lot about the beans, the harvesting process, and just what really goes into an amazing cup of coffee. You will be buying beans to take home so be prepared!

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