Staying in Poipu Kauai for your next Hawaiian vacation? Scroll to find out the best things to do in Poipu for families, couples, adventurers and more!

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Out of all the places to stay on Kauai, one of the most popular resort towns is Poipu on the South Shore of Kauai.

Poipu is known as the “sunny side” of the island and it’s one of the best places for Kauai snorkeling, shopping, dining, or just relaxing on the beach.

It’s located just 20 minutes from the Lihue Airport and it’s very easy to get to by rental car or resort shuttle.

Whether you are traveling to Kauai with kids, going on your honeymoon, or doing a solo vacation, Poipu is definitely something you should have on your Kauai itinerary!

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids

25 Awesome Things to do in Poipu, Kauai

1. See Spouting Horn

I have to list Spouting Horn first because it’s the biggest Kauai attraction located in Poipu, just minutes from most Poipu resorts.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Spouting Horn in Poipu is an awesome free thing to do on Kauai with kids
Spouting Horn in Poipu.

Basically, the ocean water bursts through a small opening in a lava shelf and it creates a 50 foot tall gush of water out of a blowhole. While there are other blowholes in Hawaii, Spouting Horn is the most famous.

You’ll want to check the weather and the tide, as that can greatly impact whether the water will shoot up really high or if you’ll just get a little burst of water.

There are also tons of vendors at Spouting Horn selling all kinds of Kauai souvenirs.

Insider tip: Go at sunset and the golden light will make the spray shine with all the colors of the rainbow!

2. Snorkel at Poipu Beach Park

Out of all the places to snorkel on Kauai, Poipu Beach is a popular snorkeling spot for beginners. That’s because the water is super calm and easy for families with kids of all ages.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Snorkeling woman exploring beautiful ocean sealife, underwater photography. Travel lifestyle, water sport outdoor activities, swimming and snorkeling on summer beach holidays.

It’s also an awesome spot to see Hawaiian Sea Turtles (also known as Honu) swimming in the water or sunbathing on the beach.

You can snorkel on your own, or you can book a Kauai snorkeling tour to go with an expert.

3. Eat at Puka Dog

One of our favorite casual places to eat in Poipu is Puka Dog at Brennecke’s. We’ve been coming here for years (when they were at their Poipu Shopping Village location) and it’s always excellent, especially with kids.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Basically, they poke a hole (also called a “puka” in Hawaiian) in a bun, shove a hot dog or Polish dog in there, and then squirt specialty Hawaiian mustard and relish inside. It’s the tastiest hot dog I’ve ever had.

Not only was it featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Hawaii, but it was also chosen as one of the Top 10 Hot Dog Stands in America by The Travel Channel.

There are tons of places to sit and eat at their stand or you can take it to go and enjoy it at a beach.

4. Explore The Shops at Kukui’ula

One of the newest (and most impressive) places to shop on Kauai is The Shops at Kukui’ula. This outdoor shopping center has lots of boutiques, restaurants, and even a natural foods store.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kids at the Kauai Culinary Market at the Shops at Kukuiula on Kauai
Kauai Culinary Market. Photo credit: Shops at Kukui’ula

Some of my favorite shops include SoHa Living (which has the cutest Hawaiian home decor), Malie Organics (which makes the most amazing organic bath and body products) and Sand Kids (which has the coolest Hawaiian toys and kids products.)

And you’ll definitely need to grab a Mai Tai at Merriman’s as well as dinner at Kiawe Roots.

Plus, every Wednesday they have a Kauai Culinary Market that includes a farmers market, live Hawaiian music, and food demonstrations.

5. Go Golfing

If you’re looking to play golf on Kauai, Poipu has 3 amazing golf course to choose from.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Poipu Bay golf course on Kauai

Kiahuna Golf Club is a challenging golf course that includes the remnants of an ancient Hawaiian village into its design. Plus, you can enjoy lunch at Paco’s Tacos, a popular place to eat in Poipu.

If you are traveling to Kauai with kids who want to golf or are short on time, consider playing at Kukuiolono Golf Course. This semi-private 9-hole course in Kalaheo has 2 sets of tees for different skill levels.

And if you are looking for an oceanfront championship golf course, look no further than Poipu Bay Golf Course. You’ll get breathtaking views and the chance to see Hawaii’s state bird: the Nene Goose!

6. Shave Ice at Waikomo

While there are tons of places to get shave ice on Kauai, one of our favorite Poipu spots is Waikomo Shave Ice.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Waikomo Shave Ice on Kauai
Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

It’s located in a little strip mall and it’s easy to drive right past it. But, it’s totally worth a stop! They have all-natural organic syrups and can top your shave ice with fresh fruit.

Plus, you can order your shave ice in a souvenir coconut bowl, which is a huge hit with kids!

7. Tour a Coffee Plantation

If you love Hawaiian coffee, you’ll definitely want to stop at Kauai Coffee. With more than 4 million coffee trees, they are the largest coffee grower in the United States!

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Get a free cup of coffee at Kauai Coffee Plantation and take one of their free walking tours around the estate.
Kauai Coffee Plantation. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Stop by their estate to do a self-guided walking tour to learn more about how coffee is grown and harvested. And take a peek at their museum to see old photos and antique coffee machinery.

But, the biggest reason to visit Kauai Coffee is to take advantage of their free coffee samples and to stock up on the ones you like!

Plus, they have an amazing gift shop with a great selection of Kauai gifts and clothing.

8. See a Free Hula Show

One of the best free things to do in Poipu is to see an authentic Hula dance show at Poipu Shopping Village.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Free hula show on Kauai at Poipu Shopping Village
Photo credit: Poipu Shopping Village

There’s a little outdoor performance space in the middle of the shopping center where you can sit and listen to the exciting drum beats and watch professional hula dancers perform with live Hawaiian music.

It’s fun for the whole family and it’s perfect for kids who can’t sit through an entire luau performance.

9. Spa Day

Head over to the Grand Hyatt Kauai and enjoy a luxurious spa day at Anara Spa, the largest spa on Kauai.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Massage Room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
Photo credit: Grand Hyatt Kauai

They incorporate traditional Hawaiian elements into their massages, facials, and body treatments. Plus, they have a full hair and nail salon.

You can even get a romantic couples massage in a private bungalow near the beach!

10. Day Trip to Waimea Canyon

Hop in the car and drive about 1 hour to get to Waimea Canyon, one of Kauai’s biggest attractions. It’s nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and it’s simply stunning.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Waimea Canyon is one of the top Kauai attractions for families.
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Park your car and head over to the viewing platform to get an epic view of the canyon and take your photos. You’ll even be able to see a waterfall!

If you are looking for an adventure, there’s tons of cool hiking trails to do there with lots of great photo ops.

And if you don’t want to drive, you can take a guided tour of Waimea Canyon.

11. Shop at Warehouse 3540

One of the trendiest places to shop on Kauai is Warehouse 3540. It’s a space for local Kauai artisans to sell their handmade items, including clothing, beauty products, baby items, and artwork.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Warehouse 3540 on Kauai
Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

My favorite places include Ivy & Co., Hawaii Says Hi, and Workshop.

It’s also an awesome place to grab lunch. They have several food trucks, including Kickshaw’s (which makes an insanely delicious burger!)

And they even have a shave ice stand called The Fresh Shave where they give you a little straw with a mustache!

12. Take Silly Photos at the Hawaiian Trading Post

One of my favorite places to go on Kauai is the Hawaiian Trading Post in Lawai. It’s just down the street from Warehouse 3540 and it’s a store that sells Hawaiian gifts and the highly coveted Niihau shell necklaces.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Hawaiian Trading Post in Lawai Kauai
Photo credit: Darren Cheung

However, we mainly go there to take advantage of the awesome photo ops!

There’s a surfboard and fake wave setup that’s always a hit with my kids. Plus, there’s a giant pineapple, tiki statues, and a beach scene with Adirondack chairs.

It’s definitely one of the most Instagrammable spots on Kauai!

13. Go to a Luau

If you are staying in Poipu, there are several Kauai luaus that don’t require a very long drive.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai has their own on-site luau with an assortment of Asian and Hawaiian food, plenty of drinks, and an incredible show featuring dances from Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Aulii Luau on Kauai
Photo credit: Aulii Luau

One of the newest luaus on Kauai is Auli’i Luau at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. This is Kauai’s only oceanfront luau and people love the tropical cocktails, buffet dinner, and amazing Polynesian show.

14. Explore Old Koloa Town

For a cutesy and historic place to shop, head to Old Koloa Town. These sugar plantation-era storefronts are perfect for window shopping or picking up a few gifts to bring back home.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Old Koloa Town on Kauai
Photo credit: Old Koloa Town

Some of my favorite Old Koloa Town shops are Koloa Trading Post and Emperor’s Emporium for souvenirs and Crazy Shirts for adult and kids clothing.

They also have a nice coffee shop called Aloha Roastery where you can get a specialty coffee to sip as you walk around the shops.

15. Snorkel the Na Pali Coast

One of the most jaw-dropping sights on Kauai is the Na Pali Coast. It’s not accessible by car, so you either need to hike in or take a helicopter ride to see it.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Oahu or Kauai: Which is the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids? Tips featured by top Hawaii travel blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: The Na Pali Coast has lots of amazing Kauai snorkeling.
View on Na Pali Coast on Kauai.

However, my favorite view of the Na Pali Coast is actually from the water.

There are a bunch of different Na Pali Coast boat tours, but I suggest doing a snorkeling cruise. That way, you can still gaze at the jagged sea cliffs, lush green valleys, and waterfalls, but you can also get in the water to see dolphins and Hawaiian sea turtles!

Book your Na Pali Coast Snorkel Boat Tour

16. Go Ziplining

Another fun thing to do on Kauai is going ziplining. You’ll get an adrenaline rush as you fly over the jungle to get amazing views of Kauai.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Koloa Zipline on Kauai
Photo credit: Koloa Zipline

The longest zipline on Kauai is in Koloa. They have 8 different zipline tracks where you can either use handlebars or their hands-free harness (which allows you to do acrobatic stunts!)

Book your Koloa Zipline Adventure

17. Kauai ATV Waterfall Tour

If you are looking to swim in one of the most private waterfalls on Kauai, while going on a thrilling adventure, hop in an ATV for the ride of your life!

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kauai ATV Tour
Photo credit: Kauai ATV

You’ll pop on some goggles and a helmet and drive through historic sights like WWII bunkers, movie sites in Kipu Valley, before heading to a small waterfall at the base of Kahili.

You’ll have plenty of time to swim in the waterfall pool while chatting with your tour guides and enjoying a small snack.

Be prepared to get super dirty with Kauai’s infamous red dirt!
 

Book your Kauai ATV Waterfall tour

18. Explore Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden

Two of the prettiest places on Kauai also happen to be part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden network.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: The National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai is a fun thing to do on Kauai with kids
Couple at the base of a Moreton Bay fig tree at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden are located right next to each other in Poipu. You can walk around the gardens on one of their easy trails or hop on their little tram for a tour.

And movie fans will love seeing the huge Moreton Bay Fig Trees from Jurassic Park!

They even offer hula shows and outdoor movies from time to time, so check their events schedule.

19. Go Whale Watching

If you are heading to Kauai during the winter months of December-May, you are in for a real treat! This is when the humpback whales come to Hawaii!

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: The Best Kauai Whale Watching Tours featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids

There are tons of Kauai whale watching tours and excursions to choose from and this is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Kauai in the winter. Listen to their sweet whale songs or simply watch these majestic creatures pop up from the ocean.

Book your Kauai Whale Watching tour

21. Learn to Surf

What’s more iconic than learning to surf in Hawaii? You can rent a board and do it on your own or learn to surf from a professional.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Father and Son Surfing Together Riding Blue Ocean Wave

While there are lots of Kauai surfing lessons, most are offered at the exact same time. That’s why I suggested booking one at “odd” hours to avoid other surfing groups. And booking a small group tour for lots of attention.

Poipu is a great place to learn to surf in Hawaii for adults, teens, and kids because the waves are very gentle.

Book your Kauai Group Surfing Lessons

22. Explore a Kauai Cave

Did you know Kauai has an active dig site? Book a Makauwahi Cave Tour and head on a 4-hour ATV tour over Kauai plantation trails.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: The Makauwahi Cave Sign in Poipu Kauai

Your guide will tell you all about the cave and Hawaiian history, plus you’ll get to see a few famous movie sites and fish for bass on the Waita Reservoir.

Plus, a portion the proceeds of your tour goes toward funding the study of the cave and maintenance.

Book your Makauwahi Cave Tour

23. Go Fishing

We all know Hawaii is known for its amazing seafood, so why not get out there and try to catch some yourself?

Book a Kauai fishing tour and they will provide all your gear and equipment plus a local guide who can tell you all sorts of stories.

You’ll head out to Kauai’s Waita Reservoir (the largest inland body of water in Hawaii) and try to catch freshwater fish like bass, tilapia, and catfish.

They even have afternoon options, in case you like to sleep in!

Book your Kauai Fishing tour

24. Hike in Kokee

Another fun Kauai day trip from Poipu is Kokee State Park. It’s one of the best Kauai parks and it’s located next to Waimea Canyon.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Kokee State Park is a popular place on Kauai for bird watching
Kokee State Park on Kauai. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

You’ll just head up the road a bit more and you’ll find yourself in the peaceful (and sometimes misty) forest.

There are hikes for all ages and abilities. You can take a simple nature walk (perfect for kids) or do a much more extensive hike like the super muddy Alawai Swamp hike (for serious hikers wanting epic views of Hanalei Valley.)

25. Go Scuba Diving

Want to go scuba diving in Hawaii but don’t have your scuba diving certificate? First time divers can book a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course where you can get introductory scuba diving skills.

Top 25 Things to do in Poipu, Kauai featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: kauai scuba diving
Photo credit: Kauai Down Under

It’s a 4 hour experience with certified instructors that will count toward a PADI Open Water Certification (if you choose to pursue that.)

Plus, you’ll get to go face to face with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles!

Book your Kauai Scuba Diving adventure

Best Places to Stay in Poipu

Grand Hyatt Kauai

One of the best Poipu resorts is the Grand Hyatt Kauai. It’s perfect for honeymooners, families with young kids, or couples looking for a relaxing vacation. They have tons of swimming pools, the largest spa on Kauai, an on-site luau, and several restaurants.

Check Rates and Availability

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

This Kauai resort is part of the Autograph Collection of boutique hotels. Here, you can rent anything from a studio unit to a 4-bedroom unit. They also have a 350,000 gallon swimming pool and they are just steps away from The Shops at Kukui’ula.

Check Rates and Availability

The Point at Poipu

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly place to stay on Kauai, check out The Point at Poipu. This family-friendly oceanfront resort overlooks Shipwreck Beach. They have a large outdoor pool, BBQ grills, and picnic areas.

Check Rates and Availability

Other Things to do on Kauai

Looking to explore more of Kauai? Check out our posts about the best places to snorkel, epic Kauai waterfalls, best Kauai breakfasts, amazing Kauai whale watching tours, birding on Kauai, Kauai Instagram guide, free things to do on Kauai with kids, and more!

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