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Kauai’s south shore: Best eight-day itinerary, part 1

Residential Poipu shoreline
Residential Poipu shoreline
Photo by Thomas A. Wohlmut

Catamaran-cruising, beach- and highlands-hiking, canyon-gawking, rum-tasting, garden-touring, blowhole-viewing, even monastery-visiting are among the delights encountered in this itinerary. Not to mention the best beaches, snorkeling spots, dining and authentic Hawaiian entertainment.

Poipu backyard
Photo by Thomas A. Wohlmut

During Hawaii’s “winter,” you’ll want to base yourself on the leeward side of the islands for the calmest surf and sunniest skies. Winter storms come from the north; summer storms from the south. Kauai is small enough to enjoy all its offerings no matter where you lodge; however, this itinerary presents the island to best advantage for a south shore stay. So dreamy Poipu is where you want to find your hotel or rental home.

Day 1: Arrival, waterfalls and rum

After arrival at the Lihue airport on Kauai’s east shore and before heading south, go see Wailua Falls, taller than Niagara Falls and less than 15 minutes away. Their famed beauty got them on the opening montage of every episode of the TV series “Fantasy Island.”

Heading southwest toward Poipu, you’ll soon come across Kilohana, a lovingly restored former sugar plantation home now housing a restaurant, shops, galleries and more. But best of all is the beautiful tasting room for Koloa Rum, distilled on Kauai. Sample the different varieties and pick up a bottle (or two) to enjoy on your lanai after you settle into your lodgings.

On your first night, you may want a more casual dinner but that still tastes like Hawaii. Koloa Fish Market is just the ticket. Take-out only, they also offer fabulous fresh local seafood to cook at home. Consider this for other nights if your lodging includes a grill or kitchen.

Continue reading this itinerary with day 2.

More information:

Driving map

Recommended lodging:
The Parrish Collection Kauai (island vacation homes)
Poipu Kapili (townhouses)

Koloa Fish Market:
5482 Koloa Road
Koloa, HI 96756
Phone: (808) 742-6199
Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Koloa Rum Company
Wailua Falls

Want to learn more about Kauai? Check out Kauai Blog.

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