10 Best Sea Glass Beaches on The East Coast (2022)

Sea glass has become a highly sought after commodity around the world. In the United States, there are both prolific and more challenging sites along both the eastern and western coastline, as well as a few sites along the Gulf Coast.

Sea glass hunters along the east coast have many choices. I will try to cover the most well-known, along with a few lesser-known, sites along the coast. But please note that there are many sites I will not be covering. By doing a bit of research for your particular area, east-coast dwellers may find some hidden local treasures.

I am mentioning the most well-publicized sites here, which means they can also become the most picked-over. By planning your trip in the early part of the year and watching weather and tides, you can greatly increase your chances of success.

If you’re new to the sea glass collecting community, it’s a good idea to read up about what to look for in genuine sea glass before you begin. Then you can begin to truly appreciate the unique pieces you may find or have already found along your local beaches.

Read More: How To Find Sea Glass (10 Tips For Collecting Sea Glass)

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10 Best Sea Glass Beaches on The East Coast (1)

(Video) Top 10 East Coast Beaches 2022

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10 Best Sea Glass Beaches on The East Coast (2)

1. Jasper Beach, Machiasport, Maine

We’ll begin our list of top ten along the New England seaboard, which has the greatest number of prolific sea glass sites on the east coast. The progress of the tides along with the older history and denser populations of this area makes for some rare and historically significant finds.

Jasper Beach, located along the northern shores of Howard Bay in Machias Bay near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, has sometimes been called the beach with a billion billion stones. The beach is often sought out for the stones themselves. Rockhounds can spend days sifting through endless examples of the red jasper-like stone rhyolite and spotted, nearly-round balls of white quartz.

Scattered along with the billions of pebbles is a plethora of sea glass, especially in the spring or at low tide. The area has historically been touted as one of the most bountiful for sea glass. But these days there are many collectors so the finds are not as abundant as they once were. Some successful hobbyists have advised walking to the end of the beach, where several shallow caves continue to hide nuggets for dedicated seekers.

2. Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

Located at the upper end of the Quoddy Narrows in northern Maine, Mowry Beach receives many treasures with the tides. The waves bring in debris that becomes trapped for local collectors and historians.

The area is sited for its sea glass in numerous online articles, and chat and blog sites display sea glass pieces found along the water’s edge. The area is a 48-acre state conservation project with enjoyable activities for the whole family while collectors are hard at work on the beach.

3. Sea Glass Beach, Great Diamond Island, Portland, Maine

Much of the sea glass found on Great Diamond Island has been formed from the remnants of a huge military dumping ground off historic Fort McKinley. The fort itself dates from the Spanish-American War era through WW2. Pleasant Grove, or Sea Glass Beach, has one of the most abundant deposits in the area.

The beach is a 30-minute ferry ride from Portland, and while some shorelines are open to visitors, other areas are private property. Staying at the local inn will gain you greater access. Sea glass is located in several areas on the cove side of the island. It’s a quiet, picturesque place to visit, but you’ll want to find out where you can and cannot go.

(Video) Glass Covers This Beach and People Like It That Way

4. Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor, Mass.

Spectacle Island was the sight of a landfill through the 1940s and became open to the public in 2006 after some restoration efforts. It has now become world-famous for its wide assortment of sea glass specimens.

Local history can be traced through the sometimes large shards of glass and pottery recovered after 50-100 years of tumbling in the active surf. You’ll need to take a ferry from Boston to the island. Exploring and taking photos of your finds makes a wonderful day trip. However, removing sea glass from the island is not permitted.

5. Skaket Beach, Orleans, Mass.

The northward pointing “hook” of the Cape Cod peninsula creates a catch basin of the Western Main Coastal Current. Skaket Beach, located on the bayside of the cape, traps sea glass artifacts being propelled by this powerful current as it pushes past Maine, New Hampshire, the North Shore, and Boston. The beach is lovely, but parking is limited so early morning treasure hunting is recommended.

Skaket Beach is best known for its green, white, and some blue sea glass. Since this beach is more sandy than rocky, a cat litter scoop may be a helpful tool to turn the surface for better finds.

6. Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Mass

There’s a lot of history surrounding Race Point Beach, so it’s not surprising that the area has become known for enviable sea glass specimens. This area is fed by the same currents as Skaket Beach, which wash up lots of blue and green pieces along with brown and white.

Race Point is also extremely sandy, so extra time and tools will help bring buried sea glass treasure to light. Access can be challenging because of the beach’s popularity, so consider the best times for your hunting expedition. And while you’re at it, make sure you take time to just enjoy the spectacular view.

7. Nantasket Beach, Hull, Maine

Nantasket Beach is located along the eastern side of a narrow strip of land protruding from the South Shore across from Boston. It is positioned to ideally capture tidal debris washed into Boston Harbor. The beach is being continually replenished with sea glass and pottery, to the delight of local and out-of-state collectors.

The area is known for a wide variety of sea glass specimens. As with most areas, the best time for a hunting expedition is at low tide or just after rough waters from winds or a storm.

Under current COVID-19 conditions, paid parking areas are restricted to 50% capacity, and public restroom facilities are closed. Limited accessibility can actually be helpful to treasure hunters, but you’ll need to plan an early arrival and perhaps a more limited time frame. Be sure to visit the website before heading there to get the most up-to-date information.

8. The Hamptons Beaches, NY

Far out on eastern Long Island’s South Fork are a number of beaches flanking a string of small seaside communities. These long stretches of oceanfront produce a treasure trove of sea glass colors from the most common browns and greens to the rarest purples, oranges, and reds.

Most beaches in this area have at least some parking fees. Some of the best-known sea glass collection areas are:

  • Smith Point Beach
  • Flying Point Beach
  • Lashley Beach/Jetty 4
  • Bailie Beach
  • Wading River Beach
  • Coopers Beach
  • Camp Hero State Park

9. The Outer Banks

Along the mid-Atlantic seaboard are further well-known sea glass producing sites.

(Video) VISITING FLORIDA BEACHES, Beachcombing at its best, sharks teeth, sea glass,.

The Outer Banks is a long strip of islands just offshore in North Carolina. There are several places where sea glass is commonly found, including Bodie Island, Pea Island, Corolla, and Ocracoke. Really, anywhere along this island seaboard becomes a target for sea glass, especially after a storm.

Early mornings, during low tides, and early in the year are some of the best times to hunt here. The most common colors found along these beaches are brown, white, or green. However, there have also been beautiful blues, from cobalt to brilliant turquoise, along with occasional pale pink or lavender and bright red finds. Even an occasional well-patinaed, whole soda bottle is known to have been found here.

10. Navarre Beach, Gulf Coast

While sea glass is not as abundant along Florida coasts, there are still a few areas where it is found regularly, including along the Gulf Coast, where many shipwrecks along with a few dumping sites provide adventure for collectors and hobbyists.

The beautiful white beaches along the Gulf Coast are always a treat to visit, and finding sea glass along the way just adds to the adventure. The high winds and strong waves along Navarre Beach make it an ideal place for sea glass to wash ashore.

Navarre is a still relatively quiet gem along what is becoming an over-developed shoreline of abutting resorts. Common colors are often found. This is a sandy beach, so hunting sea glass can be a bit more challenging, but there continue to be regular finds here for those interested in spending the time to unearth it.

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10 Best Sea Glass Beaches on The East Coast (4)

FAQs

What beach in the US has the most sea glass? ›

Fort Bragg, California

This is the sea glass beach, probably the best and most unique in the world. Basically, the entire beach is made up of sea glass instead of sand. The problem is, while you can look and touch, collecting is strongly discouraged (in fact, some sources even say it's illegal).

What beach has the clearest water on the east coast? ›

Perfect for couples or adults looking for a quiet escape, South Beach is framed by palm trees and the clearest blue waters, and is only minutes from Key West's historic Old Town. The pristine sand and crystal clear waters are just one part of the allure of North Carolina's Indian Beach.

What is the safest beach on the East Coast? ›

Best East Coast Beaches for Family-Friendly Vacations
  • Clearwater Beach, Florida.
  • Panama City Beach, Florida.
  • Ocean City Beach, New Jersey.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
  • Tybee Island Beach, Georgia.
  • Crescent Beach State Park, Maine.
  • Bethany Beach, Delaware.
May 15, 2019

What is the cheapest beach town on the East Coast? ›

9 of the Best Cheap Beach Vacation Spots on the East Coast for...
  • Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
  • Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.
  • Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine.
  • Cape May, New Jersey.
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina.
  • Ocean City, Maryland.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Feb 8, 2022

What is the rarest color of beach glass? ›

Orange is the most rare sea glass color mainly because there was very little orange glass made. Orange was never a popular color for mass produced bottles so most orange sea glass is probably from decorative tableware, art glass/vases and maybe the edges of red warning lights.

Where is the best place to find sea glass in the US? ›

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California

Glass Beach in Mendocino County is the place to beachcomb for sea glass. Locally, the beach and area at the edge of town is known as “The Dumps” for the early inhabitants' practice of throwing their trash over the cliffs.

What tide is best for sea glass? ›

Plan to go an hour before or after low tide

Going an hour before or after low tide is ideal when looking for sea glass.

Where can I find sea glass on the Eastern Shore? ›

There are several places where sea glass is commonly found, including Bodie Island, Pea Island, Corolla, and Ocracoke. Really, anywhere along this island seaboard becomes a target for sea glass, especially after a storm. Early mornings, during low tides, and early in the year are some of the best times to hunt here.

What is the difference between sea glass and beach glass? ›

Although beach glass and sea glass are often used interchangeably, they can refer to two separate things, as well. While sea glass is always created and found near oceans, beach glass can be used to refer to glass that is found on freshwater shores, around lakes or rivers.

What beach in Florida has the most sea glass? ›

Jensen Beach in Port St. Lucie is known as one of Florida's best sea glass spots: the beach sits on a barrier island that enjoys good wave activity, making it common to find neat stuff in the surf.

What is the number 1 beach in the USA? ›

Stephen P. Leatherman) describes Hapuna Beach State Park on the Big Island, Hawaii, which he just named number 1 in the United States in his annual Best Beaches awards, which is published just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

What is the prettiest beach in the United States? ›

12 Best Beaches In The USA To Visit
  • 1.) Clearwater Beach, Florida.
  • 2.) Venice and Caspersen Beaches, Venice, Florida.
  • 3.) Hanauma Bay, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • 4.) La Jolla Cove, California.
  • 5.) Cannon Beach, Oregon.
  • 6.) North and South Padre Island, Texas.
  • 7.) Assateague Beach, Assateague Island, Virginia and Maryland.
  • 8.)
Jun 16, 2022

Where is there blue water in the US? ›

1. Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii. Kauna'oa Bay is a quintessential Hawaiian beach, offering visitors powdery white sands, palm trees, and a vast spread of tranquil, clear blue water extending towards the horizon.

What is the largest beach on the East Coast? ›

While top summer vacation rentals can book up as early as a year out, spring and fall are shoulder seasons with more availability and better deals. Named the "world's longest stretch of pleasure beach" by the Guinness World Records, 35-mile-long Virginia Beach is situated about 20 miles east of Norfolk, Virginia.

What is the least expensive coastal town in the United States? ›

Despite the price increases, Atlantic City remained the nation's most affordable beach town for the second year in a row. For just $95,000, beachgoers can get into this historic studio condo on the boardwalk or, for $310,000, this one-bedroom condo on the beach with views of the ocean and the sunsets over the bay.

Where is the cheapest place to retire on the beach? ›

If you're looking for a cheap place to retire near the beach, consider Daytona Beach. Homeowners age 60 and older pay a median of $1,282 per month with a mortgage, and the median rent is $1,076 per month. Daytona Beach is a popular retirement spot, and almost a third of the population (32%) is age 60 or older.

What is pirate sea glass? ›

Black glass, or “pirate glass,” is glass that looks black, but when held up to the light, its true color is revealed. For the Outer Banks, the pirate glass is usually dark olive green, often with an air bubble stuck inside which indicates that it was made by hand and thus very old.

Is Lavender sea glass rare? ›

No matter what you call it, purple sea glass is rare and lovely. The frosting and micro-pitting of the surface give purple sea glass a wonderful, heathered appearance unlike any other color.

Is Seaglass worth money? ›

Prices can vary widely, from pennies per piece for small pieces in odd shapes with chips and flaws (sometimes called “roughs”) to flawless, nicely shaped, jewelry quality pieces that might sell for $5-10 each if they are rare colors like deep aqua or cobalt blue.

What beaches in the United States can you find sea glass? ›

Kauai Sea Glass Beach In Eleele, Hawaii

The beach there is said to be covered in aqua, brown, blue and clear-colored sea glass that reportedly originated from a company dumping broken bottles and auto glass off of Kauai's western shore many years ago.

How do you make sea glass look wet? ›

Pour ¼ tsp. baby oil onto the center of a paper towel. Use the oiled portion of the material to gently polish each piece of glass. Buff the surface lightly and then blot with a dry towel to remove any excess oil.

Does Virginia Beach have sea glass? ›

Plenty don't know that sea glass has been tumbling onto the shores of Virginia Beach for decades. It's not as plentiful as it once was, but look around a home on the North End, and you'll likely find a jar or bowl filled with sea glass of all shapes, sizes and colors.

What is the easiest way to find sea glass? ›

Walking along the shoreline, beach combing look among the pebbles, shells and other flotsam. This is where you can find these lovely frosted beach jewels. Beach Glass can be found on rivers, ocean shorelines and bays. The more current or wave action, the more likely that you are to find smooth top quality sea glass.

Why is red sea glass so rare? ›

However, red sea glass has always been rare to find because of how it's made. While there are different metals and metal oxides that change color when added into the mix, some red glass is created by using particles of gold. If you do find a red piece of sea glass it is likely from an old Schlitz beer bottle.

What does black sea glass come from? ›

Vitrite is glass made with lead oxide and manganese oxide, which gives it a dark purple color. According to locals, discarded glass from the plant was used as landfill along Lake Erie in the mid-20th century. Visitors to the beach there find plenty of pieces of black sea glass, now tumbled smooth by years in the waves.

Is there sea glass in Maryland? ›

You can also visit your chosen beach at low tide when the beach is widest, but kindness is encouraged as collecting sea glass can get competitive. LaMotte's favorite sea glass find of all time is from Smith Island, Maryland.

Where is sea glass northeast coast? ›

The lively harbour town of Seaham is found on the Durham Heritage Coast and is world-famous for its abundance of unique sea glass, which people travel from far and wide for a chance to collect.

Is brown sea glass rare? ›

Back in the day, there was a general rule to sea glass rarity that everyone pretty much agreed on: Red and blue; rare, brown and clear; not as much. But this was decades before anyone thought of “codifying” sea glass colors. Today, sea glass is more popular than ever, yet rarer than ever.

How do you make sea glass shiny? ›

For dull or gritty looking glass, use a very tiny amount of coconut oil on the surface with your fingertips & rub onto your glass (just a dab of oil with the tip of a cotton swab should do). Your sea glass will instantly glisten & glow again.

How do you know if you found sea glass? ›

Genuine sea glass is mostly found to be triangular in shape, and not uniform at all (just ask a sea glass jeweler looking for matching earrings parts), though sometimes glass from deeper water, that was older (and likely thicker) and survived longer will have a rounded or bulbous shape.

What is the nicest beach on the southern East Coast? ›

Tybee Island, Georgia

Just 18 miles from Savannah, Tybee Island is a popular family getaway destination. Rich in both history and natural beauty, the barrier island is famous for its seafood and spectacular uninterrupted three-mile beach.

What states on the East Coast have beaches? ›

They include Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida—and all have beautiful, special beach towns worth a visit this summer.

What is the best beach in Virginia? ›

Best Beaches in Virginia
  • Colonial Beach.
  • Cape Charles.
  • Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve.
  • Hampton, VA.
  • Chincoteague.
  • Lake Anna State Park.
  • Williamsburg.
  • Norfolk.

What states do not have beaches? ›

The Pacific Coast state with the least amount of coastline is Washington, with 157 miles. Some notable cities along the Pacific Coast are Los Angeles, California, and San Francisco, California. The Pacific Coast states are: Alaska.
...
Coastal States.
StateCoast
AlaskaPacific Ocean
ArizonaNone
ArkansasNone
CaliforniaPacific Ocean
46 more rows

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