Glass Beach: Port Allen
Glass Beach is located on the West Side of Kauai and can be found near Port Allen. Off the beaten path, Glass Beach is near other west side attractions. Furthermore, when visiting Glass Beach take the opportunity to visit the Kauai Coffee Visitors Center, Hanapepe Swinging Bridge and Salt Pond Beach.
Glass Beach offers children an opportunity to explore. In addition, children become fascinated with the glass pebbles and washed up remnants from the Pacific Ocean. An old dumping site, Glass Beach is off the beaten path but is visited by many L.O.C.A.L fishermen and families. Therefore, families visit Glass Beach to collect the glass for making art or for use decorations. Moreover, some people find glass at Glass Beach and sell it.
Types of Glass found at Glass Beach
Smooth rocks and other materials are found in the sand. These treasures are smoothed and weathered by the ocean and other natural elements.
Different variations of sea glass have been created by broken bottles and other materials that are churning in the sand. Created by the movement of the waves over a long period of time, the glass pebbles are left on the beach and mixed into the sand. Therefore, the glass pieces are fine and can be as small as a grain of sand. In addition, other pieces are large and smoothed out from the ocean. The weathering of the glass gives it a unique look. Additionally, different colors can be found as you sift through the sand.
Stacked Rocks: Cairns
Rocks (or cairns) that are stacked up can be found towards the western end of the Glass Beach. A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. Made for a variety of purposes from prehistoric times to the present, many stacks can be found on this little beach. A popular activity among tourists, these cairns can be found all over the island. When you visit Glass Beach, many cairns can be found. Therefore, our boys decided to build their own. Additionally, this made searching and exploring the beach for flat rocks a great activity.
Glass Beach Lookout
Driving up the red dirt road past the main beach area will take you up the hill to a cemetery and lookout of Glass Beach. The lookout will provide views of the Pacific Ocean, Salt Pond and the refineries. In addition, there is also a small blowhole that erupts when swells are large. However it is not as magnificent as the Spouting Horn Blowhole on the South side. On the shelf below, car parts and other items can be found. However, it is rather dangerous to go down with your keiki as large crashing waves can sweep you out to sea. Besides that, there isn’t much for kids to see.
Not a Great Place for Swimming
Glass beach is off the beaten path. In addition, Glass Beach is not a kid friendly beach to swim at. Glass Beach is more for exploring the little reef ponds and for searching for glass. Moreover, Glass Beach is a perfect hideaway beach day for a picnic. At Glass beach keiki can climb up the rocks and there is a good amount of space to run around. However it you are looking for a safe place to swim, Salt Pond is right down the road.
When we we visited glass beach the past two times, it was a surprise to see other visitors there. Glass Beach is not usually a recommended beach for hotel guests or first time vacationers. However, there was still plenty of space to enjoy a secluded beach in paradise.
Save Glass Beach for our Keiki
One of the concerns is that the glass at Glass Beach is beginning to disappear. When visiting Glass beach as a keiki, I remember that the beach was covered with glass and different colors of the weathered gems. However, the glass has disappeared and the blue and green colors of glass that used to cover the beach, is now hard to find. Whether it be locals or visitors taking the glass as a souvenir or for personal use. It is concerning because if all the glass is being taken from Glass beach, then Glass Beach will no longer exist. Therefore, please be mindful about taking glass and leaving glass there for future generations coming to visit this extraordinary beach. Furthermore, remember that pictures of the glass that you find can capture the moment just as well.
Directions to Glass Beach
If driving west on Highway 50 drive towards Port Allen.
Turn left on Waialo Road towards Port Allen where you will see a McDonalds
Turn left of Aka Ula road (road just before reaching the ocean)
Drive down the road which looks like you are in an industrial area
Aka Ula will turn into a dirt road
Continue driving and make a right turn on the next dirt road
Glass beach will be just ahead
Remember to follow the beach safety guidelines, check surf and weather reports for current conditions, and observe posted signage. Keep a constant watch on keiki who are playing in or around the water. Never leave children unattended. Small children should wear safety floatation devices unless they are avid swimmers and are being closely supervised.
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