sea glass beach

Sea glass looks like a creation straight out of a movie about mermaids. The vibrant colored rocks with a frosted finish are stunning to look at and may seem like an anomaly. However, these beautiful rocks can actually be found all around the world. On the island of Kauai, there’s an entire beach of sea glass, named Glass Beach. 

The beautiful Glass Beach in Kauai isn’t a secret, though most guidebooks do not include this location. Glass beach isn’t exactly a great place to go swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. Rather, this beach is ideal for a quick beach-combing visit to see the gorgeous varieties of sea glass. Across the shoreline of Glass Beach, you’ll find thousands of pieces of smooth sea glass in various colors.

What Is Sea Glass?

Sea glass is fragments of discarded glass that have been smoothed down over the course of 10-40 years in the ocean. Over the years, shards and fragments of glass get batted around the water and weathered down to have a smooth surface and a pebble or bean-like shape. The weathering/erosion process gives the outside of the sea glass pieces a frosted, pastel appearance.

The color of sea glass comes from the original item they came from. Green, brown, white, and clear sea glass is the most common and comes from old soda and beer bottles. Sometimes, the white and clear sea glass may come from old glassware, plates, vases, windshields, and other chunks of glass that are clear or white.

Sometimes discarded bottles of whiskey, tequila, and other spirits will end up in the ocean and create rare colors of sea glass, such as teal, blue, purple, and orange. Another rare color to find is black sea glass, which can sometimes blend into the sand.

How Did The Sea Glass Get To Glass Beach?

Broken bottles, flasks, auto glass, windows, and other types of glass were dumped into the ocean years ago. While this practice is no longer common in Hawaii, a dump is nearby and water from there still washes broken glass into the ocean. Over the years, the ocean waves bat around the chunks of glass, smooth their edges and produce beautiful pieces of sea glass. The waves then wash the chunks of sea glass onto the beach. 

Underneath the glass, you’ll find gorgeous black sand, made from lava rock. As Hawaii is made from volcanoes, the lava rock is from previous volcanic eruptions.

Where Can I Find Glass Beach?

Kauai’s Sea Glass Beach isn’t located in a picturesque sea cave or in a vibrant green forest. Rather, it’s like a diamond in the rough. The Glass Beach is situated near Port Allen Harbor in Ele’ele, in an industrial area.

Sea Glass Uses

Sea glass is a gorgeous material for jewelry and stained glass. Some people use sea glass for crafts such as rock jars or picture frames with rocks around the edges. Some beachgoers and locals like to hunt for rare colors of glass for these projects. However, people taking pieces of glass from the beach has gotten a little out of hand, so there is less glass on the beach than usual.

Please Do Not Take The Glass

The beauty of Kauai will only last if everyone acts courteously toward their fellow travelers. Sea glass takes up to 40 years to form and isn’t quickly replenished along the shore. If every tourist took a piece of sea glass, it wouldn’t look like a beautiful rainbow-colored beach anymore.

Please do not take the sea glass from Glass Beach. Oftentimes, tourists who take the sea glass never end up using it for the cool projects they think of and end up throwing it away. We highly recommend supporting a local business and purchasing souvenirs from them instead.

Explore Kauai with Kauai Sea Tours

Kauai Sea Tours has been providing award-winning tours since 1991, with a history of ten consecutive TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards. Our fun team is passionate about creating incredible adventures in paradise and we’re excited to explore the beautiful island of Kauai with you and your family. If you are looking to have a blast on your visit here are 5 other must see Kauai attractions while your here.