Glass Beach, CA

Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California is famous for the quantity of sea glass strewn along its shores. It all started back in the early 20th century when the area around the beach was used as a public dump for all manner of household trash. Kitchen appliances, bottles and crockery, even cars were thrown in, and the trash was often burned to reduce the pile.

Finally, in 1967 the dump was closed and relocated, leaving the sea to pound and grind the remaining mess. Now the shoreline is littered with rounded bits of sea glass that glisten in the sun, as well as the occasional weird bit of trash fused to the rocks.

This beach has become a tourist attraction as more and more people enjoy beachcombing and collecting sea glass. However, Glass Beach is now a part of MacKerricher State Park and the state prohibits collecting sea glass. But the temptation to grab some of these little glittering jewels is just too much, and scofflaws abound.

If you plan a visit, try to get there during low tide, when more of the sea glass is exposed. If you go during high tide you could be quite disappointed. The south end of the beach is the best place to start.

Be sure to wear shoes, since this is an old dump site and the odd piece of debris (shards of metal or old spark plugs) still pops up. There are also tide pools to explore, another reason for going during low tide. There are no facilities, but restaurants and other businesses are nearby.

You'll find this beach in the unassuming town of Fort Bragg. Take Elm Street west to the dirt path that leads to the beach.

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