Poipu: History of Kauai's Famous Resort Town
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In Hawaiian, the word “po‛ipū” means “to be completely covered.” This is referring to the crashing waves of poipu beach, and the billowing clouds that often cover the area. Kind of pretty, isn’t it?
In ancient times, Poipu was part of a thriving ahupua’a, or land division system - like a village. Each ahupua’a was a self-sufficient unit that produced everything the villagers needed. Here, people lived - they worked, played, and worshipped. Food crops were cultivated in the rich soil. Later, Poipu became a major sugar plantation town, where there were acres and acres of sugarcane fields.
What Poipu was in the past, is definitely not what it is today. Poipu is now the biggest resort town on Kauai. Believe it or not, at the last census report, there were less than 1,000 people living in town! Most of the people here are either visitors or workers who live somewhere else on Kauai. Despite the fact that there are so many hotels, the town is actually less than 3 square miles. It definitely packs a wallop into a little area!
Many people say that the 3 best things about Poipu are the shopping, the eating, and the beaches. But hey! What else is there when you’re on vacation, right?
Speaking of shopping, a large shopping center Kukui’ula is located right here in Poipu. There are dozens of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Check it out if you’d like the next time you’re in the area for a vacation.
Want to visit this famous town?
Check out our Poipu and Koloa Tour!