Sea glass is found along the water's edge, hidden in pebbles or along a sandy strip. A collector can find tumbled shards by doing a little research beforehand. Look for highly populated shorelines either in the present or past. Explore areas with bluffs or cliffs that back the beach. Another useful indicator is finding an old seaport beach or a sandy strip along a shipping channel. Beach conditions and waves also affect the likelihood of finding sea glass.
Whether you live on the east coast or are just visiting, check out Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Connecticut. It boasts two miles of beach and is Connecticut's largest shoreline. Fire Island, New York, was once considered a bohemian retreat. This barrier island offers unspoiled sand dune beaches, perfect for finding sea glass. Indian River Inlet is inside the Delaware Seashore State Park with six miles of ocean and a bay shoreline for sea-glass scavenging. Hatteras Island, North Carolina is a sea glass haven with sand dunes and inlets, and just the right amount of wind and waves. Navarre Beach, Florida, has fine, white sands and sea green waters. Offshore winds and constantly changing sand dunes make this a first-rate place for sea glass. Look for wave lines in the sand as it is the usual spot for finding the shards.
Out west? Try Rosario Beach on Fidalgo Island, Washington, which is a rugged beach surrounded by cliffs and forest. Among the kelp-covered rocks and pebbles washed up on shore are hidden shards of sea glass. In Hawaii, visit Lahaina, Maui, or Kauai's Glass Beach. Watch out for the sharp coral, slippery rocks and dangerous shore break. Before setting out, check the tides. Scour both the sand and shoreline along the far side of the beach.
A true enthusiast will want to comb these coastlines: Along the shore of Maine from East Port to Penobscot Bay, collectors can find glass in the sheltered beaches, harbors and coves. Beaches in Long Island start from Ditch Plains in Montauk down the coast to bustling Long Beach. Cape Cod National Sea Shore offers 40 miles of pristine sandy beaches. Some of the finest sea glass can be found along the coast starting near Provincetown. There are 99 miles of coastline in Monterey, California for discovering shards. Collectors search the bay from Pebble Beach to Seaside. Monterey is ideal for sea glass due to its diverse coastline with dramatic cliffs, rocky shores and sandy beaches.
Sea Glass Suppliers
For those after large quantities for crafts or jewelry, contact sea glass suppliers. Companies such as West Coast Sea Glass and Souris by the Sea offer genuine sea glass in bulk or special order. Sea glass suppliers also offer predrilled sea glass for jewelry making and small lots of hand-picked shards.
Dawn Renée Levesque has been a writer for over 30 years. Her travel and fashion photographs have been exhibited in Europe and the United States. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Levesque is the author of "Women Who Walk With the Sky" and co-author of "Wisdom of Bear." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography.