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20 Jun 2024
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Kauai Attractions

Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Isle, is the oldest link in the island chain, emerging over 5 million years ago. As with all the Hawaiian Islands, volcanic activity from the Pacific Tectonic Plate birthed land where there was none. Over the millennia, unique ecosystems and fantastic, lush greenery have flourished, creating what is considered by many a paradise. From the gorgeous beaches to the towering mountains and cascading waterfalls, the landscape’s beauty is unmatched. While the island is made up of multiple regions, perhaps the most popular area is South Shore. 

Full of incredible restaurants, exciting things to do, and immaculate beaches, it’s a must-visit. To help you plan your next getaway, we’ve created your ultimate guide to South Shore Kauai. Check out these recommended to-dos and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

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What Makes Up South Shore Kauai?

Unlike the North Shore, which often sees unpredictable rains due to the mountains and trade winds, Kauai’s South Shore tends to see dry, sunny days perfect for letting you fill your time with as much adventure as you want. Several small communities make up the South Shore, including Kalaheo, Lawai, and Omao.

Additionally, you’ll find the beautiful beaches of Poipu and unique shopping and history in Old Koloa Town. You’ll also find plenty of Suite Paradise vacation rentals in South Shore, Kauai, making it easy to choose a home base for your stay that puts you near all the top sights.  

Top Things to Do Near Poipu

South Shore Kauai Poipu Beach

Swim at Poipu Beach Park – Recently named one of the Best Beaches in the United States by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Poipu Beach is the jewel in South Shore’s crown. Enjoy a day full of swimming, snorkeling, and just relaxing on the golden sand. Thanks to the crescent shape and rock wall that extends into the water, little ones can splash in the natural wading pool, while older kids and adults can try bodyboarding or surfing. Keep a watch for endangered monk seals or Hawaiian green sea turtles, but be mindful and keep your distance if you do see them.

Visit the Koloa Heritage Trail – Explore Kauai’s South Shore on this 10-mile trail that leads you on a self-guided tour past 14 unique stops through Koloa and Poipu. Sights include botanical gardens, ancient temples, and remnants of the Koloa sugar mill, to name a few.  

Surf Shipwreck Beach – If you’re looking for excellent surfing in South Shore Kauai, Shipwreck Beach has you covered. While the surf makes swimming difficult, it’s a picturesque beach that’s great for sunset strolls and getting excellent photos. It’s also less crowded than Poipu and has available parking.

Tour Allerton Gardens – Movie buffs will appreciate a trip to the Allerton Gardens. Serving as a backdrop to Jurassic Park, George of the Jungle, Hook, and many other blockbuster hits, the remarkable grounds are a sight to behold. Take a guided tour past beautiful art pieces, water features, and towering trees, that all tell the story of how people and plants can grow together in harmony.  

Hike at Waimea Canyon  Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is a 14-mile-long, 1-mile-wide gorge with a depth of 3,600 feet that offers views that stretch for miles. If you’ve rented a car during your vacation, head down Waimea Canyon Drive to the lower lookout areas or hit the trails for awesome hiking opportunities.

Take Pictures at Spouting Horn – One of South Shore Kauai’s most photographed sights is the Spouting Horn blowhole. Shooting water upwards of 50 feet into the air, this lava tube hisses and roars against an incredible backdrop of the Pacific.

Must-Try Poipu Restaurants

friends eating food outside

South Shore Kauai is full of incredible restaurants, and whether you want traditional Pacific Rim dishes or classic mainland comfort foods, you’ll find it here. For exceptional poke loaded with fresh, locally caught ahi, loco moco plate lunches, and even teriyaki cheeseburgers, Kauai Poke Co. is a can’t-miss spot.

Merriman’s Fish House is a favorite among locals, so we know it’ll become an instant classic with visitors, too. 90% of the ingredients are either locally grown or caught, and each meal showcases the spirit of Aloha.

Fine-dining foodies should be sure to visit Table at Poipu, where Chef John-Paul Gordon showcases his creativity with dishes like prawn saffron risotto or the exceptional lamb and seared scallops.

Whether you’re cooling off with shave ice from The Fresh Shave or grabbing a slice at Koloa Pizza Kitchen, Kauai’s dining recommendations serve up something for everyone.

Places to Stay in Kauai’s South Shore: Poipu Kai Resort

living room of vacation rental in South Shore Kauai

The resorts in South Shore Kauai are extensive, but when you’re looking for the best variety, lowest rates, and unbeatable service, our team at Suite Paradise can’t be beaten. From our numerous Poipu Kai Resort properties to Kiahuna Golf Course vacation rentals, we can help you book the perfect getaway for your family.

Browse the widest selection of Poipu vacation rentals and book your next island getaway directly with Suite Paradise.