The Sunny South
from Po‘ipu west to Waimea Canyon ¯
A tunnel of tall eucalyptus trees marks the gateway to Kaua‘i’s
sunny South Shore. Perfect weather and golden beaches make
the south side of Kaua‘i a favorite hang out for both visitors and
locals. Old Kōloa Town is home to Hawai‘i’s first active sugar
mill, the birthplace of the Hawaiian sugar industry, which
was the state’s strongest economy for more than a century.
Although the mill is inoperational now, the charming town
thrives with activity from the many restaurants, boutiques and
shops that line the wooden sidewalks. The best way to really
experience all Kōloa has to offer is with Kauai ATV. You can
explore Kōloa and the beautiful vistas, plantations, movie sites
and a secluded waterfall on an ATV. Fun!
Just a couple of miles south of Kōloa lies sunny Po‘ip , a major
resort destination with beachfront condos and restaurants
developed around some of the best beaches on the Island. Once
there, you will see why Po‘ip Beach has been voted America’s
Best Beach by the Travel Channel. It’s no wonder, as Po‘ip
provides beachgoers a place to snorkel, swim, wade, boogie-board, kayak, surf and sunbathe. Swimming at all levels can
be enjoyed from the protected natural saltwater pools to the
more exciting wave action for the experienced. With three
bow-shaped bays each with their own environment, Po‘ip
thrives with a multitude of marine life.
Looking to satisfy the explorer in you? Then discover the
secluded and diverse landscape of Māhā‘ulep . With rugged
limestone cliffs, ancient burial grounds and rocky sea caves
your watch. Park hours are 7:30am-7pm (summer) and 6pm
in the winter. They will lock you in.
At Prince K hīo Park, you can pay your respects to Hawai‘i’s
first delegate to the U.S. congress, Prince Jonah K hīo
Kalaniana‘ole. He was known for spearheading the Hawaiian
Homes Commission Act. This sets aside 200,000 acres of
leasehold land for indigenous Hawaiians. A state holiday is
observed in his honor, while the park honors his birthplace.
To the west of the park is Spouting Horn, a cascade of water
that shoots up like Old Faithful from an opening of an ancient
lava tube with every incoming wave when the tide is high.
A visit to the Garden Island wouldn’t be complete without
visiting a garden or two. The National Tropical Botanical
Garden and the Allerton Garden are two stunning examples
of native landscape and design. The NTBG provides a haven
for tropical endangered plant species to thrive and focuses on
the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants. The Allerton
Garden sits on the site of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma’s summer
cottage. This 80-acre retreat hosts the Island’s living treasures
in an enchanting garden and also has a private beach turtles
use to lay eggs. It’s a good idea to make advanced reservations
for the Allerton Garden since tours are limited.
Just a little inland from the opulent coast, is the modest
town of Kalāheo. Take a drive through the neighborhood and
experience true island living. Stop and picnic in paradise in
Kukui O Lono Park. Because the park is set up on top of a hill,
you will enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas in every direction
including the south coast and Lāwa‘i Valley. Stroll through
the lovely serene Japanese-style garden or play the public golf
course. By blending luxury and tradition, the South Shore of
Kaua‘i is sure to provide something for everyone.