Polihale is the westernmost accessible beach on Kaua’i. Stretching several miles long, this beach offers plenty of warm sandy space to tan and play! There’s also excellent kayaking, fishing from the shore, swimming in the clear blue waters and world-famous surfing. At night, it is the perfect place to stargaze and watch for shooting stars. The Milky Way can also be clearly seen stretching across the canvas of the night sky. Camping at Polihale is also a popular choice among locals and tourists; the beach is wild and remote while still having cold running water, flush toilets, semi-private showers and some pavilions. Driving is allowed on this beach, although a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
Polihale is also the beginning of Na Pali, a majestic stretch of green mountainous coastline, as luscious Kauai real estate envelopes the area. Deep, rainy valleys, magnificent natural spires and pristine beaches make up Na Pali. In the winter whales can be spotted breaching just off the reef, and the forbidden island of Ni’ihau can also be seen from here on clear days. Visit Polihale in the winter to catch the winter swells and surf one of the best shore breaks on Kaua’i. Or snorkel in Queen’s Pond, a calm swimming area formed by a coral reef. The beach is up to 100 yards wide so there is plenty of space for everyone!
An ancient Hawaiian temple, called a heiau, is near the northern end of the beach. Because of the intense heat and dry weather, not many Hawaiians inhabited this stretch of Kaua’i, although cave shelters, grass houses and stone enclosures were discovered, marking where fishing camps were once set up in the sand dunes.
Natural miracles abound at Polihale in the form of special seaweed called pahapaha. A wreath can be made from pahapaha and dried out – although once it is submerged in water it returns to its original freshness. Visitors used to collect pahapaha from the water to prove they had been to Polihale. According to Hawaiian legends, Na-maka-o-Kaha’i, the goddess sister of Pele, blessed the seaweed with its aquatic rejuvenation properties. Hang around long enough, and you could also spot graceful spinner dolphins!