The soft sands that carpet the many half-moon beaches along Kaua'i southern tip are a wonderful island 'aloha', no matter whether you've just come or are just about to leave. Surf sifts up onto the sands here, washing snorkellers and swimmers with warm salty water while palm trees shift gently in the breeze.
A short drive southwest of Lihue, Poipu has golf and tennis resort-side for those less interested in the Kaua'i coast. Beach buffs can hop waves down on one of the stretches of surf or snorkel along the reef and explore an undersea dream world. Rent gear in Poipu if you didn't think it necessary to bring your own to Kaua'i, or book a scuba trip if you find snorkelling too shallow. Nukumoi Point has tide pools for those who want some biology without the mask and fins, or just drag your toes alone as you wander the sand and take in the seascape.
For a brush with tropical foliage and fauna, stop in at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, where the carefully tended McBryde and Allerton Gardens house thousands of tropical plant-species.
If you're still hankering deep-down for a ride as the sun rises on horseback down one of Kaua'i fine beaches, book an early morning gallop at the local stable. Soak out the saddle-soreness with an afternoon trip to the Anara Spa if a swim in the sea still leaves you hurting.
Poipu is less than 20 miles southwest of Lihue.