We asked and 2,500 beachcombers told us their favorite beachcombing destinations—both places they’ve been to many times and spots at the top of their beachcombing bucket lists. We got plenty of very detailed answers that included specific beaches, such as the sea glass beaches in Fort Bragg, California, and Hanapepe Bay in Kauai, Hawaii. And, there were plenty of general answers, too, like Europe, the East and West Coasts of the U.S., and the Great Lakes. Read on for a rundown of the top six beach spots named by respondents to our survey.
- Seaham, England. A visit to this North East England coastal city is at the top of many sea glass collector lists. The North Sea still tosses up wave-worn remnants from stained glass, art glass, and glass bottle manufacturing from the last century.
- Puerto Rico. From San Juan to Vieques to Rincón, beachcombers put Puerto Rico at the top of their beachcombing destination wish list. Most were looking for perfectly frosted sea glass, along with beautiful weather, great food, and fun nightlife.
- Fort Bragg. When this logging town on the Mendocino Coast of California discarded all their trash in a series of coves for many decades, they had no idea that the ocean would turn their trash into treasure. Beachcombers head to this wild coastline to search for remnants of glass and pottery, now smoothed into collectible nuggets.
- Gulf Coast. Beachcombers listed beaches along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida as their dream destinations. Marco Island, Galveston, the Ten Thousand Islands, and more are great places for collectors to find seashells, sea glass, and beautiful sunsets.
- Scotland. Thousands of years of history, pounding waves, and strong currents mean Scotland’s beaches are filled with the kind of historical treasures that beachcombers crave. You might find an old stopper, some of the famous Scottish pottery, and plenty of frosty sea glass.
- Sanibel. Number one on the list for most shell lovers is Sanibel Island, Florida. This island juts out from the rest of Florida at the perfect angle to catch seashells carried on Gulf of Mexico currents. Beaches are filled with a huge variety of colorful shells on sugar-sand beaches, home to nesting sea turtles and warm blue seas.
Views of the top 5
The rest of the best
Are these locations at the top of your beachcombing bucket list?
If you have a favorite beachcombing location or one that you wish you could visit, feel free to leave a comment or take the Beachcombing Bucket List poll.
Learn more about the best beaches and destinations for sea and beach glass, seashells, fossils, rocks, and more beach finds around the world. Articles ›
This article appeared in Beachcombing Volume 36: May/June 2023.