Summer Fun: Go Beachcombing for Sea Glass and Shells

100 Days of Summer Day 72

Beachcombing Hands
Beachcombing Hands

This summer we’ll all be looking for ways to spend time outside while having fun. Beachcombing and hunting for sea glass is a perfect way to spend a day on the beach while staying clear of crowds.

Here are other tips and tricks to help you and your family enjoy your time at the beach searching for treasures. Whether along the Bay, its rivers and creeks or along the Atlantic, you can find amazing things if you just go out and look.

Here is a list of beaches to visit for great beachcombing spots!

Check out our Beachcombing Podcast for tips from an expert!

Safety First
Carrying a small bag that includes powerful waterproof sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles and even minimal first aid supplies can go a long way toward avoiding mishaps and encouraging prevention for annoyances like ticks on a beach trail or sunburn on your fun day.

Gear Up
As the scouts say, “Be Prepared!” When beachcombing that means bringing a sand sifter and mesh waterproof collecting bag, as well as your basic beach items like sun hats, sweatshirts in case it gets breezy, towels, a picnic blanket, snacks, drinks, books, toys and anything age-appropriate for kids.

If you have to walk far from the car, it can be a pain to go back, so packing up your beach bag correctly the first time can save a lot of hassle.

Beach Buddies
Sometimes low tide is at an early morning hour or a beach you want to try is far away, and it’s always good to be safe and comb a beach with a pal, so finding a friend to tag along makes for a fun time on beach walks.

Shore Good
It’s not only ocean beaches that yield good beachcombing finds. Lakes, rivers and creeks also offer a bounty of rich discoveries at the water’s edge. The Chesapeake has hundreds of miles of accessible shoreline to explore!

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There’s an App for That
Before you even head to the beach, you can check the tides to plan the best time for your coastal visit. Low tide is the ideal time to explore shorelines for interesting finds (though you should check the high tide line on your walk back). A tides app can let you know what time to head out.
Consider planning your beach visit one to two hours before low tide in order to take full advantage of the low-tidal exploration zone. A full moon yields the lowest tides each month. Check out the Tides Near Me or Nautide apps.

Two if by Sea
Consider exploring coastlines by kayak or other small vessels. If you can get to a beach by car, so can everyone else, making unique beachcombing finds less likely. The Chesapeake Bay is rich with great discoveries, but they are more likely to be discovered by kayak than in a car.

Book Smarts 
There are so many books and museums out there that detail the wonders of beachcombing and any particular interest you might have. If you’re into shark-tooth hunting, visit the Calvert Marine Museum to learn everything you need to know and pick up a book so you can identify your finds as you hunt along the local beaches.

Whether it’s Richard Lamotte’s “Pure Sea Glass,” Deacon Ritterbush’s “A Beachcomber’s Odyssey” or another local beachcombing book, it’s a great idea to learn more about the passionate hunt for beach finds and all the joys they have to offer.

Join the Fun
Whether you join online beachcombing communities or find local conferences where you can meet others who share your passion. Sea glass, shells, fossils, metal detecting, and shark teeth each have entire communities and informational conferences dedicated to their study.

For a daily dose of summer fun, explore our 100 Days of Summer page or search our daily calendar of events.