How to Plan the Best Day Trip to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg

breakfast table with view of the ocean in the distance - download our free vacation guideNorthern California has its share of gorgeous beaches, but there’s one that is more magical and dazzling than the rest: Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. This unique glass shore is one of the wonders of Northern Shore of California and makes for an exciting day trip along the coast. Read on to discover all you need to know about this fabulous destination and start planning your visit to Mendocino today! Then, download our free Vacation Guide to get recommendations for local restaurants, events, museums, shops, outdoor adventures, and more.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Glass Beach in Fort Bragg


How Was Glass Beach Formed?

Northern California is perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. You can drink delicious California wine, visit fascinating museums, and walk some of the most beautiful beaches in Mendocino. If you care to venture a little further north, head to the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. It’s only 15 minutes away from Sea Rock Inn and is a grand spectacle for guests who want to be dazzled.

As magical as it looks, the history of how Glass Beach came to be is a little less glamorous. The beach is made of colorful glass that was created, over time, from trash. Indeed, the beach used to be a trash site over a century ago. Various glass containers of all shapes and sizes were dumped over the cliffs right into the ocean. This process started in 1906 and continued for many years.

Luckily, the story has a happy ending! In 1967, environmental concerns started to rise and interrupted the dumping process. But, instead of polluting the site, the glass that was thrown into the ocean got broken up and churned. The sand smoothed out the glass and created the colorful treasures we see along the shoreline today.


Your Day at Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach

Glass Beach is within MacKerricher State Park, which is only 19 minutes away from Sea Rock Inn via CA-1 North. After you park your car, be on the lookout for the Glass Beach Trail; it will lead you to the shore! Make sure you preserve the beach as much as possible when you’re there. You can take photos, but it’s forbidden to pick up the glass pebbles. You’ll love admiring the various colors that glow in the sun. And, it’s fun to identify which products each color came from!

  • Blue: These pebbles are rare and could come from Milk of Magnesia, Vick’s VapoRub, Noxema, Nivea, or Bromo Seltzer bottles.
  • Lavender and Pink: Also rare. These were likely clear, but the color has been changed by the sea.
  • Red: These could come from perfume bottles or car tail lights.
  • Green, Brown, and Aqua: Common colors that are derived from beer bottles, soda bottles, and more.
  • Fire Glass: This sea glass is the rarest. The pebbles first went through fire before being dropped into the ocean. They often contain other colors and substances.


Visit the Sea Glass Museum

There are so many things to do in Fort Bragg after your visit to Glass Beach. Be sure to stop by the International Sea Glass Museum! It features the world’s largest permanent sea glass exhibit with more than 3,000 pieces. You can also find lovely gifts to bring home with you, like sea glass jewelry, wine stoppers, and more.

Book a Mesmerizing Stay at Sea Rock Inn

Cottage Sea Rock bed view overlooking the ocean - Mendocino Music FestivalSea Rock is the best place to stay in Northern California, and not just because it’s close to Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach! Our secluded location, beautiful gardens, amenities, and access to nature make our B&B one of the most romantic destinations north of San Francisco.

Take a look at our Junior Suites, for example. They’re perfect for a couple’s getaway! Enjoy peace and tranquility with plenty of modern amenities. Or, for a more authentic experience, choose one of our Cottages! You’ll have all the privacy you need with breathtaking views of the ocean. Get a good night’s sleep on the plush mattress and wake up to the sound of waves crashing in the distance. Did we also mention your stay also includes a delicious, complimentary breakfast? We make all of our entrees with fresh, local foods for a true taste of Northern California!


Book Your Stay Now