Glass Beach is a small and interesting black sand beach adjacent to Port Allen, Kauai that is known for deposits of man-made sea glass. The sea glass is the result of discarded bottles and other types of glass that have been broken up and polished by the ocean into tiny glass pebbles. Past photos of Glass Beach often depict a beach glistening with different colors of glass pebbles. Today, only tiny fragments of glass remain at the beach, the result of decades of glass collecting by both local residents (for yard displays, aquariums, etc.) and tourists for souvenirs. On almost any given day at the beach, you will still find tourists combing the beach for the last remaining bits of glass. Though new polished glass is constantly being made by the ocean, the process does not keep up with demand.
The original polished glass was the result of the beach being used as a dumping ground for discarded items such as automobiles, appliances and other junk. You can still see the junk, including auto parts, on the rocks of the nearby coastline. Look closely in the rocks and you can see large shards of glass from broken bottles that might eventually end up as tiny glass pebbles on the beach. Nearby Port Allen, and the boats that come in and out of the harbor, probably contribute to the ongoing debris at Glass Beach.
Despite the waste and the industrial surroundings, the black sand beach is actually very picturesque. The oil storage tanks of Port Allen create a dramatic juxtaposition against the natural beauty of the beach.
Location at Google Maps
Glass Beach Photos
Above and below: Oil storage tanks at Port Allen loom over Glass Beach.
Above: Tiny glass pebbles glisten on the black sand.
Above: There’s still some glass to be seen at the beach, mostly clear or white glass. Red glass is especially prized by some collectors. Other rare colors at the beach include blue and green.
Above: A bluff overlooking Glass Beach has good views of the beach and surrounding coastline. The McBryde Sugar Plantation Cemetery is located on the bluff.
Above: Industrial waste on the coastline underneath the bluff. Look closely to see the remains of an axle or similar object.
Above and below: The view of Glass Beach from the bluff.