White sand stretching for 15 miles, butting up to the edge of the Na Pali Coast; rolling sand dunes, favored by locals in trucks and dune buggies; and clear blue seas, that’s what you have to keep reminding yourself as you drive the four bumpy miles on the potholed road to access Polihale State Beach.
Experienced surfers ride waves here, but the current is very strong and not recommended for beginners or even body boarders.
However, if the sand gets too hot, Queen’s Pond, a reef-protected swimming area, is a nice place to get wet. This is the perfect spot to bring a picnic and watch the sunset.
This beach houses one of the oldest and most sacred heiau on Kaua’i. This four-terraced structure that once measured almost 100 feet, was paved, and built when the god Ku fell in love with Chief Polihale’s daughter. When the chief refused to give Ku his daughter’s hand, Ku took the shape of a black dog and started killing people. Chief Polihale prayed to Kane and Kanaloa, who arrived as birds to defeat the canine. This heiau became the lovers’ first Hawaiian home and now is a sacred site for local Hawaiians.
Note that driving out to Polihale Beach means that you might be breaking your rental car contract. If you really want to go out here, make sure to rent a 4×4.
Campers need to get a permit in advance from the State Park Department.