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Kauai's south shore: Best eight-day itinerary, part 3

Buttress roots of Moreton Bay fig trees can reach eight feet tall
Buttress roots of Moreton Bay fig trees can reach eight feet tall
Photo by Thomas A. Wohlmut

Beach-hiking, garden-touring as well as swimming, snorkeling and just plain relaxing at Poipu beaches are on tap for the next two days.

Hiking wild Maha’ulepu Beach
Photo by Thomas A. Wohlmut

Day 3: Hike a wild beach

The developed Poipu area boasts some beautiful beaches that invite at least half a day’s enjoyment. Take your pick among these three:

  • Kiahuna Beach
  • Sheraton Beach
  • Poipu Beach

But don’t overlook the wild beaches just to the east of Poipu. Maha’ulepu Beach offers a spectacular coastal walk with stunning views. Also visit the fantastic sinkhole and cave archeological site. Hook up with a Sierra Club of Kauai group hike to understand everything you see with an interpretive guide. The Sierra Club offers hikes in other parts of the island as well.

For lunch, consider Puka Dogs followed by dessert at Papalani Gelato.

Day 4: Allerton Garden tour

Kauai’s nickname of the “garden isle” stands for sound reason. Three of the five gardens of the National Tropical Botanical Garden are found on Kauai. Two are on the south shore:

  • Allerton Garden
  • McBryde Garden

The McBryde Garden tour is self-guided. The Allerton Garden is seen only by guided tour and lasts two-and-a-half hours. Very convenient to the Poipu area, both require booking and a 15-minute tram ride from the visitors center into the Lawai Valley. Mornings are probably best for a visit before temperatures rise later in the day.

The garden paradise feeling begins in the parking lot where lush tropical plants and flowers abound. The magic continues on the tram ride as you descend into the secluded valley that once was the retreat of Hawaii’s Queen Emma. Leave the modern world behind and enter the historic, preserved Allerton Garden. The grounds of this former estate resonate with a European influence blended with the spirit of Hawaii.

The giant Moreton Bay fig trees along a primeval stream are a highlight. The enormous plank-like buttress roots that support these trees can reach up to eight feet tall. The atmosphere feels so ancient that a scene from the movie “Jurassic Park” was filmed here.

In the afternoon, relax with beach time and snorkeling at Poipu Beach Park.

For exquisitely prepared local seafood, book a table to watch the sunset over the waves while dining at Beach House.

Continue reading this itinerary with day 5.

Check out day 1 and day 2 of this itinerary.

More information:

Recommended dining:
Beach House
Papalani Gelato
Puka Dogs

Gardens:
Allerton Garden
McBryde Garden

Hiking:
Maha’ulepu Beach
Sierra Club Kauai

Snorkeling:
Poipu Beach Park

Want to learn more about Kauai? Check out Kauai blog: Random thoughts about living on Kauai.

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