Waimea, HI 96754
NileGuide Expert tip:
A huge beach that offers enough space to find your own spot, and see the most beautiful, vibrant sunrises Kaua'i has to offer.
Polihale State Beach Park can feel like another world. At the end of Route 50 lies a roughly four mile bumpy dirt road that takes about twenty minutes to drive down and leads you to a white sand beach that stretches for about 15 miles. To the north, cliffs scattered with wild goats act as the back drop to the area known as Echo Beach. To the west, the beach is backed by sand dunes and reaches around a point to surf breaks that are located on military run sections of the beach, requiring base access at other access roads.
The forbidden island of Niiahu, that only Native Hawaiians born and raised on the island can visit, can be seen from Polihale. Although it is still far away, looking at the island is intriguing, and watching the sunset near it is one of the best sights on Kaua'i.
The beach can be enjoyed with different itineraries. A day trip to sunbathe and swim, an early morning drive to surf, or camping for one night or more are all ways to explore the vast beach. Polihale is known to Hawaiians as a sacred beach, and its name is said to mean "house of the spirits." The long beach is perfect for four-wheel driving, but two-wheel drives can make it to the top of the beach, allowing visitors to make the short walk down to the water.
Although the beach is beautiful any time of day, some special times are early in the morning before the heat rises over the cliffs and Niihau is glowing across the Pacific. Mid-day on any sunny day will provide sun and heat that will burn almost anyone, and evening time will bring you the most beautiful, radiant, glowing sunset that you'll ever see.
When visiting Polihale, bring plenty of water, food, and sunblock. There is one bathroom building with a side for men and women, and several fresh water outdoor showers. Toilet paper isn't always available in the bathrooms, but they're nice to have and the cold showers are a great break to the Polihale heat. There are several lifesaving flotation devices spaced along the back of the beach for emergencies.
Queen's Pond, a section inside of the breaking waves and reef is about a quarter mile before the point. It's a mellower place to swim compared to the open ocean, but do be aware of currents and whitewash.
Polihale is a must see beach on Kaua'i, and will most likely be one of the less crowded beaches on any given day.