Eleele, Hawaii Guide

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Address , Eleele, HI 96705
Complete guide to the city of Eleele, Kauai, Hawaii.

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• General: Educational • General: Guide
• General: History

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Eleele Location

Eleele, which means black or black water in Hawaiian, is a city located on the south coast of the island of Kaua'i, right next to (east of) the city of Hanapepe. The area is quite small at around one square mile overall and encompasses Port Allen Small Boat Harbor. The town is easily accessed via the Kaumualii Highway (50) which runs through it and is the main road that runs along this side of the island.

Further to the east are Kalaheo, Lawai, and Koloa. The Hanapepe River also cuts through the town, dumping into Hanapepe Bay right next to Port Allen Small Boat Harbor.

Eleele History


Right next to Glass Beach is the McBryde Sugar Plantation Cemetery which is an old cemetery that at one point was forgotten by history. Decades of weeds grew over the cemetery until a local resident, Debrah Davis, stumbled upon a gravestone in the weeds. After tackling the years of weed growth she uncovered many gravestones and this is an area you can still see today.


The same area (next to Glass Beach and Port Allen Small Boat Harbor) is also home to one of Kauai's most undesirable things, a petroleum storage facility courtesy of Chevron. The entire area is very industrial, dirty, and downright gross because of the giant fuel storage tanks here. Not exactly the neighbor anyone wants, especially this close to the ocean. Then again, it's hard to complain if you're still fueling up your car at a gas pump.

Eleele Attractions


The biggest attraction here is the Port Allen Small Boat Harbor because it's the starting point for so many of Kauai's amazing boat related tours. If you're taking a boat tour to the Napali Coast or Ni'ihau then chances are good you'll be departing from this harbor.

As far as beaches go, there are really only two in the immediate area. The main beach here is Salt Pond Beach Park, which is a great all around beach and one we highly recommend you visit (especially if you have kids).


The other beach here isn't a beach you'll swim at and it's usually a "love it" or "hate it" place for most visitors. If you love beachcombing and hunting for sea glass (beach glass) then you must visit Glass Beach. This is a beach that is literally made of smoothed over glass bits and has more sea glass than any other place in Hawaii.

It's basically a beach where the sand is small glass beads, with some larger pieces mixed in. It's something impressive to see in person, especially when the sun is shining which makes the entire beach shimmer and sparkle. So why would anyone hate this beach? Other than the glass here it's a pretty ugly place that backs up to the Chevron fuel storage tanks here.


Another fun tourist attraction, which is technically in Hanapepe right next door, is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. Kids tend to enjoy it a bit more than adults, especially when they can make it bounce around with mom or dad on it.

View all that Eleele has to offer here.

Eleele Fun Facts


On September 11, 1992 (yes, a different 9-11) Hurricane Iniki smashed into the the island of Kaua'i. It was a devastating natural disaster causing over $2 billion in damage to the island. Many lives and businesses were impacted by the event. One of those was the now famous Original Red Dirt Shirts which originally printed on white t-shirts. Those white t-shirts were stained brownish red from Kauai's red dirt when the hurricane came through, ruining their shirts.

Rather than toss the shirts out they worked with the hand they were just dealt and decided to print their designed on the stained shirts. And with that an entirely new business was born and the shirts were a hit, and even featured on shows like Dirty Jobs. Today the company has stores in several places but you'll find the original store right here in Eleele, Hawaii.
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