Florida Beach Glass Guide
UPDATED: October 2023. I love sea glass and all the colors you can find in beach glass. I have been asked several times, where could one find the best sea glass beaches in Florida I thought it was time to do some research and find out.
If you’re a sea glass enthusiast looking for the best beaches in Florida to find these beautiful treasures, you’re in luck. I’ve done the research for you and below is a list of the top sea glass beaches in the Sunshine State.
I love sea glass collecting so much, I even created a pair of Sea Glass leggings. Check them out in my Etsy shop here: Sea Glass Leggings Yes, I’m obsessed but I get so many compliments on them!
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, these beaches offer a great chance to find some unique and colorful pieces of sea glass. There is sea glass or should I say pieces of sea glass on many Florida beaches but not all of them.
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I was very shocked while snorkeling at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park, to find white, green and brown sea glass on the beach as those islands are 70 miles away from Key West.
Below are some of the best places where you may find that elusive shiny piece of glass. Don’t have time to read the whole article now? You can click any link below to jump to that section.
You can also check here for rates and availability for the best Florida vacation packages: Top Florida Vacation Packages
At the bottom of this article there are additional links t help you plan your Florida Vacation.
How is Sea Glass Made?
If you have ever picked up a piece of sea glass, you will notice the rounded edges. Sea glass is created when pieces of glass from glass bottles or even a glass jar are naturally tumbled and weathered by sea waves, currents, and sand.
This process of tumbling removes sharp edges from the glass and gives it a frosted, organic look. It’s believed that sea glass originates from discarded bottles, jars, and other artifacts that have been broken apart over time by sea elements.
The sea glass is often found by beachcombers on beaches and usually comes in shades of sea green, white, brown, and yellow.
Sea glass collectors have also found much more rare colors such as cobalt blue, deep sea green, amber-black, and even mulberry red. These unique colors are often sought after by sea glass collectors as they are much harder to find.
Is It Legal to Take Sea Glass from The Beach?
On the beach, sea glass is okay to pick up and take home. Sea Glass in the water or in State Parks, however, may not be legal. Be sure to check prior.
Sea glass is a beautiful reminder of our connection with the sea and can be collected to use for jewelry or other decorative pieces. A beautiful symbol of nature’s beauty, strength, and power. These traits we all strive for.
Do You Need Special Equipment To Search For Sea Glass?
No, but you can bring along a small rake or even a cat box shovel that allows the sand to fall through while holding the larger items in the scoop to check for sea glass. Walk slowly as you search while enjoying the view.
Best Places to find sea glass? Best time To Find Sea Glass?
The best time to search for sea glass is roughly an hour before or after low tide versus high tide. A great place to find genuine sea glass is either Fort Bragg Beach in California or Glass Beach in Kauai, Hawaii.
Glass Beach at MacKerricher State Park in California is one of three beaches in Fort Bragg that were official dumpsites in the 1940s. Basically, the beach is made up of sea glass, not sand.
Some colors of sea glass are rarer than others. You may easily find green or white but sea glass that is orange, turquoise, red, and yellow are not so easy to find. If you find one of these colors, you truly have found treasure.
But what about Florida? Can sea glass be found on Florida’s beaches? Yes, you can.
Which Florida Beach Has Sea Glass? Can sea glass be found in Florida?
Absolutely! Sea glass is often found on Florida’s beaches from the Florida Keys to the Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico.
There are almost 2,000 miles of coastline and over 650 beaches in Florida to explore. Some of the best beaches for sea glass collectors are right here in the Sunshine State.
You will want to skip the soft, white sandy beaches and choose beaches that have more pebbles and rocks. Low tide is the best time to search and be sure to look where the waves break.
When choosing which beach to start your sea glass search, consider how close they are to very populated areas/cities. Something you probably have not been told very often is to look for landfills near beaches.
Also, be aware that you cannot take sea glass from any Florida State Park or US National Parks. Be sure to also stay off the sand dunes while you are searching.
The sand dunes protect the local ecosystems in times of storm surges and high waves. I cannot count how many times I have seen people on sand dunes where there are clearly marked signs advising stay off.
These beaches are where you will have the most luck finding these rare finds are below. I have separated them by East Coast and West Coast.
West Coast Beaches In Florida
Navarre Beach is located on the Panhandle in the northwest coast of Florida. It is also very well known for its sea-glass abundance.
The reason the area is famous for its sea glass jetties is because of huge collections of sea glass that have accumulated here over time from the waves and strong currents.
Sea glass hunters come to Navarre Beach in search of vibrant-colored sea glass including brownish-green, orange, yellow, and red pieces.
Navarre Beach is one of the best Florida beaches to search for sea glass due to the high wave activity from high winds.
Navarre Beach is also known for its white sand beaches and clear blue waters, occasionally sea foam green or turquoise, perfect for beach vacations.
Best beach hotels in Navarre Beach: Navarre Beach Hotels
Nokomis Beach and Casey Key, which is Sarasota County’s oldest public beach are popular spots for beach combing and especially sea glass. Mainly found is brown glass, most likely from beer bottles, but you can get lucky and find aqua blue, green, and clear sea glass.
Caspersen Beach also in Sarasota Couty is another great option for searching for sea glass. This is a less crowded beach so your chances of finding sea glass as well as sea shells and sharks teeth are greater.
Best beach hotels in Sarasota: Sarasota Beach Hotels
Also on the Gulf Coast in Sarasota County but south is Siesta Key. It is a barrier island off the coast of Sarasota.
This island and Siesta Key Beach has been rated the top beach in the United States as well as the world many times. Siesta Key boasts clear waters and white sand making it a great area for beach glass finds.
Turtle Beach in particular is a great place to search. It is named for the sea turtles that nest on it.
Sea glass enthusiasts especially love this beautiful beach for its wide variety of sea glass found in the area including blues, greens, and purples.
Early morning is the best time to scour the beach for not only sea glass, but sand dollars as well as many different types of shells.
Best vacation rentals in Siesta Key: Siesta Key Vacation Homes on the beach
Located on the west coast of Florida near Sarasota, is Venice Beach. One of the great beaches on the west coast, this is also another great sea-glass hunting spot.
The beach’s white sand and waves attract sea glass hunters from around the world. Sea glass colors here range from blues, forest greens, browns, and purples among other colors.
Beautiful shells as well as sea glass are often found on this beach after a weather event such as the significant impact of a hurricane.
A great time to search is after a storm, or strong winds that churn up the surf. This brings the sea glass to the surface making it easier to find.
Best beachfront hotels: Venice Beach Florida Hotels
Fort De Sota Beach
Fort De Soto Beach is probably the best seaglass beach in Florida with its miles of coastline. Located on the Gulf Coast, this beach is known for its large concentration of sea glass and its clear, calm waters.
Collectors report a variety of colors of sea glass including pink, green, blue, and brown. Due to its popularity among sea-glass collectors, Fort De Soto Beach also offers special events such as sea-glass treasure hunts and beach glass workshops to learn about identifying sea-glass finds and other sea gems.
Vacation Rentals On The Beach: Fort De Soto Beach Vacation Rentals
Bowman’s Beach is located on Sanibel Island and is one of the best sea-glass hunting spots in Florida. This beach did take a direct hit from Hurricane Ian.
It is known for its abundance of sea glass, seashells, and sand dollars. Bowman’s Beach is also a great spot for sea-glass art lovers and jewelry designers to collect pieces to create beautiful home decor or jewelry pieces.
Best hotels near Bowman’s Beach: Bowman’s Beach Hotels
Does Sanibel Island Or Captiva Island have Sea Glass?
Sanibel Island as well as its sister and neighbor, Captiva Island are prime locations for collectors to search.
As with Bowman’s Beach, the best time to search for your prize is after a storm as you never know what the ocean floor will show to you after a storm.
This area did take a direct hit but has been quickly recovering. The best vacation rentals for these two are here: Sanibel And Captiva Island Vacation Rentals
One of the most famous Florida beaches for shark teeth is Jacksonville Beach. But did you know these beaches are also fantastic for finding blue, white, and green sea glass?
Several of the beaches in this area as well as nearby beaches of St. Augustine are good places to search. I know this from personal experience but you need to really search.
Blue or green sea glass pieces are beautiful, and you can find those colors here but like I mentioned, you need to be patient and look. Hanna Park also in Jacksonville is another area beach where you may find sea glass on a good day.
The best place to look in Jacksonville is the stretch from Jacksonville to Cinnamon Beach. Unfortunately, this is a private beach but I understand from a fellow beachcomber that there is public access near the resort. I am working to verify that myself and will update this article.
The good news? If this is in fact a mainly private beach that you can access, you may have great luck finding sea glass.
Tip: Try to book a vacation home right on the beach. This way you can walk out right after low tide and start your search. Check here: Jacksonville Beach Vacation Rental Homes
This area of the Florida coastline is known for many different types of sea glass including the easy-to-find colors of white, blue, and green.
When you are in this area, be sure to stop at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. In addition to shark teeth near Fort Clinch, keep your eyes scanning for multicolored pieces of glass.
South of Jacksonville, St. Augustine is the perfect place for history buffs and beach lovers alike. This beach is a popular location for many reasons.
The public beaches are gorgeous, but you will need to search high and low for that beautiful lime green sea glass or washed-up glass from a Coca-Cola bottle. If you are truly looking for a beach where you can find sea glass, the west coast beaches above would probably be better options.
Be sure to take time to explore the historical site of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument as well as the many other attractions you will only find in St. Augustine.
This is a great location for a vacation. The top 10 vacation rentals are here: St. Augustine best vacation rentals.
Daytona Beach may be known for the race track but some of my best finds have been on the beach including the rare piece of sea glass.
Honestly? You’ll have better chances at finding sea glass treasure at one of the other East Coast beaches but don’t let that stop you from looking in Daytona or New Smyrna Beaches.
Check here for current availability and pricing: Daytona Beach Hotels
Indian River Lagoon
Indian River Lagoon is a shallow-water estuary, located on the Space Coast of Florida. It covers about 156 miles from Ponce de Leon Inlet (near New Smyrna Beach) to Jupiter Inlet.
This is a fantastic area to enjoy bioluminescent kayaking that occurs during the months between June to September. After a night of kayaking, it’s time to explore the area.
Indian River Lagoon itself is shallow and brackish water. Brackish water is a mix of salt and fresh water.
Folks combing the beaches in this area have found blue sea glass but it is not as common as it used to be. This is good though because it means this area has been cleaned up over the years.
Check here for current availability and pricing: Best Indian River Lagoon Vacation Rentals
Jupiter Island, a barrier island located on the east coast of South Florida, features miles of shoreline with strong surf and plenty of sand. These things make it the perfect environment for sea glass collecting.
Blowing Rocks Preserve is a fantastic place to stop to explore especially at high tide when the waves blow through the rocks. At this stop, you cannot take anything off the beach including the shells and sand dollars. Also be sure you are not picking up live shells, sand dollars, or any other marine life.
Located near Jupiter, Coral Cove Park in the town of Tequesta, is another beach to stop at when in this area. It is also one you can search for sea glass.
Collectors love this beach because it generally has more colored sea glass than other areas in the state. It is an excellent location to search as it is near a former waste disposal site.
Or to put it bluntly, garbage dumps. The wide variety of colors makes Jupiter Island one of the most popular sea glass collecting spots in the state including blue and forest green colors.
Top hotels to stay in to collect sea glass on Jupiter Island: Jupiter Island Hotels
Hutchinson Island is a sea-glass hotspot in Florida and know by serious collectors.
This island is located on the east coast of South Florida, off the coast of St. Lucie County.
Collectors love this beach for different colors of sea glass. When sea glass hunting, you may find green, orange, and even yellow sea glass on this pretty beach. Top hotels on the beach: Hutchinson Island Beach Hotels
Jensen Beach is also a sea-glass hunting hot spot in Florida. The sea glass found here is mostly green, white, and brown sea glass, but you may find other colors such as red and orange.
Sea glass hunters come from all over the world to look for sea glass at this beach for many reasons. The main two reasons though are you can usually find a lot of sea glass on this beach as well as rare as well as most common colors.
Top Vacation Rentals On The Beach: Jensen Beach Vacation Rentals
The fun activity of collecting sea glass as well as finding plenty of shells on the coast is something the whole family will enjoy.
A great idea is to use the larger pieces you find in your home as decor. Or make sea glass jewelry to wear.
In addition to the state of Florida, visit the states of New Jersey, Hawaii and California specifically Northern California when you are ready to expand your search beyond the miles of beach here in Florida.
Be sure to let me know what you find. Happy Hunting!
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise