At the Beach — September 12, 2014 at 5:00 am

6 Best U.S. Beaches for Treasure Hunters

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There’s just something magical about the beach, but even more so, there’s something even more magical about the numerous natural treasures you can find on them. From smooth, pretty patterned shells to sea glass frosted by brine to prehistoric sharks teeth that haven’t lost their edge- the trinkets to collect are timeless pieces well worth the search! Here are 6 U.S. beaches perfect for every treasurer hunter with plenty to discover.

Sanibel Island, FL
This sunshine state island is world-renowned for its shell-strewn beaches, thanks to a wide continental shelf that dumps coquinas, scallops, whelks and sand dollars by the buckets. Bowman’s Beach is known for the best of the best when it comes to shell hunts. On a rainy day, quench your shell picking thirst at the captivating Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.

Calvert Cliffs State Park, MD
This serene little beach on the Chesapeake Bay is a more than just tan, sandy cliff sides, gentle, lapping waves and lush green woods. Fossil hunters flock to this quaint seaside to search for Miocene-era shark’s teeth, snails, clams and oyster shells. Look out for beautiful, vibrant sea glass, arrowheads and other human made objects- a testament to the life that once existed here in ancient times.

Ocracoke Island, NC
Drive the length of North Carolina’s Outer Banks to wild hearted beaches with little sign of human inhabitance. At North Point, you will find a treasure trove of shells for all those shell seekers out there. Olives, sand dollars, whelks, baby’s ears and cowries are amongst the ocean jewels that crop up, ready to be snatched.

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Travel to Northeast FL to Ponte Vedra Beach and hit the sand at sunrise to find black shark’s teeth of all shapes and sizes. Morning is your best bet for searching out the biggest and most abundant shell patches, as they tend to get picked over throughout the day. If you are lucky, you may uncover a prized megalodon shark’s tooth- the enormous extinct ancestor of the great white shark.

Shipwreck Beach, Lanai, HI
The name says it all. There is much to explore and discover on this lush beach on the island of Lanai. Thanks to strong currents and swift trade winds, deep-sea treasures are churned up and spit out on the beach for visitors to peruse and hopefully find something precious. Shells, corals, blown glass floats from Japanese fishing nets, and more become marred in the sand here. Take a stroll and try your luck, all while taking in the breathtaking view of Molokai just across the channel.

Glass Beach Mendocino Coast, CA
A long, long time ago in Fort Bragg, the locals used to toss their trash and glass straight onto this beach. Once the practice was stopped, mother nature took over, cleansing the beach and leaving instead….a thick layer of sea glass. Not the occasional smooth, milky green chip here and there, but multiple, shimmering colors covering every inch of sand. Besides sea glass, this unique shoreline is wonderful to spend the day at, frolicking in the tide pools and laying out in the sunshine.

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