Beachcombing Hot-Spots

Make the rounds and visit the following Chesapeake and Delaware Bay Beaches known for their beachcombing bounties

Illustration by Joe Willey

  Betterton Beach — Betterton, MD

  Terrapin Beach Park — Stevensville, MD

  MataPeake State Park — Stevensville, MD

  North Beach, MD

  Smith Island, MD

  Tangier Island, MD

  Woodland Beach, DE

Beachcombing tips from expert comber Mary McCarthy

Check the tides before heading out. Negative low tide is the best time for beachcombing. Aim to get out on the shoreline one to two hours prior to low tide. Tide apps are helpful.

Wear waterproof boots and get into the water. Don’t be afraid to get down close in the water and mud. Mud larking can yield the best finds.

Bring gloves, a waterproof container to store finds and cheater glasses or a magnifying glass for micro-hunting. 

Rocky shorelines yield better sea glass because an object has a better chance of being tumbled, and the glass will be smoother.

The best beaches for beachcombing are usually the least accessible. Consider using a kayak to reach less popular beaches. Those nestled near shipping channels are a prime spot to find new pieces. Scouring a pebbly beach during the first low tide after a storm will often yield favorable results, as well. The Chesapeake and Delaware Bay regions are two local waterfront areas that provide favorable conditions for finding the small but elusive shards.

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