What's your favorite city for a vacation?
Cancun is a popular vacation destination located on the blue waters and white coral sand of the caribbean coastline and Mexico Yucatan Peninsula.
Poipu is on the island of Kaua'i in Hawaii.
Actually, I love the whole island, but this town is where we stayed. It was WONDERFUL! CocoaZen
Poipu is located on the sunny side of Kaua'i, and it is. My favorite beaches for enjoying the view, snorkeling, and interacting with local wildlife are Poipu Beach, and the small beach right next to the Beach House, Lawai Beach, across the street from Lawai Beach Resort, where we own a timeshare. On Lawai Beach, the snorkeling is awesome- you only have to go a few feet into the water to see gorgeous tropical fish swimming around the reef; even small kids can do it with supervision, but be careful, the waves are strong and can knock you into the sharp lava rocks that are all around you. I spent over 2 hours standing in knee deep water, watching and interacting with the giant sea turtles who come within a foot of the shore. At one point, I counted eight of them drifting in and out with the waves, and sometimes they came so close they bumped into me! You are not supposed to touch them because they are protected. They are magnificent, and I don't know when I have felt so close to nature in my life!
At Poipu Beach, you will find picnic areas and pristine white beach, along with frequent visits by sea turtles and Hawaiian Monk Seals. The seals are endangered, and need to come up onto the beach to sleep for hours, in order to stay alive. When they come up onto the beach, volunteers rope the area all around them and put danger signs up, so people won't get too close. We saw one, and at first, thought that it was dead! Later, we saw it shimmy back into the water, to swim among the snorkelers! I was sitting on my blanket, enjoying the sun and surf, when another seal came right up onto the beach in front of us. It was beautiful and shiny, and spent at least 15 minutes rolling on and off the shore with the waves, turning over, and just having fun. My daughter was able to get a short video of this from her camera, along with some pictures, and it's amazing!
If you visit Poipu, make sure to visit the Spouting Horn, about a mile from the small beach. It's an amazing sight, and the open air shops set up nearby sell great souvenirs to take home. I bought a beautiful hand made photo album for our vacation pictures, with a sea turtle on the front, made of banana leaves. I also picked up some pearl necklaces for a good price. Another fun site are the wild roosters, chickens, and chicks running free at the park where the market is located. They are also protected, and you will hear them crowing early in the morning.
Another fun activity that my teenagers enjoyed was the down hill bike ride down into Waimea Canyon. It's called the mini Grand Canyon, and is very scenic. Probably the most memorable activity we did was to take a raft motor boat ride out onto the ocean, that takes you along the beautiful Na Pali coastline, and inside of sea caves- awesome! But a raft boat on the ocean is very rocky, and at times we felt sea sick! There was a lunch stop and snorkeling before the long ride back, which is very bumpy. The only way to go into the caves is with this type of small boat, so don't take the large catamaran unless you want a smooth ride and are satisfied with just viewing the spectacular coast and snorkeling.
Our favorite restaurants was The Beach House, an upscale restaurant requiring reservations. It has a gorgeous location right on the ocean- there was an outdoor wedding taking place the night we ate there! Another great place overlooking Poipu Beach is Breneman's on the Beach- they have the largest crab legs you have ever seen, and it's casual. We ate there twice! We enjoyed the food and ambience of Casablanca, too.