The Magical Glass Sand Beach of Kauai – In Photos

I didn’t have high hopes before my first trip to Hawaii. For some reason I expected it to be all hype, way overrated and played out. I don’t know if I have ever been more pleased to be proved so utterly wrong, Hawaii is magic. Even places that don’t appear magical at first glance, like an old dump in an industrial area now used as a parking spot for huge gas tankers, are transformed into pure whimsy in Hawaii. One of my favorite undiscovered pockets of beauty is that very same old dumping site, the glass sand beach in Southern Kauai.

All of the cars, bottles, windshields and other junk that were dumped here have been broken up and re-worked by the ocean surrounding Kuaui. After 10 to 30 years of being tossed about in Hawaii’s magic the junk emerges as small, frosted, jewel-like pebbles spit back up onto the land. From far away it appears to be an industrial wasteland of a beach but as you get closer to the sand, you realize that you can scoop up and hold a shining handful of amazing.

There is sea glass all over the world, but the sea glass in Hawaii tends to be rounder and more organic-looking due to larger waves in the area. We spent our time on the beach alternating between crouching down to get lost in the exploration of each tiny perfect piece, and looking up to be humbled by the amount of beauty in each square foot.

Do you want to do it too?

The glass sand beach is right next to where we met the boat for our day with Cap’t Andy’s, you can read our review of that boat trip here. To get there head west on Kauai’s one major road until you reach the town of Ele’ele. Take the Port Allen exit, located by the Mcdonalds at Ele’ele shopping center. Drive down Waialo Road and just past the warehouses take a left. Continue down the road to the end, where you will see a dirt road on your right (towards the ocean) either drive 30 seconds down the road to park or walk for about 2 minutes down to the beach.

Please, please, a million times please, take only pictures and leave only footprints. If everyone took just a tiny bit of this beautiful sea glass with them the beach would quickly disappear and there would be a little less magic in the world. Also, every time you steal a piece of sea glass from this beach a fairy dies and no amount of clapping will ever bring him or her back.


I think of California as officially "home" but can usually be found a lot closer to the equatorial belt. After finishing a Masters program in 2011 I found myself trying to decide between a couple of different high-powered career options. I decided I wasn't quite ready to "grow up" and went with an entirely different plan which involved selling off everything I owned with my partner Tom and buying a one-way ticket to Colombia. Our plan was to travel "Till The Money Ran Out" and then go home to start our grown-up lives. Instead, we started our own app development company on the road and have been criss-crossing the globe, traveling, working, eating spicy food and refusing to "grow up" ever since. You can find me on Twitter, , Facebook or send me a message using our About Us page.

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10 Responses

  1. Leslie jordan says:

    Hi Jenny, sending love and continuing to follow your amazing adventures always!

  2. Erik says:

    Hi Jenny, I loved your article! Beautiful photography as well.

    I am part of a team starting an adventure and trip film series for Youtube but we are on Instagram and Facebook as well. I would like to post a link to this article on our Facebook page and post some of your other blog posts later. Would you be cool with that? My post will point back to your blog of course.

    If you wanted to see any of our work you can find us here: &

  3. Katie says:

    What a cool and unique beach! Lovely photos… I hope to make it Hawaii one day – I promise not to kill any fairies while I’m there 😉 Seriously though, you bring up a really valid point about taking the sea glass.

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks Katie! I hate to be harsh, but I read blog posts about that beach from other people that said “I used to go there and collect really big pieces, but now it’s not that nice” I wonder why….

  4. That beach looks stunning, the best beach I went to was in Thailand it was a little island of Phuket and absolutely amazing, the most unusual beach for me was in Bali, its called the black beach as all the sand is black but it does look pretty amazing

  5. Just came to check out if you installed CommentLuv on your blog (from the comment you left on my blog). It works great – and I love the images in this post, that beach looks lovely!

  6. Matt says:

    Love your photos! Love Kauai’s amazing Glass Beach too, great place for fun photos:

  1. May 14, 2015

    […] The Glass Sand Beach near Port Allen Kauai is one of the most magical spots we visited in all of the Hawaiian islands! It is in an industrial area and so it is not a beach you go to for swimming or sunbathing, but is definitely worth the visit. The beach is in Port Allen, which is where the boats leave for the whale watching and snorkel tours, so it is an easy stop if you are going on a boat tour. […]

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