The 10 Most Spectacular Sea Glass Beaches on the Planet

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Sea glass is a beautiful pebble or gem-like material that washes up on beaches across the world.

Finding sea glass for your collection is often a big treasure hunt, but there are some places where sea glass is exceptionally abundant. 

In This Article – We share 10 of the best sea glass beaches in the world, and the different types of sea glass you’ll encounter. 

So, just what is sea glass?

Well, sea glass is exactly what its name describes, glass that has been washed up by the sea!

These frosted pebbles are the aged remains of glass that have been discarded into the sea.

Sea glass facts
Sea glass explained

Rather than remaining as razor-sharp shards, these glass pieces are worn by the action of the tides and abrasion on the sand, stones, and other submerged objects.

This eventually makes them extremely smooth with a characterful frosting that takes decades or even centuries to mature. 

By the time you find some sea glass, it is smooth and safe to handle with even the smallest hands. Every piece of sea glass tells its own story.

Why collect sea glass?

Sea glass is a beautiful material that is distinct from normal glass and the pebbles and seashells you find it among.

Collecting sea glass reasons
Collecting sea glass

Each piece of sea glass is unique because of the marine conditions it has experienced and the length of time it has been in the water.

You can use the sea glass you find in a variety of projects.

Some beachcombers simply collect pieces in jars, while other enthusiasts use the sea glass to create jewelry or home art. 

Sea glass comes in a range of colors

You’ll find sea glass in as many colors as there are glass bottles and other items. The color indicates the source, rarity, and value of a sea glass find.

Here are the main colors you’ll encounter on the world’s best sea glass beaches.

Most common sea glass colors come from glass that was used in windows, jars, beverage, and medicinal bottles and include

  • Clear frosted
  • Light or dark green 
  • Amber brown

Less common sea glass colors come from ornamental or stained glass.

Rare colors may also indicate older glass which was created using specific minerals and oxides that tinted it.

Look out for: 

  • Blue
  • Black
  • Turquoise
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange 

The 10 best sea glass beaches in the world

Here are 10 of the world’s leading beaches for finding sea glass. In many of these places, it will wash up on your feet.

Because many of these spots are well known, you may have to visit them at quiet times to find sea glass.

Also, in some places taking sea glass with you may be illegal. 

1. Jasper Beach, Machiasport, Maine, USA

The Maine coastline, with its inlets, bays, and coves is longer than California’s, so it makes sense that The Pine Tree State would be a global destination for sea glass hunting.

Jasper Beach in Machiasport, Maine has earned a reputation for some exceptional sea glass finds in a beautiful and tourist-lite setting.

Take a look at the iridescent stones of Jasper Beach: 

This predominantly gravel pocket beach is also known for its beautifully smoothed multicolored rhyolite rocks (not real Jasper), which are just as pleasing as the interspersed sea glass. 

Unfortunately – The area has been plagued by illegal mining, and visitors are prohibited from taking the rocks home with them. 

Jasper beach is open to the public throughout the year.

It is slightly remote but can be readily accessed via Port Road passing through Machiasport and Bucks Harbor. You’ll see the sign for Japer Beach come up on the left-hand side.

2. Seaham, County Durham, England

Seaham is a world-famous sea glass beach, with each encroaching tide washing up new finds for locals and tourists to find.

This pleasant harbor town is beautifully set on the Durham Heritage Coastline and attracts thousands of sea glass prospectors each year: 

The abundance of multicolored sea glass is thought to be due to the presence of several glass and bottle works along the Durham coastline during the region’s industrial era.

Seaham itself was home to The Londonderry Bottleworks, Britain’s largest glass bottle works during the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. 

While the factories were operational, they would discard massive waste glass into the North Sea.

It is this glass that is thought to be the source of the kaleidoscope of colored sea glass that washes up on the Seaham shoreline. 

If you are an avid sea glass collector, a visit to Seaham provides the opportunity to collect some of the most diverse sea glass in the world.

Clear and green sea glass is the most common but Seaham Hall Beach has some colorful finds. 

3. Sea Glass Beach, Omura Bay, Nagasaki, Japan

This little-known Pacific Ocean beach is one of the most remarkable sea glass beaches in the world.

The abundance of beautifully smoothed sea glass glistening in the sun has to be seen. Sea Glass Beach is in an incredibly obscure and inaccessible location in Omura City, southwestern Japan.

Sea glass at Omura Bay, Nagasaki, Japan
Omura Bay, Nagasaki, Japan

This beach is a strong candidate for the world’s most unique sea glass beach. This is because of how the sea glass is formed.

Omura locals transformed this rocky beach by covering the beach in small recycled glass beads and pebbles, to prevent the rocky beach from becoming covered in foul-smelling algae. 

This man-made sea glass beach is filled with thousands of glass beads and pebbles which catch the light beautifully when the sunlight hit it.

You can head onto the beach and take a closer look as the glass has been well-worn by innumerable Pacific tides. 

4. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California, USA

Glass Beach is a world-famous sea glass beach that is near the MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg, California.

Though collectors and the tides have ravaged the sea glass quantities at Glass Beach, the beach is still covered with colored, well-worn glass beads: 

This Fort Bragg beach’s sea glass collection was created in the early 20th century by the sustained dumping of trash, including glass, appliances, and even cars!

The area was known as ‘The Dump’. By the 1960s, this active dump site had become filled and was closed by state authorities in 1967. 

The region underwent a sustained cleanup, but over the years, glass and pottery pieces had become tumbled and worn into jewelry-quality sea glass which now attracts visitors from around the world.

The site was eventually purchased from its private owner by the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 2002, with its integration into the MacKerricher State Park. It is illegal to take sea glass from the beach. 

5. Rockly Bay, Scarborough, Perth, Australia

Scarborough is a coastal suburb of Perth in Western Australia.

It is known for its numerous sea glass finds that are washed up by the Indian Ocean.

Rockly Bay, Scarborough, Perth, Australia
Rockly Bay, Scarborough, Perth, Australia

Rocky Bay may not be the most beautiful beach, but locals and those in the know head there for the easy sea glass finds. 

Rockly beach and nearby Queens Beach Park have large quantities of sea glass in multiple colors that include green, blue, brown, and even black!

Visitors report being able to fill plastic shopping bags with well-tumbled and aged frosted glass. 

Some visitors report that there is also a lot of trash on this beach, so wearing adequate footwear is wise. Currents can also be strong and choppy here, so bathing should be avoided.

6. Shell Beach, La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California, USA

La Jolla, San Diego, has some great sea glass finds, especially in and around the unusual ‘Shell Beach’, known for its numerous seashells which you can also collect.

You can access the small beach via a stairway and clambering over some large boulders:

This beachcomber’s paradise has sea glass washing up at your feet! Common colors in this region include green, white, brown, and blue.

It’s a pretty busy spot but the views, tide pools, wildlife (local seals), and the surrounding La Jolla locality make it well worth exploring for a few hours early in the morning before you head into the city.

7. Black Bay Beach, Ireland Island, Bermuda

The Caribbean has some great destinations for sea glass hunting, with Ireland Island in Bermuda boasting rich pickings in several places.

Black Bay Beach and nearby Sea Glass Beach on Ireland Island are known internationally for their abundance of large and well-worn sea glass pieces.

Sea glass Black Bay Beach, Ireland Island, Bermuda
Black Bay Beach, Ireland Island, Bermuda

The coves within Black Bay Beach have plentiful clear, green, and brown sea glass which is easily spotted lying on the ground all around.

You can get to Black Bay Beach in the southern Sandy’s Parish, off Cockburn Road. 

Access is relatively straightforward, but via a road with no sidewalk, so be careful.

The beach has shallow waters, but locals advise that there are sharp rocks that can cut swimmers and snorkelers. 

The West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), which owns these southern Ireland Island Beaches has erected a sign prohibiting the collection of sea glass on the beach.

This is because passengers from cruise ships that docked in the area would collect copious amounts of sea glass, leading to diminishing quantities of sea glass on the beach. 

8. Lisfannon Beach, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Pull beautifully aged sea glass straight out of the Atlantic Ocean at Lisfannon Beach in County Donegal, Ireland.

As one of the Wild Atlantic Way stops in Donegal it is ideal for sea glass hunting in northwestern Ireland. 

Sea glass Lisfannon Beach, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland
Lisfannon Beach, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland

A lot of sea glass in Inishowen is collected and used in jewelry or ornaments that feature Irish sea glass. Green is understandably a popular color for souvenirs and trinkets. 

This long sandy beach has many pieces of sea glass scattered as you walk along. Expect a substantial amount of common sea glass within a couple of hours.

This idyllic Irish sea glass beach is near Buncrana. Alternatively, a 14-mile drive from  Derry will get you there. Take in breathtaking views across Lough Swilly as you search. 

9. Essaouira, Morocco

Morocco is one of the world’s sea glass hotspots and is renowned for its Mediterranean and Atlantic sea glass and ceramic fragments that litter many of its beaches.

Sea glass at Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, in the western Moroccan province of Marrakesh-Safi, is not only a sea glass hotspot but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making the search for sea glass all the more exciting.

Interestingly the sea glass that washes up near this ancient port city is predominantly green, a colored glass from bottles that can even be found in the desert!

What to Expect? If you decide to head over to the beach for a search, it’s best to wear thick-soled shoes that will protect your feet from the sharp rocks of this rock-pool beach.

Aside from the sea glass, the tide pools of Essaouria are known for unusual black-winged sea cucumber-like creatures. 

10. Souris Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

With lobsters, fine cuisine, and some of Canada’s most outstanding natural beauty, Prince Edward Island has it all.

And if you’re a sea glass hunter, you’ll be delighted by the unusual finds of Souris Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Sea glass at Souris Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Souris Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

The sea glass is so abundant here that the local lighthouse museum is decorated with it.

Locals believe that Souris’ sea glass is washed into this sheltered beach by local shipping.

This area boasts some unusual sea glass finds including big red sea glass and black pieces that may be as much as 200 years old. 

Take a trip to Souris beach to find your special pieces among the deep red sands. But you’ll have to be quick.

Locals advise the beach is often picked over by the time the sun is hot! If you want a sea glass souvenir without the beachcombing PEI Seaglass Shanty sells sea glass jewelry, and gifts and will even turn your sea glass into jewelry!

Read next10 Best Restaurants in Prince Edward Island

Final thoughts

It’s amazing how the sea turns what was trash into an authentic treasure.

The mysterious transformation of sea glass captures the imagination and searching for it on beaches is a rewarding activity that anyone can enjoy. 

These global coastal destinations not only offer some of the world’s best sea glass finds but also interesting and beautiful scenery that is perfect for your next trip!

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