Kauai Glass Beach, Hawaii family travel

We just came home from an incredible family vacation in Kauai, Hawaii. We had many activities planned before our arrival but also made sure we had time to explore the island. One of our favorite stops was made on our last day to the Kauai Glass Beach. I had read about it in a few travel guides and knew my seven year old daughter would love learning about a beach full of glass pebbles and washed up soft and rounded remnants of debris thrown into the ocean many years ago. While some of the Kauai Glass Beach driving directions I found were confusing, I’ve shared the best and easiest route here so you can quickly plan your visit. The Glass Beach in Kauai, Hawaii is a fun and educational visit; a must see for visitors to the island.

Glass Beach Kauai, Hawaii

The Kauai Glass Beach is located just a few minutes from the Port Allen Harbor in Ele’ele in the middle of an industrial area. The lack of aesthetics might initially deter you from rounding the corner and finding the Glass Beach. 

industrial area glass beach kauai, hawaii

Although there are many glass beaches all over the world, the Kauai Glass Beach has an interesting location rich in history. The previous dump site has turned into a wonderful beach full of glass pebbles and some interesting larger glass pieces. Depending on the tide you will find many different variations of sea glass created by bottles and other trash tumbling in the sand below the ocean waves for many years.

glass at glass beach Kauai, Hawaii

Driving directions to Kauai Glass Beach

  • Drive toward Hanapepe.
  • Turn left on Walalo Road toward Port Allen.
  • Turn left on Aka Ula (the road just before the ocean – looks like you are turning into an industrial area).
  • Aka Ula turns into a dirt road. Continue driving and make a right turn on the next dirt road.
  • You’ll arrive in front of the Glass Beach seconds later.

glass beach driving directions Kauai, Hawaii

Parking is available directly in front of the beach.  

parking glass beach Kauai, Hawaii

If you continue driving up the dirt road you will come to a dead end with a beautiful view of the Kauai Glass Beach. Near the dead end you will see a cemetery. The right side of the beach offers views of the industrial area and Port Allen.

glass beach view Kauai, Hawaii

We wandered up the dirt road and observed the cemetery. From the road there are clear views of some intact headstones with Japanese writing.

Glass Beach Kauai, Hawaii Cemetary Japanese headstones

The other side of the cemetery has headstones in English and other languages. We did not actually enter the property but it looked like an amazing historical landsite to explore. 

Glass Beach Kauai, Hawaii Cemetary English headstones

If you’re near Port Allen you definitely should stop by the Kauai Glass Beach. If you’re staying on the other side of the island near Hanalei Bay like we did, the day trip is surely worth your time with other interesting roadside attractions along the way. Remember though, like any beach, do not take the sea glass or any other items found as souvenirs. 

Do you plan to visit the Kauai Glass Beach on your next family vacation?

For more Hawaii family travel ideas, see the fun we had during our Hawaii family vacation.

Be sure to check out the Kauai Coffee Estate for an awesome educational coffee experience!


11 thoughts on “Kauai Glass Beach, Hawaii family travel”

  1. I have never heard of this beach. I love that it has so much educational history. That is amazing how those things can wash up after so many years. I would love to take my kids there one year. It is on my bucket list now for sure!

  2. We were disappointed, had higher expectations. Did not see any glass as pictures had shown. However, we did enjoy the cemetery and had a nice picnic lunch there.

  3. While we were there a seal came up on shore to smile at us and flopped back into the ocean. My kids were in awe!!! We didn’t find much glass of any size but it was probably picked over since we came in the late afternoon. The beach is super hot on bare feet so shoes are needed. Very rough waves so definitely not a swimming beach but beautiful like every beach on Kauai! Kauai is hands down the most awesome place on earth!!!

  4. We went to Glass Beach in June 2016, with our rental car. We ventured alone, off a cruise ship. I have collected seaglass since the 1970’s on the New Jersey shore. I was excited to see this place. However, there were no pieces of glass per se, just the small sand sized ones like you have in the photo of sand in your hand. I was disappointed with it simply due to various photos that make it look like an entire beach of fairly large sized pieces of glass. Anyway, the cemetary by the beach was interesting! As an exploring type of person I enjoyed the trek & the views from the hills. The photos you post are very accurate of the place & I wish I saw this prior to my trip.

  5. We just returned from Kauai in September and did visit Glass Beach while we were there. It was just as you have. We were also amazed at the layer of black sand under the layer of glass. Very unique. We enjoyed visiting

  6. I too have been a sea glass hunter on beaches all over. I was totally disappointed in what was there. I saw many other beaches on Kauai worth exploring.

  7. Hi there- I recently traveled to Kauai and I did find the glass beach. It was exactly as you had described The sand was black and I picked a few pieces of the glass. There were a few other people there as well The road leading to the beach was very dangerous due to the recent downpours of rain but finding it and being there was like my own little treasure hunt. The Japanese cemetery was also as you had described Quite an interesting place to see first hand.


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