The most popular beach on the South Shore is Poipu Beach, which is fronted by Poipu Beach Park, and a few resorts. Poipu Beach was named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel, ranking top among the 10 “best” beaches selected nationwide. This beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will find snorkeling, swimming, a natural ocean wading pool, boogie-boarding and surfing.
Spouting Horn Beach Park is a delightful lookout where you can watch a blowhole spout a plume of sea water into the air. This waterspout occurs whenever waves are forced under the lava shelf and up through an opening in the rocky coast. Depending on the tide and ocean conditions, the water may spout as far as 50 feet into the air. If the light is right, you may be able to catch a rainbow in the sea spray.
Scuba & Snorkeling
For an entirely different perspective of Kauai’s South Shore, dip below the water’s surface on a scuba or snorkel adventure. Hawaii’s underwater world is just as fascinating as the land above.
While many visitors head to Lawai Beach for Kauai snorkeling, another option is Koloa Landing with its typically calm conditions year-round.
Kauai snorkeling enthusiasts can look for Hawaii turtles, parrotfish, schools of tangs, butterfly fish, Moorish idols among others. Entry to the ocean is easy walking down an old boat ramp. Stay to the right and the water depth ranges from 5-15 feet. You will find the best coral on this side too.
There are several reasons Wailua Falls is such a great (and popular) place for visitors to enjoy. First, it was catapulted into the international spotlight back in the 1970's by the well-known television series. Second, unlike many other Kauai waterfalls, it is easily accessible, as no hiking is needed to reach it and appreciate its beauty up close.. But the main reason the falls is so special is its beauty; it has certainly earned its place as an international representation of Kauai's enchantment.
As an added bonus, when the sun hits at just the right angle you'll get a beautiful rainbow extending out from the base of the falls in the mist, which is nothing short of spectacular.
Waimea Canyon on Kaua‘i is a geographic marvel. Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” this glorious gulch contains 3,000-foot tall cliffs with lush green foliage amidst red pops of color, sprinkled with waterfalls. Millions of years ago, volcanic activity as well as the Waimea River, helped carve out this mini canyon. Erosion and rainfall are among the factors that continue to chisel away at this mountainous beauty.
Waimea, which means “reddish water” in Hawaiian, is located on the Westside of the island and contains an easily accessible road, Highway 550, that travels up the canyon for almost 20 miles and culminates at the top of Koke‘e State Park.
Kauai, “The Garden Isle”, features more than lush gardens and tropical rainforests. Kauai’s diverse terrain attracts hikers who are ready to explore every landscape from canyon-lands to sunny shorelines. These top hikes showcase the best of Kauai landscapes and all that the island has to offer. Bring a camera, as these photogenic sites are a once in a lifetime site-to-see and exclusive to Hawaii
- Mahaulepu Heritage Trail
- Hanakapiai Falls Hike
- Waipoo Falls Hike
- Kuilau Ridge Trail
- Sleeping Giant