Glass Beach is a Gem Among Kauai Beaches

A rainbow swept over this black sand beach and left behind many colors. Each tint can be found in particles of multicolored glass. Softened by the ocean to dull edges, the glass fragments remain vibrant.

I like to search for blue which is my favorite and not always easy to find. In addition to color, I consider shape and size. When I leave it feels like taking a part of the rainbow in my pocket.

An old dump nearby is responsible for how the glass ended up here. The tide and surf determine how much I find on any given day. I hope the glass is plentiful when you visit. Just taking a few pieces from the beach will be a nice souvenir of your Kauai vacation.

Glass Beach is not the most spectacular on Kauai. It’s too rocky for swimming and small in size. Then there’s the location issue. Right behind you is an oil storage facility that provides a not so pleasing industrial backdrop.

There’s more to see but you have to drive uphill a short distance. Park near the old cemetery and hike down to the lava shelf. To the right you’ll find metal and glass embedded in the sides of the cliff. Going left will take you to the lava arch where the ocean playfully churns. Watch for blowholes and hike when the tide is out.

If you go to Glass Beach I invite you to share your experience.

What to bring: Closed toe shoes for hiking. A small container for glass. You can leave your beach towel in the car.

Location: Within 30 minutes of The Parrish Collection Kauai South Shore vacation rentals. Near Port Allen in Ele’ele.

Directions: When you reach the traffic light in Ele’ele (at the shopping center), turn left and drive down to Port Allen. The last left turn will take you to Glass Beach.

Bookmark our Kauai Beach Explorer to stay current on Kauai beaches and facilities. Watch our Kauai video with important ocean safety information. It’s six minutes of your time that can save your life or that of a loved one.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cydney November 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

I am thrilled to have read about another Glass Beach, this one here on Kauai!!! And to hear about it before I head to the islands tomorrow is a wonderful sign, I am sure!!!

I am an avid collector of beach glass. I discovered an old Glass Beach here in California about 15 years ago. It’s in Northern Cali, in the City of Fort Bragg. It originally was the city dump, where they burned all of their trash up until the mid century. Now it’s a gorgeous site on the most exquisite coastline of our state!!! It’s just breathtaking!

I am just so thrilled to have read your posting as I will absolutely put it on my list of ‘Must-Dos’ next week. Thank you so much!


JP November 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Mahalo Cydney. See you soon and Happy Holidays!


Jenny @ Till The Money Runs Out February 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

Please, please, please do not collect this glass. This beach will no longer be exquisite or breathtaking if people keep taking all of the glass!!!!! It takes 10-30 years for the ocean to turn glass into polished pieces of sea glass and if people collect it all the magical beach will no longer exist for everyone to enjoy. Please go and enjoy it but take only pictures!!!!!!


Spencer L. April 6, 2013 at 7:51 am

The glass sand beach was pretty cool. I didn’t find many big pieces of glass, but my sisters did (show offs). But I did find this old
looking piece of metal, it looked kinda cool. I highly recomend going there, if you get the chance.


JP April 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

Mahalo Spencer! We are glad to hear that you enjoyed going to Glass Beach. Each time you are there it can be a different experience with the changing tide and surf. It sounds like you and your sisters all found something to remember. We look forward to seeing you back on island. Aloha from the Parrish Kauai team.


Diane Speer November 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I thought I might be disapointed in Glass Beach, but I wasn’t! I have been collecting sand samples for many years and this is positively the most unique (and I think very beautiful). While on Kauai, I also took a sample of the “not quite” black sand from the Waimea River outlet. It has olivine mixed in with the lava so it has a slightly green tint. Lastly, I have a beautiful golden sand sample from Poipu. I consider all of these treasures from my visit to Kauai.


JP November 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Mahalo Diane for your feedback…nice to hear from a collector’s point of view!


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