The Best Sea Glass Beaches

Updated July 20, 2017

Beach glass is one of the few recycled materials that's more valuable than the original object it came from. It is created when the waves of the ocean pummel littered glass bottles, breaking them apart and rounding out the edges. Many people enjoy combing the beaches for this glass, either for the sake of collecting it or to make it into jewellery. Some beaches. however, yield more sea glass than others. In general, try to stick to beaches near dump sites. Though many of the well-known beaches are picked over but you can usually still find something.

Monterey State Beach

This beach sits right next to Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California. Like many of the best sea glass beaches, it used to be a dump site. This beach is pretty popular, especially because it is next to the Wharf, but you can still find plenty of pieces. Green beach glass is expecially plentiful.

Conneaut Beach

Conneaut Beach in Ohio yields many jewellery-grade examples of beach glass, particularly purple and some blue pieces. It is not a coastal beach, but rather sits on the edge of Lake Eerie in the northern part of the state. The area experiences a booming tourist trade during the summer. It can be a bit picked over at times, though, because of its popularity.

Mackerel Cove

Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island in Maine is one of those rare beaches that yields red beach glass. Some colours of beach glass are more common than others, such as light blues and browns. Red, however, is pretty rare and fetches a high price for the more commercially inclined. Casual collectors also covet it.

Glass Beach

As with many of the best beaches for sea glass, Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California, is near an old dump. Indeed, according to UpTake Beach, the locals used to call it "The Dumps." Despite the name, this beach is a renowned spot for finding large quantities of beach glass. Unlike many well-known sea glass beaches, this one has quite a lot to offer despite the large numbers of collectors who visit. Just be aware that the local parks department now owns and runs the beach and discourages glass collecting. However, you can legally collect beach glass up to the mean high water mark as this is public property.

Bar Island

Barr Island, north of Bar Harbor, Maine, is a tidal island. When the tide rises, the incoming waves deposit sea glass in bands at the high tide line. The best time to hunt for glass on this beach is when the tide recedes, exposing the tide line. Tide lines are bands of debris deposited as the waves pull back into the ocean.

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About the Author

Jennifer Meyer received her B.A. in anthropology, specializing in archeology, in 2004 from Beloit College. She then earned her master's degree in museum studies at Indiana University in 2007 after being awarded a university fellowship. She started writing in 2005, contributing podcast scripts, procedural guides and exhibit copy to museums in the Indianapolis metro area.