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Shipwreck Beach

Poipu : An Essential Visit for Nature and Culture Enthusiasts (2024)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism and hotel industry was one of the few to take the biggest hits. However, since the restrictions were relaxed, the global resort and hotel industry has begun to recover, reaching the forecasted $1.2 trillion at the end of 2023. A destination that is now becoming increasingly popular is the southern end of Kauai island in Poipu, Hawaii.

Poipu: An Essential Visit for Nature and Culture Enthusiasts

Image Source: Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals in Poipu line the beautiful golden beach in South Kauai. If you want the whole island experience, we recommend you stay there for at least a week. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the must-do things while you’re in Poipu, Hawaii.

1. Poipu Beach and Port Allen

Poipu Beach is a crescent-shaped, golden sand beach ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is divided into two sections: Brennecke’s Beach for experienced surfers and Poipu Beach for calmer waters suitable for families. The food and beach rental places are easily accessible around the area to enjoy the sea turtles transitioning around, Hawaiian seals moving, and a remarkable sunset waiting for you. Their beach houses are among the best places to have a sunset dinner. Since seals are protected species, you can spot them often in the area.

Hawaiian islands are known for how impressive and accessible their water geysers, rock formations, and blowholes can be. You can park your car, walk up to it, and spend the day by a blowhole there, but the waves might get violent at night, so keep your distance.

Just 20 minutes from Poipu, you’ll also find Port Allen, where the larger boats and cruises depart. If you’re visiting the town in the winter months, taking this boat tour can be magical, and you can see the entire coast in just one ride.

2. Hiking

Driving through Kauai’s famous tree tunnel just outside of Koloa should also be on your list if you’re in the Poipu area. If you’re an avid hiker, you can park at Shipwreck Beach, pick up on the east end, and work up to the cliff. However, even if you don’t intend to do the entire hike, do try to go through a little bit of the way. The trails take you up to Makauwahi Cave. The cave is open from 10 AM to 4 PM, and you can also find guided tours up the area.

3. Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens are also a prime feature of the town. The National Tropical Botanical Garden is a network of five gardens and has some of the world’s most exotic plant species for you to look at, and three of them are in Kauai, very close to Poipu. Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden are part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and are located near Poipu. Allerton Garden is known for its lush landscapes, unique plants, and architectural features. McBryde Garden, adjacent to Allerton, is a living research garden with diverse plants from tropical regions worldwide.

4. Heritage Sights

Nature aside, the town also has a vibrant and diverse heritage. Koloa has a historic plantation surrounded by picturesque views. The Koloa Heritage Trail is another excellent way to learn about the culture of Poipu.

You must also visit the historic Hanapepe town to the west of Poipu when you’re in the area. The small community hosts Art Night on Fridays, giving you an artistic perspective on Kauai’s heritage. The area also has its famous swinging bridge, so don’t miss it.


While Poipu is an up-and-coming tourist destination, the town has much to offer its visitors. From heritage sights and art to botanical gardens, the beach, and nature trails, you can find much to do on the island. If you’re looking for an area to visit in or near Hawaii, Poipu should be high on your list.

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