Photo by Carl Newton
Some people go to the beach to collect shells, dig for clams, or simply enjoy the water. Then, some comb the beach in search of the perfect pieces of sea glass. For many of these enthusiasts, the pursuit of beautiful colored glass is a near obsession, and Maine is often their destination of choice.
That’s because the coast of Maine has the perfect conditions for forming beautiful, unique pieces of glass that collectors covet. Whether you are an experienced sea glass collector or interested in going on your first sea glass hunt, check out these eight best beaches in Maine for sea glass.
Pebble Beach, Monhegan Island
Monhegan Island is known for its artist colony, beautiful landscape, hiking trails, and Pebble Beach. You’ll have to take the ferry to access Monhegan Island, but the time and expense are absolutely worthwhile.
True to its name, Pebble Beach is full of jagged pebbles and plenty of sea glass. However, you have to look carefully to find the best pieces.
Spring Port Beach, South Portland
Spring Point Beach is another sea glass hot spot. Go early in the morning to get the best results. While you’re out, don’t forget to take some great photos of the Spring Port lighthouse.
If you don’t have much luck early in the day, try again later in the day. The key is to avoid the midday sun that makes good hunting difficult.
Middle Beach, Kennebunkport
MIddle Beach is also known as Rocky Beach. That description indicates that this is a great spot to search for sea glass. In fact, the rockier, the better. That helps to wear the sea glass to a shiny yet frosted finish.
In addition to the sea glass, the views at Middle Beach are quite beautiful. While you’re there, take a look at the tide pools along the coastline. These intercoastal pools are home to various creatures that get washed in from the ocean. Kids, in particular, enjoy looking for mussels, whelks, barnacles, sea urchins, and starfish.
Short Sands Beach, York
Several great beaches comprise the York Beach area. Each has amazing features and is worth a visit. However, when it comes to finding beautiful sea glass, Short Sands Beach comes out ahead.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby when you need a break from a day of looking for the perfect piece of sea glass. Also, don’t forget to look out into the ocean. There’s a 250-year-old shipwreck nearby, and you can catch a glimpse of it when conditions are right.
Cranberry Islands, Cranberry Isles
Did you know that certain colors of sea glass are more sought out than others? That’s because, over time, glass items have been made in an ever-changing variety of hues. While Cranberry Islands isn’t the most popular spot to search for sea glass, it is known for beautiful red and dark blue glass. Those are pretty rare finds.
Mowry Beach, Lubec
Mowry Beach is located on a 48-acre coastal preserve. Visitors can enjoy a wooden boardwalk and hiking trails through pristine, natural settings. In addition to this, when the tide is out, the search for sea glass is on. It doesn’t take visitors long to see why Mowry Beach is listed as one of the best beaches in Maine for sea glass.
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Sand Beach in Acadia National Park has a lot going for it. The beach itself is relatively small, but the national park is absolutely gorgeous. This beach is a great choice for families with some people who want to hunt for glass and others who prefer a more traditional beach experience.
Anyone who wants to take a break from a day at the beach can explore the mountains and forests that surround it. No matter what, the views and experience are both amazing.
Fortune’s Rock Beach, Biddeford
This two-mile-long beach runs from Biddeford Pool to Fortune’s Rocks. However, the best sea glass is found on the southern end of the beach, where things are rocky enough for the best sea glass hunting.
Of course, the sandier parts of the beach are amazing as well. Visitors often enjoy kayaking, surfing, swimming, bodyboarding, and other sports.
What Is Sea Glass?
Sea glass (otherwise known as “drift glass”) is a beautiful found-it item formed from a not-so-beautiful start. The transformation from glass to sea glass happens when discarded glass bottles, tableware, jars, and other glass items drift in the ocean over time. Sea glass can even originate from shipwrecks.
That ugly trash is polished and worn smooth over many years. That’s due to the salt water, sand, and other elements acting as a tumbler. The result is glass with a smooth, frosted look to it. While it generally takes at least seven years for a piece of sea glass to be formed, you may find more than 100 years old glass.
Tips for Finding Sea Glass
Some people can visit the best beaches in Maine for sea glass and come up empty-handed. Others seem to find beautiful glass by the handful easily. The truth is that there is definitely an element of luck to this. However, it also helps to follow these expert tips:
- Hunt for sea glass early in the morning or late in the afternoon
- Search with the sun behind you so that it illuminates the glass in front of you
- Don’t collect too much glass or take it from areas where it is forbidden
- Research each beach to learn the colors and types of glass you might see
- Take a cat litter scoop to filter out sand and rocks
Use these tips to get the most out of searching for sea glass and help others have a great experience.
What to Do with Sea Glass
There are many uses for sea glass. Many people simply display the glass in jars or on shelves. Others use it in jewelry making. Some enjoy the process of finding the glass, hunting for rare colors, and researching the origins of the pieces they find.
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