The South Shore of Kauai is known for its abundant sun and generally drier weather than other areas of the island to the north and east. Poipu is the main resort area in the south. Poipu beach is Kauai’s most popular beach and a highlight of the South Shore. It was once named Amercia’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. Its not hard to see why.
The beach area has large sections of soft sand to park yourself and gaze into the warm inviting waters.
The swimming areas are split by a ‘tombolo’ (known as Nukumoi Point). A tombolo is a narrow piece of land extending from short to an island.
The tombolo is popular with beach visitors and provides endless entertainment.
The beach has a protected swimming area for kids and lifeguard services.
One of the special things about this beach is its attraction to the Hawaiian Monk Seal. They are often found basking in the sun on the beach after an active night of feeding.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the most critically endangered marine mammals on earth and is subject to federal protection. In a very refreshing twist to the usual situation, its the wildlife that decides where it wants to go and the people move aside. When a Monk Seal decides what area of the beach is his (or hers) its your responsibility to move and keep clear. On more than one occasion we witnessed a team of volunteers setting up barriers around the seal to ensure their privacy. See the Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program for more information.
The area to the right of the tombolo has the best snorkeling. Large honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) frequent the area. They are very special to see while snorkeling. There are also a large variety of different kinds of colorful tropical fish including my personal favorite the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (and yes my daughter and I spent time learning how to say the name).
For as popular a beach as Poipu is, it never seemed overcrowded to us. We enjoyed the opportunity to people watch and let the gentle waves wash the stress away.
In the late afternoon the crowds thin out even further as people head home for dinner.
As the sun begins to set those with a photographic eye will see many opportunities for unique and beautiful photos.
The beach is a great spot to watch the sunset. We would sometimes stroll down there from our condo with a drink and take in the beauty.
Here are a few photos taken on our last night on Kauai.
Even after the sun goes down Poipu Beach is still a gorgeous place.
America’s best beach? You won’t get any argument from me!