After our three days on the north shore, we loaded our luggage and kids into the car and drove to the south shore. If you haven’t been, the south shore–the windward side of the island, is much drier. The temperatures were at least five degrees warmer and the weather definitely improved.
We stayed in a little condo on the beach in Poipu, and visited friends who own a lovely home nearby on the water. Aside from snorkeling, paddle-boarding and eating deliciously fresh seafood every day, our highlight was a tour to the Allerton Gardens adjacent to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. I won’t bore you with the details of who Allerton was, as you can read all about him here, if you like, but the gardens he created west of Poipu, are some of the grandest I’ve seen–large and thoughtfully planned yet still lush, tropical and somewhat wild. The gardens also contain “the Jurassic trees,” truly the most unusual, prehistoric-looking, magnificent trees ever. I must have shot three dozen photos just of them, yet still left feeling like I didn’t have enough.
Also on the south shore is access to Waimea Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Roughly 10 miles long and 3500 feet deep, it’s filled with red earth and waterfalls. We didn’t have the time or energy to hike around it, but we drove to the main look out to experience it’s beauty and vastness. From there we visited Salt Pond State Park, where the children explored tidepools and jumped waves until our grumbling tummies forced us to return home.