Skip to content

Things to know before you go to Glass Beach, California


You can't go to Glass Beach and not expect to find a few surprises. This beach is famous for its beach glass, but it's also home to tides that can rise above your head in a matter of minutes. If you're visiting with kids or people who aren't experienced swimmers, make sure they stay close by! If you want even more excitement, bring along some kayaks or stand-up paddleboards so that you can explore this treasure trove from the water—just be careful not to hit too many rocks on the way there!

Glass Beach is near Fort Bragg, California.

glass beach dumps california

Glass Beach is located near Fort Bragg, California. It can be reached via Highway 1 or by taking the Coastal California Trail from the southern end of Fort Bragg. MacKerricher State Park is a beautiful place to visit and hike in Mendocino County, California. If you're wondering where Glass Beach is, it's in the United States!

Glass Beach itself has been turned into a natural curiosity after years of dumping trash on its shores. The glass that was thrown there has been transformed into smooth pebbles over time thanks to years of erosion and sand movement off shore by storms at sea (which often includes glass).


It was formerly a garbage dump.

Glass Beach, United States

You may have heard that Glass Beach is a beach made of glass. But did you know that it was formerly a garbage dump?

In the 1960s, local residents would throw their unwanted trash into the ocean at the end of Town Pier in Fort Bragg. This included everything from household items like old appliances, refrigerators and TVs to car parts and even toxic waste products (which were buried in the sand). The garbage was left there and exposed to wind, rain and tides until it turned into colorful chunks of glass. Today, visitors can walk along this beautiful stretch of coastline where they can find everything from sea shells to broken bottles lying among the colorful pieces of glass that cover almost every inch of sand on this beach.


This place's trash became its treasure.

Not your average stack. Sea glass frosted and rounded by the sea over several years and displayed in a sunset.

Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California, is a beach that was once an illegal dumping ground for trash. When the city started to clean up the shoreline and remove all of this waste, they discovered that it had created a beautiful beach unlike any other. The sea glass that you see along Glass Beach’s shores are from the 1940s to 1960s when people would dump their household waste into the ocean here. Over time, waves washed away some of these materials and left them behind onshore for us to enjoy today!


You've got to search for the good stuff.

glass pieces at glass beach california

The best way to find glass is to search for it. Some of the beach has been cleared, but if you venture out into the dunes or beyond where others are walking, you'll likely find that some of it has been buried by sand or other debris. If you're looking for specific colors, use a metal detector or magnet to get an idea of where these pieces might be hiding. Using screens on a specific part of the beach can also help you find glass shards more easily as well.

You may have heard that there are areas within Glass Beach that are clear enough and have been sifted by people in order to make them easier to explore; however, this isn't always true—you've got to look for yourself!


Don't take anything from the beach.

Sea glass reflections

While the glass might look like it's an earthly luxury, it's actually a natural treasure. Though you can't take the sea glass from Glass Beach, you can appreciate its beauty and pay respect to its origins by taking photos of it or sharing them on social media. If you have time before you leave town, stop by one of the local museums in Fort Bragg where there are plenty of pieces on display for you to see!

There are tons of reasons why we need to protect our environment: climate change is threatening our way of life; rising sea levels could destroy coastal cities; plastic waste is polluting our oceans and killing marine life; etc., etc., etc. But if none of those things matter because your love for nature isn't strong enough yet… then just remember that this beach is home to some amazing sea glass!


You can only take photos on Glass Beach.

This cove was once used as a dumping ground in the 1960s. Mother Nature found a way to turn trash into treasure

Glass Beach is not for the faint of heart. It's a fine balance between being careful and respecting Mother Nature, and it's easy to accidentally break something.

For example, if your feet are bare, it can be tempting to try and pick up some glass pieces that you see lying on the ground in front of you—but don't do it! Picking up glass from Glass Beach isn't allowed because there's a good chance that doing so could cause damage to the beach.

Another thing: don't dig in the sand at Glass Beach or take any glass away with you once you leave! All of those gorgeous pieces are meant to stay right there where they were made by Mother Nature herself (or herself with help from humans who lived here long ago).


If you go to Glass Beach, you should see the Pudding Creek Trestle too.

Pudding Creek Trestle

If you’re looking for another fun thing to do in Fort Bragg, the Pudding Creek Trestle is a great option. The bridge is an impressive structure that spans over one of the creeks that run through town. It's a popular spot for wedding photos, photo shoots and even dog walks!

There are two other beaches in MacKerricher State Park that you might enjoy.

MacKerricher State Park, Fort Bragg, CA, USA
  • Black Sands Beach: This beach is less crowded than Glass Beach, and it's secluded enough to feel like your own private oasis. The sand is black (from the volcanic rock), but it's still soft and fine like sugar. It's also easy to get to—all you have to do is walk out of the parking lot and along the path by the lake until you reach it! If you go on a hot day, take a dip in the lake when you've finished exploring this little stretch of paradise.
  • West Cove: If you're looking for even more privacy, head over to West Cove near South Main Street and walk down into one of California's only sandy coves from land! You'll see plenty of seals here, so bring your camera or binoculars if wildlife photography is your thing (or just bring them anyway). If nothing else, lounge around on some driftwood logs for an afternoon nap; those are always good times too!


Give yourself at least 2 hours to see Glass Beach and other sights near it.

A view of the blue Pacific Ocean crashing into rocks at the glass beach in Fort Bragg, California.

The Glass Beach area is a popular tourist attraction and it's important to give yourself plenty of time to explore. You can also visit the beach at Fort Bragg, which offers a variety of activities including swimming, fishing and golfing. Fort Bragg also has several restaurants that serve up fresh seafood. The Pudding Creek Trestle is another option for exploring nearby attractions; this historic railway trestle was used in 1899 to transport lumber from the surrounding forests through downtown Fort Bragg until 1910 when it was abandoned due to an earthquake that rocked Northern California.

The Glass Beach Trail is an excellent place for hiking enthusiasts who want to see some beautiful scenery without having too much difficulty walking along rugged terrain; this trail winds around beaches before ending at oceanfront cliffs overlooking miles of coastline so hikers have plenty of time for exploring before heading back down toward town again!


Looking for sea glass is a fun way to spend time in California's pretty outdoors

Woman Looking At The Map

Looking for sea glass is a fun way to spend time in California's pretty outdoors. There are many beaches with sea glass, and you can find it almost anywhere. California has so much to offer! If you're looking for something special, try going on a hike or exploring the city of San Francisco. Don't forget to grab your beach towel!

So, if you're in the mood for some adventure, go to Glass Beach. It's a fun place and you'll have a great time. Just remember that this is a state park, so you should be respectful of the environment and leave nothing behind but footprints.


As I strolled along the shore, picking up pieces of sea glass and marveling at their exquisite colors, I felt a profound sense of connection with nature. Glass Beach is a testament to the power of transformation and serves as a gentle reminder of the beauty that can emerge from unexpected places.

Candi Millard

I would highly recommend Glass Beach to anyone who is looking for a unique and beautiful destination. It’s perfect for beach lovers, history buffs, and anyone who enjoys exploring the natural wonders of the world. So, if you’re planning a trip to California, be sure to add Glass Beach to your itinerary – you won’t regret it!

Leave your thought here

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Related Posts

A Guide to Hiking the Mono Trail in Yosemite National Park
June 29, 2023
A Guide to Hiking the Mono Trail in Yosemite National Park

The Mono Trail in Yosemite National Park is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Stretching for approximately 30 miles,...

Read More
Fun Experiences with Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia
June 29, 2023
Fun Experiences with Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia

Experience the awe-inspiring hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, Turkey. Floating above the unique volcanic rock formations, you'll witness a...

Read More
Drawer Title
Similar Products