Glass Beach – From Trash To Treasure
A note from California State Parks regarding Glass Beach at MacKerricher State Park: “All park cultural features are protected by law and may not be removed or disturbed, including glass found at Glass Beach.”
Why Go: To hunt (but not take) sea glass treasure.
There are actually three glass beaches — all former city trash dump sites — that cough up beautiful sea glass.
What To Do: Search for rare ruby reds (from pre-1967 auto tail lights) or sapphire gems from apothecary bottles. Snap a photo, but leave the glass behind for others to discover.
Local Lore: From 1906 to 1967, everything from cars to batteries to bottles, cans and appliances were unceremoniously pushed over the cliffs into the ocean — a common practice of seaside cities for centuries. Mother Nature responded to this abuse with a nice surprise in the form of smooth, colored sea glass treasure in a rainbow of colors.
Best Picnic Spot: On the rocks and cliffs overlooking Glass Beach #3 (the most northern of the three beaches; located in MacKerricher State Park).
From Highway 1, turn west on Elm Street (Denny’s is on the corner) and drive a few blocks to Glass Beach Drive. Park at the intersection and walk down to the beach.
Learn More: Frequently asked questions.