Beaches in the northeast United States, California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Australia, Italy northwest England and southern Spain have reputations for their abundance of sea glass.
Best Beach in California to Hunt for Sea Glass
Fort Bragg, California
Just eight miles north of Mendocino, a beautiful coastline along Fort Bragg holds many little sea glass treasures. For several years, the locals dumped their trash and even their old cars and appliances over the bluffs onto a strip of beach. Even though the city began cleanup programs in 1967, much of the glass made its way to the shore to become the small translucent colored pieces of sea glass that still cover the shore today.
Much of the sea glass has been carted away by collectors, but there is still quite a bit covering the shore. The best known place for collecting sea glass is Glass Beach, which is located inside MacKerricher Park. You can enter Glass Beach from Elm Street and Glass Beach Drive.
Because of the popularity of the beach for sea glass collectors, the California State Park became concerned over diminishing sea glass and hasdiscouraged the practice of taking it. Some people say it’s illegal now to collect sea glass from Fort Bragg, but others say that because California beaches are public, it’s okay to collect it up to the high water mark.
If you decide to go to Fort Bragg to collect sea glass, be sure to check with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to find out where it’s appropriate to collect sea glass. Make sure to respect the rules and surrounding private properties to get to the beaches. Don’t get too selfish. If you just want to collect a few good specimens and you follow the rules, you should have a pleasant sea glass hunting trip in Fort Bragg.
Here are instructions along with pictures and video to help you find Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.
The Most Secret and Secluded Beach in Los Angeles
Rancho Palos Verdes Beach
Los Angeles’s best keep secret is Rancho Palos Verdes Beach, and yes, you can find sea glass there too. The beach is stunning, but best of all the parking is free in the Trump National Golf Course. The city of Rancho Palos Verdes made a deal that parts of the golf course must be open to the public. The parking lot is small, so if you’re planning a trip on a weekend summer day, be sure to go early.
If you’re planning a sea glass hunt just follow the trail down to the beach. It’s a little steep in a few places. When you get down to the beach, go to the left and start looking for sea glass among the rocks during low tide. The sea glass is not as abundant compared to other beaches, but it’s there.
Besides enjoying a good sea glass hunt, the beach is also excellent for a fun family day at the beach or a romantic get away. The sand is a little rocky, but it’s still smooth enough to lay down a towel and enjoy relaxing in the sun by the sea. Kids will enjoy the waves and the tide pools. There’s also plenty of colorful rocks where you’ll be sure to see a few little sea creatures.
Sea Glass on Santa Barbara Dog Beach
Summerland in Santa Barbara, California
One of the best beaches to find sea glass is in Summerland California. Summerland is located of the 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara county. The beach is also for dog lovers too. In the early morning and at low tide, you’ll be sure to see a lot of happy dogs walking the shore and you’ll be sure to find some sea glass.
Check the Tides for Summerland
To find the most sea glass, make sure to check the tides. Go at low tide, but be sure to not to get stuck when the high tides come in. A lot of the sea glass is along the high-tide point, especially where there are a lot of small rocks.
Beautiful Sea Glass Beach
Summerland is a beautiful beach, and it’s not that crowded. There are usually only a few beachcombers walking along the sand and a few people walking their dogs in the morning.
To get to Summerland, take Exit 88 from the 101 Freeway. Head west, and turn right down Padaro Lane. You’ll drive along a residential neighborhood on a narrow street for a while. When you see the sign for Loon Point, turn right into the public parking lot. Take a short path to the ocean, and at the end of the path, go left.
Long Stretch of Beach and Sea Glass
Del Monte Beach, Monterey, California
Many beachcombers know that Monterey beaches are one of the best places to find sea glass. Del Monte Beach in Monterey, California is a long stretch of beach where you’ll be sure to find sea glass. The beach is named after the historic Del Monte Resort, and it’s located west of Del Monte Avenue.
Other Sea Glass Beaches
Here are some other beaches where you’ll likely find sea glass. I’ve gathered the information from websites, articles and comments around the Internet. I haven’t thoroughly researched or verified all of them, but I plan on finding out more information or hopefully visting as many as I can in the future.
Keep in mind that sea glass beaches can be fickle. I’ve gone to beaches and have found a nice amount sea glass on one day. Then I’ve returned to the same beaches on another day or even the next day only to find little sea glass.
The best time to find sea glass is early in the morning during low tide. You will also likely find more sea glass during morning low tide times after a storm. Beaches near bluffs and rocky beaches with coarse sand are usually better for sea glass hunting.
Sea Glass Beaches in the United States
- La Jolla, California – Check out pictures of sea glass from my trip to La Jolla, California in June 2012.
- Redondo Beach, California near Palos Verdes Estates
- El Matador State Beach in Malibu California
- Many Northern California beaches like Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Fort Bragg
- East Lyme, Connecticut
- Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, Connecticut
- Noank, Connecticut
- Jacksonville, Florida
- St. Augustine
- Glass Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
- Beach by airport in Kauai, Hawaii
- Lahaina, Hawaii
- Bar Harbor, Maine
- Belfast, Maine
- Casco Bay Islands, Maine
- Cranberry Islands, Maine
- Jonesport, Maine
- Land’s End near Maine
- Mackerel Cove, Near Bailey Island, Maine
- Monhegan Island, Maine
- Mount Desert Island, Maine
- Deal Island, Maryland
- Kent County, Maryland
- Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts (Southwestern Shores)
- Cape Ann, Rockfort, Massachusetts
- Gloucester, Massachusetts
- New Beford, Massachusetts
- Spectacle Island, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
- Bay Head, New Jersey
- Cape May, New Jersey
- Long Beach Island, New Jersey
- Nags Head, North Carolina (Southern End)
- Astoria, Oregon
- Bayocean Peninsula on Tillamook Bay, Oregon
- Brookings, Oregon
- Gold Beach, Oregon
- Newport, Oregon
- Oceanside, Oregon
- Seal Point, Oregon
- Lincoln City, Oregon
- Middletown, Rhode Island
- Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island
- Corpus Christi, Texas
- Crystal Beach, Texas
- Galveston, Texas
- Port Arthur, Texas
- Surfside Beach, Texas
- Cape Charles, Virginia
- Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
- Hampton, Virginia
- Alki Beach Park, Alki Avenue Southwest, Seattle, Washington State (northeast section of beach)
- Anacortes, Washington State
- Deception Pass State Park, Oak Harbor, Washington State
- Glass Beach, Port Townsend, Washington State
- Port Angeles, Washington State
- Port Townsend, Washington State
- Puget Sound islands, Washington State
- Rosario Beach, Fidalgo Island, Washington State
- Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington State
Sea Glass Beaches Outside the United States
- Bermuda Island, Hamilton, St.George’s, Bermuda
- Building Bay, Bermuda
- Abaco Islands, Bahamas
- Mullins Beach, Barbados
- Antonio’s Beach to River Mouth Beach in Puntas, Rincon, Puerto Rico
- Vieques, Puerto Rico
- Playa Media Luna, Isla De Mujeres, north of Cancun, Mexico
- Prince Edward’s Island, Canada
- Nova Scotia, Canada
- Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles