10 Absolutely Free Things to Do in Poipu, Kauai

November 11, 2022

From exploring hidden caves to grabbing a free cup of Kauai Poipu coffee, here are all the best and free things you can do in Poipu Kauai!

Kauai’s lush landscapes and pristine beaches are a treat for the senses. The North Shores and South Shores of Kauai are filled with so many natural attractions to explore, and unbeknownst to some, many of these attractions are absolutely free!

There are too many free things to do in Kauai to mention, but if you happen to be near Poipu and are wondering what to do in Poipu Kauai, we have you covered!

Discover 10 of the best absolutely free things you can do in Poipu Kauai.

10 Free Things to Do in Poipu Kauai

Hike the Koloa Heritage Trail

Hikers and outdoor lovers will never run out of places to explore in Kauai. Although there are some hiking trails inside national parks and state parks that guests have to pay for to enter, Koloa Heritage Trail in Koloa town remains entirely free to explore for everyone, both residents and non-residents.

Koloa Heritage Trail is one of the best things to do in Koloa, just a few minutes away from Poipu. On your Poipu and Koloa things to-do list, including a 10-mile tour of sites in Koloa and Poipu by hiking the Koloa Heritage Trail.

During the hike, there will be 14 stops that you can explore at your own pace. You will learn about the most important cultural, historical, and geological sites, with descriptive plaques that explain each spot’s significance.

And, of course, since this is a hike, it’s also an opportunity to admire the natural beauty of this side of Kauai from sunrise to sunset! The trail is also accessible by bike. Meanwhile, there is a separate road for visitors who wish to drive by instead.

water spewing from rock by the ocean on a sunny day at Spouting Horn on Koloa Trail in Kauai, Hawaii, USA

photo credit: Susan Charbonneau via Facebook

Visit the Kauai Coffee Estate

Did someone say free coffee? Count us in! Kauai Coffee Estate is the place for those who wish to explore Kauai’s most popular coffee farm fields and get Kauai coffee samples. 

Kauai Coffee Estate, sometimes called by locals as Coffee Poipu, is the largest coffee farm in the US. On your visit, take advantage of the free walking tours, where you’ll learn how coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted.

After the tour, feel free to relax on any of the outdoor lounges in the Estate and take in the beautiful panoramic views of the plantation. With a cup of complimentary coffee, of course!

Explore the National Tropical Botanical Garden

The National Tropical Botanical Garden is one of the most magnificent botanical gardens in Kauai, and it’s free for everyone to explore! Touring the Garden is also one of the top Poipu Kauai activities.

There are five gardens inside the National Tropical Botanical Garden–the Alletron Garden, McBryde Gardens, Limahuli Garden, Kahanu Garden, and The Kampong. Although not all of these gardens have free admission, there is a lush 10-acre botanical garden in between Allerton Garden and McBryde Gardens that visitors don’t have to pay to explore.

Admire the lush foliage and colorful blooms native to Hawaii, take Instagram-worthy photos, and take time strolling along the well-maintained gardens of the National Tropical Botanical Garden arm in arm with a loved one.

close up of pink flower at Na’Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kauai, Hawaii, USA

photo credit: Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens & Sculpture Park via Facebook

Stopover at the Spouting Horn Park

Looking for the best things to do in Poipu Kauai? We recommend doing a stopover at Spouting Horn Park! Spouting Horn offers a spectacular natural sight that you wouldn’t want to miss, especially during high tide. 

When the wind is stronger and the swells are higher, the water forced through the lava tube is impressive to see and hear. This delightful lookout is free for all, which means you can drive to see the blowhole any day.

Pro Tip: Try to go at sunset! The view from the lookout is luminous and breathtaking at this time.

Driving to Spouting Horn Park? No problem. There is ample parking, and since this is typically just a stopover attraction, not many people stay longer than 30 minutes.

Take a Free Guided Tour of Makauwahi Cave

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Poipu, check out Makauwahi Cave. This is Kauai’s best-kept-secret. It also happens to be Hawaii’s largest open-ceiling limestone cavern. Finding the Cave is no easy task if you are unfamiliar with the place. If you plan to take on this adventure, seek the help of locals for directions, and they will gladly show you the way. 

Makauwahi Cave is a literal hole in the wall, but it is out of the way from the roads usually traveled by tourists. Once there, however, you will be treated by eye-catching greenery, including flora that is native to Kauai, such as the once-endangered Pritchardia palm tree.

Entering Makauwahi Cave will require you to crawl on all fours through a small, inconspicuous triangular entrance hole. However, you don’t have to do this on your own. There are daily free guided tours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Inside the cave, feast your eyes on more native flora, ancient rock formations, Polynesian artifacts, and perfectly preserved animal bones.

view from Makauwahi cave looking at waves crashing against lava rock with trees overhanging around the edges of the frameCheck Out Kauai Culinary Market

Whether you’re a foodie or someone who knows their way around the kitchen, taking a free tour of Kauai Culinary Market is one of the best Poipu things to do for you.

Every Wednesday, the Kauai Culinary Market is hosted at The Shops at Kukuiula from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. There is live music from up-and-coming local bands, plus the entire market is outdoors, so you can explore while admiring the beautifully landscaped grounds of Kukuiula.

Discovering all the interesting finds at the Market is a treat and will keep you busy for hours. However, should you wish, you can also support the farmers and small businesses that offer a variety of fresh, locally-grown produce, pies, jams, and other food products. We highly recommend purchasing fresh Hawaiian fruit!

But that’s not all! The Kauai Culinary Market also hosts South Shore chefs from time to time. If you’re lucky, you get to watch these chefs take the stage to show off their skills while cooking local specialties.

close up of pineapple and oranges in a fruit marketEnjoy No Fees at Poipu Bay Golf Course

Thinking of doing more family-friendly Poipu activities? Head over to the Poipu Bay Golf Course! Take the time to teach the kids how to tee off at this 18-hole award-winning resort golf course, which is open to the public.

There are rates for adults, but we still included this in the free things to do in Poipu Kauai because golfing at Poipu Bay Golf Course is free for juniors! Children and teenagers ages 6 to 17 can play for free if they are with paying adults. In addition, Poipu Bay Golf Course occasionally offers zero booking fees on all golf courses, so watch out for these special deals, too!

Lounge for Free at Poipu Beach Park

Like anywhere else in Kauai, going to the beach will always be one of the best things to do in Poipu. The most popular free-access beach in the area is Kauai Poipu Beach Park. This crescent-shaped white sand beach is popular among families because the waves are calm enough and ideal for playtime with kids.

Picnicking is also among the top things to do in Poipu Beach Kauai, so make sure you bring snacks and refreshing drinks! Underneath the beautiful palm trees, there are shaded picnic tables where you can dine while admiring the calm waves and crystal-clear water. However, since this is a popular activity, this is also an opportunity to share a table with another group and make new friends.

View of coastline and palm trees in sandy beaches at Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, USAWindow Shop at Kukui Ula

Wondering what to do in Poipu on your last day? Some shop for last-minute souvenirs or explore other places that aren’t typically part of tour and vacation packages. You can do both when you shop ‘til you drop at the shops at Kukui Ula. In contrast, you could admire from afar and window shop! 

The Shops at Kukui Ula are in the heart of Poipu. It is fairly easy to get there, considering the various transportation methods, from bus commutes to effortless driving directions. As the island’s premier shopping and dining destination, the center is home to dozens of unique shops, boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and contemporary art galleries.

Even if you don’t plan to purchase anything, strolling along The Shops at Kukui Ula is still refreshing, given the stunning tropical outdoor vibe and the mall’s architecture, which pays homage to Hawaii’s plantation past.

Go Cliff Jumping at Shipwreck Beach

Have you seen those alluring cliff-jumping posts that travelers post from Kauai? Many of those shots are taken at Shipwreck Beach, where cliff jumping is the most popular and fun activity in Poipu Kauai.

Of all the Poipu attractions, people think of Shipwreck Beach most of all the Poipu attractions when they want to go cliff jumping because the cliff on the left side of the beach is perfect for the activity. This is a free thing to do in Poipu, so if you are brave enough to jump off between 35 to 40 feet high into glistening blue waters, seize the day!

The cliff at Shipwreck Beach can sometimes draw a large crowd. If you don’t feel like waiting in line, you can always snorkel instead. Grab the opportunity to swim with sea turtles or swim toward the popular shipwreck location!

Cliffs over and surrounding the water at Shipwreck BeachFind More Inspiration from Our Kauai Travel Guide

Exploring attractions and hidden gems, whether with an entrance fee or free, is always fun to do when on the island of Kauai

Now that you know some free things to do in Poipu, Kauai. It’s time to look at the rest of Kauai’s top attractions. Witness the natural beauty of the Waimea Canyon, book a tour of the remote yet breathtaking Na Pali Coast, or schedule an unforgettable Kauai luau evening experience on the island.

Have You Explored Poipu? 

What would you add to our guide? Leave us a comment below!


Nicole sitting on rocks with waves in background

Written By Nicole

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely exploring the great o ...

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