Your family is way overdue for a little adventure, and Kauai is calling your names. You check into Koloa Landing Resort on the sunny South Shore and immediately lose yourselves in the tropical vibe: The massive pools, meadows with meandering streams, lush flora — not to mention your comfy villa overlooking the Pacific. You spend one afternoon doing little more than sipping your mai tai and contemplating a palm tree.
You’d like to explore the area beyond the resort, but the thought of jumping into the car right now could squash this back-to-nature vibe you’re all grooving on, so you decide to forgo driving and head out on foot — with plenty of success. Here are just a few of the destinations you’ve found within an easy walk:
10 minute walk (Hoonani Road)
Wearing a couple of backpacks filled with sunscreen, snacks, waters and beach towels, you all head past the Main Pool toward the ocean and turn left onto little Hoonani Road. You walk along the waterfront and into the Sheraton Resort area and turn left down an access pathway that leads to one of the prettiest beaches you’ve ever seen. A grassy lawn studded with swaying palms frames this crescent-shaped stretch of sand which is uncrowded and inviting. A monk seal snoozes at the shore line. Your big kids go rough-housing in the waves while your littles scavenge for shells and feathers and make some of the tastiest sand pies you’ve never eaten.
Kiahuna Golf Center
17 minute walk (via Poipu Road to Kiahuna Plantation Drive)
Through the Koloa Landing concierge you book a family tee time at the Kiahuna Golf Center. You exit through the front of the resort and head to the right down grass-lined Poipu Road, saying hello to several chickens along the way. Soon you take a left at Kiahuna Plantation Drive and a few minutes later arrive at the club with greens as far as the eye can see. The pro shop rents you all the necessary equipment and the rounds for juniors to play are half priced.
Your kids argue a bit over who gets to drive the cart next, but one thing you can all agree on is that you could get used to golfing with an ocean view. There is also no argument over where to lunch: the onsite Paco’s Tacos is a big favorite of many.
The Shops at Kukui’ula
7 minute walk (via Poipu Road)
You’d like to pick up some longer boardshorts, your daughter is looking for a shell bracelet for her friend back home, your wife broke one of her flip flops in the tidepools and is searching for a replacement pair, and your son just wants a shave ice.
Enter the Shops at Kukui’ula — the island’s largest gathering of name-brand stores, upscale boutiques, eclectic restaurants and art galleries. You like the architecture that gives a tip of the hat to Hawaii’s plantation days.
While your spouse and kids consider a whale pillow at the SoHa Living gift shop, you can’t resist slipping into Lappert’s Hawaii Ice Cream for a coconut macadamia nut caramel swirl cone. You find some RVCA shorts on sale at Deja Vu Surf and your son gets an Uncle’s mango shave ice the size of his head.
You walk back the next afternoon when the center is overtaken by its weekly farmers market featuring fresh produce and specialties — all Kauai made or grown. You pick up a white Sugarloaf Pineapple to slice up back at your villa and think there just might be some pina coladas in your near future.
11 minute walk (via Poipu Road to Lawai Road to Hoona Road)
The big kids have gone off ziplining with your spouse and after checking the current weather conditions, you decide to take your littlest one to the beach. You strap on the baby carrier, grab your tote of essentials and exit out the front of the resort. You head north on Poipu Road and then take two more lefts on Lawai and Hoona and 11 minutes later you arrive at Baby Beach — so named for its calm tides and family-friendly vibe. With shallow waters, near-empty sands and beautiful atmosphere, this is truly a day at the beach. Now if you could just teach your little one not to eat the sand . . .
Poipu Shopping Village
9 minute walk (via Poipu Road to Kiahuna Plantation Drive)
You’ve had fun making pancakes every morning in your villa’s big kitchen to eat out on your lanai, but you are eager to try the Anuenue Cafe. Friends have raved about the comfort food created by a husband and wife team known for using only Kauai ingredients. You head out the front of the resort and walk up Poipu Road — the same direction you took to the Kiahuna Golf Club. Soon you arrive at a lava rock wall containing the Poipu Shopping Village: an oasis of restaurants, boutiques, galleries and a general store.
You relax at a table in the Anuenue Cafe sipping Kauai Roastery coffee — wonderfully strong. You order the omelette special made with Lawai Valley Mushrooms, and your kids get Hawaiian sweet bread french toast with fresh mango. Your spouse asks the baby, “Now isn’t this tastier than sand?”
Come visit us at Koloa Landing Resort where you are just a stroll away from these and plenty of other destinations. Always confirm your path first as some roads in Kauai are not pedestrian friendly. Our concierge is happy to help put you on course. Where will your feet take you?
Erica Karlin — Koloa Landing Resort