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Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Polihale Beach picture in Kauai
Polihale sunsets picture in Kauai
Polihale beach dunes picture in Kauai
Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Polihale Beach picture in Kauai
Polihale sunsets picture in Kauai
Polihale beach dunes picture in Kauai

Key Info

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  • Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2
Overall
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    2.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Located on Kauai's west coast, Polihale State Park is the last beach before the Napali Coast begins. On the northern tip of the beach, you can enjoy an eyeful of the edge of Napali's cliffs, and south of that, you'll have a whopping 17 miles of shore all to yourself. Because the beach is so big, it's rarely crowded. But that's also thanks in part to the road to the beach, which is an unpaved, dirt path that stretches for about 5 miles. It's so uneven that some rental car companies prohibit driving on this road. Since the road can sometimes floor during heavy rain, you'll want to check conditions before you go.

Recent visitors agreed the road to Polihale is definitely rough, but many said the beauty of the beach is more than worth the journey. The roaring waves coupled with the striking cliffs as well as the beach's lush dunes and soft sands left visitors in awe. Because it is a trek to get to the beach, travelers suggest making a day of it by bringing a picnic or even camping (for a fee), both of which are allowed. And if you have the time, stay until sunset. According to recent visitors, the sunsets here are otherworldly.

Polihale Beach, while more remote, does have picnic tables and bathroom facilities, though visitors say the upkeep of the latter could use some improvement. It is important to know that this beach is not for swimming. The only safe area to swim at is Queen's Pond (not to be confused with Queen's Bath in Princeville), which is a separate pond in the middle of the sand and is not connected to the beach. This beach is best for photos, long walks and lounging. It's also important to note that there is very little shade on this beach, meaning the sand can get uncomfortably hot. There are no set entrance hours for Polihale State Park and no admission fee, but considering the rough road conditions, it's best to visit during the day. For more information on Polihale State Park, visit the Hawaii State Park's website.

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#1 Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park Waimea Canyon, aptly nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," should be at the top of every traveler's itinerary. This 14-mile-long, mile-wide and approximately 3,600-feet deep gorge is ... Read more » maximkabb / Getty Images

#2 Napali Coast The Napali coast is a 17-mile expanse of rocky, steep, but oh-so-gorgeous series of cliffs that stretch along Kauai's northwest shore. Travelers agree there's no better way to ... Read more » MartinM303 / Getty Images

#3 Polihale State Park Located on Kauai's west coast, Polihale State Park is the last beach before the Napali Coast begins. On the northern tip of the beach, you can enjoy an eyeful ... Read more » wallix / Getty Images

#4 Ke'e Beach Along with Polihale State Park, Ke'e Beach is the safest beach to access for prime Napali views. Ke'e Beach is conveniently situated at the Kalalau trailhead, offering beachgoers ... Read more » M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

#5 Tunnels Beach If you're looking for a great place to snorkel in Kauai, head to Tunnels Beach. Tunnels Beach is located on the north shore of Kauai in Wainiha, about 2 ... Read more » Kicka Witte / Getty Images

#6 Kalapaki Beach Despite its close proximity to the airport, cruise port and multiple hotels, travelers maintain Kalapaki Beach is a relaxing spot. The beach is located on the west side of the ... Read more » jorgemir / Flickr

#7 Po'ipu Beach Po'ipu Beach is considered one of the most popular beaches in Kauai. This small shoreline situated on the southern shore of the island appeals to many types of beachgoers ... Read more » EllenSmile / Getty Images

#8 Hanalei Bay Hanalei Bay is located about 4 miles southwest of Princeville, one of the island's premier resort areas. Hanalei Bay is composed of three different beaches: Waioli Beach Park, Hanalei ... Read more » M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

#9 Wailua River State Park If you want to experience Kauai's majestic rainforests without breaking too much of a sweat, then you'll want to add Wailua River State Park to your itinerary. This ... Read more » Michael Runkel / Getty Images

Waimea Canyon picture in Kauai
Napali Coast picture in Kauai
Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Ke'e Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Kalapaki Beach picture in Kauai
Po'ipu Beach picture in Kauai
Hanalei Bay picture in Kauai
Wailua River State Park picture in Kauai
Waimea Canyon picture in Kauai
Napali Coast picture in Kauai
Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Ke'e Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Kalapaki Beach picture in Kauai
Po'ipu Beach picture in Kauai
Hanalei Bay picture in Kauai
Wailua River State Park picture in Kauai

Waimea Canyon features several scenic lookout points throughout the park.  maximkabb / Getty Images

The Napali Coast is easily Kauai's biggest attraction. To view the Napali Coast, you can hike the Kalalau Trail, take a boat tour, or if you can swing it, a helicopter tour.  MartinM303 / Getty Images

Polihale State Park is located at the tail end of the Napali Coast, giving travelers a glance of the famous cliffs from the northern end of the beach.    wallix / Getty Images

From the Kalalau Trail, you can enjoy great aerial views of Ke'e Beach. M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

Tunnels Beach is favored by travelers for its scenic setting and snorkeling opportunities.   Kicka Witte / Getty Images

This beach on the southside is recommended for sunning and swimming, but you can also rent a sailboat, kayak or take a catamaran cruise. jorgemir / Flickr

Po'ipu Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kauai.  EllenSmile / Getty Images

Hanalei Bay is one of the most popular shores in Kauai. Swimming isn't always advised, but travelers say a trip here is worth it for the incredible views alone.  M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

Wailua River State Park is billed as the only navigable river in Hawaii. A popular means of exploring the river is via boat tour, which can be arranged on-site. Michael Runkel / Getty Images

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