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This is a GREAT campground with a beautiful beach that is tucked away. It's way up the west side of the island but worth the trip to get away from the more touristy areas. The sites were clean and clear and there was a nice amount of privacy. The sites are right up to the beach but be careful because the rip tide can be killer! It's one of the scariest experiences to get stuck out in the ocean and not have the capability of swimming to shore - it's just not possible. Please be careful because there are no lifeguards out there and stop at a store before you drive out because it's pretty far from everything. It's the farthest you can drive clockwise before you hit the N'Pali Coast.
This place is an absolute dream. The scuba diving here is awesome, snorkeling is great, hiking is incredible and laying by the beach is magical. We spent most of our day by the beach and spent one morning scuba diving. Polihale State Park was one of our favorite places to visit. We did some scuba diving from the park, and it was incredible. The water life was spectacular. We saw so many beautiful fish, a shark, and tons of beautiful coral and plants. We loved everything about this park also. We spent the evening hanging out in the park, enjoying our dinner and watching the sunset. This park was very busy, and I understand why. There is some great restaurants and ice cream shops as well. Highly recommend getting ice cream and bringing it to the park. We loved every minute of being here and can’t wait to visit again.
Polihale State Park is the longest stretch of continuous beach on Kauai if including Barking Sands and the military zone just south. With campgrounds on the berms (under minimal treeline) and drive-on beach access, your options are pretty expansive at this large campground. We drove onto the beach each night as we had a Jeep (don’t forget you need four-wheel and 20 PSI tire pressure to effectively maneuver on deep sand). Camped right next to our car. Swam under the moon (be careful, swells and currents can be pretty big here and wave break is only about ten feet from the shore). Showers, bathrooms, day use shelters and beyond. There are tons of great private off-chutes between the road and b beach for camping but we liked sleeping close to the waves. Be sure to check tide charts when setting up so the waves don’t reach your tent. Fires are not allowed in state parks but everybody lights small fires anyways. Be sure to light up closer to the water so debris from your fire (ash and the like) wash away. We put in on our last morning here for our overnight kayak trip to Miloli’i (highly recommend that trip even if you do a day trip. Check out Na Pali Kayaks for rentals and guided tours). This was our favorite beach campsite of the trip and can be booked online through Hawaii.gov.
I would highly recommend this place if you are looking to stay somewhere with less people. It was an adventure just getting to this beach area to camp. It was a little difficult, but my husband and I managed. The road leading up to the beach is pretty rough, and about 5 miles long. Thankfully our rental car was a jeep and made it through. The beach also has some pretty big sand dunes, so watch out for this. One thing we really enjoyed was swimming at Queens Pond. This actually is the only place they recommend people swim because the other places have very strong currents. We didnt even try swimming anywhere else because we read the warning signs and knew it wasnt worth it. The campsite does have picnic tables, restrooms and showers. Although the showers are cold, just FYI. There was a trail nearby that was really fun and sandy. Loved staying here, highly recommend.
Polihale is the beach you go to if you are looking for a beach with very few others on it. It's the last beach when driving out to the west side. If you hit the end of the road, you've gone too far. The road out is pretty terrible so if you don't have a car that can handle some bumps, I wouldn't risk it. There are countless times when tourists take their rentals out there and get stuck either in the sand, mud or potholes.
If you manage to make it out there, you will have a good chunk of the beach to yourself. There a pavilions and picnic tables scattered throughout the stretch of beach. My personal favorite is to just throw a towel on the sand, watch for shooting stars, and fall asleep. There is no light pollution so this is also the place to go to capture those beautiful night sky shots.
Polihale is everything you think of from a Hawaiian beach - without the crowds. there are many sites - some with and some without picnic tables and each with a short walk to a beach and bathroom. the bathrooms are cleaned and filled with toilet paper often and the views here are just breathtaking. It’s a 20 min drive from the town of Waimea (my favorite little town) where we got all things necessary and we felt safe leaving our stuff at the site. most of the locals come to surf all weekend and camp in order to hit the best waves. tourists are generally scared away by the rental car companies but a 4WD car will get you there no problem. the biggest problem this site has is the kiawe trees. these trees are great tinder - although fires are not technically allowed in the sites - most people lit them on the beach. these trees are brittle and the branches fall easily - not a huge deal until you step on one and realize these branches are thorns which will make it through your slippers no problem. watch your steps and clear your site well of all debris because it is more than likely that those thorns will rip up a sleeping pad or tent liner with ease. My favorite place to camp on Kauai. there are feral cats and lots of beautiful birds to look at if for some reason you get tired of the ocean waves and scenic cliffs to the north. on a really clear day you can see ni’ihau the forbidden island. the sand gets realllllly hot so be careful. I spent my day looking for tiny shells of organisms only native to this side of Kauai and Niihau and the shells make beautiful jewelry which you may find at the craft fairs in Waimea.