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.