What to Do In Poipu

Kauai offers a brilliant array of places to visit that all offer the laid back island way of living that make this island a particularly popular spot for relaxing holidays. A particularly great place to visit for its beauty and serenity is Poipu, which is found on the south side of the island.

Poipu is renowned for its family-friendly beaches, exceptional surf, unique underwater sea caverns and coral reefs that provide some of the best settings for snorkeling. It’s one of Kauai’s more popular towns, and should definitely be put on your list of places to visit if you’re staying nearby.

In order to get the most out of your trip, we have put together a list of the best things to do in Poipu below. Check them out to start planning your visit to this tropical haven.

Poipu Weather

Coast of Poipu

When visiting Poipu, you can likely expect some of the heavy rainfall that Kauai is famous for. However, you will also experience glorious sunshine, as the town has 239 days throughout the year when the sun comes out to play.

Summer in Poipu offers a hot, tropical climate with temperatures in July reaching highs of 85°F, whereas the winter months can be much cooler with an average temperature of 64°F.

The picturesque town of Poipu will be sure to impress you all year round with its perfect blend of easy-going island living and great tourist attractions. However, if you are looking to visit Poipu when the weather is known to be more comfortable, the best months to visit are January, February and April.

The 6 Best Things to Do in Poipu

1) Play a Round of Golf

Golf Ball

Poipu Bay Golf Course is surrounded by lush, verdant mountains and sits an impressive eight stories above the Pacific Ocean, providing utterly breathtaking views from everywhere on the course.

Situated in an idyllic Hawaiian setting and offering great facilities including clinics, private lessons, group tournaments, customized outings and youth programs, if you like to play golf then this is a great way to spend your day when visiting Poipu.

As well as the chance to play some excellent rounds of golf, the course is tucked away within Poipu Bay which offers fantastic opportunities to see the Hawaiian heiau and ancient stone walls that the course was built around. While you play, there will be plenty of opportunities to catch glimpses of monk seals, sea turtles and humpback whales out in the water. With views like these, be careful not to get too distracted and lose the game!

2) Zoom Down the Zipline

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, a visit to Skyline Hawaii, Kauai will give you a thrill like no other!

This activity offers a unique way to see the Garden Isle from a birds-eye view. You can choose to zoom down the 8-line or 5-line tours, which take you over three lush valleys with views showcasing the perfect mixture of mighty mountains and glistening turquoise waters.

Skyline Hawaii was voted the Kauai Best Extreme Tour, Best Kauai Guided Tour Company and the Best Kauai Land Adventure Tour Company in 2017, so it's definitely one not to miss when visiting Poipu.

3) Indulge in Great Food

Poipu has many great restaurants that offer an array of cuisines. There are many to choose from that cater for all, but we’ve picked out our top three recommendations.

Puka Dog

Puka Dog is an island favorite that is renowned for its Hawaiian style hot dogs, great Aloha service and tasty food! The restaurant offers both sausage hot dogs and veggie dogs alongside freshly squeezed lemonade and Maui chips. If you are looking to get an authentic meal in Poipu, Puka Dog is the place to be!

Kauai Culinary Market

Every Wednesday at The Shops at Kukuiula between 3.30-6 pm, you can find Kauai Culinary Market. With live island music and fresh locally grown produce, this is a dining experience not to miss when visiting Poipu. There is a great range on offer including pies, jams, wine and beer. Sit back and watch as chefs prepare the food while you take in the authentic atmosphere.

Eating House, Koloa

When visiting The Shops at Kukuiula, you will also find the Eating House, Koloa. The menu here is varied offering a wide variety from noodles and rice to burgers and salads. The varied options on offer at this restaurant make it a great place to bring a family or large group of friends, as you’ll find something to suit all tastes on the menu.

4) Relax at a Beach

Kauai is famous for its beaches, and Poipu has a great many. With so many stunning options to choose from, we’ve highlighted a few below and listed their top features to help you choose which part of the coast around the town to visit.

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach has been named the one of the best beaches in America, and with a title as impressive as that, we definitely think this is worth a visit. With stunning golden sand arcs and crystal clear waters, the activities on offer here include snorkeling, swimming, boogie-boarding and surfing.

You can also find a great range of amenities such as restrooms and a lifeguard on duty, it’s perfect for visiting with kids. With plenty going on, this is a great beach for the whole family.

Brennecke’s Beach

Brennecke’s Beach is another excellent option when visiting Poipu, as it offers good facilities such as restrooms, showers and picnic tables. Located adjacent to Poipu Beach, you also have the option to visit both spots in one day if you really can’t choose between them.

Brennecke’s is popular among locals and tourists alike, as this is a great place to relax during the day or watch as the sun sets on the horizon in the evenings. It is important to bear in mind that the waves in summer tend to be much bigger here and can be rough at other times of the year, so always make sure you are safe when in the water as there is no lifeguard on duty.

Kukui'ula Harbor Beach

Situated on the southern coast of Kauai is Kukuiula Harbor Beach, which is a stunning spot for those looking for a relaxing day trip from Poipu. The small stretch of sand has a covered picnic area and is generally a tranquil spot, so it’s a lovely place to come with a book and chill out on the sand. There are restrooms at this beach as well as activities such as sportfishing, diving, whale watching and sailing cruises, so plenty is going on if you want to make your trip more exciting.

Keiki Cove Beach

Keiki Cove Beach is just a short drive from Koloa town. This little bay consists of a small strip of sand with shallow waters, which is perfect for kids to paddle. The quaint inlet is known for being a favorite among families in Poipu, as the waters are calmer here and being a smaller beach means that you can allow your children to play independently while always keeping them in view.

Shipwrecks Beach

Shipwrecks Beach is popular among Kauai locals for surfing and bodyboarding. The large waves make it a great spot for those looking to get on their boards and hit the surf.

This is also a great beach to visit near Poipu if you just want to sit on the sand, admire the views and watch the surfers do their thing out in the water. Shipwreck’s Beach isn’t recommended for kids or for those looking to have a leisurely swim as the tide here can be harsher than the other beaches and there is no lifeguard on duty.

5) Have a Hiking Adventure

Kauai is notorious for its incredible backdrops of emerald mountains, dense rainforests and rugged coastline. It’s this scenery that makes hiking in Kauai so incredible, and the opportunities around Poipu are no exception. This great little town has many hiking trails to accommodate those looking for an adventure when visiting the Garden Isle, and we’ve listed our top spots below.

Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail

When looking for where to hike in Poipu, Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail is a popular choice for many. This 2-mile coastal trek is situated on Kauai’s southern coastline offers breathtaking views across the ocean and rugged cliffs the whole way.

There’s breathtaking scenery around every corner, including stretches of white sand, rocky cliff edges and a chance to spot divers as they plunge from the ridges into the ocean below. The hike starts on the famous Shipwrecks Beach and ends at Punahou Point, with plenty of opportunities to stop off to grab a bite to eat or a cocktail in one of the nearby bars.

Waimea Canyon

View of Waimea Canyon

With views of impressive waterfalls, rocky coastline and lush greenery all around, Waimea Canyon is a hiking spot that won’t disappoint.

The trail is mostly a downward hike (with most of the work being on the way back), as the hike takes you over the edge of the waterfall, you must wear suitable footwear as the path can get slippery. At the end of the hike, you have the chance to take a dip in Waipo’o Falls which tumbles an outstanding 800 feet below, over two tiers.

Kokee Hikes

Situated in Waimea State Park, Kokee Hikes are renowned for some of the premier treks on the island of Kauai. The diversity along this trail is unmatched with views of turquoise waters, expansive green valleys and mighty cliffs that tower over the coastline.

There are many different routes that you can take on the Kokee Hikes, some of these are the Awa'awapuhi Trail, Honopu Ridge Trail and Nualolo Trail, which all vary in length and difficulty. This is perfect for all to visit as you choose the hike for you, depending on how far you want to adventure when in Poipu.

6) See The Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn

The Spouting Horn is a popular tourist spot consisting of a scenic blowhole of Hawaiian legend, located on the south shore of Kauai near Poipu.

The Spouting Horn is one of the most photographed sights in Kauai, which makes it well worth a trip. Visiting this great spot will allow you to watch as the waves channel into a natural lava tube and then spouts into a huge blast of water up to 50 feet into the air, hissing and roaring from the sheer power of the water.

Legend says that the coastline here was guarded by a giant lizard named Kaikapu that everyone feared because she would eat anyone who tried to fish or swim here. The tale goes on to explain how a young boy entered the ocean and was attacked by Kaikapu, but the boy attacked him back, thrusting a sharp stick into the lizard's mouth.

As the boy swam to get away, he went under the lava shelf and escaped through a small hole that led to the surface. To this day, the roaring that comes from the Spouting Horn is said to be the lizard's fury as she sprays from the blowhole.

Visiting Spouting Horn is a great way to spend an afternoon near Poipu with the family, as the legend provides an exciting story for kids and the blowhole itself is utterly breathtaking to witness. When visiting the Spouting Horn, you can also look out over the ocean views and catch a glimpse of humpback whales between December and May.


Whatever you are looking to do when visiting Kauai, you will find amazing adventures at every turn. Poipu is a great example of somewhere with plenty going on, with attractions like the Botanical Gardens, Koloa Old Town and Makauwahi Cave, as well as the suggestions we’ve made above.

If you happen to be visiting Poipu from the north side of Kauai, Pure Kauai offers a range of stunning rental properties which will help make for a luxurious stay on the island. If you would like more information about our accommodation and luxury holiday services, get in touch with us here.

Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2022