If you like a beach with a back story, you will love Glass Beach in Northern California. This beach got its name because of an incredible amount of smooth seaglass on the shores. The story goes further back however, to the early 20th century when residents of Fort Bragg dumped their garbage (including a good amount of glass) straight into the sea. While a major clean up effort has been completed in the area, the surf still continues to send smooth pieces of glass onto the beach from this period of history. Since the clean up act in the 60s, Glass Beach Fort Bragg is once again a beautiful place to soak up some sun.
Visitors might find one disappointing thing about Glass Beach: You are no longer permitted to bring any of the shiny trinkets home with you. Some visitors still sneak a smooth piece of seaglass into their bags, but the idea is to preserve the beach as it is for future generations. While you might be tempted to take home a souvenir, if everyone did so there would be no glass left on Glass Beach. Beyond the glass, there are many interesting things about this beach. Families love it because it is fun to explore. Watch your kids’ faces light up with wonder as they explore tide pools full of mollusks and crabs.
If you’re planning a visit to Glass Beach Fort Bragg with your family, there is no one to be cautious about. The trail approaching the beach doesn’t have the best traction, and some visitors find it to be dangerous. You are best to arrive wearing a pair of shoes with a solid sole (instead of flimsy flip flops). This beach also offers a great chance to go for a stroll along the rugged Northern California coastline, so those solid shoes will come in handy again. Another popular activity for families is enjoying a picnic. Pack along some picnic items and head out to Glass Beach for a day of fresh air.
This unique beach, located on a picturesque cove, is a favorite along the Northern California coast. Even though you can no longer remove the seaglass, it is worth the trip just to see how nature turned a bad situation, that of dumping garbage into the sea, into something so beautiful. Covering the beach are rounded pebbles of green, yellow, purple, brown, and clear glass. Glass Beach Fort Bragg is now a state park, and is under protection. While visitors will see the occasional reminder of the beach’s former life, such as the odd car part, for the most part the beach is immaculately taken care of, and is a fascinating sight to see.
Glass Beach isn’t the only beach in Northern California worth your time. While the beaches of particularly Southern California, including Malibu, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, and Santa Monica, and also Central California, which is home to Santa Cruz and Big Sur, are better known than options in the north, this coastline also has plenty of options. Close to San Francisco you will find Baker Beach, a long stretch of sand that offers gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a clothing-optional section. There’s also Point Reyes National Seashore, known for excellent hiking and vantage points to see migrating whales. The relaxed beach lifestyle extends all the way from Southern California along the coast to this northern section too.