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Kōloa is the site of Hawaii’s first major sugar plantation. Often nicknamed Old Kōloa Town, the village retains much of its 19th-century character, with old-fashioned storefronts and quaint galleries lining the main road, and stunning beaches nearby.
If you’re feeling energetic, rent bikes and cycle the 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Old Kōloa Town to the oceanfront. Poipu Beach offers a clean shoreline and calm waters ideal for young children. Head a little further out to surf world-class waves and keep an eye out for humpback whales and dolphins, which are frequently spotted offshore. Sign up for a scuba-diving lesson and dive through coral gardens with sea turtles and tropical fish.
You don’t have to head to the ocean to enjoy the area’s waterfront attractions. Go kayaking or rafting along the Wailua River and enjoy the rain forest landscape as you glide along with the current. If boating isn’t your style, then take a zip-line tour to explore the landscape from a bird’s-eye point of view. Unwind after the excitement at one Kōloa’s spas, which offer massages and other treatments amid the region’s iconic rain forest setting.
Many of the resorts host luaus throughout the week. Luaus provide a chance to experience local culture, with dancing and a traditional feast. If you’d prefer a more low-key dinner, enjoy fresh-caught seafood at one of the restaurants in Old Kōloa Town. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Lappert’s Ice Cream, a local establishment selling fresh-made ice cream that uses regional ingredients. The town features mellow nightlife with plenty of bars and pubs, but those looking for glitzy nightclubs will be disapointed.
Kōloa and Poipu border one another, so it’s easy to enjoy the attractions in both towns. Learn more about the region’s history with a walk along the Kōloa Heritage Trail. Stretching between Kōloa and Poipu, the 10-mile (16-kilometer) path is dotted with informational plaques that enable a self-guided tour through the tropical landscape.
Kōloa is a 30-minute drive southwest of Lihue Airport. Public transport is limited, so rent a car, motorbike or bicycle to get the most out of your visit.
Located in Poipu, this spa resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shops at Kukuiula and Poipu Beach. Moir Gardens and Poipu Shopping Village are also within 10 minutes.
This hotel sits on Poipu Beach, renowned for unspoiled white sand, swaying coco palms, and breathtaking sunsets. Kiahuna Golf Course, Spouting Horn, and the town of Koloa are all within a 10-minute drive.
Located in Poipu, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Brennecke Beach and Poipu Beach. Poipu Bay Golf Course and Shipwreck Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Hidden gardens and picturesque grottos earmark this expansive resort overlooking a surf-swept beach at an isolated end of South Kauai.
Located in Poipu, this condo is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Shops at Kukuiula and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Poipu Beach. Baby Beach and Prince Kuhio Park are also within 10 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Poipu resort is within a 15-minute walk of Moir Gardens and Poipu Beach. Brennecke Beach and Kiahuna Golf Course are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Occupying 35 acres between a scenic beach and an open-air shopping mall on Kauai's south shore, this former plantation manor house recalls gracious 19th-century Hawaii.
Located in Poipu, this vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Brennecke Beach and Poipu Beach. Shipwreck Beach and Poipu Bay Golf Course are also within 15 minutes.