Sunny & Dry Side of the Island
When it comes to Kauai, there seems to be two camps of people: south-siders and north-siders. The north-siders want to stay in the lushness of Princeville and Hanalei Bay and are happy to put up with the frequent rain (and the potential the entire stay will be rainy). South-siders are those who need the sun and therefore opt for the less-beautiful, yet sunnier and drier south side. While I have only stayed on the south-side in Poipu and Koloa, I am a huge fan of the north side and we would take the hour drive up to the north about 1/2 of our days in Kauai. I'm such a Kauai fan, I don't care if it's north or south, I'd be happy staying anywhere.
The town of Koloa (which is basically part of Poipu, or vice-versa), has a very charming, old-west feeling main street with a pizza joint, ice cream parlours and gift shops. This area is also blessed with some great dining choices, like The Beach House and Roy's.