South Shore Kauai

The sunny South Shore of Kauai is home to historic Old Koloa Town, this is an area rich in historic attractions. Historic and picturesque, the Koloa district spans from Old Koloa Town to Kauai’s beautiful South Shore in Poipu.

Koloa opened its first sugar mill in 1835 and set the precedent for commercial sugar production across the islands. The sugar era opened the door to a wave of immigrants that make up Hawaii’s multicultural population today. The gateway to the Koloa/Poipu area is called the Tree Tunnel, a stretch of Maluhia Road lined with eucalyptus trees first planted a century ago. The Tree Tunnel still thrives and welcomes visitors today. Old Koloa Town has retained much of its charm with shops now occupying the plantation buildings along Koloa Road.

Tour Map of Kauai Island

Explore Kauai by region: North ShoreEast Side (Coconut Coast)LihueWest Side.

Download Tour Map of Kauai Island

Island Highlights

- Napali Coast: Take an air tour or a boat tour to witness the towering cliffs along Kauai’s North Shore.
- Waimea Canyon: Enjoy the panoramic views of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
- Wailua River: Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii and Wailua is one of the most popular.
- Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse: Visit this beautiful scenic point at the northernmost tip of the island.
- Kauai Beaches: From Poipu on the South Shore to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore, explore Kauai’s amazing beaches.


Spouting Horn Park

Spouting Horn Park

Spouting Horn Park features a blowhole that’s one of the most photographed spots on Kauai. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a huge spout of water during large swells. You’ll also hear a hiss and a roar that is the basis of a Hawaiian legend.

Ancient Hawaiians believed this coastline was once guarded by a giant moo (lizard) named Kaikapu. 

Location: On Kauai’s South Shore near Poipu.


Koloa Heritage Trail

Koloa Heritage Trail

Ka Ala Hele Waiwai Hooilina o Koloa, or the Koloa Heritage Trail, is a 14-stop, self-guided 10-mile tour of the Koloa and Poipu area’s most important cultural, historical and geological sites, with descriptive plaques that explain each spot’s significance.

In the mid 1800’s, sugar replaced the whaling industry to become the principal industry of Hawaii. As a result of the sugar boom, approximately 350,000 immigrants from around the world came to Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. 

Location: South Shore of Kauai through Koloa and Poipu.

Poipu Beach Park

Napali Coast Kauai

Situated on Kauai’s south shore, was once voted “America’s Best Beach.” The inviting waters of Poipu make it very popular with visitors, locals and even local marine life. From December through May, it’s not uncommon to spot humpback whales spouting off shore. Large honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) also swim in these waters. But Poipu Beach is most famous for the endangered Hawaiian monk seals that sometimes sunbathe on the shore. 

Snorkeling in Poipu reveals a variety of colorful fish including the state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, and there’s a wading pool for toddlers and young swimmers. 

Location: On the South Shore, 25 minutes west of Lihue.

Old Koloa Town

Old Koloa Town

Old Koloa Town, in south Kauai, is a charming area with a historic plantation past. Koloa opened its first sugar mill in 1835 and set the precedent for commercial sugar production across the islands. The sugar era opened the door to a wave of immigrants that make up Hawaii’s multicultural population today.

You can also explore the Koloa Heritage Trail, which covers 14 cultural, historical and geological sites from Old Koloa Town to Poipu. But to really experience all that this area has to offer go to the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration (July), an annual summer event that celebrates Kauai’s rich plantation past.

Location: About 20 minutes west from Lihue.


Popular Kauai Activities

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Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do